View Full Version : Nuclear supermarket

8th Feb 2004, 12:27
IAEA (http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=89E8465C-BB58-461E-9B505FE827B4CB65) 'Alarmed' by Large International Nuclear Black Market.

I have been waiting for someone,anyone to make a comment about this gem but no one seems to care.

I find the whole thing pretty scarry and realize I will witness a nuclear disaster during my life time.

Let's see how the usual suspects are going to pin this one on President Bush. ;)

8th Feb 2004, 12:43
Faced with external threats from extremist fundamentalist 'freedom' lovers, some nations have little choice. Afghanistan and Iraq paid the penalty, North Korea retains its sovereignty. It all depends on your point of view and there's a lesson there somewhere...

8th Feb 2004, 12:49
I really don't think it's a major problem, Nani.

As I have said several times before (just prior to threads disappearing), you can't just let off an atom bomb any old time and place you happen to feel like it. They are subject to geological, geographical, gravitational, and linear time influences, which directly affect the efficacy of detonation.

Nuclear war has never been possible in terms of the fearmongering put about during the Cold War. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Mururoa Atoll, Bikini Atoll, and other nuclear test sites, were chosen because their particular locations offered a greater number of potential chain reaction windows than other locations.

Stealing fissile material, or obtaining it illicitly, has never been difficult. Designing and building a fission weapon has always been similarly simple, for those with access to sufficiently well qualified people.
Knowing where and when an atomic bomb will actually go off, is another matter entirely, and not very many people are party to the key information required in order to determine this.

I would hazard a guess that none of them are terrorists.

This is just another bogeyman, like WMD, Y2K, Global Warming, AIDS, SARS, and all the other fecal matter put about by those who have a vested interest in keeping the minds of the general populace off the real issues.

We will probably witness a nuclear disaster in our lifetimes, and it will almost certainly be a deliberate one.

Happy thoughts.

8th Feb 2004, 13:34
Nuclear black market?

I'll take 2 dirtey bombs in the 20-40 kiloton range thanks and anything you got in Hydrogen.

Thank you! :D

Anthony Carn
8th Feb 2004, 14:07
Knowing where and when an atomic bomb will actually go off, is another matter entirely, and not very many people are party to the key information required in order to determine this.
I don't think your above average, suicide-inclined terrorist is all that fussed with regard to "when" and the "where" is easy.

Assemble the goodies in a New York basement. Do the necessary work to create a fission bomb (or simply a critical mass) and if it goes off straight away, tommorow, next week, next year, whatever, the terrorist will get there in the end.

It does'nt take a rocket scientist........... :rolleyes:

Boss Raptor
8th Feb 2004, 17:21
To build a 'homebuilt' atomic weapon is very difficult even if you have the technicians capable the machining and production of the bits (including nuclear components and trigger charge) is very difficult. The charge itself has a critical decay and after relatively short period of time needs re-manufacture to achieve the original chain reaction and desired performance.

There is little doubt a simple weapon could be made but it would have relatively low yield and chances are you would get a very large conventional explosion with the atomic charge augmenting the conventional explosion rather than getting the required chain reaction.

Again an atomic bomb is, contrary to popular belief/myth, not a small weapon. The charge itself may be the size of a softball (modern charges are cone shaped...those Pprune nuclear ballistics experts will know why as I do...) but by the time you have the detonation plates, fusing etc. it becomes a sizeable lump. To obtain a complete intact fused weapon would be more difficult and of course more easily traced/found as it was shipped across the world.

Where the risk lies is rogue states rather than terrorist group who do have the facilities and resources to build a nuclear weapon. Again far easier spotted/traced in the longer term...look how long it took recent countries India and Pakistan to develop and build a viable weapon and that was with little restriction or intervention from the outside world to attempt to stop them.

I would be more worried about the position of biological weapons...far easier to manufacture, store, move and deliver :ugh:

A little story I was told by a Russian nuclear scientist - at 23:03 28 May 1993 local a very large seismic disturbance was recorded, centred around a place called Banjawarn Station in the Great Victoria Desert of Oz...several witnesses reported a large flash in the far distant sky. The seismic event was so large that it was believed to have be consistant with a meteorite striking the earth, although after extensive searching the expected several hundred foot crater was never found.

