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Chinese missile could shift Pacific power balance

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posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by Bramble Iceshimmer
I don't know much about control systems on the reactors on modern ships but why would you want to sink one close to your shore and chance a runaway reaction from a damaged reactor.



It is impossible for any PWR or LWR nuclear reactor to explode like an atomic bomb. This is because in order for an uncontrolled chain reaction to occur that is similar to an atom bomb, the uranium fuel must be extremely enriched, much more than the 4% 235U that is present in regular, commercial nuclear reactor fuel.


So basically we will not see nukes go off or anything. But....


So, if it can't explode, what does happen in a nuclear reactor? The answer is what is called a meltdown. When a meltdown occurs in a reactor, the reactor "melts". That is, the temperature rises in the core so much that the fuel rods actually turn to liquid, like ice turns into water when heated. If the core continued to heat, the reactor would get so hot that the steel walls of the core would also melt.


A meltdown may be a possibility, and I am not exactly sure what would happen out in the middle of the ocean.


In a complete reactor meltdown, the extremely hot (about 2700º Celsius) molten uranium fuel rods would melt through the bottom of the reactor and actually sink about 50 feet into the earth beneath the power plant. The molten uranium would react with groundwater, producing large explosions of radioactive steam and debris that would affect nearby towns and population centers.


According to this part, there will be violent reactions creating huge steam releases. This could cause a very nasty event.

But it is by no means anywhere near as devastating or dangerous as a atomic weapon. A meltdown sucks though. And it sounds very scary.

My source for these snippets.
library.thinkquest.org...




posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Thanks for the link, what is listed is quite impressive, but I agree do they have anything else lurking on board. Interesting to learn that they have all been constructed with antisubmarine capabilities.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 

I was under the impression that military reactors used weapons grade plutonium with liquid metal cooling to reduce size of the reactor and not sacrifice power output.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 08:58 PM
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Boy, Oh Boy, isn't this story timely, looks like the USS George washington is returning for drills in the West Sea off Korea this time out, maybe China is thinking about a test run, this is so not good....



www.arirang.co.kr...



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 09:03 PM
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After reading the posts, and doing a bit of thinking the only thing I can conclude, is that the missle tests that the Chinese will be doing will be the final phase of testing, not the first phase. The new missile has probably passed all tests right now, and they are going to test the accuracy of such in the next tests, to include the explosive power of the warhead.
Now if it does indeed do as it is suppose to do, then it is an impressive weapon, to not only go at mach 10, but to avoid all of the ships in a carrier task force to hit the carrier and sink it. Most carriers go out with a good 20 to 30 other vessels, whose entire purpose is to protect the carrier. So the missles technicle components would have to be advanced, able to travel at a high speed, make determination as to what is a carrier and what is not, and then strike, while avoiding the counter measures and other ships.
In this kind of environment and geopolicital chess game, it would not do to bring out a weapon that is untested and may or may not perform and have it to be a viable threat.
The fact that the US Navy is having to redo alot of stratagy and to start taking this into account, states that this missile is the real deal and not just an idle threat.




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