Questions tagged [nuclear]

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 [weapons] and [weapon-mass-destruction]. Compare [radioactivity], [weak-force] and [strong-force].

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Recreating a fantasy setting in a post-apocalyptic world

This is my first post on stack exchange ever. I literally started writing this i minute after I created this account, so please be patient with me. I’m Imagining a post-apocalyptic scenario as a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
486 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 ...
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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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
584 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
124 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
209 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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
128 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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
220 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 ...
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7 votes
7 answers
840 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 ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
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3 votes
10 answers
296 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
164 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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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) ...
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1 vote
3 answers
185 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, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
195 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
254 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
434 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
170 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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7 votes
5 answers
318 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
107 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 ...
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6 votes
5 answers
281 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
627 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 ...
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6 votes
5 answers
981 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
181 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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
256 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?
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
182 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 ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
130 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
252 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
86 views

What signs of nuclear explosion in SLC can be seen from Lincoln Highway?

First thing: I don't know if it's the right stack to ask this question, so I'm sorry if it's not. I'm writing an adventure for an apocalyptic RPG session. One point of the plot is a detonation of 100 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
302 views

The chemical and nuclear science behind pyromancy

For quiet sometime now I’ve been stuck on one of the finer details of my world building. Namely that one of my characters is this world’s version of a pyromancer that, through the use of both the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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What would be the best way to power a mecha? [closed]

While searching around, I kept hearing that fusion was a good choice, but how best to covert the energy to electricity was an issue. However, during my research, I came across this: Photon-...
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11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is it possible for a creature to exist as a biological nuclear reactor?

This is somewhat different to this question on the possibility of biological fusion reactors as I am curious if a living FISSION reactor is more plausible.
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8 votes
5 answers
861 views

What could cause a spike in the natural uranium depletion rate?

What is a possible event${^*}$ that would cause a spike in the speed of $^{235}$U fission and reduce its average concentration in ore worldwide? As I understand the physics of the process, it is ...
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4 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to optimise the use of 10 nuclear fuel pellets in medieval period?

Suppose 10 standard nuclear fuel pellets have been sent back in time to the 14th century A. D. scattered across 10 adjacent towns via a disposable time machine. Would people in the medieval period be ...
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6 votes
2 answers
200 views

How might an exoplanet have a highly radioactive atmosphere?

The exoplanet in question is Proxima Centauri b. How might the mid-to-upper-level atmosphere of that planet be dangerously radioactive and full of airborne nuclear reagents, without it being the ...
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1 vote
4 answers
283 views

What would be the dangers of creating matter from nothing

Dear top secret science network, Humanity was visited by visitors from another universe altogether (one which doesn't obey our laws of physics) - the D'jini. A diplomatic convoy of them apperead one ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How much energy would a character need to disassemble and reassemble their matter?

I wanted to have characters that can control energy and matter, so Dr Manhattan came to mind as a great example of a character that does that. Information on him says that he has complete awareness ...
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2 votes
3 answers
485 views

Could a futuristic group of people collect/farm nuclear pasta from neutron stars?

Would it even be feasible under science fiction logic? It would allow nuclear weapons to be mass produced if the nuclear pasta could actually be collected and contained safely.
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3 votes
3 answers
324 views

Theorietically, what would be the ecological impact of ITER losing containment?

Currently a megaproject called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is being built in France. The device would use magnetic containment of plasma reacting at temperatures of over ...
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1 vote
3 answers
150 views

Given the materials of a nuclear reactor, what is the most effective body of water to threaten pollution on?

I have a colony of semi-post-apocalyptic survivors who have created a deterrence scenario involving their access to both a nuclear reactor and some body(s) of water. Ideally, I'd like the water to be ...
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4 votes
2 answers
228 views

How would mountainous landscape look like after remodelling it with nuclear warheads?

As conclusion of this question it seems that under a dense atmosphere it would be a good idea to place the main city in mountains. Just there is the inconvenient issue that top of mountains lack flat ...
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3 votes
3 answers
393 views

Is antimatter boosted nuclear weapon theoretically possible?

Are there any fundamental obstacles to using a nuclear explosion as a trigger for antimatter generation and thus considerably increasing the yield?
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