Nuke dropped in August 2013 at the Tonopah Range Range

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posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- The U.S. government says it dropped an unarmed nuclear about 110 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The test happened two weeks ago with an unarmed B-61 at the Tonopah Test Range. “It's kind of like if you have a battery in your garage and you keep it there for years, you wanna make sure it's gonna work,” said Allan Palmer, the executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum. Palmer says the B-61 is the biggest number of tactical weapons the nation has in its inventory. He says he thinks that if it becomes necessary that the U.S. would use B-61s again, officials have to know they will work. Before 1992, full-blown nuclear tests went on underground at the Nevada Test Site. Palmer says some underground nuclear testing still happens there, but on a smaller scale.


link with video

Well this is cringe worthy reporting. Unarmed: what exactly does that mean? Did it have the nuke inside, but not armed? Or did it just have a dummy bomb inside. I suspect the latter.

Now for semi-cringing reporting, yes, there are underground nuclear tests done at the Nevada Test Site (renamed to N2S2), but those tests are subcritical. That is, no fission takes place. Accurate reporting, but a bit misleading.

Far better reporting is done here:
Pantex preps a nuke

As in the previous B61 test at the TTR that I posted on ATS, this is just part of the life extension program for the weapon system. I won't post the full article, but this sums it up:

This radar drop test is one of several critical milestones for the B61-12 LEP this year. Radar testing will continue with integration of other B61-12 components, including the weapon and firing control units to demonstrate the arming, fuzing and firing subsystem. The B61-12 LEP is an essential element of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent and of the nation’s commitments to extended deterrence and it ensures the continued vitality of the air-delivered leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.


Or in other words, nothing to see here folks, we are just modernizing those old bombs.

Why this particular test got news coverage and the preceding B61 test didn't is interesting. My conjecture (as opposed to something known to be factual) is that somebody in the White House wanted to remind the world that the US has nukes. Oh, and nukes are considered one of a few ways of taking care of chemical weapons depots. The idea is you burn the chemical weapons gas at the site. Other schemes are fuel-air explosions (barometric bomb) and a interesting flying copper disk scheme to slice open the gas canisters and ignite at the same time.




posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 04:01 PM
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reply to post by gariac
 


Thanks for posting this.

I imagine there are a number of ways the test could have been conducted:

-They could have removed the pit.
-Maybe they just didn't function the neutron generators, so they could see how the core held up under the impact.
-The could have used a full up device and didn't flip the external Safe/Arm switch.
-It could have been just a mockup (practice bomb).

I came across a practice B-61 on a range in Georgia a few years ago and got to render it safe.
In reality it wasn't exciting at all. But it makes a good story for the ladies. "Yeah, I rendered safe a nuclear bomb once..."



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by gariac

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- The U.S. government says it dropped an unarmed nuclear about 110 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The test happened two weeks ago with an unarmed B-61 at the Tonopah Test Range. “It's kind of like if you have a battery in your garage and you keep it there for years, you wanna make sure it's gonna work,” said Allan Palmer, the executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum. Palmer says the B-61 is the biggest number of tactical weapons the nation has in its inventory. He says he thinks that if it becomes necessary that the U.S. would use B-61s again, officials have to know they will work. Before 1992, full-blown nuclear tests went on underground at the Nevada Test Site. Palmer says some underground nuclear testing still happens there, but on a smaller scale.


link with video

Well this is cringe worthy reporting. Unarmed: what exactly does that mean? Did it have the nuke inside, but not armed? Or did it just have a dummy bomb inside. I suspect the latter.



Indeed, it would be very foolish otherwise, especially with the flap about the misplaced nukes a few years ago.

Most likely you would make a device with similar electronics and mass distribution (depleted uranium). Since you would be going through all the arming steps to test the electronics you would make certain that there wasn't any fissile nuclear materials inside, in case the safety system just decided to fail that day. They're probably testing the electronics and delivery systems of weapons-minus-warheads which were in storage. The warheads themselves are modeled and tested by DOE.

Though I have no personal knowledge, I imagine the nuclear part is kept separately from the bomb. (The ones in the Mistake were as such, warheads were kept separate and live, instead of dummy, warheads were mounted on the cruise missiles).

At a minimum, some warheads require tritium filtering and replenishment and replacement of materials degraded from radiation.





Now for semi-cringing reporting, yes, there are underground nuclear tests done at the Nevada Test Site (renamed to N2S2), but those tests are subcritical. That is, no fission takes place. Accurate reporting, but a bit misleading.


There is fission with subcritical nuclear tests (otherwise it's not a nuclear test) but intentionally not enough to result in sufficient exponential creation of neutrons and substantial efficiency.




Or in other words, nothing to see here folks, we are just modernizing those old bombs.

Why this particular test got news coverage and the preceding B61 test didn't is interesting. My conjecture (as opposed to something known to be factual) is that somebody in the White House wanted to remind the world that the US has nukes. Oh, and nukes are considered one of a few ways of taking care of chemical weapons depots. The idea is you burn the chemical weapons gas at the site. Other schemes are fuel-air explosions (barometric bomb) and a interesting flying copper disk scheme to slice open the gas canisters and ignite at the same time.
edit on 31-8-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-8-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-8-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by mbkennel
 




There is fission with subcritical nuclear tests (otherwise it's not a nuclear test) but intentionally not enough to result in sufficient exponential creation of neutrons and substantial efficiency.


Yes, I should have said there isn't critical mass present. Or more accurately, the tests are described as subcritical.

Since they recover these drop test devices, I presume it has nothing nuclear or even a high explosive. You could ruin the excavator operator's day if it had HE.

The NNSA has a flickr page. [Government data on social media bothers me, but I don't get to vote on this.]
NNSA flickr

I don't see stills from this test there yet.

I got a tweet from Sigmund Freud. He said to check out this photo:
girl scouts visit Pantex



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 07:59 PM
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Gariac,

What's this "flying copper disk scheme" that you speak of?


Cheers for the post! Great info, would've never known.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 02:36 AM
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Originally posted by weavty1
Gariac,

What's this "flying copper disk scheme" that you speak of?


Cheers for the post! Great info, would've never known.



n 2002, the Navy announced that it was developing the weapon and pairing it with bombs designed to penetrate fortified buildings. The Navy described it working this way: after bursting into a storage bunker, the warhead would spray copper plates at high speeds to tear into tanks containing toxic chemicals. Material within the warhead would burn so hot it would vaporize the chemicals that escape. A byproduct that explosion would generate chlorine gas, a disinfectant.


chemical weapon neutralization

I gave this the Spock raised eyebrow, but who knows.

I suspect there will be a number of of B61 tests. I would assume every plane that can carry one will have to be tested. Since the B61 can do air burst or lay down, that might require two different testing programs.

edit on 2-9-2013 by gariac because: (no reason given)





 
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