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Questions tagged [nuclear]

For questions about atomic nuclear phenomena and their effects on the world. For heat and power generation applications of nuclear phenomena, use [nuclear-power]. For weapons relying on nuclear phenomena, consider [nuclear weapons] and [weapon-mass-destruction]. Compare [radioactivity], [weak-force] and [strong-force].

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Everything has a tiny nuclear reactor in it. How much of a concern are illegal nuclear bombs?

In this world, basically every structure (building, factory, car, etc...) has a tiny nuclear reactor in it, and operates like a nuclear submarine. There isn't even an electrical grid; every structure ...
Christopher King's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
190 views

Effects of Planetary Neutron Bombardment [closed]

A space civilization blackmails Earth by bombarding Venus with massive amounts of neutrons. It's one of their main technologies and there are reasons for not doing it otherwise. What would be the ...
Daniel Ramires's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
142 views

What will happen to nuclear power stations / reactors if chain reaction suddenly stops to provide energy?

What will happen to reactors if nuclear fission chain reactions in some specific areas will just stop working? Other types of nuclear phenomena (ones with gamma rays, positrons,etc) are still in ...
Tauri's user avatar
  • 338
4 votes
0 answers
182 views

Ecological consequences of 750-gigaton natural nuke [closed]

A monazite sand placer deposit rich in thorium dioxide is slowly crushed into a sedimentary rock by plate tectonics. Water in it acts as a neutron moderator which ensures the ore formation doesn't ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Frozen Star- Red dwarf goes supernova, just because I froze it?

So as I mentioned in my previous question in the series, the parent red dwarf star of a one-planet system, Eridanus, has frozen over due to an unknown reason. By a "frozen red dwarf star", I ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,422
4 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can You Make A Tiny Nuclear Reactor By Employing Supercritical Conditions For Brief Periods Of Time?

The idea is that you would have pieces of plutonium or U233 close enough that if left to their own devices they should go supercritical in a fraction of a second. However, in between the pieces you ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,803
3 votes
3 answers
312 views

Feasibility of Tiny Nuclear Engines

In this setting nuclear material is incredibly cheap, while all hydrocarbons need to be synthesized from scratch. Additionally people have shadow magic which allows them to both easily shield against ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,803
13 votes
13 answers
5k views

What sort of nuclear-based transportation would be best suited to cheaply transporting large amount of cargo if radiation weren't a concern?

In this scenario people are in a constant war on an infinite flat world with the geography of Antarctica's interior (but with no liquid water or hydrocarbons). Notably this world has an abundance of ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,803
4 votes
4 answers
268 views

How can the neutron star factory make heavy elements?

My Primordial galactic empire is facing a huge deficit of heavy elements. So I decided to make a neutron-star factory to make heavy elements like gold and lead See that purplish thing in the center ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,422
27 votes
11 answers
6k views

Nuclear Piston Engine - Is it possible?

While researching unique methods of nuclear energy generation and propulsion, I encountered many things, both in rocketry and aerospace. For instance, the nuclear thermal jet engine. However, I found ...
Jefferey Dawson's user avatar
3 votes
6 answers
1k views

How would an alien race destroy all nuclear weapons on earth? [closed]

An alien race has decided that earth is the best place to recruit new soldiers and prepare for a war, and they want to eliminate all nuclear weapons (explosive ones, not dirty bombs) to prevent ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
  • 40.7k
10 votes
3 answers
476 views

How close can I get to a nuclear explosion with extreme shielding?

Imagine you are in empty space, and a 15 megaton nuclear bomb is very close to you (D=200 meters), but what's also very close to you is a giant (Tungsten?) cylinder (2? meters in diameter, 100? meters ...
Leon Frickenschmidt's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
4k views

How early could we have had nukes?

Suppose a message was sent to the past with a diagram, description, and use, of the simplest fission weapon. It didn't describe how to mine Uranium, enrich it, or even a description of WHY it works or ...
Leon Frickenschmidt's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
111 views

How many power plants could plausibly be built in a given, relatively small area? For e.g. how many nuclear plants could be built in a 1000sq.km area? [closed]

For e.g. how many nuclear plants could be built in a 1000sq.km area? How many gas/coal/oil plants could be co-located in a small area? Etc.
Jshupac Future-Economics's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
760 views

Recreating a fantasy setting in a post-apocalyptic world

I’m imagining a post-apocalyptic scenario as a thought experiment. It takes place 500 years after a nuclear war on the East Coast of what was the US, and is meant to roughly be a recreation of a high ...
Icreamforicescream's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
505 views

Would increasing the stability of nuclei have other side effects than just fission not happening?

