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By the way, how did you end up looking into a hot fuel pool?

The last time I saw fuel rods

in a pool--which I admit was some years ago--the blue glow of Cherenkov radiation (that's the radiation due to beta particles traveling faster than the speed of light in water) extended out at least one half meter from the rods.  

(It was  very beautiful, by the way.)  

The safe distance will obviously be very sensitive to your personal level of machismo.  

It occurred to me later that standing near the edge of that pool was not the brightest thing I have ever done in my life.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 03:28:05 PM EST
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Had a friend in low-energy physics.  

(Low-energy means nuclear.)  

They had a research reactor for producing neutrons and such, studying energy levels in excited states in atomic nuclei, both stable and unstable.  

If I understood correctly, this was background to test models targeted at the Island of Stability--heavier elements that might exist or that might be created, beyond the existing elements and beyond the gap of impossible elements.  

They were pretty hands-on:  Technicians ran the reactor, but they set up their own equipment (lead bricks, detectors, computer cables)--which meant they were in and out of the reactor building more or less daily.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 at 08:58:18 PM EST
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