In my on-going qwest to do different things in Portland, this evening I went to Reed College....specifically to see the nuclear reactor. Yes, Reed College has a real nuclear reactor with uranium rods and all that. I don't think I knew about it, but it seems like Howard (who loved Reed) must have told me at some point. I couldn't take pictures, so the picture abive is a picture of a postcard we were given.
It was very interesting, and I felt totally safe. While there, we got 0.0 exposure to radioactivity, so that was reassuring. They mostly do experiments to find out the basic composition of things....I mean down to the atomic cell structure. In the world of nuclear reactors, it is very small and we learned it would be virtually impossible to have an uncontrolled reaction there. In fact, we got a demonstration of how quickly it could be shut down in an emergency, and it was about 7 seconds! The whole operation is very interesting, and the "blue glow" you see above was, indeed, something never to forget. I was standing where I could see the scene portrayed. Too complicated for me to actually comprehend....much less to explain!!!!
I also got a quick tour around the Reed campus. The days are longer now, but not quite long enough to take pictures of the campus. It was getting too dark. I went with a Meetup group called "Uniquely Portland," led by a great guy, Tom. It was a memorable experience.
By the way, the periodic tables have changed a lot since I was in Chemistry 101. They have so much more information on them for each element!!! What we know about our world is expanding....and that will continue. The young people I met today will make sure of that! Very inquisitive, creative and imaginative!