Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.

Moderator: Flyin'Dutch'

By Bill McCarthy
The Windscale Fire of the 50s was a very serious event - the BBC made a dramatisation of it and, but for one man - Cockcroft, it would have rendered much of northern England and southern Scotland uninhabitable. The fact that radiation cannot be detected by any of the human senses makes people take huge risks when handling radioactive components.
Another disaster waiting to happen (again) is the Dounreay Pit - they haven’t devised a plan, yet, how to resolve removal of stuff in it.
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By Lindsayp
So if both Fission and Fusion generate massive reactions (heat/energy), wouldn't it be nice if some physicist or chemist could devise a compound that acted to consume the radioactive neutrons - a sort of controllable mini black hole - and spit out an inert molecule as a result, that could be re-processed into usable elements for another go. Presumably there is atomic research into this?
By Bill McCarthy
Well, there are fast ones, delayed ones (which make a reactor controllable) and thermal ones. U235 produces, on average 2.5 fast neutrons per fission process. Best shielding from fast neutrons - water, boron and other light nuclei.
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By Lindsayp
akg1486 wrote:@Lindsayp What do you mean with "radioactive neutrons"? :scratch:

No idea - very ignorant on this subject. What I mean is the stuff that comes out of the core when exposed, I think.
What I was getting at was not so much a shield as something that sucks them up and doesn't become radioactive itself, I guess
By Cowshed
I hadn’t considered watching this until Steve started this thread. Totally agree - it’s grim, but bl**dy fantastic TV. I can remember hearing about it on the news, but like most people I didn’t really grasp the severity of the situation and the consequences that followed.

I’m really enjoying this (not sure ‘enjoying’ is right somehow) – what I particularly appreciate is that it doesn’t spoon feed you and have artificial conversations to try to explain matters (well, there a few occasions, but not many).

The scene in the most recent episode with the 'bio robots' brought home the scale of the task they were required to do. I was struck that many of them would have been about the same age as I was when I was at uni at the same time without many cares in the world…
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Looking very much into seeing this.

Having visited the VKI a few months back, where they have research ongoing that has demonstrated getting half lives down from thousands of years to a couple of hundred using novel methods - I’m rather hopeful that humanity will get its act together.
By johnm
I don't have the facilities to see this but have read a fair bit and it's fascinating.

A badly designed reactor lacking a proper containment vessel operated by people who were culturally programmed to deny risks and anything going wrong.

On the plus side it exposed the over-reaction to radiation fallout, when meat and dairy products were banned until someone pointed out that the background radiation from the geology where the animals were raised was bigger than the fall out :shock: