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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Chem power
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 12:43:24 -0500

Ian writes:

>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).

Yes, and that's all very well when the fusion chamber remains intact; but
when it is breached? When the plasma hits the fan, so to speak, what then?
Why was Dr. Crane, when he and Silk were pulled from the lake, concerned to

"But we've gotten a thorough washing, and that's good. Lots of isotopes
released when a chem blows." (LS2, 13)

I hadn't supposed that when chems exploded it was comparable, in any way, to
a present-day nuclear device exploding; had it been, Crane and Silk would
have died in the room where and when Lemur did, and isotopes would never
have been an issue.



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