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Questions tagged [nuclear-technology]

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Why does not all uranium undergo fission in a nuclear bomb explosion?

As per this article, The weight of a butterfly, Of the 64 kilograms of uranium in the bomb, less than one kilogram underwent fission Why does not all uranium undergo fission in a nuclear explosion?
Jais's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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What's the smallest possible nuclear power generator?

Nuclear microreactors like Westinghouse's eVinci are small enough to fit on a flatbed semi-truck, and NuScale Power's small modular reactor (SMR) is relatively small, too; but are there smaller ...
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Nuclear pulsejet

As the title suggests, I am wondering about the feasibility of Nuclear powered pulsejet engines, including Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). I am not talking about Nuclear pulse rockets, ...
NERDO's user avatar
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Molecular Laser Isotope Separation for vapor $\rm H_2O$ and $\rm D_2O$ and why not implemented?

Based on the material from The absorption spectra of liquid phase H2O, HDO and D2O from 0·7 μm to 10 μm, where the IR absorption spectra of H20 and HDO are somewhat similar but noticeably different ...
Young Jun Lee's user avatar
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1 answer
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Transportation and storage of atomic weapons

I’ve been reading into the ministry of defence recently, and my question in general is this: Considering that the UK and US have so many nuclear weapons, how do they: store the nuclear weapons (isn’t ...
James Charlie's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
233 views

Heat extraction in Nuclear Fusion

In nuclear fusion the atoms are in a hot plasma and the temperature is >5000K for them to posses kinetic energy and overcome repulsion to fuse , this process generates some heat(which is equal to ...
Naveen V's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there any technical bar from restarting the nuclear power plants of Germany?

Any that makes it impractical or, yet worse, impossible? If no, how long should it take for Germany to get them back online?
DeadStream-2's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why are fission fragment reactors not used?

From Wikipedia a fission fragment reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates electricity by decelerating an ion beam of fission byproducts instead of using nuclear reactions to generate heat. By ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
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How are NASA's mars rovers able to operate with such little energy?

The latest Mars rover being, NASA's Perseverance, uses the Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator, which has a maximum power output at the beginning of it's operational life of 125 watts, ...
C-Consciousness's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
92 views

What are the design differences between a hydrogen bomb and a neutron bomb?

Are the presence of neutron reflectors the only difference between a hydrogen bomb and a neutron bomb? Many sources go into the bombs' different effects but I couldn't find the differences in how they'...
David Hobs's user avatar
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1 answer
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Half-life Unit Notations

I was looking for some element's half-life, on the following website: http://nucleardata.nuclear.lu.se/toi/listnuc.asp?sql=&A1=214&A2=214&Z=88 For 214,88-Ra, the half-life is shown to be: ...
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What is the *typical* quantity (in kg) of uranium-235 present at a given moment in a nuclear plant?

What is the typical quantity (in kg) of uranium-235 present at a given moment in a working nuclear plant? How does this compare to the typical amount of uranium-235 in a typical nuclear bomb (...
Mathieu Krisztian's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can be used a lab on a chip device as a nuclear fusion device? [closed]

This is what a lab on a chip is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lab-on-a-chip I ask if could be used as a nuclear fusion device , that could rise the number of nuclear fusion per atom, knowing that ...
user38657's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
682 views

Why are Chinese aircraft carriers conventionally powered? [closed]

China has nuclear-powered submarines, which means China is able to manufacture portable nuclear power-plants. Then, why is the latest Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong conventionally powered?
user366312's user avatar
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1 answer
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What are the key technical challenges to development of traveling wave reactors?

I recently learned about traveling wave reactors (TWRs) on the Netflix Bill Gates special, as an example of a cutting-edge technology Gates is funding which has the potential solve several ...
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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/...
user8908459's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
Anders Gustafsson's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
peterh's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
170 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 ...
Martijn's user avatar
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2 answers
646 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 ...
calm-tedesco's user avatar
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2 answers
1k 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 ...
ronenfe's user avatar
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2 answers
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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?
BUzzBuzz's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
12k 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 ...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
103 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 resulting ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
gerrit's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Listen's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
593 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 ...
peterh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
410 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 ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
615 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 ...
Brinn Belyea's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
402 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 ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
720 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 ...
peterh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
867 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,...
peterh's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
185 views

Multi-gas barometric height formula in isotope separation devices?

What is the barometric height formula for a mixture of gases? The main problem I can see, the curves describing the minimal energy (kinetic + gravitational/centrifugal) won't be any more a simple ...
peterh's user avatar
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