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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4
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2answers
94 views

If the nucleons in an atom were heavier, could it still be stable? [closed]

If the protons and neutrons had, say, a hundred times more mass than they normally do, could the atom overall still be stable? Would it affect the atom's electron cloud somehow, or would it still be ...
5
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3answers
362 views

Are there semi plausible scenarios where Nuclear Winter could last a thousand years or trigger an ice age?

Trying to develop a fictional scenario with a 'believable' theory as to how a Nuclear War and resulting Nuclear Winter could turn into a millennial scale ice age. By 'believable', I mean that it ...
7
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2answers
388 views

What element would make up a creature if it used the weak nuclear force during its metabolic processes?

I was doing some research on how to design a scientifically possible alien, when I came across an interesting section on metabolism. I found it very interesting and read about the weak force, as ...
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2answers
233 views

What is the minimum practical size for buildings heated by small nuclear reactor?

In the book Early Riser by Jasper Fforde, humans hibernate in large dormitories. These circular buildings range in size from 20 to 60 floors, with around two dozen rooms per floor. While the residents ...
6
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2answers
148 views

How feasible is this gravity-altering exotic matter I’ve conceived? Would it have any unforseen consequences?

Ok so I was thinking about a way to hypothetically have undiscovered elements with bizarre properties (for unobtainium purposes). And an idea hit me: replace nucleons with heavier but stable ...
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6answers
199 views

Why wouldn't my nuclear spaceships eject spent fuel?

In the year 2069AD, a spaceship is transporting hundreds of people in cryogenic sleep to a distant star. The spaceship engine is a nuclear fission reactor and its thruster is based on an ion drive for ...
0
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1answer
78 views

Life on other planets via nuclear signal

A nuclear explosion in space? Directing a nuclear explosion is difficult even in theory, but is it possible to direct one in space, with a trajectory and width of a significant diameter and wavelength ...
2
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4answers
390 views

Solar Flare disabling Nuclear Weapon defenses?

I have a nuclear post-apocalypse that isn't 100% depressing. It's only 95% so. /s I was contemplating an origin story of a solar flare doing some rather nasty things to circuitry related to nuclear ...
24
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11answers
7k views

Nuclear magic: Surviving your own spells

TLDR: Portals to other places; wizards use them to make nukes-as-fireballs/anti-personal level attacks, how do they survive? In a system of magic that functions around opening portals, what ...
5
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3answers
153 views

Cooking using nuclear bombs [closed]

This question is completely just for fun! :) So in one of my classes, some boys on an another table were debating whether you could toast a marshmallow for smores using a nuclear blast from a nuclear ...
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1answer
333 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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2answers
113 views

Stopping a nuclear missile? [closed]

Would you be able to stop a nuclear missile by hitting it with a liquid nitrogen missile, As a means to prevent the nuclear radiation from spreading or falling to the ground from impact?
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8answers
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Is it safe to grow and eat food on post-nuclear-war land?

Follow-up of Could the entire world have been destroyed by the existing nuclear arsenal in 1962? Is it safe to grow food on land that was hit by nuclear bombs? Or will such food kill/fatally sicken ...
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16answers
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Best places to be on Earth when an all out nuclear World War III breaks out?

This is a world building question in a preventative context because those people or countries would be left fully functional while others gone and the safe areas is where the world building would ...
6
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2answers
262 views

What does the physiology and biochemistry of a vacuum adapted post-human look like? Part 4: Movement

I am a post-human adapted for permanent life in vacuum and micro-gravity. How might my physiology and biochemistry overcome the following challenges? Please note I have a strong cultural aversion to ...
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8answers
764 views

Losing Knowledge

Is it plausible to create a world in which the people who live inside it developed technologies like the ones we had in WW2, but after their progress came to a halt they forgot their knowledge. ...
24
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7answers
7k views

How much alteration would be needed for the Cuban Missile Crisis to go nuclear? [closed]

My story takes place centuries in the future, in the year 2567. Over 600 years ago, during 1962, an all out nuclear war broke out. Most modern day historians believe it to have occurred in autumn, but ...
6
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4answers
201 views

Effect of nuclear fallout on glacial ice

I'm working on building a post nuclear war society in a nuclear winter where northern countries have risen to dominance through a combination of being non-primary targets in the nuclear war and having ...
2
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2answers
255 views

How long would it take to be able to live in New York after a nuclear bomb?

If a 50 megaton nuke was dropped in Lower Manhattan, New York, how long would it take for people to be able to live there again? The bomb detonated on the ground. My definition of live is to breathe ...
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1answer
103 views

How to disable all long range communications planet wide?

I'm wondering about ways to effectively disable all long range communications planet wide. I've looked into nuclear/emp for disabling sats, but what about other forms of long range comms? Doesn't have ...
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1answer
297 views

How long would a nuclear war likely last? [closed]

In my world, the United States, Soviet Union, European Union, and Populated sections of Asia are all involved in a nuclear war. Their are about 32,000 warheads fired, an in total, 3,000 megatons of ...
6
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4answers
623 views

Could there exist a quantum virus which breaks someone's body down to fundamental particles?

In the Animorphs series K.A. Applegate mentions: A quantum virus. It breaks down the very forces that holds subatomic particles together. It can take weeks or even months of agony as your body ...
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2answers
165 views

How to explain why there was no military presence after the apocalypse? [closed]

In the year twenty-hundred and sixty eight (2068) commie demons rose up from the underground and scorched the United States, and the United States Kingdom demons rose up from the underground and ...
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4answers
445 views

What would generate barrels full of toxic (radioactive) liquid waste

I've a setting where some abandoned facility that was run by a joint venture of the military and a high-tech company, has its direct surrounding, outside the facility, littered with barrels full of a ...
4
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3answers
299 views

How can the human race disappear in a few days? [duplicate]

Is it possible to eradicate the human race in one week? And if yes, by which way? Of course, the human race should do everything to survive. What could be more powerful than our will to survive? 1. ...
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0answers
61 views

What would be the effects of a worldwide nuclear disaster? [closed]

I have a dystopian project coming up and I would like to ask for some advice. What would be the effects of a worldwide nuclear disaster? Some answers to include are: How long until humans would be ...
0
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4answers
487 views

Could someone use a nuclear weapon to destroy the universe?

