[ExI] cure for global warming.

John Clark jonkc at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 28 05:25:47 UTC 2010

On Dec 27, 2010, at 6:26 PM, BillK wrote:

> some references say U-233 is *better* than P-239 for making nuclear weapons.

No U233 bomb has ever entered anybody's arsenal, but I admit I was playing a little fast and loose with the facts when I said none had ever been made. A U-233 bomb has been made and it worked, but not very well; it was expected to produce 35 kilotons but only produced 20. I don't know what you mean when you say "U-233 is *better* than P-239 for making nuclear weapons", the critical mass for U233 is 16 kilograms, that is slightly smaller than the critical mass for U235 but for P239 its only 4.4 kilograms. And U233, if it were obtained from a LFTR reactor, would be a nightmare to work with because about 1% of it would be contaminated with U232; in one second your unexploded fission core would produce more gamma rays than a plutonium core would in 26 hours. All those gamma rays would play hell with the bomb's electronics and decompose its chemical explosive, not to mention causing a bit of bother to the poor terrorists rushing around to finish building the damn thing before they dropped dead. And forget about trying to hide this behemoth, all those gamma rays are like a huge neon sign saying "NUCLEAR BOMB HERE".

 John K Clark


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