What? You mean they don’t reduce themselves over time…
[note sadly the sarcasm]
They do if you don’t replenish the tritium in their booster cans. The amount you puff into the pit will let you control of the size of the minisun, aka dial-a-yield. The stuff has about 13 years half-life. Quite interesting stuff it is.
Still quite an improvement on the polonium based initiators that had to be replaced much more often.
I quite miss the aboveground tests. I got born too late to see any.
Well of course arms reduction means reduction of other people’s arms. I mean, it’s not like theres any chance at all that we would elect a complete fucking lunatic to the white house.
News at 11: Politician promises one thing, does the opposite …
Bern, baby, Bern.
Just think what all the nuclear scientists and engineers and the huge corporations and government departments they work for would have to do if the gravy train stopped. Sadly, the idea that someone who has spent their entire career working out how best to kill as many people as possible, can quickly be retrained into something useful (like renewable energy, medicine, improved crop genetics) is pure fantasy.
The USA has the right to bear arms!
However, I would argue that the rest of the world has a more fundamental right to continue existing.
Having just enough to destroy humanity once or twice over is a really sensible first step. The law of large numbers is a great argument against keeping tens of thousands of warheads at the ready.
- Literally an accident waiting to happen.
That’s an argument for resuming the nuclear testing. Some of the tests, namely for the two-point-initiation linear implosion systems, are aimed to test that a single-side detonation won’t produce appreciable yield.
Then there are the concepts of stronglink-weaklink and other systems designed to fail safely when the thing is subjected to anomalous conditions. Then there’s the TATB, the high explosive so insensitive that even DOT with their cowardice is classifying it as a flammable solid for transportation safety purposes. Quite a lot of effort goes into making sure the minisuns stay in their little cages unless intentionally let out.
…sometimes with comical results. The W47 warhead was shown, just before the test ban, to yield 100 tons of boom at the single-point test. So they safed the pits by folding boron-cadmium alloy wire inside, to suppress the fission, and pulled the wire out with a small motor as a part of the arming sequence. Little did they know that the wire gets brittle over time and breaks off, and that the lubricant they coated it with promoted corrosion of the pits.Oops.
Sword, plowshare, same steel. (Okay, somewhat different composition and heat treatment but the same ferrous alloys family.) Usually many aspects of a given technology are identical for both its facets.
Do you think he’s ever read Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes?
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