History Main / ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics

13th Nov '17 12:16:57 PM tbszgr
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# And on the subject of Criticality, any time some thing goes wrong in a nuclear facility, terrified screams of "It's GoingCritical" will fill the air, or the villain's plan will be to make the reactor go Critical. "Critical" means that the reaction is self sustaining and that the reaction is proceeding at a constant level -- in other words, a critical reactor is one that is operating at a steady constant power level. ''One more time, "Critical" reaction is the normal operating condition of a nuclear reactor.'' Super-Critical, while not used despite sounding definitely bad, simply means that the reaction is steadily gaining power, or simply, someone getting powered by the reactor turned on a light and so the reactor went temporarily super-critical to increase its energy output for the new drain. Finally, there ''IS'' a condition that would (almost) elicit the reactions of a Hollywood type critical reactor. It's called '''Prompt'''-Critical, and if a reactor has had this happen,[[note]]This is what destroyed the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1 SL-1]] reactor in Idaho in 1961. The operators, whilst performing maintenance on the reactor, accidently removed the primary control rod entirely from the core. This immediately resulted in a major power output spike, which overheated the core to the point that steam pressure ejected the control rod and embedded it into the ceiling, [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice taking one of the operators with it]].[[/note]] there'd be no running around trying to prevent it or saying it happened; by the time any readings showed this happening, it would already be too late, and either the automatic safety systems would have kicked in and shut down the reactor, or the reactor pile would be an actual pile of slag.

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# And on the subject of Criticality, any time some thing goes wrong in a nuclear facility, terrified screams of "It's GoingCritical" will fill the air, or the villain's plan will be to make the reactor go Critical. "Critical" means that the reaction is self sustaining and that the reaction is proceeding at a constant level -- in other words, a critical reactor is one that is operating at a steady constant power level. ''One more time, "Critical" reaction is the normal operating condition of a nuclear reactor.'' Super-Critical, while not used despite sounding definitely bad, simply means that the reaction is steadily gaining power, or simply, someone getting powered by the reactor turned on a light and so the reactor went temporarily super-critical to increase its energy output for the new drain. Finally, there ''IS'' a condition that would (almost) elicit the reactions of a Hollywood type critical reactor. It's called '''Prompt'''-Critical, and if a reactor has had this happen,[[note]]This is what destroyed the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1 SL-1]] reactor in Idaho in 1961. The operators, whilst performing maintenance on the reactor, accidently removed the primary control rod entirely from the core. This immediately resulted in a major power output spike, which overheated the core to the point that steam pressure ejected the control rod and embedded it into the ceiling, [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice taking one of the operators with it]].[[/note]] there'd be no running around trying to prevent it or saying it happened; by the time any readings showed this happening, it would already be too late, and either the automatic safety systems would have kicked in and shut down the reactor, or the reactor pile would be an actual pile of slag. The pulse operation mode of [[http://www.ga.com/triga TRIGA]] research reactors is an intentional (and safe) invocation of this state.
26th Sep '17 7:30:27 AM DracoKanji
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* The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' games feature Phazon, a {{Phlebotinum}} substance so ridiculously radioactive that it can kill someone wearing a sealed, armoured spacesuit in less than a minute. It's apparently also ''stable''. Erm...
** It's apparently also organic, biological and sentient making it's "radiation" more like some kind of unique bioenergy field people can siphon off.

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* The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' games feature Phazon, a {{Phlebotinum}} substance so ridiculously radioactive that it can kill someone wearing a sealed, armoured spacesuit in less than a minute. It's apparently also ''stable''. Erm...
**
It's apparently also organic, biological and sentient making it's "radiation" more like some kind of unique bioenergy field people can siphon off.off. [[spoiler:Given that it's actually the material component of a hyperdimensional intelligent entity whose main body is a ''planet'', there might be more to it.]]
18th Sep '17 11:12:51 AM Xtifr
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* Averted in ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Atrocity Archives]]''. A nuclear bomb is set and primed to blow an alternate reality to hell, but a member of the team realizes that's the last thing they want, as the bomb's energy will give the monster inhabiting the universe enough power to come through to ours. So, he manages to defuse the bomb by popping the caps without triggering the plutonium.

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* Averted in ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Atrocity Archives]]''.''Literature/TheAtrocityArchive''. A nuclear bomb is set and primed to blow an alternate reality to hell, but a member of the team realizes that's the last thing they want, as the bomb's energy will give the monster inhabiting the universe enough power to come through to ours. So, he manages to defuse the bomb by popping the caps without triggering the plutonium.
17th Sep '17 11:13:45 AM nombretomado
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** In [[AllThereInTheManual the backstory]], they had [[SuperiorFirepower much, much bigger nukes]]. With which they sterilized a ''planet''. Once they realized they could actually, y'know, do that, even the Confederates weren't big enough idiots to keep 'em around. The "nukes" in-game would likely just be big friggin' conventional bombs, called nukes because [[RuleOfCool it sounds badass]]. (Low damage is more a matter of game balance.)

