Are Atomic weapons really that hard to build?

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posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:03 PM
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Consider the Manhattan Project. Linky

The project started in 1941 based on research underway since 1939. Two bombs were dropped in 1945. That was a four year timetable.

Consider also that the hardest part of that project was the question, "Can it be done?" That is one of the hardest questions in Science. Once you know the answer to that one it becomes, "How is it done?" The First question was answered for the entire world in 1945.

Now consider what things were like in 1941.

No cordless drills! No CNC. Everything was hand made using lathes and other equipment that required very skilled labor.
No calculators. Everything had to be calculated using paper and slide rules.
Explosives were limited, even C4 was not invented yet.
Not a single transistor, just valve technology.

And yet, in four years the US built three devices!


Compare that to today.

Back in 1975AD I learnt the basic equations for nuclear weapons in year 12 Physics. Yes in high school. If it was not for a flood in 2010 I would still have that book with all the formulas.

Computers / calculators / CNC machine shops / Centrifuge separation machines / Modern explosives / Micro electronics / sensors ...... the list is near endless. Plus, we know it can be done and we know how it is done.


I keep reading thread after thread about this country or that country developing Nukes and how naughty it is and how they are always close after a few decades.

Get real! If the US (Using Europe's smartest scientists) could do it in four bloody years back in 1941, it is just stupid to suggest that North Korea or Iran or any other country that wants one could not do so in a whole decade.

Iran does not have to import the centrifuges, she can manufacture her own. She may have done that three decades ago.

All of that is beside the point that we do not know how many Nukes were sold on the black market after the fall of the USSR nor do we know how many Nukes or Nuke tech has been sold around the world, well, except for Israel selling to South Africa.

It is not that difficult for a stable country to develop. If Iran wants them, she would already have them and probably quite a few by now.

Please, consider that all this talk is smoke and mirrors.

P




posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


The most difficult part is also the most fundamental, the process of enriching uranium to a level suitable for a weapon.

The rest of the technology is geared towards maximizing the yield of the reaction without the bomb destroying itself before all the fuel has been expended.

I certainly see your point, though. It was done long ago with far fewer resources and much less knowledge. But then again, the countries of the Middle East have not been known for their technological prowess. They might accidentally generate a critical mass of enriched uranium and blow up their own country.



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by InTheFlesh1980
 


That is why I said a stable country. Yet some of what you perceive about the Middle East is filtered by the MSM.

Israel, a tiny country, a tiny population did it secretly and very quickly. Countries like Pakistan and India both managed the feat as did South Africa. Think!

NK and Iran are both very stable countries and have been for decades. Jordan is stable as are some others.

Consider how short a time it would take Australia to make a few!

It is not that hard, certainly not as difficult as MSM and The West would have you believe.

Thanks for the reply.

P



posted on Mar, 17 2013 @ 11:58 PM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 
In the days of web and open info , {pre 2001} one could find it on the web" how to build the bomb 101" do not know if that site for one like it is still up and it is home.earthlink.net... {removed the last prat as not to give people thoughts}, but as you can see or with a web search one could know the basic's for a 10Kt nuke, 20 lbs of that 100 lb of this few of them one of those for a buster add some Li6, there you have it one H bomb.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 



I believe your mistaking atom vs thermo nuclear weapons, one if a really big fire cracker, the other is thousands of times stronger.

They basically use an atomic weapon as a trigger for the thermo nuclear reaction, so basically an a bomb is the primer for a bullet, or fuse for a grnade or artillery round.

But both can be built easily, the hard part is the knowhow, and the nuclear material, I asume woukd be plutonium 239 I bekieve is weapons grade, and 238 is reactor fuel grade.

It is very hard refine uranium gas, and then spin it in a centrifuge to consentrate it and seperate out the heavier and lighter elements. Then you still have to enrich it in a reactor to make plutonium, so that you could then use it to further enrich weapons grade.

I believe would be the right steps, I am not absolutely sure though, as I havent actually looked it up, I just know a little about it through reading about particle physics.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 01:01 AM
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Yes they are, the Soviets had to steal secrets to build one.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by skynetbot
Yes they are, the Soviets had to steal secrets to build one.


The Soviets were a very homogeneous society, i'm sure the multiculturalism of the United States played a key factor at all the right moments. Expertise brought in from around the world.



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 02:02 AM
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reply to post by inverslyproportional
 


You are right that Thermo Nuclear weapons are harder but not everyone needs or in fact wants them. Lots of easily made atom bombs may be better to overwhelm missile defense systems and one such device over say New York would still destroy much of the city and make a greater part uninhabitable.

Sometimes lots of little ones are better than the big ones. I think it was mainly organ waving that helped develop the really big ones.

P



posted on Mar, 18 2013 @ 04:34 AM
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Plutonium can be seperated from uranuim chemicaly in about five minutes. A small nuclear bomb (dirty bomb) can be made with very small amounts of urannium and plutonium and lots of explosives. You can find uranium in very small amounts in dirt and rocks in your backyard.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 07:47 AM
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Good points OP.

I think that Iran, just to name one, does have nuclear weapons and no one wants to admit it b/c that would mean that they are in fact not maniacs, since they haven't used them.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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No!! Those countries all did it with help. In Israel's case, it is WELL documednted that France gave them the bomb.

Splitting atoms isnt something you do in a basement. Come on sheeple.



Originally posted by pheonix358
reply to post by InTheFlesh1980
 


That is why I said a stable country. Yet some of what you perceive about the Middle East is filtered by the MSM.

Israel, a tiny country, a tiny population did it secretly and very quickly. Countries like Pakistan and India both managed the feat as did South Africa. Think!

NK and Iran are both very stable countries and have been for decades. Jordan is stable as are some others.

Consider how short a time it would take Australia to make a few!

It is not that hard, certainly not as difficult as MSM and The West would have you believe.

Thanks for the reply.

P



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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The atomic bombs in '41 were the size of a van. The issue is miniaturizing it to fit into a missile warhead. Then having to develop a multistage rocket to deliver it to a location anywhere in the world. Those things weren't done in '41 and are difficult to do today.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by Carreau
The atomic bombs in '41 were the size of a van. The issue is miniaturizing it to fit into a missile warhead. Then having to develop a multistage rocket to deliver it to a location anywhere in the world. Those things weren't done in '41 and are difficult to do today.


'Fat boy' was big. 'Little boy' not so huge. You are assuming that everyone wants or needs multistage rockets. If for example I was Iran, I would wait until hundreds of Abrams Tanks were screaming across a desert region within my own borders and set off a small (Tactical) nuke to wipe them all out. The same can be said for a carrier group.

Not every one wants to destroy the world. Some countries simply want and need to protect themselves from the big bullies. Nuclear Missiles have been around for half a century now! The tech is simply not that difficult, especially when good advice from enemies of my enemies give you a helping had. The V2 rocket carried a one ton payload and was built in WW2.

It is simply not that difficult, certainly not as difficult as The West and MSM want you to believe.

P



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Neither of the bombs in WWII would fit on a missile warhead. I am not assuming anything and I didn't say anything about "destroying the world". NK is trying to perfect a multistage rocket and miniaturize a nuke to fit on it. One nuke on a multistage rocket won't destroy the world but is great blackmail material and is all a country needs to get it way in a situation. The V2 rocket had a limited range. So I really don't know what any of your reply had to do with my points.



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by Carreau
 


For heavens sake! The WW2 bombs needed a large 1940s 24V battery supply, heaps of valve tech for the various fuses, 1940s explosives and a heavy steel casing because that is all they had!

The device itself is simply not that big and modern batteries, electronics and explosives make it reasonable to miniaturize it readily.

Hell, they could copy fat boy as is and send it on a 767 cargo configured airliner. All of the countries we are talking about have medium range missiles.

P



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by inverslyproportional
reply to post by pheonix358
 



I believe your mistaking atom vs thermo nuclear weapons, one if a really big fire cracker, the other is thousands of times stronger.

They basically use an atomic weapon as a trigger for the thermo nuclear reaction, so basically an a bomb is the primer for a bullet, or fuse for a grnade or artillery round.

But both can be built easily, the hard part is the knowhow, and the nuclear material, I asume woukd be plutonium 239 I bekieve is weapons grade, and 238 is reactor fuel grade.

It is very hard refine uranium gas, and then spin it in a centrifuge to consentrate it and seperate out the heavier and lighter elements. Then you still have to enrich it in a reactor to make plutonium, so that you could then use it to further enrich weapons grade.

I believe would be the right steps, I am not absolutely sure though, as I havent actually looked it up, I just know a little about it through reading about particle physics.



Most fission bombs are actually boosted with an amount of lithium deuteride or tritium-deuterium gas. This small amount of fusion helps with neutron production to increase fission rate. It is not hard for a country to obtain natural uranium. They process the ore and produce uranium oxide (yellow cake). If they want to separate the isotopes (the hard part) they convert the yellow cake to uranium hexafluoride. If you are building a U-235 bomb, you do not need a reactor, just centrifuges. You need a reactor to produce plutonium, which is better for bombs (although it can only be used in implosion systems). To produce plutonium you need to convert uranium-238 (the abundant stuff) with neutrons to uranium-239 which decays into plutonium-239. You need uranium enriched to 20%? U-235 to produce the fission reaction to produce these neutrons, however. Iran started with the uranium enrichment method. North Korea started with the reactor method. They had a reactor since the 1980s I believe. Now North Korea has a centrifuge method also. Gun-type bombs can only use uranium. In the latest propaganda video a military person is talking about striking the US with backpack nukes. Is this why their bomb tests are so small? I saw a report that Iran may now have started on the reactor path to produce plutonium. Let the doom begin.



