reply to post by dizzie56
I gotta agree with you. IMO it's just idiotic to blow up this well site. The nuclear fallout would be unbelievable. What type of bomb are they
even thinking of using? And, who would do it – not to mention how would they do it?
Also, not sure the Russians actually did use a nuclear bomb under water.
There are two basic types of nuclear weapon. The first type produces its explosive energy through nuclear fission reactions alone. Such fission
weapons are commonly referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs … .
In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material (enriched uranium or plutonium) is assembled into a supercritical mass—the amount of material needed
to start an exponentially growing nuclear chain reaction—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another (the "gun" method) or
by compressing a sub-critical sphere of material using chemical explosives to many times its original density (the "implosion" method). The latter
approach is considered more sophisticated than the former and only the latter approach can be used if the fissile material is plutonium.
A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself.
The amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of less than a ton of TNT upwards of 500,000 tons (500 kilotons) of
The second basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large amount of its energy through nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are generally
referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs (abbreviated as H-bombs), as they rely on fusion reactions between
isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium). However, all such weapons derive a significant portion, and sometimes a majority, of their energy from
fission (including fission induced by neutrons from fusion reactions). Unlike fission weapons, there are no inherent limits on the energy released by
thermonuclear weapons. Only six countries—United States, Russia, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China, France and India—have conducted
thermonuclear weapon tests.
Thermonuclear bombs work by using the energy of a fission bomb to compress and heat fusion fuel. In the Teller-Ulam design, which accounts for all
multi-megaton yield hydrogen bombs, this is accomplished by placing a fission bomb and fusion fuel (tritium, deuterium, or lithium deuteride) in
proximity within a special, radiation-reflecting container. When the fission bomb is detonated, gamma and X-rays emitted first compress the fusion
fuel, then heat it to thermonuclear temperatures. The ensuing fusion reaction creates enormous numbers of high-speed neutrons, which can then induce
fission in materials not normally prone to it, such as depleted uranium. Each of these components is known as a "stage," with the fission bomb as
the "primary" and the fusion capsule as the "secondary." In large hydrogen bombs, about half of the yield, and much of the resulting nuclear
fallout, comes from the final fissioning of depleted uranium.
By chaining together numerous stages with increasing amounts of fusion fuel, thermonuclear weapons can be made to an almost arbitrary yield; the
largest ever detonated (the Tsar Bomba of the USSR) released an energy equivalent of over 50 million tons (50 megatons) of TNT. Most thermonuclear
weapons are considerably smaller than this, due to practical constraints arising from the space and weight requirements of missile warheads.
There are other types of nuclear weapons as well. For example, a boosted fission weapon is a fission bomb which increases its explosive yield through
a small amount of fusion reactions, but it is not a fusion bomb. In the boosted bomb, the neutrons produced by the fusion reactions serve primarily to
increase the efficiency of the fission bomb. Some weapons are designed for special purposes; a neutron bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that yields a
relatively small explosion but a relatively large amount of neutron radiation; such a device could theoretically be used to cause massive casualties
while leaving infrastructure mostly intact and creating a minimal amount of fallout.
The detonation of any nuclear weapon is accompanied by a blast of neutron radiation. Surrounding a nuclear weapon with suitable materials (such as
cobalt or gold) creates a weapon known as a salted bomb. This device can produce exceptionally large quantities of radioactive contamination.
Most variation in nuclear weapon design is for the purpose of achieving different yields for different situations, and in manipulating design elements
to attempt to minimize weapon size.