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Questions tagged [nuclear-technology]

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How does a nuclear powered rocket engine work?

Nuclear power always require some way of converting the energy from nuclear to electrical or mechanical to be useful. For example, in a nuclear power generation facility, this is done through heat/...
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0answers
33 views

Which Gen IV reactor types use nuclear waste as fuel?

I have read the Wikipedia article on Generation IV nuclear reactors, but from that article it is not clear to me which of the main reactor types that use nuclear waste to fuel the process. As far as I ...
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2answers
39 views

How is the neutron capture cross-section increased in thermal breeder reactors?

The related Wikipedia article says: A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates more fissile material than it consumes. Breeder reactors achieve this because their neutron economy is ...
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1answer
53 views

Critical mass in a molten salt reactor

In a conventional nuclear reactor the amount of neutrons 'flying around' is maintained with control rods and water is usually used as a moderator. From a certain point of view the control rods keep ...
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2answers
445 views

How is the energy production of solar and wind compared with the prospect of nuclear fusion? [closed]

I am trying to find reliable information and comparisons about the energy production of renewable energy technologies, specifically, how solar and wind alternatives compare to nuclear fusion. Why is ...
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2answers
643 views

Why did they build a sarcophagus over Chernobyl instead of pouring concrete over the building? [closed]

Wouldn't it be easier to just pump concrete over the reactor until it's all covered up with a solid concrete instead of hurting so many workers and putting so much effort and costs building a ...
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2answers
50 views

Nuclear wastegate thermal dissipation systems?

How do shoreline nuclear facilities lower the temperature of wastewater generated by their cooling systems before it enters the ocean?
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5answers
8k views

Why does it take so long to restart a nuclear power plant?

I have heard a couple of times that an operating nuclear power plant which was shut down (non-emergency; e.g. for a regular check) needs over 24 hours (up to 72 hours?) to get up running again. Why ...
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2answers
87 views

Is there any aspect of an Explosion resulting from a nuclear weapon test that cannot be simulated using super computers?

This Washington Post news article states that with the advent of computer simulation of nuclear tests, live tests are no longer needed. Generally speaking there are 3 aspects of an Explosion ...
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2answers
103 views

When backup cooling fails in reactors without passive safety, what is the risk of radioactive contamination?

Most/all nuclear fission reactors require cooling. Due to radioactive decay heat, this is true even when the reactor is switched off. Hence, there are requirements for nuclear plants to have power ...
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1answer
949 views

How does a nuclear reactor initiate nuclear fission? [closed]

How do we start a nuclear chain reaction? For example, if we wanted to do it this weekend, what would we need, and what are the basic steps? I'm not looking for a text book response or highly detailed ...
4
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1answer
372 views

How to separate isotopes of Plutonium?

In case of Uranium, things are lot easier, because $UF_6$ is gaseous from around 60 $\,^{\circ}\mathrm{C}$. I know, that in most cases, plutonium isotope separation is not needed, because there is no ...
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2answers
356 views

How does thermonuclear warhead yield scale with size?

The Tsar Bomba packed a yield of 50 megatons into a package 2.1m in diameter by 8m long. Assuming that the lead tamper modification was not used (which boosts the yield of the Tsar Bomba design to ...
6
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2answers
457 views

Why have thorium fueled nuclear reactors not been more fully developed?

Why have thorium nuclear reactors not been ore fully developed? Earth has more thorium than uranium. Is it technical difficulties or the fact that uranium technology was developed first for military ...
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3answers
314 views

How much can Protactinium degrade the efficiency of the Thorium fuel cycle?

One of the counterpoints to the Thorium fuel cycle is that Protactinium, which is generated in this cycle degrades reactor efficiency and thus needs to be removed, at least from the liquid fluoride ...
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4answers
406 views

Smallest possible controlled chain reaction-based nuclear fission reactor?

I think, it could be a reactor utilizing californium-242 (or, at least, weapon-grade U-235) cooled and moderated by heavy water. Essentially, it were similar to an atomic bomb, but - of course - it ...
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2answers
638 views

How does nuclear fuel reprocessing work?

As far I know, the depleted fuel cells are crushed, and solved in nitric acid. What is coming after that? This nitric acid should probably contain a very wide spectrum of different salts (practically,...
6
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1answer
104 views

Multi-gas barometric height formula in isotope separation devices?

I think, actually the first row is needed is a barometric height formula for the mix of gases. The main problem I can see, the curves describing the minimal energy (kinetic + gravitational/...