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Can Iran bypass the 'trial and error' stage in nuclear weapon development?

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posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 11:59 AM
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Hypothetical question to ATS, in this scenario Iran is developing nuclear weapons. I am quite curious of the methodology involved here. Every country which has it's own domestically produced nuclear weapons went through the trial and error testing stage. Starting from the most primitive of designs, to the terrifying nightmares we all know and fear today.

From a quick search of the old Google machine one can obtain a wealth of information on nuclear weapon design and function. Now obviously these are not so detailed that someone could build a bomb in their back yard so to speak. But with a team of incredibly well trained physicists and weapons experts, surely it would be possible to come up with a viable design.

Bearing this in mind could Iran for example bypass the stage North Korea's weapons are at and go for the full blown H-bomb? Or even worse an ICBM? Just as Pakistan had it's Abdul Qadeer Khan, could there be an Iranian Father of the bomb. As we all know Khan himself admitted he had sold information to various countries.

It is not my intention for this to be an America bashing thread, or Iran bashing, or Israel, or anyone else for that matter. This is also not a disinformation piece with the goal of implanting the idea of an Iranian weapons drive into people's minds. I am genuinely interested in just how difficult ATS members believe it is to obtain the ultimate weapon, and I have used Iran as an example. I could just as easily have used Myanmar or Brazil etc

Some articles for consideration;

www.debka.com...

www.nytimes.com...

www.globalsecurity.org...




posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:02 PM
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IF Iran is building nuclear weapons (which I highly doubt.) they need a test range.

North Korea did it underground.

And there's been a lot of earthquakes in Iran lately, near Tehran as well.

So, that would be my idea, underground nuclear tests, but I don't think there is a way to not test your tech and expect it to do well.

In that sort of logic, you'd never be able to move the tech forward cause you don't know what's wrong with the original.

~Keeper



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:02 PM
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Damn garden gnomes and their double posts....

[edit on 8/1/2010 by tothetenthpower]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


I noticed the earthquakes too, but yeah I agree with you I think they know it's suicide and wouldn't do it.

So you reckon the 'trial and error' stage is pretty important. I had this thought that if someone was peddling detailed designs about the place. Then you could follow them exactly, and know that the particular design you followed was already operational and in service elsewhere, therefore ruling out the need to test.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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Based off of what I have seen about the development of nuclear weapons there are 2 primary fields that they would have to develope to have a sucessful weapon. One would be the physics, as it would require specific knowledge of what would make the nuclear material go critical and actually detonate. As this would also require a bit of knowledge on how to direct the chain reaction, they would need chemists in that field as well, so the different components would be needed. The other part would be in engineering, as that there would have to be a means to deliver the weapon, and actually build the housing for it, so it would remain safe until it was launched and delivered. Based off of the reports that I have seen, they have the engineering aspects down, creating a rocket that they have sucessfully launched into space, so the long range delivery system is done, and do have missiles. Now if they were desperate for such, and there is no real way of telling how much information they had aquired from any one source, they could theoretically remove years of r&D if they were able to aquire the actual plans and components to such a weapon, that had been sucessfully built and tested. It is possible that they have done such, and are just needing the raw materials to put the weapon together.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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i think that depends on whether you think Iran has a weapons program or not. personally i don't think they do however i do think they have a few Russians left over from the soviet unions collapse. and I'm guessing this is the big surprise they keep mentioning if attacked. i think having a weapons program would be detrimental to the current regime and they recognize this. as far as a weapons program in the future i think circumstance will dictate that of coarse there's ambition but right now the con's outweigh the pros for Iran. what country wouldn't want nukes as an insurance policy?



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by Big Raging Loner
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


I had this thought that if someone was peddling detailed designs about the place. Then you could follow them exactly, and know that the particular design you followed was already operational and in service elsewhere, therefore ruling out the need to test.


I don't even think that would work though, because no two piece of weaponry is alike.

The russian nuclear weapons were far different than American ones, so are India's and Pakistan's and all the other nuclear missile. They are the same basic concept but all with little tweaks and fixes to suit a specific need.

It doesn't seem rational to me to spend billions of dollars in a new technology and never know if it works or not.

