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Gods in this universe inhabit a higher plane of existence. Their spirits inhabit large, humanoid forms upwards of 30ft, and watch over humanity by protecting it from outside threats. On occasion, a god must enter the mortal plane for various reasons. However, there are certain conditions that must be met. A god cannot simply possess a human, for their divine essence would destroy it not long after. Therefore, special human bodies must be constructed from scratch to contain the godly essence within and allow gods to walk among mortals. These bodies are made using Godtech, highly advanced technology that only gods have access to.

These bodies are 8ft tall and look human on the outside, but inward they are heavily modified, possessing advanced organs that humans do not. Inside these bodies is an organ called the core, which contains the soul of a god. These cores operate similar to a miniature nuclear reactor that powers the body and contains the divine essence inside it, preventing it from leaking out into the environment. These bodies are powerful and highly durable, and provide for almost instant regeneration. However, gods can still be killed if they have taken enough damage, which leads to a problem.

When a god dies, the core containing its spirit ceases to function and becomes unstable, causing a rupture. The explosion alone would destroy a significant part of the surrounding environment. The true danger, however, is the divine radiation which would spread to a larger area due to factors such as wind currents. This radiation would spread further and further, causing damage to lesser creatures unable to withstand the power, killing hundreds or even thousands of people. Lesser still would be the rampant mutations of those touched by divine power, which can lead to disastrous consequences for them.

I need a way to limit the effects of a failed nuclear reactor from blowing up a huge area so that only the body is destroyed, while prevent the spread of divine radiation from turning the surrounding environment from becoming holy Chernobyl. How can I make this happen?

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    $\begingroup$ Dump it in the sea... $\endgroup$ – Antzi May 21 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ without knowing the yield this is hard to answer, things that will contain a small nuclear bomb is different than what will stop a the tzar bomb. $\endgroup$ – John May 21 at 10:32
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So this is difficult to answer, because these are your nuclear reactors and your rules so you may handwave as you see fit.

That out of the way, you're effectively talking about a nuclear bomb, not a nuclear reactor:

The explosion alone would destroy a significant part of the surrounding environment.

This more or less implies that any attempts to confine or limit the spread of, uh, "theoactive" debris are doomed to failure because shielding and confinement devices in the original reactor will likely be shattered and flung far and wide.

In a civil nuclear disaster, major explosions are pretty rare... even the chernobyl explosion wasn't really destructive to the surroundings (and it was a steam explosion, not a nuclear one), but rather was a problem because it damaged the containment structure. The issue is radioactive dust and ash and smoke caused by fires, minor explosions and structural collapses in and around the failing reactor being lofted high into the altiude and forming a fallout plume. There are all sorts of theories about how you might make civil reactors safer, many of them dubious, most of them probably won't get field-tested, but none of them apply here because you're following the classic sci-fi trope of nuclear-reactor-go-boom.

So, to answer:

I need a way to limit the effects of a failed nuclear reactor from blowing up a huge area

A reactor won't. A bomb will. You need to choose which one you're dealing with here.

Edit: I can think of one radiation-releasing nuclear reactor which might go bang when it failed: an antimatter reactor. That, however, will cause almost no fallout because the radiation it releases is prompt EM and light unstable particles that rapidly decay.