The outcome of the story some years later was that the land belonged to Aum Shinrikyo (the Tokyo Underground attack people). The by then deserted property was found to contain an unusual level of sophisticated laboratory equipment and traces of Uranium. They had recruited 2 Russian nuclear scientists and had tried to manufacturer a crude nuclear device...what they achieved according to the Russians who have been questioned years after the event was a very crude device which did not achieve criticality but did create an augmented explosion with the force of 170 tonnes of conventional explosive...so it can be done...sort of...and a story not generally released in detail by the Australian authorities apparently!

Russian intelligence are known to have foiled at least 4 plots by the Chechens to obtain fissile materials in the last 2 years, usually from train transport of radioactive fuel rods across the country.

It is also said at high level that the original target for the Chechen rebel group that took the theatre hostages was actually the famous Atomic Laboratory complex at Sarov outside Moscow, the Kurchatov Academy aka 'Arzamas-16'. They intended to seize highly enriched weapons grade Uranium which is stored there. The realisation of the heavy security/military units they would face made them change to a softer target...and people ask/wonder why they are dealt with so ruthlessly :cool:

Finally 2 very interesting public domain articles which go a bit more in depth as to the practicalities of a nuclear weapon;



and interestingly see the quite large minimum amounts of U-235 etc. actually required for a viable physics package

Boss Raptor
9th Feb 2004, 02:24
To bring this in to perspective a majority of the incidents in Russia relate to the theft of valuable metal components from submarines and missiles and very rairly do they involve radioactive material and then not of weapons grade and/or fissile material. Herewith some of the more serious examples of incidents in 2003-2002. Going back to 1998 only one case of theft of HEU (30% purity,900g) has occured and several other Chechen plots have been uncovered/foiled.

Of more concern is the relatively small quantities of HEU that have gone missing from the Newly Independant States in the previous decade, probably the best example and by far most serious being 2kg of HEU at a former Soviet research lab in Georgia, which when they (the Russians) went back to get it had disappeared. AWRE Aldermaston states that to make a simple/crude gun trigger type bomb at least 50kg of HEU is required

As result of these changed security conditions since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been a number of documented cases of theft of substantial quantities of weapons-usable nuclear materials. Key confirmed cases include:1.5 kilograms of weapon-grade HEU from the “Luch” production association in Podolsk, Russia, in 1992; 1.8 kilograms of 36 percent enriched HEU from the Andreeva Guba naval base near Russia's Norwegian border in July 1993; 4.5 kilograms of material enriched to over 19 percent U-235 from the Sevmorput naval shipyard near Murmansk in November 1993; over 360 grams of plutonium (in mixed uranium-plutonium oxide powder) seized in Munich on a plane from Moscow as a result of a German “sting” operation in August 1994; and 2.73 kilograms of essentially weapon-grade (87.7 percent U-235) HEU seized in Prague in December 1994.

Another incident, where the material was found to be missing in the late 1990s (though the theft may have occurred earlier), involves the only confirmed case where the weapons-usable material is still missing. This occurred at the Sukhumi research center in the Abkhazia region of Georgia, where 2 kilograms of 90 percent enriched HEU was once located. An accounting for the HEU was last conducted in 1992. In 1993, as a result of the Abkhaz civil war, the scientists fled the facility. Neither Georgian nor Russian officials were able to visit the facility again until 1997, when a Russian team found the facility abandoned and the HEU gone. To this day, no one knows where this HEU went; it may be in the hands of the Abkhaz separatists, or it may have been stolen by or sold to others.

More recent...

On December 18, 2003, Andrei Malyshev, chairman of Gosatomnadzor, Russia's nuclear regulatory agency, reported that four thefts of radioactive materials took place in Russia during the first ten months of 2003. None of these thefts came from sites run by the Ministry of Atomic Energy, but one involved an intensely powerful "Beta-M" radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) from a Russian military site. In addition, on November 12-13, 2003, during inspections of lighthouses in the Kola Gulf region, specialists from Russia's Northern Fleet discovered that two more Beta-M RTGs had been ripped apart by thieves, exposing their radioactive cores. The Beta-M RTGs contain 35,000-40,000 curies of strontium-90, and would pose an especially deadly radiological threat if dispersed in a dirty bomb; some 700 of this model of RTG are believed to be operational in Russia, most of them to power remote lighthouses, which have no human beings on site and no special security provisions. Six thefts of all types of radiological sources took place in 2000 and six more in 2001, with four thefts in 2002, Malyshev said.

