Sponsored Content

YouTube Update: Google Buys For $1.65 Billion | Main | Did Bush Just Pocket Veto The Border Fence Bill? (Answer: No)
October 09, 2006

Dud? Or Simply Small "Demonstrator" Nuke?

Conflicting opinions at Instapundit.

Here's what little I know about nukes. Even in an advanced nuke, very little fissionable material actually gets fissioned. The rest would get fissioned, except for the fact that the nuclear detonation blows out the rest of it too quickly to any longer be within a half mile of the detonating core.

So the trick is to build a bomb with such precise (to the billionth of a second) detonators that as much of the fissionable core as possible fissions simultaneously, before it's all blown away. Again, even in advanced US nukes, this is not a large fraction of everything that could be fissioned.

If the Nork bomb was a dud, it's because they engineered it poorly and primatively and could only manage a very small amount of actual fissioning. Mistiming might have caused just one side of the bomb to explode or something like that.

But even if it is a dud, it's not terribly reassuring. They can always improve. And they have 60 years of scientific papers on atomic bombs to help guide them.

On a more hopeful note, an atomic device is not the same thing as an atomic bomb. The Trinity nuke was a "device" rather than a bomb; a bomb implies you can easily transport it to a target, by a plane, say. The Trinity device was too large and cumbersome for that.

Again, though: this is 60 year old technology we're talking about. It's easy to simply follow in the footsteps of those who have managed it successfully, like, say, A. Q. Khan.

Hoax? Instapundit also links this interesting piece speculating the blast was just a hoax-- a purely conventional explosion (but a big one) designed to seem, seismically, like a nuke.

They've done it before, he notes.

Seems there are two ways to create a .5 kiloton blast (where a kiloton equals the explosive force of 1000 pounds of TNT):

1) Set off a very, very small, or dud, nuke that equals the power of 500 tons of TNT; or

2) fill a cavern with 500 tons of TNT and set that off.

We know that Kim Il-Jong is a movie fan-- and that's exactly what Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) did in A View To A Kill.


AVTAKMaxZorin.jpg Kim_Il_Jong_sm.jpg

Bonus! Kim Il-Jong wants congratulations.

Let's fix the Sixth Fleet up with ribbons and balloons and give him all the congratulations he can take.

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:38 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Hadrian the Seventh: " [i]If you can believe it, there are still a coup ..."

Hawkpilot (Ace-Certified best nic): "Mornin' Horde! HB,JJ. ..."

SturmToddler (po3vF): "morning Horde. is there anything corporate tra ..."

fd: ""If you can believe it, there are still a couple o ..."

Hadrian the Seventh: " [i]Posted by: Tonypete at May 26, 2022 07:52 AM ..."

JT: "hiya ..."

NaCly Dog (u82oZ): "FenelonSpoke Glad it went so well. And alread ..."

Thomas Bender: "@12 >>Did they figure out if Oz won yet or are ..."

J.J. Sefton: " 15 The common denominator to these Biden appointe ..."

Jen the original : "242. It all tied in with Biden signing his politic ..."

Cat Ass Trophy: "Post office refused to come up my driveway with pa ..."

Tonypete: "Saint of the Day St. Philip Neri (1515--1595) was ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64