Re: Future baby nukes (boffin-sized?)

From: John Clark (
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 09:16:32 MDT

>> 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.

Eugene Leitl <>

> Sure, but I can get tritium much easier than fissibles,

Not enough to get a bomb you can't. I'll bet the entire world supply of
non military tritium doesn't have the explosive power of a few tons of
TNT, and tritium is one of the most expensive substances on earth.
I don't know that a pure fusion bomb is even possible, if it is it
certainly won't be something some bright teenager could build in their
garage, no so a fission bomb. If you're in the mood to kill a few million
people there are much easier ways to do it than with a pure fusion bomb.

As for materials, there are already thousands of tons of plutonium and
U235 in warehouses that nobody knows what to do with. If you were to
visit such a place and your fingers were a bit sticky who would know, you
can't audit it to the ounce, stuff is always getting lost. Even better, forget
about materials and steal an entire bomb, go to Russia and buy one of
the security guards a bottle of vodka. If the bombs were made of gold or
even silver the security would be much tighter.

> And the mass defect of fusion is a lot larger than that of fission.

I'd have to look it up but I think it's only about 2 or 3 times larger, no more.
Two reasons a H bomb is over a 1000 times as powerful as a fission bomb:

1) You can make lots of the explosive material, tritium, very cheaply and
     instantly from the lithium blanket around the fission trigger.

2) There is no pre detonation problem with lithium or with the (also cheap) U238
     jacket, so there is no upper limit to the size of an H bomb as there is with a
     A bomb. You can make an H bomb as large as you want and it won't empty
     your bank account either.

             John K Clark

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