The military prosecutor for Russia's Northern Fleet—which controls large stocks of both highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel and nuclear weapons—told RTR Television on December 6, 2003, that ongoing theft of electronic equipment and parts from the fleet's naval bases was so rampant that it had done "enormous damage" to the military capability of the fleet's ships. The television program reported that theft at these bases is so widespread that in the Arkhangelsk region newspaper ads and vendors at the bus stops of returning fleet workers offer cash for electronic equipment, and several murders had been committed in the Murmansk region, in gangland warfare to control the lucrative trade in metals from stripped equipment. In June 2001, Alexander Kupchenko, the chief of the Gremikha closed naval garrison, and Captain Alexander Okladnikov were sentenced to four years in prison for stealing and selling over 135 FK-P submarine filters—valuable because of the palladium they contain—for more than $200,000. In a separate incident, an FK-P filter disappeared even after it had been sent to brigade headquarters to be placed under guard while its submarine was not in service. In all, the Russian Audit Chamber says that submarines arrive for decommissioning with half of their electronic equipment and precious metals already stripped off.

In November 2003, a Russian court sentenced Alexander Tyulyakov, the Deputy Director for administration of Atomflot, the enterprise that maintains Russia's fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers, to 18 months in a penal colony for the illegal possession of illegal nuclear or radioactive materials and illegal munitions. Tyulakov had been arrested in August 2003 by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Murmansk Oblast police, with just over a kilogram of material described as natural uranium powder (or "yellowcake"), described in some reports as mixed with radium or thorium, and an illegal handgun. Tyulyakov was attempting to sell the material for $55,000. Russia's icebreakers are fueled with highly enriched uranium (enriched to up to 90% U-235). The fact that the material found in Tyulyakov's possession was not enriched lends some credence to claims by Atomflot officials that the material did not originate with Atomflot (as Atomflot is not known to handle natural uranium, or thorium for that matter). Nevertheless, this is the first documented case of nuclear theft and smuggling involving the senior management of a facility handling tons of weapons-grade such material. The judge told American newspapers that Tyulyakov was given the maximum sentence for possession of nuclear materials, but Russian accounts indicate that the court showed leniency because of the lack of prior conviction and the fact that no one was harmed in the incident. At the same time, a separate proceeding is considering whether Tyulyakov deserves additional punishment for actually stealing the material himself (a separate crime from possession under the Russian criminal code).

In October 2002, the Russian nuclear regulatory agency reported that inspectors from its Siberian branch had uncovered 37 violations of material control and accounting regulations and standards, and 32 physical protection violations in the third quarter of 2002 alone. The Siberian branch covers the massive plutonium and HEU production site at Seversk, the plutonium production plant at Zheleznogorsk, and the fuel fabrication facility at Novosibirsk. These were violations of rules, but not actual thefts or losses of nuclear material.

Police in the Sverdlovsk region arrested three Chechens in March 2002, who were charged with attempting to sell weapons and explosives. One of the men was found to have a valid pass to the high-security closed city of Lesnoy, site of one of Russia's largest nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facilities. Roman Tarsukhanov could have used his pass to enter the city, and have a wide range of contacts with workers at the weapons plant, but would not have been able to enter the plant itself. A subsequent search of the arrested individuals' apartment revealed more weapons, a remote-control bomb, and a copy of Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov's book, Honor is More Valuable Than Life. In January 2002, Russian troops found what they described as late Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev's personal archive, which contained a detailed plan to hijack a Russian nuclear submarine.The commander of Russia's troops in Chechnya, Vladimir Moltenskoi, told reporters on February 2, 2002, that the plan provided for seven Slav-looking fighters to seize a submarine from the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet some time in 1995-96, and blackmail Moscow into withdrawing troops from Chechnya and recognizing the republic as an independent state. Moltenskoi reported that former naval officer Islam Khasukhanov developed the plan back in 1995 and that then-chief of the Chechen General Staff Maskhadov had personally reviewed the plan and made notes on it. Khasukhanov had served on Russian submarines before leaving the Pacific Fleet in the rank of naval commander to become chief of the operational department of the Chechen separatists' general staff.

More serious...

In April 2000, Georgian police arrested four Georgian nationals with 920 grams of highly enriched uranium. Reportedly, the uranium was enriched to 30 percent. The seizure took place in Batumi, the capital of the Adzhariya Autonomous Republic in Georgia.