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** In [[AllThereInTheManual the backstory]], they had [[SuperiorFirepower [[UsefulNotes/PeaceThroughSuperiorFirepower much, much bigger nukes]]. With which they sterilized a ''planet''. Once they realized they could actually, y'know, do that, even the Confederates weren't big enough idiots to keep 'em around. The "nukes" in-game would likely just be big friggin' conventional bombs, called nukes because [[RuleOfCool it sounds badass]]. (Low damage is more a matter of game balance.)
31st Jul '17 1:31:18 PM RandomNumberReactor
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Added DiffLines:

* Also surprisingly averted in ''[[Film/TheFastAndTheFurious The Fate of The Furious]]'', which otherwise [[ArtisticLicensePhysics breaks every physics law in existence]]. [[spoiler:The submarine porting nuclear missiles doesn't explode in a nuclear blast when it's destroyed by heatseeker, and Tej even points out that the missiles aren't dangerous without being armed]].
20th Jul '17 3:26:12 PM garthvader
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** ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' averts this in the end. A nuclear missile is going to be fired at Bejing in less than a minute. Since James Bond doesn't have enough time to delicately disarm, he just attaches some explosives to the tail end of the missile so when the missile ignites to lift off, the flames detonate the explosives, safely blowing the missile to hell. However, the movie does play the trope straight at the beginning, when the top brass is talking about some Soviet nuclear torpedoes detonating or spreading plutonium from their missile strike. Likely because of the poor science, these lines are skipped in television broadcasts and just jumps to the action.

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** ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' averts this in the end. A nuclear missile is going to be fired at Bejing in less than a minute. Since James Bond doesn't have enough time to delicately disarm, he just attaches some explosives to the tail end of the missile so when the missile ignites to lift off, the flames detonate the explosives, safely blowing the missile to hell. However, the movie does play the trope straight at the beginning, when the top brass is talking about some Soviet nuclear torpedoes detonating or spreading plutonium from their missile strike. Likely because of the poor science, these These lines are skipped in television broadcasts and just jumps broadcasts, though this is as likely to be because of the action. condescending attitude towards Russia in the lines as it is the poor science.
31st May '17 10:18:35 PM ObssesedNuker
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*** It is theoretically possible to build a fusion bomb without a fission primary, what would be referred to as a pure-fusion weapon. Proposed "alternate primaries" include exotic nuclear isomers, sufficiently powerful lasers or flux compression generators, or even minute quantities of 'anti-matter'. Such weapons would theoretically have the advantage over Teller-Ulam devices in yield control and produce nearly no fallout. However current technological limitations mean none of these methods are currently within reach as even an experimental device, much less a practical weapon, leaving them in the realm of science fiction for now.

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*** It is theoretically possible to build a fusion bomb without a fission primary, what would be referred to as a pure-fusion weapon. Proposed "alternate primaries" include exotic nuclear isomers, sufficiently powerful lasers or flux compression generators, or even minute quantities of 'anti-matter'.anti-matter. Such weapons would theoretically have the advantage over Teller-Ulam devices in yield control and produce nearly no fallout. However current technological limitations mean none of these methods are currently within reach as even an experimental device, much less a practical weapon, leaving them in the realm of science fiction for now.
31st May '17 10:18:13 PM ObssesedNuker
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*** It is theoretically possible to build a fusion bomb without a fission primary, what would be referred to as a pure-fusion weapon. Proposed "alternate primaries" include exotic nuclear isomers, sufficiently powerful lasers or flux compression generators, or even minute quantities of *anti-matter*. Such weapons would theoretically have the advantage over Teller-Ulam devices in yield control and produce nearly no fallout. However current technological limitations mean none of these methods are currently within reach as even an experimental device, much less a practical weapon, leaving them in the realm of science fiction for now.

to:

*** It is theoretically possible to build a fusion bomb without a fission primary, what would be referred to as a pure-fusion weapon. Proposed "alternate primaries" include exotic nuclear isomers, sufficiently powerful lasers or flux compression generators, or even minute quantities of *anti-matter*.'anti-matter'. Such weapons would theoretically have the advantage over Teller-Ulam devices in yield control and produce nearly no fallout. However current technological limitations mean none of these methods are currently within reach as even an experimental device, much less a practical weapon, leaving them in the realm of science fiction for now.
31st May '17 10:17:29 PM ObssesedNuker
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Added DiffLines:

*** It is theoretically possible to build a fusion bomb without a fission primary, what would be referred to as a pure-fusion weapon. Proposed "alternate primaries" include exotic nuclear isomers, sufficiently powerful lasers or flux compression generators, or even minute quantities of *anti-matter*. Such weapons would theoretically have the advantage over Teller-Ulam devices in yield control and produce nearly no fallout. However current technological limitations mean none of these methods are currently within reach as even an experimental device, much less a practical weapon, leaving them in the realm of science fiction for now.
31st May '17 9:51:35 PM ObssesedNuker
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** In ''Fallout 4'', the residents of Vault 111 descends to the Vault just as a nuclear explosion goes off in the distance. Realistically, they all should have been vaporized by the blast.

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** In ''Fallout 4'', the residents of Vault 111 descends to the Vault just as a nuclear explosion goes off in the distance. Realistically, they all should have been vaporized by received at least major burns over much of their bodies from the blast.thermal pulse.
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