Originally posted by mbkennel
No, that bell obviously didn't get the job done or we'd be writing in german. But you need to make a working prototype first, and then scale it up
(by making hundreds). The USA later investigated production of U-233 with different methods, and none was practically feasible.
USA never explored production of U-233 by transmutation with spherical Tokamaks, only from reactor waste.
U-233 has an even higher spontaneous fission rate than plutonium and a higher critical mass, making weapon design more difficult.
...you say with higher critical mass?
U-233 ... 11 kilograms
Pu-239 ... 9 kilograms
U-235 ...52 kilograms
with Beryllium reflector
U-233 ... 8.4 kilograms
Pu-239 ... 7.5 kilograms
U-235 ... 21 kilograms
In any case the Schumann / Trinks tactical nuclear weapon developed by Nazi Germany only required a mere 150 grams of U-233, not 8 or 11 kilograms.
Furthermore, it nearly always has U-232 contamination whose decay chains are serious gamma emitters and makes it very dangerous to work on, much more
so than U-235 or Pu-239.
mbkennel, your post makes so many false assumptions and then discusses your assumptions as if addressing the real issue. You do not address the real
Uranium 232 contamination arises whilst trying to harvest Uranium 233 from a nuclear reactor. Not from a particle accelerator.
In a reactor one cannot prevent excessive irradiation of the Thorium 230 present in all Thorium ores which leads to production of Uranium 232. In a
particle accelerator however production of uranium 232 is less than one part per million and in that situation the milirem dose rate per hour is
similar to that of weapon grade Plutonium (ie 97% Pu239).
According to an eyewitness Joachim Ibrom the Nazi Bell device at Ludwikowice was operated barely 60-90 seconds at most. Exposure time was so short
that there was no opportunity to convert Thorium 232 into anything other than Protactinium 233.
This is the process:
Th(232,90) + n → Th(233,90), then:
Th(233,90) → Pa(233,91) + e-, and:
Pa(233,91) → U(233,92) + e-
Naturally occurring Thorium ore is 99.08% isotopically pure Thorium 232. Most of the balance is Th230. Thus in the absence of significant impurity,
there is negligible chance of breeding anything else, but Pa233.
To be viable for nuclear weapons U232 contamination must be below 0.56%, thus even nuclear reactors can produce viable weapons grade U233.
Pressurized light-water-reactors fueled with LEU-Thorium fuel at high burn-up (70 MWd/kg) produce U-233 with U-232 contamination levels of about 0.4
percent which is still viable for manufacturing Atomic weapons.
These are accurate figures for radiation dosage from Uranium 233
Weapon Grade Pu-239 ...0.0013 rem/hr
Reactor Grade Pu-239 ... 0.0082 rem/hr
U-233 containing 1 ppm U232 ....0.0013 rem/hr
U-233 containing 5 ppm U232 ....0.059 rem/hr
U-233 containing 100 ppm U232 ....1.27 rem/hr
U-233 containing 1 percent U232 ----1.27 rem/hr
At one part per million U232 it takes 380 hours of exposure to reach the annual safe exposure limit of 5 rem and even at 100ppm U232 it still takes 4
hours to reach maximum safe exposure.
Freshly separated U-233 with one part per million U-232 is actually safer to handle than weapons grade Plutonium because it takes almost 2 years for
Thorium 228 contamination to build up. In any case Nazi Germany had unlimited supply of slave labour from concentration camps to fabricate nuclear
Why did Nazis abandon centrifuges?
By early 1943 Dr Hans Martin and Dr Kuhn developed a thermal convection centrifuge with Krupp Industries at Hamburg. Later after the war several
engineers who worked on this thermal convection centrifuge were taken to the Soviet Union to replicate the device for the Soviets. One of those men
Guernot Zippe, a German aircraft engineer later defected to the West where he shared that technology for commercial reward. That centrifuge which is
the most advanced and efficient in the world, became known as the Zippe centrifuge, but in fact it was a Nazi invention. It was 3,000 percent more
efficient at enriching Uranium 235 than the method used by the Manhattan Project thus cheaper to operate too. It had maximum priority for access to
strategic raw materials and manufacturing.
The Nazis had this incredible technology before May 1943 yet failed to put it into mass production ...Why?
Because the Nazi Bell particle accelerator was even more efficient, cheaper and effective. That's why.
The Nazis did not need a huge and costly equivalent to the Manhattan Project because they had cheaper and smarter technology.
edit on 4-3-2012 by sy.gunson because: spelling correction