Bear with me. I have a villain who wants to get ahold of a nuke, except I'm not sure why exactly. I think he thinks he can create a singularity that would swallow up the entire universe (which believe ...
3
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1answer
292 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 ...
2
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6answers
604 views

Rebels beating nuclear armed govenment with aircraft carriers [closed]

In an anti-gun debate (I was pro-gun, which is relevant), I used the example of an hypothetical ex-democracy which allowed guns (like the US) and then turned authoritarian with theological ...
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6answers
293 views

Why might aliens want to start the apocalypse? [closed]

There is a group of aliens, called the Erubians, who often go out to study and experiment on species less developed than them. They are a type 2 civilization, and their main goal is to study all ...
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2answers
256 views

How would societies change after nuclear war?

So, a nuclear war happens and wiped out 80 % of humanity, along with all the cities. How would societies change after nuclear war? There are no mutants. There are about 150 raider gangs in North ...
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12answers
7k views

Would animals really mutate in the post-apocalypse?

So, in an alternate universe, Soviet Union never falls, and in 2068 a nuclear war happened. About 32,000 nukes were detonated in American, Soviet, EU, and Chinese cities. WW3 lasted about 5 hours or ...
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3answers
757 views

What countries would most likely be targeted in a total-nuclear war? [closed]

In an alternate timeline, the Soviet Union doesn’t fall like it does in our universe, and the US and USSR stay enemies until the year 2068, when nuclear war breaks out between the United and the USSR. ...
7
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5answers
598 views

Why would a group chose to remain raiders?

In a post-apocalyptic world, survival is often difficult. In the first few decades after the apocalypse, living in permanent settlements was dangerous because of roaming creatures and bandit gangs, ...
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2answers
298 views

How big of an asteroid could all the nuclear bombs of the world move? [duplicate]

More than the threat of nuclear war, we should worry more about asteroids destroying the Earth. For the first time we could save ourselves from that happening. Take all the nuclear missiles of the ...
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2answers
259 views

What modifications would be needed to transform a mineshaft into a bunker?

There is a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the USA in 2068. The war lasts about 4 hours but destroys most of the northern hemisphere and parts of Australia. But, the Soviet military relocated ...
3
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4answers
313 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
3k views

What if the Earth's Core was made of Uranium? [closed]

What would happen if the Earth's inner core suddenly changed to unprocessed, natural uranium without the volume of the core changing? How soon would we notice any changes? What would be the ...
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2answers
227 views

Can fission create a steady thrust with less weight in space? [closed]

I have seen where atoms can be positioned one at a time to make a picture or write something. Can that same method be used to transfer an atom or atoms at a time into a nanometer width proton beam? ...
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2answers
247 views

How much would it cost to build 100 fallout shelters? [closed]

In 2068, before a nuclear war starts, a company backed by the federal government decides to build a bunch of shelters to protect some of the population from the coming apocalypse. My question is how ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Manipulating decaying positron-emitting isotopes for positron “mining”

In a previous question, it was established that antimatter could be "mined" through positron-emitting isotopes. By gathering positrons from decaying positron-emitting isotopes (potassium-40 and ...
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1answer
182 views

How could we produce electricity thanks to antimatter?

Imagine we had an easy way to produce antimatter, we could use it for interstellar travel, deadly weapons or more; but I've thought: How could we use it to produce electricity? As Antimatter ...
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1answer
63 views

Radio-active elements in the Earth`s core [closed]

What would happen if the earth`s core was made of radio-active elements? No website is giving the answer
26
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12answers
5k views

Spaceflight without transistors and nuclear power - how to bend the history of physics?

As stated in the topic: I would like to have Project Olympus-style space stations served by Apollo-like spacecraft in a world where neither nuclear power (and weapons) nor transistors were developed ...
4
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2answers
588 views

Could someone survive a nuclear blast wave at the bottom of a pool? [closed]

I would like to have a character survive an atomic bomb as close to ground zero as possible. Using this handy tool it seems that a 1 megaton bomb has a fireball radius of 1 km, a blast wave radius of ...
1
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1answer
167 views

Nuclear holocaust survival? [closed]

Okay, so I'm writing a story about a character in one of the rebuilt cities of the world about 2000 years after a mass nuclear war that took place around maybe 100 years from now, a war that destroyed ...
3
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6answers
313 views

Transmutation from thin air. Literally(ish)

There are many stories of converting one element into another (such as the story of the Philosopher's Stone), but to actually mutate one material into another (at least with our our current understand ...
24
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7answers
6k views

How would nuclear fallout affect the oceans?

I'm trying to build a setting in which humankind would have no other choice than to live underwater to survive. Suppose there was a nuclear war in which a huge part of the human population died, and ...
0
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3answers
330 views

Ways to significantly reduce critical mass for U235, or make U238 fissile?

If I manage to increase the neutron generated from fission reaction by 100 times, will that reduce critical mass of U235 to 1/100? Similarly, if I can increase neutron's energy, will it make U238 ...
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4answers
7k views

How many people would survive the nuclear winter after a full-scale nuclear war, and where?

Could anyone could survive a nuclear war and all that follows? I have read many things saying they would, and read other science-based answers, but they all talked about a nuclear war that was ...