Also on December 18, 1998, Major General Valeriy Tretyakov, head of the Chelyabinsk Oblast Federal Security Service (FSB), revealed that FSB agents had thwarted a conspiracy by employees at a major MINATOM nuclear facility in the Chelyabinsk region to steal 18.5 kilograms of weapons-usable nuclear material. The theft attempt, and the fact that if successful it could have caused "significant damage to the [Russian] state," was later confirmed by MINATOM's head of nuclear material accounting. Subsequently, MINATOM officials privately confirmed that the material was HEU.

9th Feb 2004, 03:29
Boss Raptor

You are obviously highly knowledgeable on this topic. ;)

What I don't understand is why there is the need to refine U235 using mechanical processes (ie centrifuges). Surely a mass spectrometer arrangement would do the same thing (albeit it would take a bit longer, but surely give higher quality results)???


Boss Raptor
9th Feb 2004, 04:22
Not that knowledgeable :D I just know what it does, where it goes...when to get nervous, when to run and how big the potential bang is...

I know what I know (to put those Ppruner's minds at rest who no doubt wonder why) as I have been involved with evolving quality programmes for a group of 'VVER-1000' nuclear power plants for a generating company in Russia (why? 'cos I reckon I was the only ex-pat they asked who was daft enough to say 'yes'). To do this I had a genuine interest in studying the background to nuclear power/materials management/weapons as a whole and also the situation/history in Russia...as well as allowing me considerable access to facilities/data and meeting some highly knowledgable and specialised personnel from that field.

When asked the question 'do you want to have a family?' should have been a give away...my answer 'no I cant stand kids and no I certainly dont want them' sort of secured the deal so to speak...

As to your question...I shall ask the appropriate people rest assured :E

PS. just asked the man who would/should know - and he thinks using a mass spectrometer to separate U-235 and U-238 as a bit impractical...and that gas diffusion or gas centrifuge methods are far better...UF6 natural Uranium Hexafluoride as a gas separating U-235 and U-238 due mass difference either through a semi porous membrane (diffusion) or by spinning at high speed (centrifuge) blah blah blah...silly person...everyone knew that :hmm:

9th Feb 2004, 05:58
It's not all bad news Boss.

To the best of my knowledge 95% of known radioactive material smuggling is concerned with isotopes useless for nuclear weapon construction. Caveat emptor and all that. Damned fine scam if you ask me. :ok:

Most of the confirmed or suspected transfers of capable fissile material concern small, and often miniscule amounts, which only helps to confirm the deep ignorance and desperation of those on the receiving end of the deal.

tony draper
9th Feb 2004, 06:28
Worra about that Red Mercury stuff then? :rolleyes:

Oh bollix! one has done it now, every alarm bell at Menwith Hill will be going like the clappers.

9th Feb 2004, 06:38
Red Mercury was simply the Soviet codename for Li6D production Drapes. An ingredient in regular nuclear weapons construction.

Basically a huge con, though the physics sound plausible at first sight. It certainly took me, and a few red-faced journalists, in.

One would like to think that some Russian dudes made some serious money from their snake oil (?) scam. :ok:

Drop and Stop
9th Feb 2004, 08:47
I recall stories floating around in the late 90's about the existence of russian suitcase bombs and how the military has lost track of some of these weapons. Is there any truth to these reports or is this just another urban legend?

9th Feb 2004, 10:00
Israeli Professor - 'We Could Destroy All European Capitals'
By Nadim Ladki

(IAP News) -- An Israeli ..........

9th Feb 2004, 12:18
Apart from the common or garden air drop and ballistic missile varieties, we used to have a number of Mines, Nuclear, Vehicle Mounted in the NATO inventory. I suppose that Ivan had a few of similar design too.

I sure hope we know where all of them are parked right now...

Boss Raptor
9th Feb 2004, 16:28
Yes I recall the suitcase bomb and the one the size of a biro...

Well all the well heeled people I have met seem to indicate that the practicalities of a physics package that size just dont add up...and this is confirmed by the various US and UK papers I have studied...and of course there isn't one in the museum at the Kurchatov Academy :O

BTW did u know Skoda in Pilsen made parts for the VVER series of nuclear reactors :uhoh:

Ivan has the SS-27 'Topol' now in 'Modified Topol' form...always causes a certain little song in my head that one :E

9th Feb 2004, 18:42
The Davy Crockett (http://www.brook.edu/FP/projects/nucwcost/davyc.htm) with a W54 warhead was not only built and operationally, it was successfully test fired twice during July 62.

