What would happen if I threw a grenade into a nuclear reactor?

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Mudassir Ali 9 months 1 Answer 118 views

Answer ( 1 )

  1. Assuming you found a way to put a grenade inside an operating nuclear reactor (which is usually filled with highly pressurized hot water), then a grenade would explode in a very armored, thick steel pressure vessel with no immediate results. It’s not like the fuel in nuclear reactors is suitable for a nuclear explosion if you just bumped it with a grenade. A grenade wouldn’t even trigger a nuclear bomb.

    Then there’d be an incredible mess to clean up. After the reactor SCRAM’d and cooled down, workers would spend a long time trying to clean up all the shrapnel so it didn’t jam fuel or control rod paths. There’d probably be some damaged control rods, fuel rods, and other hardware near the explosion point. Very likely the core would need to be disassembled, which sounds like an utter pain.

    Basically, getting a grenade into a reactor would be an extremely annoying prank.

    If you just ran through the reactor room and tossed a grenade at the reactor’s exterior, then you’d scuff the paint. Grenades don’t do much to inches of steel.

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