The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: with a critical mass of HEU, how likely is a substantial explosion?  (Read 1632 times)

Offline LeslieWeil

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
As is probably already evident from my question, I'm not a scientist.

However, I'm still curious about the "explosive" nature of u-235 in it's "unweaponized" state. 

I understand they store highly enriched uranium in sub-critical discs.  My question is if two of these discs came into contact with each other, to form a critical mass, what is the likelihood of an explosion, and how large of an explosion would it cause?




Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3812
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Unless there is some mechanism to force the subcritical masses together they are rapidly blown apart by a small explosion with a blast of Neutron radiation.
This often but not allways causes fatalities.

The Naked Scientists Forum


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums