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LostCosmonaut

Random Nuclear Stuff

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A wonderful story from a colleague of mine, whose father had been involved in the SA nuclear program:

 

In the late 80s the father had been working at Pelindaba on nuclear power at the sime time as the cold fusion story broke. Upon hearing about the Fleischmann–Pons experiment, they rushed to set up their own apparatus and then left it to run over night. The next day they discovered astoundingly high neutron spikes in the data. Shortly thereafter a number of government service types rushed in and demanded that they dismantle their apparatus, cease their experiments and not contact the press.

 

Lest this seem like the beginnings of a wonderful conspiracy theory; the reason was that, at the same facility, the nuclear weapons group was doing highly secret criticality experiments. And the neutron detector set up for the cold fusion experiment was close enough and sensitive enough (supposedly a strong overcast helped as well) to inadvertently out the work.

LoooSeR, Zyklon, Bronezhilet and 1 other like this

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ATR Core Geometry

 

Core-and-reflector-geometry-of-the-Advan

 

The wiki image for Cherenkov Radiation is a pic of the ATR.

 

800px-Advanced_Test_Reactor.jpg

 

I got to see one of the test trains getting prepared while I was out in Idaho last November, it was pretty cool. Hopefully I'll get to visit the reactor itself this summer.

LoooSeR likes this

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Szilard's Chain Reaction

Since this was before uranium fission was known, the hypothetical reaction involved carbon and beryllium.

It also mentions hitting beryllium-9 with neutrons to break it into two alphas and two neutrons, but that's an endothermic reaction.

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