Safe Energy

John K Clark (
Mon, 5 May 1997 22:10:59 -0700 (PDT)


On Mon, 05 May 1997 Michael Lorrey <> Wrote:

>The plutonium bomb used was not a tamper type, that was the uranium
>bomb used on Hiroshima. The one used on Nagasaki was plutonium, and
>used a sphere of TNT charges.

The Hiroshima bomb used a gun to fire a slug of U235 at a target also of U235,
it was the only gun type A bomb ever made. Of course the plutonium bomb used
a sphere of explosives, but it was not TNT it was HMX, also called Octogen,
a much faster explosive, it has a detonation velocity of 9100 meters per
second verses 7000 for TNT.

NO2 H2 NO2
\ | /
N - C - N
| |
H2-C C-H2
| |
N - C - N
/ | \
NO2 H2 NO2


If you're willing to sacrifice a little efficiency you could use TNT and
it's a lot cheaper. The HMX did not push directly on the plutonium it pushed
on a heavy tamper sphere of U238 (the easy to obtain type) around the inner
sphere of plutonium. The U238 sphere was not involved in any nuclear
reactions it was used because it is a dense metal, it reflected neutrons back
to their source, it helped to make the spherical shock wave more even, and
when the plutonium started to get hot its great mass slowed its expansion to
give the plutonium more time to complete its nuclear reactions.

>>Krytrons are used in other things besides bombs, in the oil
>>exploration industry for example. The EGG corporation makes them,
>>part number RN22, cost 80$.

>Excuse me? SUre there are similar components used for explosives use,
>but they have nowhere near the same tolerance level. Your 80 cent
>component cannot be used for the detonation sphere of a plutonium

That's 80 dollars, and they have no use in conventional explosives but they
are used in neutron activation analysis, a very peaceable purpose. You'd have
to use a Krytron in a Uranium bomb, but not with plutonium, although it would
be more efficient if you did.

>ANy more specific data or info sources?

A good article on muon catalyzed nuclear fusion in the July 1987 Scientific
American, in those days it was a very good magazine.

John K Clark

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