The warhead weighed 51lbs. Not a particularly heavy suitcase required I feel.....

Boss Raptor
9th Feb 2004, 19:11
The weight of the actual warhead/charge is not the problem, the additional weight and size of the trigger switches, capacitors etc. is what makes up 2/3rds of the weight...and would make for a rather large suitcase...a small trunk would probably be more appropriate :rolleyes:

9th Feb 2004, 21:53
Nani, if you ask yourself this question, I guess you haven´t paid attention very well when the discussion was held whether and why to go to war in Iraq more than a year ago on this very forum.

Yours truly and many other anti-war members expressed their concerns whether going into Iraq would

a.solve the nuclear terror problem,
b.diverted the problem
c.adressed the wrong problem and therefore worsened the others?

Surely you will remember the disdain the US had for the IAEA or UN and made innuendous remarks to El Baradeis Egypt background :hmm:

Sometimes someone gets tired of telling ´told you so`.....

And for Mr.Bush, yes I think by his actions he makes the US, world NOT a safer place by NOT adressing the real problems/terrorists. We lost at least two very valuable years.

9th Feb 2004, 22:18
There is an unconfirmed report that Al-Qaida has tactical nuclear explosives. (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/392006.html) It comes from a UK-based publication called Al-Hayat. Don't know whether this speculation, propaganda, or for real.


10th Feb 2004, 01:03

Thanks for your input.


Where have you been? Missed your lively thoughts of the day. ;)


Sorry,I must have missed most of the prior discussions,I'll do a search and read more thoroughly.

10th Feb 2004, 03:18
The Nuclear Suitcase thing may of may not have been true, but a report I read states that the shelf life is 8 years, making them impotent today.

10th Feb 2004, 05:01
Using particularly exotic materials and production techniques can indeed reduce the size and weight of a nuclear device ORAC, though the initial nuclear devices were fairly massive. Contrary to popular opinion building nuclear devices is not that easy...

I've followed the Red Mercury idea for a number of years and have yet to find a reliable source that confirms the possibility. Edward Teller himself initially thought that such weapons were possible but changed his mind later on.

To me it follows logically that those selling small and useless isotopes of radioactive material would wish to bump the market in their own favour. Inventing a substance which alows such quantities to be used is a natural progression of such an illicit market. If anyone ( challenge ORAC? :) ) can find me a verifiable and credible source that substantiates the existence and physical proof behind Red Mercury then I would be very interested indeed.

10th Feb 2004, 05:41
The Nuclear Weapons Archive (http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/) - Suitcase bombs (http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/News/DoSuitcaseNukesExist.html). May I look inside your briefcase sir....

10th Feb 2004, 06:39
kinda depressing. Some US General once said that all weapons are eventually used.

I always felt that a truly smart bomb would fail to explode.

answer = 42

10th Feb 2004, 13:41
Darkstar. In the beginning was the word...........

10th Feb 2004, 14:09
AC, with regard to time and place;

Knowing where and when an atomic bomb will actually go off, is another matter entirely, and not very many people are party to the key information required in order to determine this.

I don't think your above average, suicide-inclined terrorist is all that fussed with regard to "when" and the "where" is easy.

Assemble the goodies in a New York basement. Do the necessary work to create a fission bomb (or simply a critical mass) and if it goes off straight away, tommorow, next week, next year, whatever, the terrorist will get there in the end.

It does'nt take a rocket scientist...........

The point is this; in the particular location of your New York basement, the critical mass in question may, or may not, ever undergo chain reaction decay.
A mile or two either side, it might (or might not) do so tomorrow, or next week, or in a fortnight or an hour; whether it will - or not - is a matter of quantum mechanics amongst other things, and has nothing to do with the wishes of your terrorist.

Knowing how to determine what will constitute a predictable window for detonation is the difficult bit. I would doubt that anyone, outside of the governmental and military regulatory structures of the military nuclear nations, is possessed of the knowledge required in order to determine such windows.

Actually, it does take a rocket scientist.

Anthony Carn
10th Feb 2004, 14:33

The point that I was making was that the average terrorist is'nt all that fussed if his weapon goes off with pinpoint accuracy or split second timing.

All the terrorist wants to do is make a big hole and kill lots of people.

