I believe the substance in question is "depleted uranium", as used in weapons systems, among other things.
A better analogy, IMHO, for when hard realtime response is necessary, would be industrial robotics: if a 400lb swingarm is about to crush a human, guaranteed millisecond response is in fact essential.
But Linus and I had an exchange about this, a few years back, carboned to this very venue, and he convinced me that if what you need is that hard realtime, then you should probably not be doing anything else with that computer.
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