4
   

Lab officials excited by new H-bomb project

 
 
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 03:06 pm
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

For the first time in more than 20 years, U.S. nuclear-weapons scientists are designing a new
H-bomb, the first of probably several new nuclear explosives on the drawing boards.

If they succeed, in perhaps 20 or 25 more years, the United States would have an entirely new nuclear arsenal, and a highly automated fac- tory capable of turning out more warheads as needed, as well as new kinds of warheads.

"We are on the verge of an exciting time," the nation's top nuclear weapons executive, Linton Brooks, said last week at Lawrence Livermore weapons design laboratory.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_3480733
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 5,042 • Replies: 89
No top replies

 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 04:37 pm
It's about time that they did something about this problem.

Past Administrations and Congresses have acted like our nuclear weapons are like a bunch of tools with an infinite shelf life that will just work exactly as planned despite some being 40+years old.

Creating more modern and longer lasting weapons of this type will guarantee our security for decades to come and give us a more flexible response to any nuclear aggression against us in the future.

I dislike these weapons, having been part of the 'Nuclear Team', but I understand their necessity in the type of world we live in.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 04:42 pm
Research on Kinetic Weapons would be far more cost effective, militarily effective, and environmentally sound. I can't for the life of me see why we don't exploit GPE to a greater extent.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 04:57 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Research on Kinetic Weapons would be far more cost effective, militarily effective, and environmentally sound. I can't for the life of me see why we don't exploit GPE to a greater extent.

Cycloptichorn


Because you can't get variable yield out of the same Kinetic Energy Weapons that you can out of a single advanced nuclear warhead. Nor can you get a 100 kiloton - 4 megaton range out of KEW.

Plus, it must be remembered that nuclear weapons have become both a political and deterence weapon.

The purpose of them is to be so horrible that no one would dare attack you with one for fear of terrible retaliation.

They aren't pretty, they aren't loved by their keepers, but they are needed in the world we live in.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 06:31 pm
I saw a white paper a few months ago on a kinetic-energy weapon using 'multiple impacts and harmonics' if I remember correctly. Interesting stuff. Impact several Kinetic weapons in the right formation around a town at the same moment, and the town in the middle ceases to continue to be a town.

There were a lot of big numbers involved.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 08:18 pm
I agree with Fedral, new nuclear designs are long over due. I rather believe that if we at some point decide to use nuclear warheads, the targets will be quite different than those we targeted during the Cold War.

The possible improvements to the next generation of these weapons may render several benefits. I can imagine a weapon that produces a stronger EMP with little or no blast, heat or radiation effects. Warheads depending upon high-energy/short half-live without much blast/heat effects have been around for thirty years, I'm sure that they could be improved and made more useful. Further reduction of radioactive particles with long half-lives would certainly be welcome. I'd like to see some warheads of under a Kt that could be precision guided into very small target zones.

As earlier commented, shelf life needs to be extended while reducing the costs of maintaining readiness. Costs of production and destruction need to be reduced, and research into new generations of weapons should be ongoing.

In an ideal world these weapons wouldn't exist, but it isn't an ideal world. Kim Jong-Il and the current government of Iran are already a danger to regional neighbors, with nuclear capacity their threat to world peace is intolerably extended. If the DPRK is not effectively countered, Japan will eventually be forced to develop a nuclear inventory ... even though they don't want them. Pakistan and India seem to have reached a parity that we all hope will result in negotiations to relieve tensions. Israel has a nuclear capacity, but has never threatened anyone with their use. Indeed, Israel argues with some justification that their nuclear arsenal has detered open agression by neighboring enemy states. Iran and the DPRK have been partners in pushing the boundries of illicite and dangerous armorments for years, and if the current trends continue unchecked, the world will be a far more dangerous place.

