Blowups HappenBlowups Happen
is a science fiction short story
by Robert A. Heinlein
. It describes the tensions amongst the staff of a nuclear reactor
generating nuclear fuel; and the realisation that theoretical calculations on the stability of the reactor had greatly underestimated the scale of the reaction should the reactor go out of control. The story was first published in Astounding Science Fiction
in the 1940s
, before any nuclear reactors had ever been built, and later reprints of the story required some modifications to reflect how a reactor actually worked.