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Power Japan Science

Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown 222

Taco Cowboy writes "Japanese researchers are planning an experiment to better understand what transpires during a nuclear meltdown by attempting to create a controlled nuclear meltdown. Using a scaled down version of a nuclear reactor — essentially a meter long stainless steel container — the experiment will involve the insertion of a foot long (30 cm) nuclear fuel rod, starting the fission process, and then draining the coolant. The experiment is scheduled to take place later this year."
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Japan To Create a Nuclear Meltdown

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  • Re:Good Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeathToBill ( 601486 ) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @11:29AM (#45906687) Journal

    I'm curious how much they'll be able to infer, though. Nuclear reactors (and reactions) are viciously non-linear. If you make it too small, you'll get no (self-sustaining) reaction at all. From that point up, the nuclear reaction scales with volume, thermal transfer probably scales with surface area, and other material properties and deformations will scale anything from linear to fourth power (at least).

    So trying to infer anything about full-scale reactors from this is going to rely on a lot of modelling to tell you how the results will be transformed into real-world performance. Since it's that model that you're trying to investigate, there are lots of potential pitfalls.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.