Let's suppose that a nuclear exchange occurred between Iran and Israel. Israel, being small and densily populated, would suffer badly. Its debatable whether Iran would target Jerusalem, but Tel Aviv and other population centers would be struck with terrible loss of life. Iran would also have very large casualties in the larger population centers, but being less densly settled might suffer less long-term effects. If Iran pulled the trigger, it would be condemned by every world state so it would not profit from the attack. If Israel pulled the trigger first, it would be condemned by the world .... including the United States, and would be ruined forever. Assuming that delivery systems didn't go astray, the effects would not be felt outside the region, though the political environment would be shaken to its foundations. The best way to avoid the risks of a nuclear exchange is to halt the preliferation of nuclear armaments now. I have little faith in the UN, but they should fail in this matter the United States MUST retain such nuclear superamacy that no one would dare attack us for fear of being annhilated in return.
0 Replies
 
chichan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Feb, 2006 11:42 pm
Asherman wrote:
The best way to avoid the risks of a nuclear exchange is to halt the preliferation of nuclear armaments now. I have little faith in the UN, but they should fail in this matter the United States MUST retain such nuclear superamacy that no one would dare attack us for fear of being annhilated in return.


Hypocrisy is the word that comes to mind, Asherman. How can anyone think for a moment that other countries are going to sit/stand by idly while the USA spends, how many trillions, what percent of GDP, what percent of the total world's spending on arms?

And here you're celebrating the introduction of yet another new WMD.

Confused Please, give your head a shake!

It's also pretty damn naive to think that there'll be a "winner" when the nuks start flying. A simplistic John Wayne mentality is hardly what's needed in this world but it sure is prevalent in the big shot countries of the world.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 12:09 am
I think the bottom line here is that history speaks to those that listen. So what does history say?

"It is very unlikely that any large stockpile of weapons will remain unused indefinitely, irrespective of the potential for harm."

Taken in today's context, this means that although in the shorter term the rationale appears justifiable to maintain a large modern nuclear weapons stockpile, in the longer term those weapons will very likely be used.

Mostly likely when, not if, those weapons are used, the most likely result will be Mutuality Assured Destruction.

Anyone who directly or indirectly supports M.A.D., is for all intents and purposes, supporting the likelihood of a Nuclear Holocaust.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 12:47 am
There is definitely hypocrisy or discordance in the Republican Party thinking in that they feel it okay for citizens to arm themselves 'right to bear arms' but for states (read countries) not to arm themselves.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 02:27 am
talk72000 wrote:
There is definitely hypocrisy or discordance in the Republican Party thinking in that they feel it okay for citizens to arm themselves 'right to bear arms' but for states (read countries) not to arm themselves.
It goes well beyond what some Republicans "feel", in that the right to bear arms is part of the US Constitution (although some would argue an amendment is in order) Also I am sure the Founders did not envision weapons of global reach and consequence, when they made reference to a US citizen's right bear arms.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 02:29 am
Straw man there, talk2700 - no private citizen needs, or has a right to own and deploy, heavy artillery. Now, while the nuclear cat is outta the bag, more or less, and ain't going back in, there is no absolutely no justification for any nation not already a member of the Nuclear Club to work toward achieving the prerequisites. One almost can make a case for Pakistan and India deterring one another from using nukes against one another by virtue of each having their own nukes, but even that treads very closely to the absurd. China may be justified to feel the need for possessing a nuclear deterrent vis a vis both The US and Russia/The Former Soviet Republics, Britain on the basis of her longstanding cooperation with The US, and France more or less just because there's no point trying to talk sense to the French in the first place - if anybody's got one, they'll have themselves one of their own too, regardless what it is. Russia/The Former Soviet Republics ... well, they're charter members of the club; can't kick 'em out, and they can argue credibly theirs are deterrents vis a vis China and The US. Israel? Who knows - they certainly have the means and the technology, and they certainly have a very real justification from a deterrent standpoint. I strongly suspect they're members.

The notion a 3rd-World state, such as DPRK or Iran, has any need or justification whatsoever for a nuclear deterent is preposterous on its face - such rogues can only have one intent regarding acquisition of nukes - use 'em. Odds are the intended, anticipated use is more along the lines of blackmail as opposed to offensive deployment, but neither potential use may be tolerated.

It really sorta sucks the club exists at all, but its absolutely unacceptable that the membership should increase. It reasonably may be assumed The US, Russia/The Former Soviet Union, Britain, France, Israel if she's got 'em, and even China, India, and Pakistan would not arbitrarily use their nukes offensively. Any nation which did undertake to use nukes offensively assures itself of most unimagineably draconian retaliation; a newbie in the nuke club gains nothing by joining, and risks all.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 02:50 am
I have two points of contention while agreeing with much of your general views

I don't agree that "there is absolutely no justification for any nation not already a member of the Nuclear Club to work toward achieving the prerequisites." I would agree that may well be no justifiably rational motivation "for any nation not already a member of the Nuclear Club to work toward achieving the prerequisites"

I don't agree that "any nation which did undertake to use nukes offensively assures itself of most unimagineably draconian retaliation".

