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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3
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1answer
115 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 ...
27
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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 ...
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2answers
698 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 ...
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1answer
177 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
330 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
361 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 ...
0
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4answers
578 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 ...
25
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12answers
7k views

What could cause a post-apocalyptic, rapid desertification of vast areas of the world, similar to the land in Mad Max: Fury Road?

I apologise as this will be vague - but I am building a world set in the future (late 21st century) and looking at realistic ways for rapid desertification of huge land areas, say America, and ...
25
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8answers
9k views

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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2answers
214 views

How can one convince someone from the past that one really can transmute elements at-will? [closed]

The alchemists of legend and yore sought to transmute elements, among other things -- the classical "lead into gold", for one. Nowadays, we've figured out the nuclear physics required for ...
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5answers
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Could the entire world have been destroyed by the existing nuclear arsenal in 1962?

Considering the nuclear arsenal that existed in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, could it have destroyed the entire world, following the events below? Edited question a bit: Considering the ...
5
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3answers
302 views

Apocalypse design help. Is there any life-sustaining atmosphere which an atomic blast could ignite?

I've read a few answers here about how Earth's atmosphere is impossible to ignite with an atomic bomb. Is there some atmospheric mixture which could be both life-sustaining and able to ignite into a "...
3
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1answer
327 views

Neutron bomb vs Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR)

A spaceship like this is traveling in the space: Let's say, that its 100 meters long. Its crew module have 5 cm of lead shielding, the 80 m long propellant tank is full of liquid hydrogen, and at the ...
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3answers
2k views

How would a human species evolved to survive high radiation take a new nuclear strike?

Humanity has been exposed to prolonged nuclear radiation for thousands of years. In the past, hundreds of nuclear bombs dropped; then nuclear warfare ceased for thousands of years. Assume that humans ...
9
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1answer
285 views

Nuclear rockets and EMPs

Nuclear rockets, or as I like to think of them, "half way between a continuous small atomic explosion and reactor whose front fell off". There are many variants, and my aliens are using relative ...
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5answers
5k views

Practicality of a thorium-powered, superheated-steam car?

At the beginning of the 1900s, the Doble Steam Motors Company built steam cars. Their engineers solved many of the problems steam cars had until then by using superheated steam and a condenser to ...
5
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4answers
377 views

World governments shutting down their nuclear power plants after Chernobyl?

What if in an alternate universe after the Chernobyl incident, the world governments decide to shut down their nuclear power plants and if so how would that affect society?
7
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4answers
896 views

What if the Trinity test had ignited the atmosphere? Could we survive?

In the early days of the Manhattan project, there was a brief scare, based on some calculations by Edward Teller, that an atomic bomb would ignite the atmosphere. They later redid the calculations and ...
1
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1answer
192 views

Could nuking the poles of exoplanets or planets in the solar system be an effective method of terraforming them? [duplicate]

To cause a nuclear winter (where the emissions of the nuke block out the atmosphere and create a long lasting period of winter) you need to set off only 100 nukes in quick succession. This made me ask ...
3
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2answers
302 views

What would be the implications of the Great Pacific War I created for the remainder of the 2020s and the next decade? [closed]

Well, I created this military conflict called the Great Pacific War as a scenario to simulate a hypothetical direct confrontation between the States and China, and before I ask my main question, I ...
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1answer
850 views

Could a nuclear war cause the majority of Earth to be uninhabitable for hundreds or thousands of years?

I understand that nuclear bombs don't have lasting radiation effects on the area that they're dropped. Examples of this are Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where less than a century after an atomic bomb was ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
40
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11answers
10k views

How disarmed does a nuclear bomb get by shooting it? [closed]

A Simple scenario; you have a guy with a gun (a very big and loud gun), and a ticking nuke with seconds left. All the controls, buttons, and wiring on the thing are in a different language, and he’s ...
3
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4answers
875 views

Nuking all the ice

I've been trying to envision a scenario where global warming is accelerated to the fasted possible speed. One scenario I thought of was detonating large scale nuclear warheads on the North and South ...
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5answers
752 views

Surviving a Nuclear Strike

What's the warning time on a nuclear strike in a modern country like America? How long would the average citizen have before the first nukes struck down? Also, what's the best strategy to survive a ...
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5answers
912 views

Preparing for Absolute Certainty of a Nuclear War

October 28, 1962. The Cuban Missile Crisis has just concluded. John F. Kennedy gathers his top experts across fields to discuss the escalating threat of total nuclear annihilation. After two weeks of ...
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6answers
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Can one nuke reliably shoot another out of the sky?

