Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Miniature nuclear reactor as a project?

  1. Sep 4, 2007 #1
    i have desided to make a miniature nuclear reactor as my science project .i beg the helps from all physicsforum members..........
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I remember seeing a thread like this before. The conclusion made then was that it is not safe for a student to make a nuclear reactor. Perhaps you should look at making something else for your science project.
  4. Sep 4, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor


    FORGET IT!!!

    A true critical nuclear reactor is INAPPROPRIATE as a science project.

    It's beyond the technical competence of someone doing science projects, it's not safe
    without the requisite expertise, it's too expensive and it's ILLEGAL!!!

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
  5. Sep 4, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  6. Sep 18, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This discussion is hilarious !
  7. Sep 9, 2010 #6
    Hopefully, you ain't trying anything with uranium-238 or thorium.

    I really don't know if this could be possible, but you could try americium that you can find from smoke detectors. I believe over some 70 years or so, it turns useless for your purpose as it decays into neptunium. Moral? Buy new smoke alarms! (Well, I don't think there were smoke alarms back in 1940. If there were, they're going to be rare out now)

    As for the "americium reactor" (no naming credits accepted), you can try bombarding the electrons onto the americium using a cathode ray tube (silly idea, I must say. But you never know, it just might work).

    Let's see if anyone can rectify this post (if wrong, of course) and discuss the "reactor".
  8. Sep 9, 2010 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The first artificial, self-sustaining, nuclear chain reaction was initiated within CP-1, on December 2, 1942.

    Americium was first obtained in 1944 by Seaborg et al who were bombarding plutonium with neutrons. Neptunium and plutonium were discovered in 1940, and curium was discovered in 1944 shortly before americium was confirmed.

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1951 was awarded jointly to Edwin Mattison McMillan and Glenn Theodore Seaborg "for their discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements"

    The New Element Americium (Atomic Number 95)

    The New Element Curium (Atomic Number 96)

    http://isswprod.lbl.gov/Seaborg/bio.htm [Broken]

    There is no need to discuss reactor concepts that students can build. There are other appropriate threads in which to discuss reactor technology. Thread locked.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook