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Telemark Norway..Heavy Water H[a]Bomb?

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posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:12 AM
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Ok, i just had an interesting discussion about Telemark Norway, where furious battles took place in WW2.
From what i understand is that Norway had a Heavy Water [nuclear?]reactor, and the germans wanted it bad because they also had designs for building a nuke..
Here's the part i dont understand, heavy water is water were the hydrogenatoms are deuterium right? so heavy water is only suitable for making an H-bomb? You would think that the germans were pretty advanced in this technolgy[although they didnt put the same amount of money in the project as the americans did with Manhattan, the latter thought the war was going to last much longer]
But on how/where on earth would the nazi's produce that amount of heat to melt the hydrogen atoms together? like they forgat one step, that of the regular a bom..

Another thing i 'd like to make clear for my self
Uranium 235 is very rare and has to be enriched to 4% to make an a bomb.
Uranium 238 is more common and can be used with beta radiation to make Plutonium wich is also a product for an a bomb..
What is the easiest way?
And like what is Iran actually doing? enriching to get the U-235?

please correct me if i am wrong some were..


[edit on 16-8-2007 by Foppezao]




posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:20 AM
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Same thing for Israel.. The story is that they got heavy water from Norway from the Brittish..Did they made an Hydrogen bomb right away? and how did they produced the fusion?
And is this fusion also possible with lasertechnology nowadays?

[edit on 16-8-2007 by Foppezao]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Foppezao
so heavy water is only suitable for making an H-bomb?


Nope ~

In 1953, the United States began using heavy water in plutonium production reactors at the Savannah River Site. The first of the five heavy water reactors came online in 1953, and the last was placed in cold shutdown in 1996. The SRS reactors were heavy water reactors so that they could produce both plutonium and tritium for the US nuclear weapons program.


And (you might like this!) Iranian nuclear minister reckons drinking heavy water will treat Cancer and AIDS (and presumably give you flying pigs and shiny coat)

Heavy water is most commonly used as neutron moderator in some neclear reactors - the reason being that light water is better at absorbing neutrons - there fore you need to enrich the uranium much further, with heavy water you can use natural Uranium.

So if you wanted to lay your hands on some Plutonium a heavy water reactor Uranium reactor is the way to go. (but Iran only wants heavy water to cure the common cold or something
)

wiki - heavy water

[edit on 16/8/2007 by Now_Then]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by Foppezao

From what i understand is that Norway had a Heavy Water [nuclear?]reactor, and the germans wanted it bad because they also had designs for building a nuke..


They did not have a heavy water (nuclear) reactor. They had an ammonia fertilizer production facility. Heavy water was a byproduct of that ammonia production.



is this fusion also possible with lasertechnology nowadays?


Shhhh. Thats abovetopsecret info.


[edit on 8/16/07 by makeitso]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 09:07 AM
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So heavy water is suitable for "breeding" Plutonium still from U-238?
And heavy water can be used for directly producing tritium--->and thats for the H-bomb
WHat i red here

www.wisconsinproject.org...

Is that France actually got their H-bomb with the heavy water from Norway and Israel their Plutonium bomb .



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by Foppezao
From what i understand is that Norway had a Heavy Water [nuclear?]reactor, and the germans wanted it bad because they also had designs for building a nuke..


Norway didn't have a reactor, they had a heavy water separation cascade. You can use heavy water for a moderator, as has been brought up, and in fact that's what the Germans were using it for. They had some bad figures for the neutron cross-section of carbon, IIRC, and didn't think they could use it as the moderator in a reactor.

The Germans didn't have a design for building a nuke. They really weren't all that far along, and there's some indication that their nuclear scientists were stalling rather than making much progress.



Here's the part i dont understand, heavy water is water were the hydrogenatoms are deuterium right? so heavy water is only suitable for making an H-bomb?


Well, you generally DO use deuterium in the holraum of a thermonuke, in the form of Li6D, but at the time the Germans weren't working on a fusion weapon at all. That was not worked on by the US seriously until after the war, as it was far from certain how to go about doing it. Stan Ulam (or Teller, depending on which story and who's telling it) came up with the way that everyone uses now, but it was very indirect compared to what was being researched.



Another thing i 'd like to make clear for my self
Uranium 235 is very rare and has to be enriched to 4% to make an a bomb.
Uranium 238 is more common and can be used with beta radiation to make Plutonium wich is also a product for an a bomb..
What is the easiest way?
And like what is Iran actually doing? enriching to get the U-235?


I'm doing this strictly from memory, but U235 is something like 0.78% of refined uranium ore. That's not enough U235 to sustain a reaction. You have to concentrate the U235 to 3-5% to use it in a nuclear reactor, but the US uses 93.5% as a standard weapon enrichment for uranium.

You can transmute U238 into Pu239, not by beta radiation, but by bombarding it with neutrons. If it absorbs a neutron and doesn't fission, it will emit a beta particle and become Pu239. Unfortunately, it may eventually do this a second time and become Pu240, which you don't want.

Yes, Iran is enriching raw uranium for what they claim is a nuclear reactor, but that's not too likely. They've been at it a while, too, back in 2004 they had a cascade going in an underground installation at Natanz.

As far as which is easier, plutonium and uranium weapons are really different. It's harder to get sufficiently enriched uranium, as that requires isotopic separation. That's tough. It's easier to get pure plutonium from used reactor rods, that's just chemistry.

It's easier to get usable uranium, because that's straightforward isotopic separation, which while tough, is predictable. It's tougher to get usable plutonium, because while it's easy to separate out of reactor rods, unless that reactor is specifically designed and/or operated for weapons grade plutonium production, you will get a plutonium that is so contaminated with Pu240 that you can't make a weapon with it. At least not a good one.

Finally, it's easier to make a weapon out of uranium, because it doesn't typically have contaminants that are spontaneous emitters, at least not bad ones. So you can use comparatively crude weapons technology, like a gun bomb. Plutonium invariably has Pu240 in it, which forces you to use very fast assembly techniques, like spherical compression. Not only that, it has something like 15 phases which cause the compression to go in fits and starts. You can get rid of some of that by doping the plutonium with the proper materials, but you'll still end up with 4-6.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by Tom Bedlam
Norway didn't have a reactor, they had a heavy water separation cascade. You can use heavy water for a moderator, as has been brought up, and in fact that's what the Germans were using it for. They had some bad figures for the neutron cross-section of carbon, IIRC, and didn't think they could use it as the moderator in a reactor.

The Germans didn't have a design for building a nuke. They really weren't all that far along, and there's some indication that their nuclear scientists were stalling rather than making much progress.


The official story,(as circulated with Kirk Douglas in The Heroes of Telemark) is that the Nazis were close to producing and shipping the required quantity of heavy water to create a an atom bomb from Norway to Germany. The British tried to sabotage the plant, then the Norwegian Resistance successfully did so BUT they didn’t destroy the stored heavy water (cue tense music and close up of Kirk looking very serious).

The water was ordered by the Nazis to be shipped forthwith and eventually it was loaded and ready to go, explosives in place as well as a few Nazis for good measure. It was also carrying civilians. As the thought of the Nazis having possession of an atomic bomb was so terrible it was decided to go ahead and blow up the boat. Fourteen civilians died.

I was reading only the other day that recently declassified documents reveal that there was actually only about 10% of the heavy water required to create an atom bomb and at that rate of production the Germans were unlikely to create an atom bomb very soon. Which added to the details you supply greatly reduces the risk the Germans posed and therefore the need to sacrifice civilians as “collateral damage”.

It occurred to me that this assumes that the Nazis had only managed to produce this much. The other alternative scenario is that the other 90% had been shipped elsewhere and the other ship was blown up as cover for the real operation. It warrants further investigation in my opinion. Does anybody know how the Manhattan Project produced their heavy water? No accusations, just wondering.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 04:47 PM
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I saw a documentary on this very subject only 2 months ago on the Discovery channel. It is a excellent documentary and you should watch it. There is also a film which used some of the original special forces men if i remember rightly. I'm not sure where you can find the film, but heres a link and maybe you can dig it up from somewhere.

www.raymears.com...

[edit on 16uThursday07/27/20 by paul76]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 05:14 PM
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Actually, there's no heavy water in a nuke, per se. You use it for building test setups as a moderator, which sort of puts a dent in the "if we haff 20 kilograms uff ze heavy water, ve haff ze atom bomb!" part of the movie.

The real poop is that we knew the Germans were using it as a moderator. So the Norwegians blew up Vemork in 1943 to limit their supplies. This is where the commandos came in - but there wasn't much in the way of resistance. They damaged the cascade and thought they were done with it.

Heisenberg told Bohr that he was building test reactors using heavy water moderators, and gave him a copy of the plans to build what amounted to a breeder reactor next. Also that the Germans had sufficient knowhow to eventually produce a weapon, although they weren't in the design process as yet.

Bohr escaped in October, bringing the plans with him. The Allies had discovered that Vemork was back in action again, despite having been heavily damaged by the commandos the first time, so they decided to whack it again. The Americans bombed it with B17's, not hitting it directly but damaging it enough to put it out of action. The Germans decided to rebuild the separation plant where it couldn't be bombed so easily, so they packed up all the heavy water in the cascade onto a ferry as part of a move to relocate the heavy water.

The method of extracting heavy water is something in nature like separating uranium, it's a cascade. It takes nearly a year for the cascade to equilibrate from a dead start. If you have heavy water to prime the plant, you can begin immediately, otherwise you incur over a year's wait before you can begin production. This is how they got the plant back in action so quickly - there was some heavy water on hand and at a number of German labs. If Germany had gotten the water from the cascade, they could have been up and running immediately, as soon as the new plant could be built.

However, there was a Norwegian resistance commando in the area who led an attack on the ferry, sinking the heavy water needed to reprime a cascade separator. So that was that.

So it's quite possible that there wasn't on hand 10% of what they needed, but it was the key to making more in time.

[edit on 16-8-2007 by Tom Bedlam]



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 05:22 PM
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OK...a common misconception that seems to be present here is that heavy water is some kind of magical substance that is only found in Norway. That is not true. Although Norway was one of the first if not the first to produce heavy water, any country can produce it given the proper equipment and many have.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 05:41 PM
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You can make your own at home the expensive way - go get a pony tank of deuterium from your full-service welding gas supplier and burn it in air.

You can buy it - it's not cheap, in bulk it used to be about 30 bucks a pint.

Norway is still a prime producer, but nearly every industrial country makes some, including Iran, their separator is at Arak.

India sells a lot of it, too.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by Tom Bedlam
The real poop is that we knew the Germans were using it as a moderator. So the Norwegians blew up Vemork in 1943 to limit their supplies. This is where the commandos came in - but there wasn't much in the way of resistance. They damaged the cascade and thought they were done with it.



Excellent post - thank you for improving on my Hollywood education.

The technical details are sadly way over my head but we live and learn




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