A quick glance at real world anti-missile systems seems to show that they do work, but imperfectly. The problem naturally gets harder when the incoming missile is extremely high-velocity. If your ...
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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 ...
5
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6answers
386 views

How do I prevent the immediate use of nuclear weapons? [closed]

In the modern world, World War III is a near impossibility, and the Cold War has shown us that Mutually Assured Destruction prevents a large war between super powers from occurring. Sure there have ...
4
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5answers
651 views

Is it possible to transform Jupiter into micro-star?

For fusion to occur we need extremely high temperature at the core to overcome coulomb barrier or for the nucleus to be close enough to tunnel into each other. Is it possible for type 2 civilization ...
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2answers
178 views

Can Earth-like planet to converted into a giant Tokamak reactor?

Alien technology. Instead of simply admiring the brilliant display of aurora could an advanced alien civilization create strong focused magnetic field from their planet to trap hot plasma and at the ...
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0answers
62 views

Can we make the Moon fall using nukes? [duplicate]

Current technology. Our Moon is drifting a few centimeters further away every year as a result of tides. Moon exerts gravitational pull on everything on Earth including bodies of water such as an ...
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0answers
145 views

Environment and species a century after a nuclear war [closed]

What would the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone imply for a global-scale nuclear event, including environment and wildlife (including mutation, survival, and migration), specifically in the Washington DC area?...
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4answers
713 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 ...
4
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4answers
461 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 ...
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5answers
13k views

Are nuclear weapons useful in space?

On Earth, nuclear weapons can wreak enormous damage to a country and for that reason, large-scale wars between nuclear powers don’t happen. But what would happen if humanity progressed just enough to ...
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4answers
2k views

Could nuclear fallout melt the ice caps and cause an accelerated sea level rise?

I'm writing a story where a total nuclear WWIII occurs in the early 21st century. in a matter of minutes all of the world's nuclear powers unleashed their entire arsenals on each other in an event ...
33
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9answers
10k views

Could we reach the earth's core using today's nuclear arsenal?

The setting is basically earth. Our planet is unfortunately on a collision course with a large asteroid. However, humans have discovered and decoded a message from an ancient, advanced alien race (our ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How realistic is Metro 2033 [closed]

In the universe of Metro 2033 by Dmitri Alexejewitsch Gluchowski the whole world got destroyed in a nuclear war. It's set in the year 2033 and the war was "over 25 years ago". The two original books ...
5
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1answer
250 views

Light Emitting Animals - What happens to the food chain? [closed]

In my world, an event has happened, some nuclear fall-out caused every animal to grow a special organ that emits light, but I'm wondering what effect that would have on the Food Chain? The world I'm ...
3
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5answers
2k views

Nuclear explosion from nuclear waste?

Is it possible for nuclear waste to somehow naturally cause a nuclear explosion? (with no human input, other than dumping the nuclear waste) The yield of the explosion would preferably be enough to ...
2
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2answers
234 views

How many “HEMP satellites” in LEO to disable electrical equipment planet-wide and how to put them in the right position

Here we found out that, in some way, we can put an EMP device in a fake satellite on a low earth orbit. A Web search revealed that a large device detonated at 400-500 km over Kansas would switch-off ...
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3answers
12k views

Mountains and Nuclear Bombs

I am building an apocalyptic world, and I am wondering about the effects of mountains on nuclear bombs. I'll start by defining what I am talking about. Mountains: For arguments sake lets say this ...
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2answers
254 views

Is this an appropriate manned interstellar mission profile?

My idea was to use 2 stages for an interstellar spacecraft (particularly the Orion Drive) and use it in a way similar to Project: Daedalus. Phase 1 would involve accelerating to cruising speed ...
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2answers
199 views

On the immediate effects of a periodic table composed of its elements [closed]

It has come to my attention that some people collect the elements, and even go so far as to put them in grids shaped like the periodic table. Some of these are incredibly unstable, highly corrosive, ...
3
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2answers
4k views

Is outrunning a nuclear mushroom cloud feasible? [closed]

Okay, I was one of the lucky ones. I was in a windowless concrete building when the bomb went off, and I was far enough away to survive the shock wave and super-heated winds. Even luckier, I am a ...

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