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Operation Smash Hit - Testing Nuclear Flasks When nuclear fuel is sent from powerstations to reprocessing, a simple procedure is used which now has been carried out safely more than 14'000 times. The fuel rods are first cooled for at least 90 days at power station by immersing them in ponds. When taken out of storage the heat coming from each rod has dwindled to about 25 watts - roughly equivalent to a small electric light bulb. About 200 rods at a time are loaded into an open top steel skip which is then placed inside a special container called a flask. The flasks are very robust - they weigh around 50 tons and have walls 35 cm thick. 16 bolts, each able to take a load of 150 tons without breaking, secure the lid. The flasks are forged out of two blocks of steel. When finished each flask is worth half a million pounds. Stringent manufacturing and performance standards have to be met. These are drawn up by International Atomic Energy Agency. To meet these standards the industry has developed a comprehensive testing program. Literally hundreds of impact tests have been carried out using scaled models dropping them so that they land from all sorts of different angles. In 1983 to enhance public confidence in the flasks a full scale testing of an actual production flask in real life conditions was begun. A three locomotive train was smashed into a flask going at 100mph. --- It's Never too Late to Study: --- Notice: This video is copyright by its respectful owners. The website address on the video does not mean anything. ---
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