Demon core incident Video

Have you seen that crazy demon core incident video circulating online lately? It depicts a nuclear accident that occurred way back in 1946 during some wild experiment. Demon core incident Video , This physicist named Louis Slotin was messing around with a spherical core of radioactive plutonium at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was lowering a shell around it to bring the core to near “criticality” – basically the point right before it triggers a nuclear chain reaction. But things went haywire when the shell slipped and completely enveloped the plutonium core, causing it to go supercritical. All of a sudden there was a freaky blue flash and wave of intense heat and radiation in the room with Slotin and his colleagues. The video shows how Slotin acts fast by flipping the shell off the glowing core with his bare hands, but not before absorbing a lethal dose of radiation himself. The whole thing lasts barely a second or two. It’s a chilling reminder of how scientists back then were playing with fire by “tickling the tail of the nuclear dragon” as they called it. Slotin died painfully nine days later, becoming the first fatality of what came to be known as the “demon core” incident. Hard to believe people today still debate whether the video is real or fake! Following !

Demon core incident Video
Demon core incident Video

The Infamous 1946 “Demon Core” Nuclear Criticality Accident

On the afternoon of May 21, 1946, Canadian physicist Louis Slotin was conducting a dangerous experiment on a spherical plutonium core at a secret laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Known as “tickling the dragon’s tail,” the procedure involved lowering a beryllium shell around the core to bring it near criticality in order to gather data. What transpired that day has gone down in history as the infamous “demon core” incident, resulting in a lethal burst of radiation that would claim Slotin’s life just nine days later.

Slotin was an experienced physicist and one of the few people trusted to handle the dangerous core, which had been quickly fabricated after Nagasaki to be used in a third atomic bombing of Japan. However, during the experiment, Slotin’s screwdriver slipped, causing the shell to fully drop and envelope the core. The room was instantly bathed in a bright blue flash as a wave of heat and radiation emanated out, signaling to the scientists that a burst of criticality had occurred. Though brief, the intense radiation poisoned Slotin and others nearby, forever changing nuclear safety standards.

The ensuing investigation revealed the burst yielded around three quadrillion fissions, about a million times less than the first atomic weapons. Yet it was more than enough to release substantial radioactivity throughout the room. The blue flash many observed was caused by high-energy photons exiting electrons in the air as they reverted to lower energy states following the radiation excitement. A guard, lacking Slotin’s expertise to understand the imminent danger, promptly fled the scene. Slotin himself heroically saved his colleagues’ lives by flipping off the shell with his bare hands just in time, but absorbed a lethal dose in the process.

Dramatic Moment of Criticality Incident

According to an official accident report filed a week later by colleague Raemer Schreiber, Slotin’s experiment began around 3 pm that day. Schreiber recalled turning away briefly, expecting nothing notable to occur for some time. Suddenly he heard a sound behind him and spun around to see a “blue flash clearly visible” followed instantly by a wave of heat hitting his face. He estimated the flash lasted no more than a few tenths of a second, as Slotin quickly reacted to flip the beryllium tamper off the glowing core.

It is believed Slotin’s use of a screwdriver to keep the tamper separated from the core by a tiny margin was common practice, despite violating safety protocols. The tool was never meant to play such a critical role in the dangerous experiment. On that day, the screwdriver tragically slipped out of position, leading to the immediate drop of the tamper and accidental initiation of a criticality reaction. Based on observer accounts, if Slotin had not flipped the tamper off in a matter of one or two seconds using his bare hands, the reaction could have progressed to a far more deadly steam explosion.

Incredibly, despite absorbing a lethal amount of radiation estimated to be well over 1,000 rads, Slotin maintained clarity of mind to promptly stop the reaction and thereby saved the lives of the seven other people in the room. The intensity of the neutron radiation was later calculated to double every 10 shakes of a lamb’s tail, illustrating how rapidly it builds. Had Slotin hesitated even briefly, the consequences would have been far more catastrophic. His quick reaction prevented additional exposure, resulting in his being the only immediate fatality, albeit his own death in just 9 days was inevitable from acute radiation poisoning.

Aftermath and Impact

Slotin was hurriedly transported to Los Alamos hospital following the accident, but doctors were unable to reverse the radiation damage despite desperate measures. Over the next several days as he languished in agony, Slotin’s bodily systems began failing one by one – a trauma all too familiar to first responders from Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than a year earlier. The insidious nature of the unseen killer left doctors powerless, and Slotin tragically succumbed to radiation sickness on May 30th, 1946. He was buried in Winnipeg, Manitoba after a small private funeral – a hero and martyr for nuclear safety.

In the wake of the accident, the core would perversely go on to be used for nuclear testing, unleashed full force upon the helpless residents of Bikini Atoll during Operation Crossroads in 1946. However, the demon core incident led to swift policy changes, with much stricter protocols implemented for criticality experiments going forward. All future work used remote control procedures with operators safely distanced from the direct test area. Training was enhanced, safety rules tightened considerably, and the culture of reckless bravado that once dominated such dangerous nuclear research was largely extinguished.

Slotin’s criticality excursion, as such incidents came to be known, brought about lasting reforms. The accident highlighted how even naked cores of subcritical mass can initiate brief uncontrolled reactions under the right conditions. In Slotin’s case, the near-critical sphere of plutonium began fissioning spontaneously when the dropped tamper reflected sufficient neutrons back into the core to cross the critical threshold. The tragedy demonstrated that even very experienced scientists could make simple mistakes with catastrophic consequences when handling fissile materials outside of controlled parameters.

Early Dramatization in Film and Video

Slotin’s story was first immortalized in a 1989 film called Fat Man and Little Boy, a dramatization about the Manhattan Project starring Paul Newman as General Leslie Groves. While not solely focused on Slotin, a scene depicts the criticality accident and its aftermath, showing Slotin rushing to remove the tamper as his colleagues flee. The film brought wider attention to the incident and cemented Slotin’s reputation as a hero for saving the others rather than running himself. However, some later criticized the film for exaggerating certain events and taking artistic license for dramatic effect at the expense of technical accuracy.

In 2012, the National Geographic channel released a documentary entitled “The Demon Core” as part of its “Seconds from Disaster” series profiling infamous accidents. The episode featured interviews with nuclear experts and a technical analysis of the experiment Slotin was conducting using recreated props. Dramatic recreations of the incident were interspersed with archival footage and declassified film of similar criticality experiments from Los Alamos. The documentary provided wider exposure of the accident to a new generation while capturing the danger and bravery on display that fateful day in 1946.

YouTube hosts various visualizations and accident recap videos profiling the demon core and Slotin’s criticality excursion. However, younger generations are increasingly detached from the visceral fear surrounding early atomic weapons research. The grainy black and white images fail to adequately convey the very real perils of radiation that Slotin so boldly faced. But computer visualizations provide vivid renderings of the core, the experiment setup, and 3D animations showing the accident sequence. Paired with qualified expert commentary, the visual medium helps connect modern viewers to the historical gravity of what transpired in 1946 at the dawn of the atomic age.

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