Re: Future baby nukes (boffin-sized?)

From: John Clark (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 22:05:10 MDT

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.

> 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. 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.

         John K Clark

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