In fact, I can easily envision many examples of a nuclear nation using it's weapons without a similar nuclear retaliation. All that might be required is for the victim nation to not have sufficient nuclear counter-strike capability. I would agree that a major nuclear power which used nukes offensively against another major nuclear power "assures itself of most unimagineably draconian retaliation".
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 07:36 am
I've got to admit, that for any nation which feels threatened by a nuclear-power (wether warranted or not), having (or at least establishing a pretext that they have) nuclear weapons must be a very attractive proposition.

What better deterrent to perceived aggression exists? What better guarantor exists that ensures political power can be retained, at least from non-domestic forces?

Preventing these nations from seeking WMD or the knowledge to build WMD is not feasible. The only option, I see, is to make it as difficult as possible and if they should succeed, make it clear that the day they use it the first time, they will cease to exist. MAD requires near parity in numbers and strength of WMD. The US goal should be to ensure such parity is never attained.

Unfortunately, I am unsure of the strength of the US resolve to nuke Iran, DPRK, Pakistan, or any other nation should that nation first use the weapon. I'm sure that many of these rogue nations are similarly counting on the US' lack of resolve on the subject.
0 Replies
 
rodeman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 08:02 am
I can't believe what I'm hearing.
"We are on the verge of an exciting time".....?

"This type of weapon will insure our security for decades to come"....................Our nuclear arsenal certainly didn't deter 9/11.

Why don't we just blow up the friggin planet now and be done with it.........?
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 11:51 am
rodeman wrote:
I can't believe what I'm hearing.
"We are on the verge of an exciting time".....?

"This type of weapon will insure our security for decades to come"....................Our nuclear arsenal certainly didn't deter 9/11.

Why don't we just blow up the friggin planet now and be done with it.........?

Which illustrates well why it is good those of mindset such as that evidenced by the cited post are not at the helm of nuclear-capable nations, and even more adroidtly demonstrates the need to keep nukes out of the hands of the irrational, unstable, and unpredictable. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 01:14 pm
rodeman wrote:
I can't believe what I'm hearing.
"We are on the verge of an exciting time".....?

"This type of weapon will insure our security for decades to come"....................Our nuclear arsenal certainly didn't deter 9/11.

Why don't we just blow up the friggin planet now and be done with it.........?


But you notice that no one has hit us with a nuclear, biological or chemical device, have you?

Keep in mind that what the Administration is proposing is merely what any consumer would do in their place:

When you have a car that is old and worn out and you are spending more on repairs than you believe is wise and its reliablity factor is suspect, what do you do?

Well, in the real world, you go out andget a new car. One more modern and up to date. One with a bunch of features that you would have liked on your old vehicle, but would have been too expensive to retrofit.

PLEASE remember...
These weapons are just tools...
Dangerous, unpleasant and frightening tool, but tools nonetheless.

And it would be criminal to keep substandard tools around when we can easily get newer and more up to date ones.

This will probably LESSEN the amount of nuclear arms on the planet, because we will be replacing older, less efficient weapons with much more accurate and modern devices. Thus, we should need less weapons for the same effect.

Just things to keep in mind.
0 Replies
 
rodeman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 01:25 pm
timberlandko

You think Kim Jong-il is rational, stable, and predictable?

Musharraf of Pakistan could be taken out (there have been several attempts) and who knows what kind of wacko would replace him.

And then of course there is Iran??? Yes, we may have a need to keep nukes out of the hands of these people, but I'm not sure of the job were doing. The genie is out of the bottle.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 02:34 pm
I neither think Kim is sane nor that DPRK currently has operational nukes. Pakistan indeed is worrisome, but balanced somewhat by India. Its a safe bet none of the actual major powers, or France, will excersize an offensive first-strike nuke option, and its just as safe a bet that any newcommer to the club who might assay to do so would in short order effectively be removed from the equation.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 02:44 pm
timberlandko wrote:
Its a safe bet none of the actual major powers, or France, will excersize an offensive first-strike nuke option....
Given enough time, and my below argument, timberlandko, you're unrealsitic.
Chumly wrote:
I think the bottom line here is that history speaks to those that listen. So what does history say?

