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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
scram switch
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jargon (From the nuclear power industry) An emergency
power-off switch (see Big Red Switch), especially one
positioned to be easily hit by evacuating personnel. In
general, this is *not* something you frob lightly; these
often initiate expensive events (such as Halon dumps) and are
installed in a dinosaur pen for use in case of electrical
fire or in case some luckless field servoid should put 120
volts across himself while Easter egging.
SCRAM stands for Safety Control Rod Ax Man. In the early days
of nuclear power, boron moderator rods were raised and lowered
on ropes. In the event of a runaway chain reaction, a man
with an axe would chop the rope and drop the rods into the
nuclear pile to stop the reaction.