Questions tagged [nuclear-power]

Questions about generation of heat and power by nuclear phenomena, usually but not limited to radioactive decay (fission reactions). For weapons relying on nuclear phenomena, consider [weapons] and [weapon-mass-destruction] instead.

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4answers
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Why would NSWR's be used when Orion drives are around?

In the setting I'm making, Orion drives are one of the primary forms of propulsion used in spacecraft. I have been thinking of adding Nuclear Salt Water Rockets (the lithium variety) alongside Orion ...
6
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1answer
156 views

How self-sufficient a fast breeder nuclear power plant can be in a post-apocalyptic setting?

Setting The full society collapse is starting, and a group of people know it. It may or may not lead to a total extinction event. They can't protect a whole city but a couple of hectares is doable. ...
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6answers
389 views

How would the sudden disappearance of nuclear weapons and power plants affect Earth geopolitics?

Backstory The setting is Earth in 2021 OTL. An invisible space station of an arbitrarily advanced alien civilization is orbiting around Earth keeping watch on humanity. The aliens have determined that ...
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1answer
109 views

Could a pebble-bed reactor provide sporadic power for millions of years?

The device needed is a monitoring system. Aliens leave a probe on Earth or orbiting Earth, which typically lies dormant, but it awakes every 1,000 years or so to check life's status on Earth. There's ...
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2answers
37 views

How can a summoning circle dilute the effects of radiation over a wide surface area?

Summoning circles are a way to communicate with entities within the ethereal realm from beyond the veil. A mage uses the summoning circle as a bridge to bring the entity from its realm and ...
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10answers
486 views

Would there be any place for nuclear-powered spaceships in a world where antimatter propulsion is the standard?

Nuclear fission rockets are becoming obsolete and have been superseded by the more efficient antimatter engines, which have nearly 100% efficiency and do not produce pollutants. I'm wondering this: in ...
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16answers
7k views

Convert radioactivity directly into electricity: Possible or not?

Is it possible to directly convert radioactivity to turn it into electricity? If yes, then what is the conversion rate?
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8answers
872 views

Running a nuclear power plant in the post-apocalypse: is it possible?

So, the apocalypse has occurred, and for about 150 years humanity spent its time wallowing in misery, sorrow, and so on. So moving on, in the northwest of Nevada there’s an abandoned nuclear reactor, ...
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1answer
198 views

How could a brown dwarf be used for energy?

I've been thinking about a civilization on a planet orbiting around a brown dwarf drifting in interstellar space. Obviously, by definition, a brown dwarf is too small to have much fusion on its own. I'...
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2answers
121 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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3answers
613 views

If people were the size of squirrels, would we ever have developed nuclear fission?

If people were about 1 foot tall and weighed about 1 pound, would we ever have made a reactor or an atomic bomb? Because critical mass doesn't change, the scale of the project to mine and process ...
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79 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 ...
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3answers
216 views

How can a mage who can only cast in-situ thermonuclear explosion spell moves up the ranks?

Set in the modern day, many talented citizens especially those who can cast magic spells are encouraged to join the army. A very small group of mages can tap into the nuclear forces at will but they ...
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1answer
301 views

How much of the earth would be in an exclusion zone if all 450+ nuclear reactors failed simultaneously?

I'm about to flood the planet with magic, which doesn't play nice with tech, especially power. The only places tech will still work are Null Zones which cancel magic due to deposits of minerals (the ...
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Could I build a nuclear reactor based on Bernoulli's principle?

So I was recently inspired by the answers that I saw on this stack exchange to the following question: Feasibility of H.G. Wells' Continuously-Exploding Atomic Bombs And it occurred to me that ...
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1answer
256 views

How long can the entire civilization be powered by converting all nuclear arsenal into commercial reactor fuel?

Imagine a miracle happened and all leaders decided to wind back the minute hand of the doomsday clock and passed a bill that can transform all kinds of nuclear weapons into fuel for power plants, ...
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1answer
810 views

Usability of fusion scoops in deep space?

