Re: Future baby nukes (boffin-sized?)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 12:35:15 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Michael S. Lorrey <> Wrote:
> > Question: What is the theoretical minimum yield you could get from a fusion
> > warhead using today's technology?
> If you're talking pure fusion warhead the answer is nobody knows, it could be the
> same as the maximum yield, zero.

Huh? Zero?
Is it absolutely necessary to use a fission reaction to trigger a fusion
reaction, or are other means just not feasible for an easily deployable warhead?
I was reading about how shrimp have been discovered to produce 5000 degree
sonoluminescent bubbles with their claws via cavitation, and I am wondering how
much research has been done in using shaped charges or other acoustical focusing
methods to generate fusion reactions. If as you say, the mass defect is only 2
or 3 times greater, doesn't that mean you should be able to acheive such a
reaction with enough high explosives? How much more energy does the clean D-H3
reaction require over non-clean D-T reaction? Could it be possible to use a
small fission warhead to trigger a small D-T warhead to trigger a D-H3 reaction?

> > The only problem would be using pony nukes that were clean.
> Even a pure fusion D-T bomb wouldn't be clean, most of the energy goes
> into very high speed neutrons and that would turn everything near it into
> radioactive isotopes. The neutrons also case structural weakness in materials so
> the maintenance on a D-T fusion reactor would be high.

OK. How easily does this radioactivity work its way through materials?

> The greenest fusion reaction
> is between non radioactive deuterium (Hydrogen 2) and non radioactive Helium 3,
> it produces non radioactive Helium 4 and an easily controlled positively charged
> proton with 18.3 mev of energy. Its greatest virtue is that it produces no neutrons.
> Unfortunately you need a higher temperature to achieve it than the deuterium tritium
> reaction. Also, there is almost no Helium 3 on the Earth, although there is probably a
> lot of it that could be mined on comets and on the ice moons of the outer planets.

I was under the impression that there was a lot of it in lunar regolith.

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