"It is very unlikely that any large stockpile of weapons will remain unused indefinitely, irrespective of the potential for harm."

Taken in today's context, this means that although in the shorter term the rationale appears justifiable to maintain a large modern nuclear weapons stockpile, in the longer term those weapons will very likely be used.

Mostly likely when, not if, those weapons are used, the most likely result will be Mutuality Assured Destruction.

Anyone who directly or indirectly supports M.A.D., is for all intents and purposes, supporting the likelihood of a Nuclear Holocaust.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  0  
Reply Tue 7 Feb, 2006 03:23 pm
Myth 1. Armament stockpiles will always eventually be expended in war.
Fact: Not true. All major participants in WWII had large stockpiles of deadly gases, some reaching back to 1915, yet no gas was used during the greatest armed conflict of the 20th century. The effect of gas on the battlefield was so terrible that all nations agreed to outlaw the use of such munitions. For some, Stalin before Leningrad, and Hitler must have been terribly tempted in late 1944. Even today stockpiles of these deadly gasses continue to exist, but no one is seriously concerned that they will ever be used in combat. It might be noted that some rogue governments have used poison gasses both on the battlefield and on innocent populations. Unfortunately, many in the West seemingly have closed their eyes to the use of poison gasses by rogue states.

Nuclear arsenals have been in existence for over 60 years without once being used since the two bombs that ended WWII. During the twenty years or so during the height of the Cold Ware only two participants held truly massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons and the means for their delivery, yet despite the tension no nuclear exchange took place. The Balance of Terror worked to prevent any direct military clash between the USSR and the West, and so was an important means of preserving relative world peace. I sincerely doubt that anyone lies awake at night worrying that the UK, France, or even the U.S. will suddenly decide to initiate nuclear strikes against anyone. Its generally assumed that Israel has a small arsenal of nuclear bombs, but they are kept low-profile and are clearly intended to deter open aggression by neighbors who have repeatedly tried to destroy their country. So far that deterrent has prevented any all out attacks on Israel, though of course the tempo of sub-national terrorism has remained high. China has a nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver warheads anywhere on the face of the planet. China's warhead stockpile is believed to be relatively small, perhaps no larger than that of the UK, or France, and China has so far never threatened anyone with their nuclear capability. There appears to be near parity between Indian and Pakistani nuclear arsenals, and the danger of them being used seems to be receding as the two countries increasingly become aware of the consequences of a limited nuclear exchange. The old Soviet inventory is much more of a concern, not because any of the old Soviet Republics is likely to use them in an attack, or for blackmail, but because they might sell one or two to the highest bidder. Blackmail is the overt purpose for the small number of DPRK weapons, and it is somewhat doubtful that North Korea will ever actually fire one off. That leaves Iran that seems willing to risk everything to join the nuclear club.

At this time there is little danger that any national government will initiate a nuclear strike. Everyone in the club, except the DPRK, appears rational and non-threatening with regard to their nuclear capacity. The greatest danger currently is that some terrorist group unaffiliated with any national government might obtain and use a nuclear device. The most likely sources for a terrorist's are the DPRK and the old Soviet stockpile. Iran might become the third possible source of a terrorist weapon, and its informal association with extremist Islamic terrorist groups should cause everyone on the planet to worry. The uncertainty of a terrorist nuclear device's pedigree would leave the world with no one to retaliate against … and that defeats the deterrent purpose of current nuclear arsenals. If San Francisco, London, Paris, or Amsterdam were destroyed in the blink of an eye, the American People and most of the world's governments would demand vengeance, but against who? Given uncertainty, the wrath of the world would probably not be nuclear, but would never the less be united in the absolute and utter destruction of the apparent source of the weapon.

The bottom line is that even in the worst case scenario painted above, no wholesale exchange of nuclear weapons is remotely likely in the foreseeable future.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Lab officials excited by new H-bomb project
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 05/23/2022 at 06:37:36