How effective would it be to use fusion scoops as an actually effective method of interstellar travel? How quickly could you generate thrust? How much fuel would such a thing need, and would it work ...
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2answers
377 views

What would be the best way to power a mecha?

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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7answers
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Good explanation for why aliens can't build nuclear engines?

"Aliens used uranium and plutonium to generate energy for thousands of years. However, by the time they got into space exploration, they've used up every last bit of it. That's why they'll have to try ...
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6answers
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What would it take to make thorium a prominent energy source?

Thorium power plants were a thing that was researched and ultimately abandoned; however, for all intents and purposes, it's safer than any power source we have today. In our timeline, the first such ...
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8answers
305 views

Is it possible to cover up a nuclear accident occurring at Area 51?

In 1986, the greatest heist ever attempted was carried out in secrecy not even KGB is aware of it. A group of special agents managed to steal the blueprint for RBMK-9600, a nuclear reactor which uses ...
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5answers
395 views

How hard would it be for a nuclear ramjet drone fighter to be shot down with modern antiaircraft (AA) systems?

TLDR: ~ mach 3, practically unlimited range but presumably substandard stealth characteristics. Would it be a game breaking weapon on modern air battlefield or merely would require tactics adjustment ...
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3answers
92 views

SFR Breeders on Small Mars Moon feasibility

Need help with a topic for a sci-fi book. Basic premise is 200yr in future, mining facility on small Mars moon of Phobos. Power source we would like is an Sodium Fast Reactor breeder as we think this ...
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5answers
909 views

Containing the radiation of a nuclear powered aeroplane

Let us assume that in the next 50 years one of the large nation-states of our world will build nuclear powered planes, for intercontinental flight. Supposedly, the nuclear planes would be bigger, ...
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6answers
181 views

Powering a Nanobot Via Nuclear Fission of Its Material

First let me say that I know almost nothing but the basics about nuclear fission. I know more about nano robotics but I've got no degree in the matter, just a rather in depth curiosity and a lot of ...
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3answers
238 views

How could a creature derive energy from radioactive elements?

Have a creature that doesn't really need vitamins or minerals, it only requires energy which goes through a energy-matter conversion to build what it needs. Radioactive materials would be great ...
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19answers
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What would cause a nuclear power plant to break down after 2000 years, but not sooner?

What would cause a nuclear power plant to break down after 2000 years, but not sooner? The setting is a society in a dark age. Their ancestors were considerably more advanced than earth currently is....
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468 views

Fusion powered aircraft methods

I am trying to design a single seat fighter capable of achieving (or getting close to) hypersonic velocities at high altitude. In this universe I am assuming compact fusion is a common technology. ...
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6answers
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Feasability of miniature nuclear reactors for humanoid cyborgs

The idea is to build a cybernetic body for a human. Only the brain and a few glands related to emotions, like adrenal glands, will be kept. The brain and the glands will be in a closed, plug-and-play,...
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10answers
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Will unattended nuclear power plants actually cause damage to their surroundings?

Scenario: Deadly virus wiped out 80 - 90% world population and it did it pretty quickly (in 2 months) Although it is plausible that among these 10 - 20% of survivors will be people who actually know ...
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1answer
129 views

What happens to hydrogen after burning [closed]

With fusion on the rise we are going to have a lot of helium but what gases are limited in helium burning? Context: my science teacher did not know the answer and I got curious
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1answer
685 views

What would happen if you went swimming in a spent fuel pool?

If one of my modern-day characters, a nuclear power-plant worker decides to take a swim in one of these pools, what will happen? Would he die, get sick, or not much?
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4answers
433 views

What would the effects be if all power grids connected to nuclear reactors abruptly suffered catastrophic failure?

To be more specific, I mean what if every wire, every power cable and transformer on the connected grids to the nuclear power plants all ruptured at once. The transformers literally exploding, the ...
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2answers
257 views

A world where nuclear fission does not produce radioactivity [closed]

I think the title explains it, but I am interested in how a world might differ from our own if fission had no radioactivity associated with the fuel, process, or waste/byproducts. The obvious answers ...
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3answers
113 views

Repercussions of floating nuclear power station going into meltdown?