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 04:30 AM
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If you don't care about efficiency or yield, it's pretty easy.

Burning up a wad of uranium or plutonium to get less than a 10kT yield is available to anyone with a machine shop.

You just use a topology changer configuration.

No problem at all. You just can't get a big yield, and it takes a lot of fissile mass.

If you want an elegant W88 sort of thermonuke, then you bet, it's hard.



posted on Mar, 22 2013 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


The reason it takes many years for the average country like North Korea or Iran to develop nuclear weapons is because they do not start out with the knowledge, material or facilities to enrich uranium or plutonium. Nor can they successfully use a device similar to those used on Hiroshima or Nagasaki due to the advancement of missile and air defenses around the world. In order to compete, these countries would need to develop a nuclear weapon capable of being deployed from a ballistic missile.

Now if you were to go low tech, the easiest device to build would be a gun type fission warhead much like the Little Boy bomb. It is ideal because it has been used successfully in both a free-fall bomb and as an artillery warhead.

The Little Boy bomb used several discs of enriched Uranium-235. A series of hollow discs of U-235 were propelled by cordite into another series of flat U-235 discs which created the resulting nuclear reaction. And boom. 15 kilotons of destruction. Not as effective as a two-stage thermonuclear device, but still devastating all the same.

In the 1950's and 60's, the US Army developed a smaller, similar device which could be fired out of a howitzer, called the W9. This was further modified into the W19 warhead which was meant to be fired from battleships. It was successfully tested and 50 were produced. But they were never used and eventually retired.

If North Korea wanted to deal massive amounts of damage to South Korea, for example, this would be the ideal type of warhead. They could fire several warheads from artillery cannons without being immediately detected as they would by using missiles. And as this is a low powered warhead, the damage would be substantial but the residual radiation and fallout would be minimal when compared to a thermonuclear device.



posted on Mar, 22 2013 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by allenidaho
 


Thank you for that insightful reply. Many people only see one way of doing things and in this case it is thermonuclear ICBMs.

If what you have is a defensive mind set then smaller devices that are easily built is the way to go. The Yamato's 18" guns could fire a round 42 Kilometers. NK could devastate large tracks of SK and that is even if they do not use rocket assisted rounds. These could dramatically increase the range of such weapons.

As well, NK has huge numbers of medium and short range missile batteries and, well, try to pick the one or two nukes from hundreds of conventional missiles per salvo.

It is not hard. I admit, you need to keep it simple but for NK and Iran who have continuous sanctions and harassment from the West I can see why they would want this.

As you say, anti missile tech is very advanced, but quite frankly, one nuke hiding in a barrage of a few hundred is very likely to get through.

P



posted on Mar, 23 2013 @ 05:32 PM
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"Are Atomic weapons really that hard to build?" I think it depends on what kind of bomb you want...

Thermonuclear bombs can destroy vast areas with the least amount of fallout - which is good if you plan on occupying the area - but take an incredible amount of research and resources to properly develop to a deliverable stage. Very much out of the reach of the more troublesome nations like Iran and North Korea in my opinion (thankfully).

Regular nuclear fission bombs are less technologically-complicated than their fusion-based big brothers but still require alot of capital investment and enriched fissile product in order to be effective. But keep in mind with these kind of bombs that even very inefficient detonations can still cause much destruction: the 'Little boy" bomb which destroyed Hiroshima was only 1.5% efficient, that is to say that only 2 pounds of the 140 pounds of uranium onboard underwent fission. I think any industrialized nation with enough access to nuclear materials could build one within a few years. The concepts and basic designs are widely known, and easily imitable and adaptable to talented scientists and engineers.

However perhaps the easiest to construct are so-called 'dirty bombs', which are intended to purposely contaminate a wide geographic area as to make it uninhabitable and can be little more than a mass of radioactive material wrapped around a conventional explosive. The radioactive material doesn't have to be enriched to extensive degrees making it easier to collect the raw materials, and the explosive charge can pretty much be anything that goes 'boom'! I think this kind of weapon could be easily constructed by any nation, group or individual with a minimal of resources when compared to the former examples. (Don't believe me? Google "radioactive boy scout" and see how simple it can be to collect and purify nuclear materials on a tight budget.) Fortunately with dirty bombs they remain a matter of conjecture and not example as the possibility of having radioactive fallout drift around the world - and back into the bomber's own borders - is too much of a deterrent against their manufacture.





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