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It's noo-klee-er not noo-kyuh-ler 
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Post It's noo-klee-er not noo-kyuh-ler
:furious:

Went to a library book sale and for $2 I picked up:

Atomic Accidents; A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima.

I know what you're thinking: "Finally! Something less controversial than politics and religion." :lol:


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Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:33 am
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Post Re: It's noo-klee-er not noo-kyuh-ler
.
.
Still slowly working my way through this book. The things that happened with radioactive elements are amazing -- unbelievable might be the better word.

Marie Curie, she of the 2 Nobel Prizes, carried a piece of radium in her pocket because it glowed a pretty blue color and she liked to show her friends.

A few interesting things about Plutonium:

"Plutonium is a very strange element, and some of its characteristics are not understood. It has 7 allotropes, each with a different crystal structure, density, and internal energy, and it can switch from one state to another very quickly, depending on temperature, pressure, or surrounding chemistry. This makes a billet of Plutonium difficult to machine, as the simple act of peeling off shavings in a lathe can cause an allotropic change as it sits clamped in the chuck. Its machining characteristics can shift from that of cast iron to that of polyethylene and at the same time its size can change. You can safely hold a billet of Plutonium in the palm of your hand, but only if its mass and more importantly its shape does not encourage it to start fissioning at an ever increasing rate. The inert blob of metal can become deadly just because you picked it up, using the the hydrogen in the structure of your hand as a moderator and reflecting thermalized neutrons back into it making it go supercritical. The ignition temperature of Plutonium has never been established. In some form, it can burst into white hot-flame sitting in a freezer."

Then the author recounts some incidents of fool-proof reactors that killed some extremely bright fools.

Some of the stories he tells are, I don't really know how to describe them, incredibly terrifying might be close. The things our top scientists did were, I dunno, just plain stupid maybe. More on this fascinating book later.


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