Set in an alternate 2010s/2020s, floating nuclear power station are now common as they can provide power to any city it is docked at (think along the lines of this real world example. or this ...
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4answers
762 views

Nuclear terrorism 4 billion years ago: Was natural uranium enriched enough to create weapons without need for further enrichment?

Natural uranium (NU) is a mixture of about 0.7% $\ ^{235}U$ (fissile) and 99.3% $\ ^{238}U$ (non-fissile). To create uranium-based nuclear weapons NU has to undergo a process called enrichment in ...
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2answers
342 views

Would it be safe to assume that solid core nuclear rocket technology advances?

Solid Core Nuclear Thermal rocketry has existed for a while and I was thinking about using it as the primary propulsion in my setting. Now most Solid Core rockets still have fairly long transit times (...
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4answers
440 views

Heat regulation in an asteroid base powered by a small nuclear reactor

So, I’m writing about the siege of an asteroid base. This asteroid is near the outer edge an asteroid belt at the solar radiation equivalent of Saturn’s orbit from its star (although the raw distance ...
3
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1answer
404 views

What will happen to a spent nuclear fuel pool without routine maintenance?

Assuming the human population is decimated (how doesn't matter) such that nuclear power plant maintenance is impossible. What would happen to a spent nuclear fuel rod pool? It seems to me that ...
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1answer
231 views

Can liquid nuclear fuel be injected and ignited like petro from a fuel injector?

[![enter image description here][5]][5] Model Lightcraft under laser power While sadly the funding for this research has not been forthcoming, there have been proof of principle flights and open air ...
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9answers
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Uranium block house heating

I'm thinking of building a very long term heating system for a housing complex. I want it not to rely on sunlight, wind or other fuels. And I just need the heat. The surroundings are pretty cold, so ...
3
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4answers
423 views

Lead as a nuclear fuel

On a timescale of 1e11 years, all uranium and thorium will have decayed, but planets will still exist, orbiting red dwarf stars. Would it be possible to use lead as a nuclear fuel? In principle, the ...
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2answers
405 views

A modern or near-future civilization without nuclear technology?

Would it be possible for a fully modern civilization (i.e. quite like our own, perhaps slightly more advanced, with near-future tech) to arise on an Earth-like planet devoid of uranium, plutonium, ...
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3answers
418 views

Train-World: Storing RHUs for decades to centuries

...no, I mean, supposedly, I believe there is more about it than mere kans on our part. Installations like this one are found all along the spoorwegs, and yes, around some you should tread lightly. ...
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2answers
493 views

Train-World: Feasibility of radioisotope steam-electric engines

...It's paradox. They left us these technological marvels, yet with all their might and knowledge they failed to prevent their own doom... Excerpt from a lecture by the High Historian of Berlin Falls ...
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8answers
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What would it take to make a modern(ish) nuclear reactor release fallout?

I'm trying (failing) to write a story set within the exclusion zone around a nuclear power plant incident set in the near future. The 'incident' that leads to the exclusion zone being set up isn't the ...
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2answers
763 views

What would happen if the world lost all electronic functionality for 24 hours? [closed]

A catastrophic event occurs that sends a disruptive wave around the globe, which renders every electronic device inoperative for 24 hours. It is not an EMP, but something else, so EMP hardened ...
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11answers
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Why would Fission be used in a world where Fusion reactors exist?

In my world, all terrestrial bodies in the solar-system of over 900 km size have a significant human presence. Earth-moon Travel is as common as an interstate road trip, and Interplanetary travel is ...
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2answers
79 views

Repurposing a reactor from space to surface

A colony ship is sent to Enceladus. It has a nuclear reactor to provide power to life support, electric engines etc... Upon arrival, the colonists also need a reactor to melt holes into the ice and to ...
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4answers
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How to design a zero-g nuclear reactor?

My worldbuilding involves a reasonably near-future, high-realism space station research outpost, and I'd like it to be powered by a nuclear reactor. However, I need as much detail on the actual ...