with a critical mass of HEU, how likely is a substantial explosion?

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Offline LeslieWeil

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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

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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.