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    $\begingroup$ A reactor won't, +1. Especially if you build the expensive kind that helps you build bombs (breeder reactors), which is why most aren't. $\endgroup$ – Mazura May 20 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ Nuclear bombs themselves are really hard to detonate. The normal mode of operation is for them to do nothing. That's how they're made. Even if you deliberately built a giant nuclear bomb instead of an actual reactor, you don't expect them to explode. They'll break and leak radiation, but not explode. Making things explode is difficult. Cars do not explode easily. Shooting things with bullets don't cause them to explode. Etc. Nuclear reactions certainly do not explode, and nuclear bombs are really difficult to explode. There's a reason the Manhatten project had teams of scientists. $\endgroup$ – Nelson May 21 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ "There's a reason the Manhatten project had teams of scientists" - and that North Korean nukes in their tests fizzled or exploded with much smaller yields than they were hoping for. $\endgroup$ – vsz May 21 at 4:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Nelson it uses nuclear power, explodes violently, causes massive damage and fallout. Sure sounds like a nuclear bomb to me. Maybe it doesn't go off in quite the same way our ones do, but maybe that's because it has been built to hold the soul of a god. Context, you see? $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime May 21 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Nelson Yes, nuclear bombs are hard to detonate. Because they are built that way, because it was deemed a good idea to minimize the chances of accidents. Little Boy and Fat Man were built with another design in mind, so it was hard to keep them from exploding when armed. It depends on the design of the device is what I'm saying. $\endgroup$ – Kakturus May 21 at 9:30
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Make the core a divine power receiver, like a radio receiver but receiving the energy needed for the god-tech bodies. Tesla was working on something like this at the Wardenclyffe Tower. Such a core would allow you to keep the divine soul (and the majority of its power) at a safe distance, in a heavenly or on an infernal plane.

When the body falls, only the power that it is currently receiving gets unleashed. This is enough to incinerate the body, but is not enough to decimate/contaminate the area or mutate the indigenous life.

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For a fission reactor, you can mitigate their damage by cooling them, moderate or absorb the neutron flow, and reducing their mass below criticality.

Cooling: Pour water or chemical salts to conduct heat away from the critical mass. Water keeps the temperature ~100 C on the surface in contact with water. But, Water boils to steam, but as long as the water is replaced this prevents a full-blown meltdown from burning its way down in the Earth.

Moderating the Neutron Flow: Flood reactor with neutron absorbers like boron, water(again), titanium, molybdenum, or other more rare elements that absorb neutrons. This can starve the reactor and shut down the chain reaction. This works best while the nuclear core is still intact. If the fuel rods have melted down and are a puddle at the bottom of the reactor vessel this is harder to deal with. But, since you are likely cooling it, adding boric acid to the cooling water can reduce neutron flow.

Reducing their mass: Separate the fissionable material into small pieces below its critical mass and the reaction will shut down.

For a fusion reactor: Conceptually, adding iron or high atomic number atoms to the reactor would squelch the reactor, if one existed. Atoms like Iron and above are endothermic when they fuse, requiring more energy to fuse then they produce. Atoms below Iron on the periodic table are exothermic, producing more energy than required to fuse them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Bear in mind that this is mounted in a 30ft tall humanoid thing. It probably won't be carrying a few million gallons of water, though perhaps requiring that it only ever operate whilst waste-deep in water might be a potential workaround... $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime May 20 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ @ Starfish Prime, I completely agree. I am unclear about the author's real needs so chose to answer the precise question put forward. I don't know if the author is looking for a design feature of the God-Body or for a mechanism the locals would need to save themselves from a Godly Melt Down $\endgroup$ – EDL May 20 at 20:31
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So the way I see things is that you could basically have some Godtech that prevents the spreading of the radiation after the body explodes. Let's say for instance that when the body is created, some tech is included in the body such that when it is destroyed, molecules in the body, maybe an extra organ that contains a substance, binds to the God particles and renders them dormant. This could add a few extra layers to your world where non-God creatures could try to harness God particles in dormant form and make themselves Gods, etc.

Another option could be a celestial force that is specialized and tasked with recapturing the God particles. You could make it such that the particles are more like large gems that a creature could consume to mutate and each God "body" releases X number of them upon explosion that must be tracked down.

Really the world is your oyster here because there is no limit to how things can work for you. I personally like the idea of there being crystal like objects that are expelled on release because it introduces the chance for a black market that trades them, a task force to recover them, even a limit to the amount that exist that makes it so there are a finite number of God "bodies" that can be created at any one time.

