reply to post by onyx718
Everyone can remain calm right now. I've explained, in other threads, the current situation, worst case scenario, and the actual process taking
doomsday if you are in Japan maybe, the rest of us will be fine.
The plants can't explode in a nuclear blast, as I've explained but will briefly explain here.
Nuclear fission takes place when an atom of fissile material (uranium) decays. In this radioactive decay, the atom loses a neutrino. When this
happens, some of the atoms mass is converted into energy.
In a nuclear power plant large amounts of fissile material and gathered together to give a neutrino a better chance of hitting an atom, which releases
a neutrino, which hits and atom, etc etc etc.
They use graphite medium to capture some of the neutrinos, essentially keeping the reaction at a barely sustainable level. Atoms are mostly space,
which is why they need so much fuel in a reactor.
A bomb uses the same principle but is different. A power plant is a controlled reaction, and bomb is uncontrolled. With a bomb, a conventional
explosive is used to push the fissile material closely together to reach what is called "critical mass". This is essentially saying the material is
packed so densely that any neutrino is guaranteed to hit an atom.
Once this starts, it's an uncontrollable (and unstoppable) chain reaction. As each atom splits, converting some mass to energy, we get a nuclear
Because the fuel used in reactors is not crunched into critical mass, it can not sustain a chain reaction. The nuke plants won't explode like atomic
What CAN happen, is they fail to contain the fuel rods, the become exposed to the air or ground water and explode, sending radioactive material
everywhere, the fires and explosion sending it up into the air and spreading via the jet stream.
Even then, BC isn't really facing doomsday, most of that material with dissipate on it's way over the pacific.