John Clark wrote:
> He strongly maintained that if they had the plutonium or U235 any physics graduate student
> or even a bright undergraduate could make a bomb; ...His military bosses thought he was
> exaggerating so he challenged them, he asked that they give him some plutonium,
> legal commercial explosives, some simple tools like baking tins and measuring cups
> and one weeks time and without using classified knowledge he would actually make
> a nuclear bomb. Then he wanted to take it out to the test range and see if it worked.
> He really pushed for this but it scared his bosses too much and they wouldn't let him,
> but he made his point....
John the problem with this is that using plutonium and the tools
he suggested, the critical mass would not be assembled quickly
enough. Uranium is more forgiving than plutonium in this as I
understand it, so they were able to make Little Boy with
uranium: two cannons firing plugs of U235 at each other. This
design wouldnt work with plutonium, for it wouldnt assemble the
critical mass fast enough, so they had the far more complicated
spherical detonation as used in the Fat Man. Without that, the
mass would partially melt and vaporize, and depending on how
much Pu you had you might not actually get full detonation. But
you would spread a bunch of plutonium everywhere. So its good
that Ted Taylors bosses realized that sure, a terrorist could
definitely raise hell with a glob of plutonium, but there was not good
justification for actually demonstrating the fact.
Before its all over, some superpower(s) will need to buy up all
the Pu that has ever been made, mix it with glass and throw it into
Oh hell, now I remember, I started a big hootnanny last time I
mentioned that last part. So let me make it clearer what I mean.
Take the refined Plutonium in the form of a salt, such as plutonium
chloride, mix it with molten borosilicate glass, form into rounded
cylinders, about 5 meters long, a meter or so in diameter, take
them out over the deepest part of the Pacific, shape them so that
they sink in a spiral pattern so they cannot be found even if one
knows ones position when they were released, roll em off the
back of the ship under the watch of Putin, Bush, whoever else cares.
They hit the bottom of the sea at 50 meters per second and embed
themselves there, 30 meters deep, silt covers it over, no feasible
way to ever find or recover them. Then dont make any more.
The biggest problem with this is how to *make sure* no one
is making more. spike
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:13:23 MDT