Re: Future baby nukes (boffin-sized?)

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 21:00:24 MDT

John Clark writes:

> I doubt it would be worthwhile making a bomb with an element heavier than
> plutonium, pre-detonation would be a real problem so you couldn't make a
> very powerful bomb, and it would be as expensive as hell.
A fission primary is necessary only to ignite the fusion secondary.
No one in his sane mind would propose a pure transplutonium nuke,
unless small footprint is imperative, while yield is not.
> Actually, atom for atom tritium is 3 or 4 times as expensive as U-235
> or Pu -239, pound for pound figure 2 to 3 hundred times as expensive.

Sure, but I can get tritium much easier than fissibles, which was the
whole point. And the mass defect of fusion is a lot larger than that
of fission.

> And the half life of tritium is about only 11 years so you must keep making it.

I'm sure there is a market for nukes which must be used while still
fresh. Stockpile stewardship people certainly get paid to think about

> Most of the tritium in a H bomb is made in a fraction of a second from a
> blanket of lithium when the fission trigger goes off.

But we're talking about pure fusion weapons, without the fission
primary. Did you check out these uris?

-- eugene

P.S. I might be over my six posts today</apology>

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