~Keeper



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:24 PM
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I think it is safe to assume that the only way Iran coud deploy nuclear weapons without having first tested same is if she had purchased the compleete weapon, pre-tested and ready to depoly, from another source (country).


Acquiring a working design for a device is not enough. You can never know if your execution of the blueprints was accurate enough to produce the working product unless you test your finished product.


And testing a completed nuclear device requires setting it off, either above or below ground.

For Iran, in its current political situation, an above ground test would be instant suicide: a bullet to the head sort of instant suicide, with Israel pulling the trigger.


Even an underground test would be deadly, although there might be a short period between the detonation and the "invasion" with deadly force.


Yes, there have been earthquakes recently in Iran. But the siesmic "signature" of an underground nuclear detonation is quite unique, at least to the experts. You can well bet that if any of those recent tremors had been nuclear in nature, the MSM would be in full sail with the news.


I think it is safe to say that "All Ears" are on Iran at this moment, and Iran is trying very hard to be as quiet as a mouse in a cat's house.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


I agree it would be quite a waste of funding that a country such as Iran could not afford. But what about this; they bypass the A-bomb Hiroshima style weapon and go straight for the H-bomb, feasible?

So they start testing, but they have jumped a link to the H-bomb not bothering to develop the earlier devices. Or is the A-bomb an essential stepping stone Nuclear weapon development?



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by Bhadhidar
 


Yes, there have been earthquakes recently in Iran. But the siesmic "signature" of an underground nuclear detonation is quite unique, at least to the experts. You can well bet that if any of those recent tremors had been nuclear in nature, the MSM would be in full sail with the news.

I had heard that, the underground detonation generates a 'signature' vibration, that is easily differentiated from a normal earthquake. The Us has also set up a monitoring station along the Iranian border to monitor such activity, so you're right they would last long.

www.philstar.com...

www.worldbulletin.net...

[edit on 1-8-2010 by Big Raging Loner]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 


Well I'm sure, since Iran is buddy buddy with Russia, that they have some support in their nuclear tech endeavor from them, as exchange for lower energy costs perhaps?

If that's the case then Russia could have given them prototypes to deal with, I'm not sure what the actual stepping stones are for nuclear weapons development, but as far as I know in order to have the H bomb, you would first need to be well versed in Atomic splicing and those sorts of physics related fields.

To me that would almost force you to build a A bomb, even if it's just for theoretical purposes before moving on to something more complex.

This is why I don't think Iran has nuclear weapons programs, they would never be able to afford both a civil program and a weapons program and do both all at the same time.

They've proven that they have been building civilian infrastructure, and I don't really blame them for a having the 'secret' facility with the way that Israel is foaming at the mouth for a conflict.

~Keeper



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:39 PM
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A war-time test is better than none at all, they could just wait for war and start throwing prototypes and hoping for the best with multiple designs.

Or they could do what America and probably other super-powers do, which is computer models and simulations of nuclear weapon designs. Not as good as the real thing but I'm sure the information to do the models is out there for the right price.

Or they've purchased schematics so detailed that they aren't worried about failure. If you had extremely intuitive plans to work from, you probably wouldn't need to test that much, it's already been done by someone else.


Or, they aren't trying to build one.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by Big Raging Loner It is not my intention for this to be an America bashing thread, or Iran bashing, or Israel, or anyone else for that matter. This is also not a disinformation piece with the goal of implanting the idea of an Iranian weapons drive into people's minds. I am genuinely interested in just how difficult ATS members believe it is to obtain the ultimate weapon, and I have used Iran as an example. I could just as easily have used Myanmar or Brazil etc


But you didn't though, did you? You chose Iran.

Why? Simple. IMO you are like the rest who set out to stir up hatred towards Iran.

It keeps the pot boiling and stirs up antipathy towards Iranians in particular and Muslims in general.

When will people stop bashing Iran?



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by ZombieOctopus
 


This is what I was wondering, have a few prototypes stored away then during any conflict use them, 'best' case they achieve a chain reaction, 'worst' case they drop a dirty bomb, and contaminate the ground.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by fritz
 


I chose Iran because it's a hot topic right now, and having Iran in the title to my thread means more people will take a look, and hopefully contribute, giving me a better informed answer to my question.

