It was used to produce awesome photo engineers, duh!
So, $1.6M for the reactor? Sounds like pocket change to me.
The Atomic Energy Commission sold californium-252 to industrial and academic customers in the early 1970s for $10 per microgram ...
I suspect many exist, or existed. The University of Michigan had an operational nuclear reactor until 2003 here in Ann Arbor.
According to http://pissinontheroses.blogspot.com...l-uranium.html Fukushima consumed 570 tons of uranium every year. A TEPCO audit at http://criepi.denken.or.jp/result/ev...powerpoint.pdf showed that 1760 tons of spent fuel was stored on site. 3.5 pounds in a research reactor, whilst concerning, is a qualitatively different proposition.
Originally Posted by RattyMouse
Also, the reactor type suggests that it was subcritical - i.e. not enough nuclear material to sustain a chain reaction, so no danger of runaway as happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Instead, it used the natural decay of Californium to trigger a subcritical chain reaction in the Uranium to increase the number of neutrons produced. [Edit] This is confirmed by the decomissioning plan found on the web, which states:
"The CFX was a sub-critical assembly of uranium-235 surrounding a Cf-252 source.
The function of the U-235 fuel was to multiply the neutrons coming from the Cf-252
source, which fissions spontaneously. The CFX was designed never to exceed a Keif of
0.99. The CFX assembly yielded sufficient neutron fluxes for applications such as
neutron activation analysis."
Last edited by andrew.roos; 05-14-2012 at 12:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I had to shut mine down to make space for my darkroom.
On the plus side, the residual background gives great Sabatier effect.
A number of universities have research reactors. Reed College has one too - they let undergrads run it
Did you know? Kodak Park had a nuclear reactor
By Steve Orr, Staff Writer, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.com, May 11, 2012
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Technically, it's in Kendall Sq., so not really "Downtown," to the extent that Cambridge actually has a "downtown". Every now and then, they'll offer a public tour of the reactor, but I have yet to be able to score a ticket--they're very limited, and are all taken within hours of availability. And during lat year's open house, due to my own bad planning, I missed out on a tour of the fusion research lab.
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
Given that my entire neighborhood is surrounded by biotech research labs, MIT's reactor is not high on my list of worries.
I'd be really surprised if the fuel was really "weapons grade." Technically, I suppose, any "highly-enriched uranium" could be fashioned into a bomb, but I'd guess what they had was way below what is usually used in bombs.
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee
It is journalistic sensationalism to me. I don't see how a "Nuclear Reactor" can operate on subcritical mass. The device in question is a "Californium Multiplier" which is a unique and rare instrument containing a subcritical mass of uranium used to produce a neutron beam for research.
It looks like it is a clever alternative to a particle accelerator.