Plus or minus a year on the timing and plus or minus fifty miles on the location is irrelevant to the terrorist. A "predictable window" is'nt an essential requirement.

Let's face it, it'd blow everyone into next week for starters.

And, OK, the "minus a year" bit might be tricky, but you see the point ?

11th Feb 2004, 13:21
AC, what I am saying is that pinpoint acuracy and splitsecond timing is essential, otherwise the nuke won't go off at all.

Yes, fifty miles away will still do the job, and any time within a several-year period will still blow everyone into next week, but unless you have a very clever way of resetting your nuke every time you have fired one subcritical mass into the other and got no result, you're not going to achieve anything.

Nukes aren't like firecrackers or bullets or hand grenades or artilliery shells or LGBs. They won't just explode as a matter of course, wherever you want them to, whenever you happen to feel like pulling the trigger or lighting the fuse. This is the point I am trying to make.

Unless you have selected a location which supports chain reaction windows, your nuke will never go off, regardless of how often you try to detonate it.
And even if you have found an active location, unless you have the right time window, it still won't go off.

Knowing how to determine such locations and times is the clever bit, and without such knowledge, owning an illicitly-obtained nuke is pointless, because it will never do anything. No big hole, no lots of dead people. Nothing. A dud.

11th Feb 2004, 13:50
Bluewolf, I'm puzzled. Perhaps you could explain how this concept pertains to mobile weapons such as carried by aircraft and submarines. That's a lot of money to spend on a bluff, especially when the putative enemy knows the facts as well. And why all that money was spenft on hardening facilities that didn't need it.

And, since the reactions take place at a quantum level, how the accuracy can be achieved, perhaps uncertainty gives a fudge factor, but how much?

And how this scales up to large scale continuing reactions, such as in the sun? It's spinning through the galaxy and continuously moving. Perhaps a certain size is needed to encompass a certain number of hotspots? But if the vast number of reactions don't take place the energy output would seem wrong.

I'm also interested in how it applies to reactors going and staying critical. It would seem to put somewhat of a cramp on a SSN. It would also seem to limit the number of construction sites and, since many are built colocated, perhaps there is a clustering factor?

Boss Raptor
11th Feb 2004, 15:25
Most Nuclear charges do have a 'shelf life' due to continuous oxidation and weakening of the charge which affects criticality. After this time the material must be re-manufactured.

What is happening both in USA and (intended) in Russia is that warheads are re-manufactured into 'MOX' Mixed Oxide Uranium/Plutonium fuel for power stations. MOX is more difficult to handle than normal fuel rods as it is a bit more potent. Although not getting rid of the nuclear risk it certainly massively downgrades its potential use as weapons material. The stockpiles from old nuclear warheads are quite large and could potentially give us nuclear power for quite a long time to come.

12th Feb 2004, 14:46
It's certainly not bluff ORAC, nor, in my opinion, is it money wasted, although as you rightly point out, as far as money goes, it is an awful lot of it.

Mobile weapons such as those carried by submarines and aircraft are ideally suited to nuclear standoff posturing. Liken it, if you will, to a giant game of chess, with air traffic control and weather forecasting thrown in.

Yes, the potential enemy knows where your vulnerable sites are, and when they are vulnerable, as you do his, and both of you know that the other one knows.

But there are a large number of potential targets, and a limited number of devices and the systems by which they may be delivered.

Most complex, however, are the variances in the opening and closing of time windows. Some of these may occur infrequently, and others very frequently. Some may be open for many hours, others only for a few moments.
Knowing that the enemy is aware of which sites will be vulnerable, and when, makes having weapons which are either very mobile (in aircraft) or very well hidden (in submarines), extremely valuable. Fixed weapons - such as those in silos - are of lesser value, because the "enemy" knows full well against which target sites they can be directed, and when, and he knows when they have to be launched in order to strike such sites relative to any potential detonation window, so he can watch these launch sites and deploy any countermeasures he "may" have available.

I was not aware that money had been spent on hardening "facilities that didn't need it"; I am, however, aware that protective measures have been instigated at target sites which will/may require them from time to time.

And, since the reactions take place at a quantum level, how the accuracy can be achieved, perhaps uncertainty gives a fudge factor, but how much?

