NS Savannah - Reactor Containment Vessel Control Rod Mechanism

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The mechanism shown raises and lowers the control rods. The control rods block the movement of neutrons and thereby reduce the reactivity and heat generated. They are slowly raised to start the nuclear reaction. When needed they can be reinserted in seconds. This is called a scram (from scramble) to very quickly shut down the nuclear reaction. The plastic sheeting shown was part of the recent cleaning process.