I'm writing a short story where humanity lives in a section of the universe that's causing the nuclei to be unstable. To explain what I mean, we here have hydrogen, deuterium and tritium where ...
Gensys LTD's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

What would happen to nuclear missiles left to rot post-apocalypse? [duplicate]

A sudden cataclysm takes place. The human race is all but wiped away. And the nukes in their bunkers and silos are left to rot for 800 years before anyone finds a record of them. What has happened to ...
Pete Aldin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
661 views

Industrial scale Tritium production from Helium3?

Currently Tritium is produced by neutron bombardment of Lithium. I was looking into alternatives and learned that Helium3 has a rather large cross section for reacting with thermal neutrons. From what ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
146 views

Is there a metric for how far underground a nuclear bomb needs to be to safely be tested?

I'm running a one-shot cold war campaign where the PCs are going to sabotage a prototype Soviet giga-ton bomb. Realistically, how far underground would a giga-ton bomb have to be buried to be safely ...
Adam Kabbeke's user avatar
  • 1,973
6 votes
2 answers
267 views

Unforeseen Consequences of Limiting Nuclear Fission

From my understanding nuclear fission takes place in two different scenarios and correlates with the speed of a neutron. In terms of material, we have fissionable material which undergo nuclear ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
-5 votes
1 answer
301 views

Could you freeze a nuclear explosion [closed]

The character who I'm talking about is faced with certain death and has to freeze a nuclear exposition that's coming right at him, would this work, and how would it. This character has ice-based ...
B. Buchner's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
193 views

How weight and volume-efficient can you make a high-yield nuclear weapon for setting off a volcano?

Let's say that we need a nuke that can fit into a very small space while also providing a very large boom. Now, the US's B-41 nuclear bomb was quite mass-efficient indeed; it put out 22 petajoules, or ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
4 votes
5 answers
276 views

With modern-day/near-future (i.e. potentially realizable within 20 years) technology, can a nuclear reactor with these characteristics be built?

I'm writing about a nuclear-powered tank. Yes, I know about what the problems associated with it are. No, the people in the setting don't care about radioactive contamination of their environment, or ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
7 votes
7 answers
898 views

How to explore a radioactive wasteland with mostly low tech equipment? [closed]

I'm writing a story based on people trapped in a city which has had multiple nuclear bombs set off in it, and so has some very irradiated reason. The people in it have slightly more advanced than ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
  • 40.7k
-3 votes
1 answer
211 views

Can we fulfill the world electricity production by nuclear power? [closed]

Nuclear energy is a form of energy released from the nucleus, the core of atoms, made up of protons and neutrons. In today's world has 450 commercial nuclear power reactors operable in 30 countries. ...
sameera lakshitha's user avatar
3 votes
10 answers
415 views

Why do the nations in my world use tactical nuclear weapons but not strategic ones while still having both?

Exactly what it says on the tin: why do the nuclear bomb-having nations in my world use tactical nuclear weapons but not strategic ones while still having both? They're not launching ICBMs at one ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
1 vote
2 answers
110 views

Could a neutron-slowing field render neutron-induced nuclear fission weapons and reactors unusable?

Let's say that, for some reason, producing a certain type of field causes all free neutrons with a kinetic energy greater than 100 kEV to spontaneously emit visible-spectrum photons and lose the ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
2 votes
2 answers
182 views

How far would radiation from an exclusion zone spread?

I'm working on a story where in 1983 the world went to full on global war and all nuclear power plants blew up either under nuclear fire or by losing power. I know about the general 30km exclusion ...
Nierninwa's user avatar
  • 2,034
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

Effect of adding a fourth kind of radioactive decay

That question did spawn from though experiments about what kind of differences one had to expect in a parallel universe. When reading in fiction about this topic, sometimes the "changed natural ...
Confused Merlin's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Ways of detection of radiation wastelands/spots in a technology free world?

BACKSTORY: So in my story there was a type of nuclear winter that forced surviving humans to live underground until the world above became breathable again. By now the world than once was (our world) ...
CharliValentine's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
255 views

What would happen to nuclear plants if all the electric stuff would just overload and burn out?

I'm working on a story where an energy wave from space just hits the earth and all the electrics burn out. This is a question which has been on my mind for a little while. If there were no computers, ...
Márk Birtalan's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
229 views

What would the global effects of a prolonged nuclear war at sea be?

