6
   

Is The Earth On It's Last Legs???

 
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 04:17 pm
@Pangloss,
A very small suitcase bomb is a sub-critical bomb by it nature and therefore cannot be a simple gun type uranium device! For that kind of a device, we are talking about a 16 wheeler not a strong man.

Second components like batteries does not have a half life of thousands of years and we are not talking about AA cells or other off the shelf batteries either and more important the electronic components that is needed to be able to explosive charges within a small part of a nanosecond does no have a half live of thousands of years either. Such a bomb would made an old fashion Swiss watch look like a tin alarm clock.

Third, no one but a complete fool would not have safe guards such as security codes build into such a device.

Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:27 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

A very small suitcase bomb is a sub-critical bomb by it nature and therefore cannot be a simple gun type uranium device! For that kind of a device, we are talking about a 16 wheeler not a strong man.


This is just plain wrong. You can't have a nuclear explosion without critical mass..."critical" means that you have enough mass of the unstable isotope to sustain a fission reaction. For U-235, you need about 50kg. A true suitcase-sized nuke would probably utilize U-233, or plutonium, but the russian design was reportedly closer to the size of a refrigerator, so who knows.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:27 pm
@Pangloss,
I agree. There are no suitcase nukes, it is a hollywood myth.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:42 pm
@Ionus,
We know the United States has developed them, and it's really not much of a stretch that Russia then has (or had) them too. Whether or not they'd be feasible for a terrorist attack, or if any have wound up on the black market or in the hands of terrorists, remains to be seen.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:47 pm
@Ionus,
Somebody should tell the NRC of this , because they had tested several 10;s of quite small nukes called "Appliances" at the Nevada Test Site about 90 Mi N of LAs Vegas, just N of Nellis AFB. These were about 100lb (43. kg)(Linear detonation rather than radial) devices that, still generated about 1kT, thats bigger than any truck bomb.Although even with 1 critical mass of Pu doesnt achieve big time fission multiplication due to the linear detonation shape and the minimal mass.

SO the "hollywood myth" does have some truth in it. The testing of "Appliances" (anything at 1 or 2 critical mass of fissionable material) was done at Nevada TEst Site in the 1970s and 1980's to determine the effects of EMP's on radios and TVs and even microwave ovens . There were several dug caves in a test area called "JAckass Flats" where several of the appliance test units blew the concrete plugs out of the caves and sent them on a quarter mile coontamination trip that turned the Flats into a rich harvest area of alpha particles.

Anybody who's worked in the arena can tell you about the possibility of suitcase newks. Even though that "Suitcase Nukes" are not the most efficient until they get about 3 or 4 critical masses in which to achieve fission multiplication , you can still get a nice bang in a city with 1 critical mass.(Itd be roughly 2 times the yield of Tim Mcveighs truck bomb) and if its with Pu, the alpha contamination would leave a large dead zone in the city that would need to be worked on by NEST teams for years and years. SO we only hope that the Jihadi design guys are less sophisticated in the trigger depts and a couple other areas that are important to get some yield. WHen you talk about 4 or 5 critical masses , you dont need to worry about clandestines and using "suitcases or briefcases". You could assemble a shaped radial detonation and put it together in various areas and assemble it in a crew cab pickup bed.

0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:54 pm
There were around 2,000 of the nicely-nicknamed "Davy Crockett" tripod-fired portable nukes created back in the 50s.

http://img401.imageshack.us/i/m29recoilless155mmforda.jpg/


0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:23 pm
@Pangloss,
Quote:
You can't have a nuclear explosion without critical mass..."critical" means that you have enough mass of the unstable isotope to sustain a fission reaction


You can used an amount that is normally sub-critical in any normal bomb design and by using special techniques get a “critical” reaction.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:49 pm
@BillRM,
Well they did this with the Hiroshima bomb, but I don't believe the method was used in nuclear design much after that. It's a bit pointless to speculate about what type of method a hypothetical russian suitcase nuke would employ, but the US "davy crockett" warhead used plutonium, and not two subcritical masses going supercritical like "little boy". Probably an implosion method is much more likely.
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:56 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:

Anyway, On a more Nature-composed level - How long do you think before the tipping-point is reached?


I don't really think we could do enough damage to nature in order to see huge problems, on a global scale, for another few decades. Global warming will take some time to catch up to us, and if it accelerates, it would probably just have some mildly disastrous effects on coastal/tropical regions. But I don't really think there's enough data to make any real accurate prediction.

I think it's more likely that a major war will break out and go nuclear before global warming ever becomes and issue. And then at that point, global warming will be the least of our worries. One thing seems pretty clear though -- our heavy reliance on fossil fuels is the root of many of our environmental and political problems. If the entire world could make an effort to shift to renewable energy sources, the odds of war and harmful warming could be halted. But this isn't really economically feasible, and I don't see it happening.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 06:32 am
@Pangloss,
I love your large scale nuclear war theory where we are as far from that likelihood as we ever been in since the start of the nuclear age.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:37 am
@BillRM,
And I love all of your absurd, nonsensical statements, BillRM.

The topic is about earth's end of days, so I'm entertaining it. Nuclear war, though unlikely, is more likely than any of the other popular end-scenarios one might come up with, like, apocalypse by global warming.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 11:44 am
Hi All,
Let us add "soil denutrification" due to , let's say "acid-rain"???
Mark...
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 12:31 pm
@Pangloss,
No the title is a question is the earth on it last legs and implying because of mankind actions.

So saying hell no is not off topic in my opinion.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 02:44 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

So saying hell no is not off topic in my opinion.


No, I basically agree with you here, but I was just having some fun by joining in on the speculation. Earth is probably safe for another few billion years, while life should do fine as well for quite some time. Extinction level events seem to occur around every 50mil. years or so.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:09 pm
Quote:
"The suitcase nuke is an exciting topic that really lends itself to movies," said Vahid Majidi, the assistant director of the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. "No one has been able to truly identify the existence of these devices."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/11/AR2007111100206.html

Quote:
Russia's atomic energy ministry went so far as to dispute that suitcase nuclear weapons had even ever been developed by the Soviet Union.

Quote:
Russian president Vladimir Putin, in an interview with Barbara Walters in 2001, stated about suitcase nukes, "I don't really believe this is true. These are just legends. One can probably assume that somebody tried to sell some nuclear secrets. But there is no documentary confirmation of those developments."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suitcase_nuke
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 05:12 pm
@Ionus,
Yea...though some ex-KGB members have stated the opposite, and some KGB weapons caches have been discovered. But of course this could be disinformation.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 07:03 pm
@Pangloss,
The idea of a suitcase bomb is a derivative of the comparatively small warheads in artillery shells and then later in MIRV's. These are not the sort of thing you can carry easily. Even if the USA did have suitcase bombs at the height of the Cold War, it is still possible the USSR didnt develop them as they were more worried about accidentally starting WWIII then the USA was. Of course if the Capiatlists had it, Mother Russia must have had it first, even if they didnt have them at all.

Given the weight of the combined assembly, the complexity, the need for shielding to prevent it being readily discovered, and their low yield I dont see how they were a practical solution for anything but a terrorist attack, which makes me suspicious of their real existence.
0 Replies
 
 

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