Not sure I follow you on this one, but it is the initiation of the reaction which is dictated by quantum factors. The reaction itself is purely physical. At a quantum level, the nerve impulse which travels down my arm to my finger as I type at my keyboard, has a direct and measurable effect on the atoms in the coffee cup placed next to yours. At this level (in theory), everything is linked.
There is no uncertainty in determining the initiation window. It is calculated by precise mathematics.

As to your question re. the Sun, the reactions occurring therein are primarily fusion, rather than fission, and these reactions are not governed by the same physical laws.
If the reactions in the sun were one continuous fission reaction, like an atom bomb, the sun would be a supernova (or equivalent), and not an ongoing viable star.

A reactor doesn't "go critical" in the same way as a bomb. Let off a nuke, and the resulting chain reaction decomposition results in an explosion.
Take the control rods out of a reactor, and it heats up and melts down.
Location is important in the commissioning of any reactor, including those in fixed positions, but it is not critical to their ongoing operation; as stated, the ongoing reaction is physical, not quantum.

It would also seem to limit the number of construction sites and, since many are built colocated, perhaps there is a clustering factor?

Yes it does limit the number of potentially viable construction sites (to a degree), but I'm afraid I don't understand your terminology in reference to colocating and clustering. If I understand your meaning correctly, perhaps you are referring to a number of reactors built on a given site; if so, then such reactors will be commissioned equidistant from the ideal chain reaction location nearest them, which will be at the epicentre of their various individual locations. This will not usually be very far away; the efficacy of reactions diminishes with increasing distance from such an epicentre in accordance with the root mean square law.

To put the distance between sites in context and give it some meaning in human terms, allowing for the harmonics involved in determining activity and efficacy, one potential site (not necessarily a site of maximum potential) will not generally be more than (approximately) 60 or so nautical miles from the next. The pattern is geometric.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions. I haven't mentioned the effect that chain reaction decay has on neighbouring potential windows, and I don't intend to; it's a subject in itself, and I have probably said enough already.

12th Feb 2004, 15:22
Very interesting BlueWolf. Out of interest when was the influence of quantum mechanics you describe realised? Presumably it was part of the original research in the 1940's.

FujiF :)

12th Feb 2004, 17:30
Indeed; although it wasn't known by that name until much later.

And the original research was prior to the 1940s.

tony draper
12th Feb 2004, 18:28
I have said this before,on every thread about nukes, the only reason you and I are walking this earth right now is because of those nasty buckets of sunshine, don't knock em they kept the peace very succesfully for sixty years.
We should never, repeat never, give up our means of delivering a nuclear strike, and perhaps a warning to some regions of this planet such as Kennedy delivered to the world in the sixties would be in order,any nuclear strike against the West and a few cities in the middle and far east disapear from the map,control your fanatics or else,tiz the only thing those bastards understand.

12th Feb 2004, 18:34

“Unless you have selected a location which supports chain reaction windows, your nuke will never go off, regardless of how often you try to detonate it.
And even if you have found an active location, unless you have the right time window, it still won't go off.”

I think I must be misunderstanding you in this since my memory of nuclear physics at uni never once mentioned the time and physical dependency of a nuclear chain reaction.

What also confuses me is the concept that there are places where a nuclear bomb would go off at a certain time and not at other times.

Can you clarify for me?



12th Feb 2004, 20:56
Something to do with Q-Entanglement & Wavefunctions ??? Influenced by continuously varying local Spacetime? Very Interesting stuff...

12th Feb 2004, 21:32
It would have to be tied to the local terrestrial inertial frame of reference, if not the solar and celestial frames. Otherwise the movement of the earth, solar system and galaxy would play havok.

In which case, consider the effects of frame-dragging caused by the rotation of the earth's gravitational field. I might posit that the real reasons behind the development of the WGS84 earth gravitational model and the array of satellites to provide an accurate map was not, perhaps, driven by the needs of accurate navigation.

Is this a conspiracy theory already, or can I be the originator? :}

12th Feb 2004, 21:35
I have a spare flux capacitor and used DeLorean if anyone wants one.:ok:


13th Feb 2004, 01:31
Well, I've said my bit guys and guyesses, and I'm not going any deeper.

Call it a cop-out if you like, suffice to say I'm not the slightest bit worried about terrorists getting hold of nukes.

If you want more, have a hunt through your local library. Start with Bruce Cathie. You'll find more there than on the net.

Happy thoughts


PS: It isn't a concept BHR, it's the way they work, and I didn't get taught it at varsity either.

