The best challenge yet! : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Some of the suggested challenges are very impressive, obviously well thought out and buildable in ten hours. All of these quality suggestions have inspired me to make my own humble suggestion. How about the teams build a Nuclear Reactor!!

Hear me out for a minute. Nuclear reactors are actually simple devices fundamentally. A bit of uranium, some carbon rods to absorb the neutrons and control the reaction speed, and a big tank of water. Of course the producers may have to seed the uranium but we all know the yard is seeded anyway. They could just hide a batch of uranium in the trunk of a car (or better yet toss in some of those depleted uranium munitions that NATO is up in arms about).

In keeping with JW's format of picking experts with differant strategies they could have one team build a fission reactor, that would be the simple and light solution. And the other team can build a fusion reactor, that'd the heavy and complex solution. Whichever team produces the most heat in one hour wins (since fusion reactors are notoriously hard to get started that team would be allowed a supply of energy to jump start their reaction - similar to the vertical axis windmill in the coffee grinder episode). Obviously if a reactor goes super-critical that team is disqualified.

I don't see what's not to like about this idea. Stay tuned, I'm writing up my idea for a perpetual motion machine challenge right now.

-- marshall philips (, January 12, 2001


It's called depleted uranium for a reason. It's already been used as a fuel source ("burned up") and therefore is no longer useful.

Actually I think they could both build fission reactors, there are several designs to choose from. For example they could use the simpler RBMK design of chernobyl (with a positive reactivity coefficient), or the more complex but safer CANDU design which uses the non-combustible moderator known as "heavy water".

(To reply in email replace blort dot invalid with anime dot net)

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-- Dan Hollis (goemon@blort.invalid), January 12, 2001.

Of course there is the weeee bit of a problem called radiation exposure...

When you bring fissionable material to critical mass, you get a sudden burst of intense radiation release-- hard gammas included. Several scientists and nuclear workers have died from such criticality accidents, most recently in Japan last year (2 deaths). That's why all nuclear reactors require HEAVY shielding.

I don't think anyone within a few meters of those bodged-up reactors would be feeling very good for the rest of their lives.


-- Thomas (, January 12, 2001.

But at least the rest of their lives wouldn't take very long.

-- Rick Tyler (, January 12, 2001.

They have uses for Depleted Uranium though. They use it for the projectiles in the bullets of the A-10 Thunderbolts' 30mm Multi- Barreled chain gun that can shred through tanks, (insert tim allen grunting here).

-- Ryley Felver (, January 12, 2001.

Of course, your suggestion sounded just silly at first. But when I actually read it through thoroughly, I noticed that it made even less sense! A nuclear reactor? Are you joking? Firstly, the show is about gruesome war - botching frankenstein- like machinery together to create something new and innovative - something rugged, sleek, fast, tough, and cool! I DON'T think nuclear reactors fall into anyone of those categories. Secondly, what in the world made you think of a NUCLEAR REACTOR!?! Do you really think the show's supervising crew, camera men, and producers would want to be exposed to high levels of nuclear radiation? If you do, your a loony! And lastly, ... a nuclear reactor!?! NO!

-- al (, January 12, 2001.

I have just one comment for this stupid idea> KABOOOOOOM LOL

-- Rick Lawrence (, January 12, 2001.

I have just one comment for this stupid idea> KABOOOOOOM LOL

-- Rick Lawrence (, January 12, 2001.

well me hearties,all the pieces of eight in the world would it take to build such a beast, arr tis a fantasy me matie! you've had a wee bit too much ale methinks arr..

-- Aima Pierat (, May 22, 2001.

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