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Fictionalized Criticality Accident

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Uploaded on Dec 27, 2007

This is the sequence of the nuclear criticality accident from "Fat Man and Little Boy" with John Cusack. This storyline was based on two real accidents that occurred early in the US's nuclear weapons program that killed two brilliant scientists.

What happened was that he was checking the neutron flux, keeping the two halves of the plutonium core seperated with a screwdriver. The blocks around the sphere are tungsten carbide, a neutron reflector, and not lead. When the two halves went together, it achieved critical mass and emitted a huge surge of neutron radiation. The blue glow was caused by the air itself becoming florescent, like in a neon bulb. The doctor comments that he got over a thousand rads, and 600 is enough to kill. As brutal and horrifying it is, this is how one would die if they recieved that much radiation. One of the two scientists this was based on lingered for 26 days before dying, his skin peeling off dead and his internal organs shutting down.

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