posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 02:57 AM
Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I suppose a thermonuclear 'clean' device...
There isn't such thing as clean nuclear weapon, only ones with different percentage of yield
coming from fission/fusion.
Igniting fusion requires so much heat and pressure that only possible way for achieving it is to use fission bomb as "detonator" and even then
there's limit how much bigger fusion stage can be. (about 50 times bigger if I remember correctly)
So making biggest bombs requires using "secondary" fusion stage to trigger even bigger third stage and/or encasing fusion stage(s) inside outer
shell made from U238.
Fission neutrons from primary aren't energetic enough to cause fission in U238 but high energy neutrons from fusion reaction are enough for that.
In fact biggest nuke deployed by US had two different version and reprted yields, less than 10 Mt yield and ~25 Mt yield so its very logical that
former yield is "clean" with tertiary stage encased in lead and latter "dirty" yield with U238 encased tertiary.
Purest detonated nuke ever was Soviet 50 Mt Tsar Bomba (King of Bombs) with 97% percent of its yield coming from fusion. Actually it's 100 Mt design
but for test they replaced Uranium casings of tertiary (& possibly secondary) stages with lead because full scale device would have increased
atmosphere's radioactive fallout since first atom bomb by one quarter.
So using them would be bad idea, tsunamis lack such long time effects what nuclear fallout has.
(try to remember nukes aren't wonder tools which solve all propblems)