[ExI] EP and Peak oil.

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Tue Apr 8 19:22:36 UTC 2008

At 08:38 AM 4/6/2008, spike wrote:

>Thanks John, but I didn't write that about breeders.  I have intentionally
>avoided posting anything about the topic ever since doing some calcs on
>Keith's notion of using fairly common neutron sources to separate plutonium.

It's more like making plutonium 239 out of depleted uranium without 
making any plutonium 240.  Sources where you can steal a hundred 
grams of neutrons aren't that common, but every power reactor makes 
kilograms of neutrons over a fuel cycle.  A hundred grams of neutrons 
gives them 24 kg of a better grade Pu 239 than any government ever 
produced.  That's enough for 4 implosion bombs.

>That was a shock to my system, because I still haven't figured out why that
>wouldn't work.  Unless I was sleeping in one of my physics lectures, that
>would work.  I never slept in those physics lectures, I loved those things.

It's more combining separation chemistry with the really well known 
transmutation of U 238.  I figured this out at least a decade 
ago.  Finally decided it was better to have it in the open than 
keeping it to myself, especially after the US scattered DU all over 
the mid east.  (I was also really pissed about being jailed by a 
corrupted government.)

>That being said, I am now calculating the impact of bad guys with plutonium.
>I am still convinced that detonating a nuke is technically difficult,

If they are not constrained by military requirements to make it small 
and rugged, i.e., they can use the volume of a shipping container 
then there is a really simple path.  They need big aluminum 
spinnings, half ellipsoids 4 feet deep and about 3.5 feet in 
diameter.  Easy to make and simple to disguise as reflectors for 
stadium lights.

Here is how you make 
But that's not the only way.  A cnc lathe, a bunch of glued up sticks 
and line it with aluminum foil would work.  Heck, use a cardboard 
guide made with a string and two pins to guide hand turning the 
ellipsoidal surface.

Then use two half elipsoids to make an ellipsoidal reflecting 
surface.  The bad guys put their implosion device with a uniform 
shell of some high grade explosive around it at one foci and put 5 
pounds of flash powder at the other foci.  They can fire the flash 
powder with a damned fuse!  They do need to be careful about putting 
the fuse end in the center of the ball of flash.  The pulse of light 
from the flash powder takes 8ns to bounce off the polished inside 
surface and arrive at the explosive shell.  The shell of explosives 
may require something to make it more light sensitive, but that's 
probably not hard.

So without hydrocodes to design the explosive drivers, or fast 
krytron switches or any of the rest of the electronics that make 
bombs complicated, they get a uniform spherical detonation.  It would 
take some work and some testing to get all this right.  With a light 
sensitive primary explosive on the surface of the sphere, they might 
be able to use a xenon strobe light instead of flash powder.

>but a
>dirty bomb is simple.  So how much plutonium would it take to mess up a city

There are tens of thousands of tons of it in old reactor fuel 
rods.  But if you want to know, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster



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