[ExI] Anti-deterrence weapons

John K Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Sat Jun 27 17:01:07 UTC 2009

"spike" <spike66 at att.net>

> It takes a hell of a lot of sophistication to make a plutonium
> implosion bomb that can be carried in a suitcase

It takes some smarts but I don't know about "a hell of a lot of
sophistication". The USA made about 400 suitcase nukes and they
weighed only 26 kilograms. I should add that they did this using
1964 technology. I don't know how many the USSR made or
if they are all accounted for.

 > A uranium bomb is far too heavy to be carried by hand.

The critical mass of pure U235 is 15 kilograms, for Pu239 it is 4.4
kilograms; both could be reduced considerably by encasing them in a good
neutron reflector like Beryllium and or by using explosives to compress them
to greater than normal density. The weight of fissile material would be less
in a Plutonium bomb but the weight of chemical explosives needed would
likely be greater than in a Uranium bomb.

> I suspect that the norks won't fire at Hawaii because they don't know if
> they can penetrate the THAAD shield.

That does not compute. On the one hand you postulate that they are illogical
enough to fire a nuclear missile at Honolulu but on the other hand logical
enough to worry about THAAD.  If North Korea has the bomb and wants to blow
up Honolulu it is simply a matter of delivering a package. One way of making
a delivery is to strap your package to the top of a rocket; another way is
to use UPS or Federal Express.

Missiles don't kill people, nuclear bombs kill people.

  John K Clark

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