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Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 21:15:53 -0600 (MDT)
From: Bratt Ian 
Subject: Re: (urth) Chem power

On Sun, 8 Sep 2002, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
>     "Five chains away, the blade of the azoth wrecked a fusion generator,
> and the soldier whose heart it had been died." (LS3, 9)
> But, but . . . that's just another good reason to shoot those fool engineers
> who designed them! If chems were subject to exploding and raining
> radioactive material all around when they died, then they were a hazard to
> every bio around them, including their fellow human troopers. Dumb. But
> then, Typhon didn't care about people, did he?
> -Roy

A quick technical point:  Roy, you seem to be confusing fission and
fusion.  Fission, what powers modern power plants, is the process of
massive nuclei breaking apart and releasing energy.  Radioactivity is a
natural byproduct of this process.  Fusion, however, is the process of
lighter nuclei fusing together to make a more massive nuclei.  Large
amounts of energy are released during fusion, but with significantly less
radioactive emissions (on order of 10^9 less than fission).


Unfortunately for society, commercially available fusion generators are
still science fiction.  I don't think those "fool engineers" would
appreciate you being so trigger happy :)



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