Re: Energy and "the Clash of Civilizations" -- a policy thoughtproblem

From: jeff davis (
Date: Sat Sep 29 2001 - 15:40:55 MDT

--- Hubert Mania <> wrote:
>Imagine a Boeing 747, heading from Frankfurt
> to the USA is going
> to be hijacked and with the full load of fuel is
> flown at full speed into
> Biblis containment. I bet the concrete shield will
> not withstand that
> impact.

I bet it would. Based on the following factors:

1. The designers say it will. No one is better
qualified to know.

2. WW2 era reinforced concrete fortifications that I
have personally seen--Battery Davis at Fort Funston,
San Francisco, site of a 16 in gun protecting the
approach to the Golden Gate, and one pillbox
observation point further south along the coast--would
seem to require as a design criteria that they be
capable of surviving at least one direct hit from
large bombs or heavy naval guns. The concentrated
shock force of such an explosion is substantially
greater than the "splash around" that would result
from a 747 crash.

3. The inertial mass of the containment structure is
huge, and the steel reinforcing makes it into a single
rigid unit. This would distribute the force of impact
throughout the structure as whole. Add to this the
fact that a 747--though quite massive--and here I
would say we could benefit from hard numbers of the
two masses in question--is a big, soft, mushy object
which would transfer its energy in a dispersed and
"relatively slow" manner to its target. The 747's
fuel would contribute only kinetic liquid splash
energy, no explosive energy worth mentioning, and the
subsequent fire on the exterior of the containment
building would be inconsequential.

4. The short, squat hemispherically-capped cylinder,
which defines the shape of the containment building is
almost the theoretically strongest possible stuctural

This is the best I can do considering there is no way
to actually conduct a test without irritating the FBI
et al.

Best, Jeff Davis

    "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                             Ray Charles

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