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View Full Version : Okay, Simplify. Let's say I just shove a bunch of Spent Rods from a Nuke Plant in a truck and



FrederickS
09-08-2011, 09:13 AM
blow it up outside a nuclear power facility. Actually, the pellets used in VVER plants of the former Soviet Union would be easiest for my guys to get.
All they need to do is make is seem as if the plant has had a meltdown. Call it a diversionary dirty bomb.
50 lbs. of rods or pellets be enough?

blacbird
09-08-2011, 12:43 PM
I don't know about the quantity needed, but you won't fake out anybody with this tactic. Such an explosion wouldn't look anything like a core meltdown. Not to mention that whoever handles these spent fuel rods in such a cavalier manner probably dies a horrible death from radiation damage within a couple of weeks.

caw

backslashbaby
09-08-2011, 02:00 PM
I agree, depending on your goal.

Is it OK for the owners to know that there was an explosion caused by something external to the core?

If they know an external bomb went off, and the bomb blew out all the sensors and could have caused a breach -- while the local radiation peaks -- they may worry that there could be a meltdown. They won't know exactly what is going on right then.

Later on, they'll know exactly what happened, because the reactions leave specific results in the soil, air, etc.

Graz
09-08-2011, 05:56 PM
I don't know about the quantity needed, but you won't fake out anybody with this tactic. Such an explosion wouldn't look anything like a core meltdown. Not to mention that whoever handles these spent fuel rods in such a cavalier manner probably dies a horrible death from radiation damage within a couple of weeks.

caw

Agree that the premise is flawed, but a suicide dirty bomber would be a deadly and huge threat that probably exists in our near future

p.s. cesium-137

movieman
09-09-2011, 01:46 AM
Not to mention that whoever handles these spent fuel rods in such a cavalier manner probably dies a horrible death from radiation damage within a couple of weeks.

More like seconds to minutes, I believe. Not to mention you'd need some serious shielding on the truck or you'd die driving it and kill anyone who got close.

Obviously you could wait for the radiation to decay, but then the fuel rods wouldn't look like they'd just come out of the reactor.

blacbird
09-09-2011, 11:06 AM
Obviously you could wait for the radiation to decay, but then the fuel rods wouldn't look like they'd just come out of the reactor.

I believe spent fuel rods take thousands of years to decay to a safe level. This is the immense problem with nuclear waste.

caw

movieman
09-09-2011, 10:18 PM
I believe spent fuel rods take thousands of years to decay to a safe level. This is the immense problem with nuclear waste.

There's a big difference between 'safe' and 'fatal radiation dose in two seconds' :). Radioactivity is inversely related to half-life, so the most radioactive byproducts decay quickly; though that's complicated because they can decay into something just as radioactive or even more radioactive so in some cases the radiation could increase as the byproducts decay.

This is why the rods need constant cooling for some time after they're removed; the radioactive decay heats them up and that heat has to be eliminated if you don't want them to melt. Over time the decay rates drop and the heating rate goes below the level that requires extra cooling.

Anyway, my point was that you could estimate how long the rods have been out of the reactor by the radioactivity level and the composition. If the characters in the story waited long enough for the rods to be safe enough to load into a truck then the investigators should be able to figure out that they didn't come from that reactor.

WriteKnight
09-12-2011, 05:43 PM
Apropos explosions at nuclear sites. Might provide info for how authorities react.

http://news.yahoo.com/explosion-french-nuclear-injures-four-120118026.html