nuclear chain reaction

(redirected from Nuclear chain reactions)

nuclear chain reaction

[′nü·klē·ər ′chān rē‚ak·shən]
(nucleonics)
A succession of generation after generation of acts of nuclear division such that the neutrons set free in the nuclear disruptions of the n th generation split the fissile nuclei (233U,235U,239Pu) of the (n + 1)st generation. Also known as chain reaction.
References in periodicals archive ?
0 earthquake off the Pacific coast caused a seismic shock wave that reverberated throughout northern Japan, the country's nuclear plants shut down automatically, as planned, preventing any further nuclear chain reactions.
PNC built Monju, which achieved "criticality," a state of sustained nuclear chain reactions, in 1994.
Without power, and with damaged pumps, they resorted to using sea water mixed with boron, which disrupts nuclear chain reactions.
Nuclear reactors harness the enormous energy released when atoms split apart in nuclear chain reactions.
Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov indicated Thursday Russia will continue conducting subcritical nuclear tests that do not cause sustained nuclear chain reactions.
Subcritical nuclear tests are different from traditional nuclear experiments in that they are halted before nuclear materials reach ''criticality,'' in which a nuclear chain reaction is triggered.
The nuclear reactions known in 1932 and for several years afterward were not suitable for nuclear chain reactions, however.
As early as 1932, it had occurred to the Hungarian born physicist Leo Szilard (1898-1964) that a nuclear chain reaction was also possible.
It was also in 1934 that SZILARD applied for a patent which described the laws governing nuclear chain reactions.
Physicists calculated how far the P reactor's 427 control rods should be withdrawn to reach criticality -- self-sustaining nuclear chain reactions.
The three allegedly hurried to complete uranium-processing work, illegally bypassing a required process, without sufficient knowledge of the danger of nuclear chain reactions.