There are a great many studies targeted at the effects on the environment of nuclear war on land, but I can't seem to find any relating specifically to nuclear war at sea. The current basic setup in ...
Dawnfire's user avatar
  • 1,116
2 votes
2 answers
288 views

Effects of a Rapid Fire Nuclear Weapon on the Environment

One of the weapons I'm planning on having a character use in a sci-fi world is a rapid fire nuclear autocannon. While the strategic use of nuclear weapons is common on inter-galactic battlefields, an ...
Dawnfire's user avatar
  • 1,116
6 votes
1 answer
681 views

How to design a proper void whale?

I was thinking about the concept of space whales that are presented in some sci-fi universes. Usually, their origin is either unexplained or explained in some pseudo-magical way. As an example, it is ...
FrogOfJuly's user avatar
  • 1,138
0 votes
2 answers
243 views

Causing Nuclear Reactions With A Sword

Okay, so the ultimate villain of my story is a million-year-plus-old malevolent extraterrestrial believed (and for good reason) to be the most powerful being in the universe. He has incredible ...
TysonDennis's user avatar
  • 2,380
3 votes
3 answers
255 views

Military/Government Breakdown in Post-Apocalyptic USSR

Background: In an alternative universe the Cold War (circa 1975) turns hot after some satellite communications errors. Nukes start flying — but for the purpose of the question, let's just focus on the ...
Aiman Vargas's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
368 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...
tunguskateer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

Nuclear-powered helicopter? [closed]

Have there been any plans to use fissionables as a power source for helicopters in a military role? What would some of the envisioned difficulties and missions of such a vehicle? I imagine long ...
Chasing55loom's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
385 views

How could a small group pre-apocalyptic people prevent the breakdown of an advanced nuclear-based power source generations later?

I've been toying with the idea of a world that was once hyper-technological, where body modification and nanotech-based body modifications were the norm such that society practically couldn't function ...
robbie crockett's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

After a major nuclear war/disaster, how much radiation would remain after ~300 years?

The setting for my story is a post-post-apocalyptic Earth. There was a nuclear war (and several related nuclear disasters due to power plants being either targeted or neglected), and it's already been ...
WillowRiver's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I make Orion pulse vehicles take off?

During the Cold War, the United States initiated Project ORION. This program was intended to build and launch super-heavy vehicles into space. They wanted to do this not with the use of chemical ...
Hota Balti's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
231 views

Can workers in a radioactive environment use wireless radios to communicate?

My characters are entering a warehouse wearing radiation suits to protect from radiated materials. Can they communicate with each other via radio? No aliens. Humans in a real scenario on earth dealing ...
Paul David Graham's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why would a nuclear powered spaceship needs to wait a few days before restarting the reactor engine?

Set some 50 years in the future, every spaceship in space is powered by a nuclear powered reactor and most of them came equipped with an ion propulsion engine for acceleration. I noticed that every ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
1 answer
414 views

What is the climate like 200 years after nuclear war?

I know there would probably be an ash-based cooling period, but, how long would that last and then what happens? Is the post-apocalyptic desert even possible in a post-nuclear war world?
Arthur's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
97 views

How Can An Alien Ship Harness Nuclear Energy? [closed]

A massive alien vessel is buried in a sandbank under the sea. Research subs detect a vast supply of nuclear energy held within it. I've been researching power plants, fission and the processes that ...
Luke Duffy's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
214 views

How would the Politburo respond to Project A119?

In 1958 the United States Air Force considered a mission to detonate a nuclear device on the surface of the Moon. The endeavour was framed as a booster to American public morale in the wake of the ...
Jem's user avatar
  • 567
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

I'm looking for an event that would have accelerated the American nuclear program

I've been brainstorming this idea of America conquering the world right after World War II, during the period when USA was the only nation with the atomic bomb. I'm looking for something either ...
HIGHYIELD's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
155 views

Do chemicals from nuclear reprocessing waste remain radioactive? Are they flammable?

I'm writing a story about a town whose residents all work at a nuclear reprocessing site. Some teenagers begin to hang out near a small body of water close to the site that they call "the swamp". The ...
Julia's user avatar
  • 29
0 votes
1 answer
487 views

What would happen if someone could remotely manipulate atoms?

Those of you who are familiar with the DC Comics hero Firestorm know that he can alter the chemical structure of any form of inorganic matter, provided he knows the chemical equation. In my story, I ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 405
2 votes
2 answers
474 views

Effect of an asteroid impact on a nuclear power plant?

I want to write a story about a thought experiment that I have on the other day : What kind of catastrophe will happen if an asteroid, let just say about 70 meters in diameter, penetrated Earth's ...
Mister OwO's user avatar