Unfortunately that also results in people like you 'contributing' to the thread, with nothing but garbage, providing no insight or intellectual information of any value.

If I really did want to bash Iran I wouldn't have put that disclaimer in the OP. If you were also to take a look through my contributions to the ATS community you would find that I have at no point provided any anti-Iran sentiment to any discussion.

Please do not bother replying.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 


You wouldn't believe how much IS attributed to "Trial and Error" or Verification and Validation as we call it in the world of engineering development but you cannot bypass it if you want a reasonably reliable device.

This being due to Not everything can be proven by theory alone, for there are too many variables to take into consideration.

In a non technical sense, you have what is commonly called is "Murphy's Law" in that Whatever can go wrong, Will go wrong.

In essence What that means is that as one adds more complexity to any engineering endeavor, the higher the probability there exists of failure in any one of these dependent parts or sub components of the design/overall objective.

So in answer to your question, can they bypass the "Trial and Error" stages of weapons development ?

The Short answer is NO.

Not if they want a proven, and validated weapon vs one that doesn't blow up in their faces OR only goes Poof and is commonly called a DUD !

But further more, What we are often time overlooking here with this delusionary warmongering fear of the Iranians possessing a NUKE is.

Delivery is a a completely different animal and a much bigger engineering problem in itself. which is what many people don't seem to comprehend.

Look at how many years it took the US and/or the Soviets to master reentry from space. This was in essence the trial and error of the delivery of a nuclear device. A successful reentry vehicle.

Which is why I don't see the Iranians as being a threat in the near future.

Exploding a nuke on a test stand is considerably more simplistic than
arming a nuke traveling at 17,000 miles per hour, performing reentry compensating for the gforces and pressure changes and arming the weapon AND hitting a target with it.

It's analogous to parallel parking a car at 2 mph vs parallel parking a car at 60mph.

But to continue the doctrine of fear, the Powers That Be don't want you to take that into consideration which is the reality of these technical details and challenges.

Just as with 9/11 which initiated all of the middle east aggression, they are snowing the Americans and using their lack of education and ignorance of technology to further sell their wars to the American public.

That's why I don't personally buy the entire Iranian FEAR campaign.

First, they have lied to us before about the WMD's in Iraq and Second, the Iranians are far away in their weapons delivery program to ever pose an ICBM threat to the US.

Oh, but that's right. The Iranians would ship the NUKE over in one of their invisible stealth Naval Vessels to New York Harbor.
They'd use fake driver's licenses to rent a a UHAUL truck and drive their Nuke, eventually detonating it right on the White House Lawn !!!

May I have another glass of Kool-aid Please as I watch FOX news ?!!!




posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by nh_ee
 


Thanks for the reply it was a good read.

Obviously I don't believe Iran is developing nukes either, but I want to get an idea of how easy or (as I have found out thanks to replies) difficult it would be for Iran to develop a threatening weapon.

We have so much fear mongering and 'doom porn' about Iran without any balance of the technical challenges in creating such a weapon. Which it would appear are insurmountable for Iran currently. I need the balance as I'm sure everyone else here does, hence the thread!



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by Big Raging Loner
 



Thanks to the Internet there is no more testing. You can pull up diagrams. I wont post a link to prove my point.but heres part of the diagram text with links removed.




This is a more detailed illustration of the Teller-Ulam configuration as used in the B28 bomb. This example was picked because at one time it represented the backbone of US nuclear weaponry. Also, for what ever the reason, more information seems to be available on this type than most other modern nuclear weapons.

For a nicely executed color solid-modeled version of this conceptual design, by Paul McDonell, click here for an internal view (110 K), or here for an external view (48 K).


Testings been done the only thing that stops countries is refinement of nuclear materials and the detonators.Both of which can be tested without nuclear blasts.So yes a country can have a stockpile and the world wouldn't know.

[edit on 8/1/10 by dragonridr]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


Ah ha a contrasting view to what we've had so far. So you believe that it is possible based on diagrams and readily available information. I imagine that if this kind of information is obtainable on the internet, then nuclear scientists the world over would have an absolute wealth of information to use within closed research networks.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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When someone gets pushed into a corner, do you think they will worry if something will be effective? I think you know what makes an explosion, and you'd go with it, regardless of testing.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by Myendica]



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