Re: Future baby nukes (boffin-sized?) was Re: signatures

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 00:49:32 MDT

Ken Clements writes:

> So far we have kept the lid on things because the isotopes of heavy atoms
> needed for fission are hard to collect together, but when, as Eugene
> indicates above, all you need is a small starter of isotopes of hydrogen

Actually, blame James Rogers for the details.

> (plentiful all around and in you), all bets are off.

Nono, though you could enrichen deuterium in situ, at least in
principle, tritium is not plentiful, you have to breed it from lithium
(9?) using massive amounts of neutrons, and you'll need a lot of juice
to assemble a magnetic flux compression generator, plus a ton or so of
high explosives from the thin air and a handful of dirt. What you
could imagine, is prefabbed nanoslime that creeps in through
capillaries, and assembles a nuke from micron-scale increments.

But tritium is much, much easier to get than U-235, or Pu-239, and
reactor-grade deuterium oxide (ask Canadians about it) is really cheap
to obtain, if you know the right sources. The question is rather, what
will happen if magnetic flux compression generators can ignite a pure
fusion weapon (I wouldn't be surprised if Livermore already achieved
that in classified tests), and the technical details leak out.

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