13th Feb 2004, 02:03
Hope you don't mean this (http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Parliament/3460/bruce.html) UFO spotting loon Blue Wolf.

Anthony Carn
13th Feb 2004, 02:22
Has he gone ?? :suspect:

Some of you lot are confusing me.

I proposed an assembly of fissile material, to greater than a critical mass in a New York basement. By my miniscule (it seems) understanding, when handling fissile material, one must ensure that a critical mass is never co-located.

Otherwise heap big trouble.

So why could'nt a suicidal terrorist simply assemble a sufficient mass in a NY basement and cause just such trouble ? Is'nt that what Fermi did in 1942, except he had graphite control rods to control the thing (and a squash court, not a basement) ?

Sorry to be fick. :=

13th Feb 2004, 02:29
The critical mass is actually a critical density AC, and can only be reached through the use of shaped charge conventional explosives.

The term critical mass is still useful to determine the required amount of fissile material to achieve the critical density, though the mass is determined partly by the power of the explosives used.

Boss Raptor
13th Feb 2004, 03:02
No AC as said by Chaffers above and my own previous postings it is a lot more complicated and technologically critical than that...

You should be concerned about the potential for a 'dirty bomb' but not a nuclear bomb...totally different thing :E

Remembering an old 1950's film British B&W film about a scientist that went mad and ran off around England with a home made simple gun type nuclear device (others may recall this also)...I always though a nuclear bomb was basically just like a normal HE bomb but with a charge that went into fission/fusion...how wrong I was the science is truly mindblowing and the technology, the materials and design tolerances are fantastically complex :uhoh:

I have at last fulfilled a dream, I actually saw glowing green/blue fuel rods (and have seen the reloading end of a nuclear reactor up close which is really must unexciting really)

Firmi's reactor was very small and very basic, it may have gone critical and runaway, 'scrammed', causing a fire and/or spread of nuclear material however by nature/design it would have been unlikely to have exploded along with all other reactor cores...the reaction/design in a reactor and that in a bomb are very different in concept.

13th Feb 2004, 03:22
That would be through 9 foot thick leaded glass I hopes Boss... :ok:

In fairness to Blue Wolf I have heard similar theories, and even had nucleary type dudes vaguely confirm that there could possibly be a wee bit of truth hiding somewhere in an undefinably vague corner of the hypothetical proposition that maybe things wot go big bang arn't quite a simple as A level physics and Chemistry classes made out, and very definately deliberately simplified in open sources to the extent that noone could actually follow the process. Then again its equally, and probably more, likely that they just classed me as a village idiot wasting their time with daft conspiracy theories.

Trouble is you'd need to be rather exceptionally good to work it out if something was missed out of the whole kaboodle, which is why it makes for such a particularly nice conspiracy theory. :ok:

13th Feb 2004, 13:39
He is indeed the same loon Chaffers; but a Google search on the author's name is not the same as actually reading the books, which is why I suggested the library.

Ignore the superfluous fecal matter pertaining to UFOs, antigravity, and the like which will be found in internet reviews and postings, and study both the mathematics detailed in Cathie's writings, and the references to French and US tests. All are verifiable.

This is, as I suggest, but one place to start. There are other sources for this information out there as well.



13th Feb 2004, 15:26
Crank.net (http://www.crank.net/index.html) :} - So Long Savannah! (http://www.fdungan.com/savannah.htm) :E

13th Feb 2004, 20:39
D'you think any of these folk have heard of "in flight insertion"?

I had a hunch that this could be the point that I was looking for upon which to orientate a world grid, if in fact one existed. I spent some time constructing grid patterns on a plastic ball until I found a system which could be transferred onto the world surface, and aligned with the aerial-type object and the section of the grid discovered over New Zealand. I found that the patterns matched, and felt sure then that a global system was almost a certainty.

A most reliable methodology, clearly.

13th Feb 2004, 21:02
There's some wonderful links on that crank.net site...

Better not let some of the more credulous people on here look through it else we'll be bombarded by conspiracy theories again, some of the mathematical ones in particlar look to be rather difficult to disprove....

13th Feb 2004, 23:11
Sponge (http://www.larryhatch.net/ELTANIN.html) anybody?

Boss Raptor
14th Feb 2004, 21:26
Now this one has always fascinated me 'The Port Chicago Explosion' the worlds' first nuclear explosion and deliberate or an accident?!

Many interesting documents on this one...