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Put them underground. We can employ the same technique used in the Plumbob Rainier underground nuclear weapons test, which was the first nuclear. Tunnel into a mountain in a special path and add a hook shaped structure at the end. The hook shape structure seals off the non curved part in the explosion Plumbob Rainier tunnels

Of course, we might be able to choose other similarly circuitous paths for aesthetic or ritual purposes which are also capable of containing the explosion. In which case we have a dungeon

If said god doesn't explode like a nuclear bomb, we can put said god into a large stone, concrete, or steel containment vessel. For extra safety we should probably locate our god and said containment vessel in the middle of nowhere. This way even if some theoactives leak out they won't cause much of a problem.

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Can "divine essence" be destroyed?

If so, one answer would be the same one that Special Circumstances(*) agents have available to themselves. They have a tiny antimatter-based power generator embedded in their heads. In extremis, they can drop the containment, and a matter-antimatter reaction turns them into a significant bomb.

It's less than true suicide, because they have backed themselves up before setting out on a mission, and will be restored from that backup. But it's a sort of suicide, because their personal experience of that mission is gone forever, and a journal or a reconstruction from other viewpoints is not the same as personal experience thereof.

Minds, which are effectively technological gods, can also back themselves up to another Mind, and self-destruct.

Anyway, if "divine essence" is a form of matter, anti-matter would destroy it. And if a God can back him/her/itself up, then losing a short chunk of an immortal? life might be a small price to pay.

(*) Iain M Banks' "Culture" series, of course.

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    $\begingroup$ So, basically an anti-diety containment. Like acid an base relationship. In the event of a failure, the anti is mixed with the theos and renders it inert? $\endgroup$ – Jammin4CO May 21 at 16:23
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Fusion reactors

As written, you seem to be using fission reactors, which can have a runaway process that produces heat and radioactive waste. But why? We use fission reactors because we haven't figured out how to make fusion reactors that produce more power than they use. However, your gods have advanced technology. Why wouldn't they use fusion instead?

Fission reactors work with unstable isotopes at the high end of the periodic table and bombard them with alpha particles to make them even more unstable. Fission can continue to happen without outside intervention.

The dangerous part with fusion is not the result but the fuel. So have the fuel consumed in an explosion. This will neutralize the Chernobyl-like radiation danger and make a boom. This is essentially taking the normal fusion process and accelerating it so that all the fuel burns at once. This would be undesirable as a way to produce energy but makes sense as a way to get rid of the fuel. This won't happen naturally, so they will have to build the reactors to fail this way deliberately. You could even write a story about when this fails and what happens.

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  • $\begingroup$ D-D and D-T fusion produce a lot of neutrons, This means that the reactor shielding and structure will end up with all sorts of interesting neutron activation effects, so you'll still end up with plenty of radioactive waste. It probably won't be as toxic or as long lived as fission waste, but it still should be borne in mind. (As an aside, you could use a highly neutronic fusion reaction to help denature nuclear waste by smashing up all those big long lived radioactive nuclei) $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime May 21 at 18:34
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I think the easiest conclusion, while multiple perspectives and possibilities have been given, it would appear that Godtech bodies do not possess any inhumane abilities.

As such, a very simple way: put them in a space craft and launch them toward the sun. The alpha/beta/gama rays alone would destory everything.

But, a more complete way would be perhaps by implementing a Rosen Bridge(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole) within a micro dimension parallel to the cellular count of the Godtech body, such that within fractions of a second the transport method is able to shoot said Godtech body far away across the universe, to another point in space time.

However, if you want a permanent solution that will yield no damage; than we should place in a very particular order a series of gravitational blackholes that account for the circumference of said Godtech body in relation to the gravitational strength, such that it is only exerted on the Godtech Body. This will create a controlled spectrum of gravitational dialiation that will result in said Godtech bodies decomposition being handled in a way that not even light can escape.

Nevertheless, the real question we should be asking ourselves: What did we do to merit the likes of God's within our realm?

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