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(Washington Post)   Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have to scavenge for vacuum tubes and buy junk on eBay to keep America's aging nuclear bombs functional   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 73
    More: Scary, Sandia National Laboratories, eBay, Federation of American Scientists, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Nuclear Security Administration, American scientists, spare parts  
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3364 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Sep 2012 at 5:06 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-17 05:14:53 AM
duh?
 
2012-09-17 05:41:17 AM
Reminds me I need to find a new source of cheap viagra.
 
2012-09-17 05:51:08 AM
10 billion dollars to maintain some cold war relics. This could be an episode of Hoarders. "No, we can't get rid of these! What if the Soviets come back?" 

i798.photobucket.com
 
2012-09-17 05:53:16 AM
Vacuum tubes won't die if there's a Electromagnetic Pulse. EMP. Which fries transistors and integrated circuits.
 
2012-09-17 05:58:42 AM

Baryogenesis: 10 billion dollars to maintain some cold war relics. This could be an episode of Hoarders. "No, we can't get rid of these! What if the Soviets come back?" 

[i798.photobucket.com image 500x375]


Are you Mitt Rmoney?
 
2012-09-17 06:06:43 AM
When the lunch time whistle blows, I don't go out to eat. I'd rather stick around and polish a couple of cruise missiles.
 
2012-09-17 06:08:16 AM

UseUrHeadFred: When the lunch time whistle blows, I don't go out to eat. I'd rather stick around and polish a couple of cruise missiles.


Hey, what ever you do in the privacy of your own home is none of our business; just ensure all blinds are closed, and for the love of god don't do it infront of children lest you be a Fark headline.
 
2012-09-17 06:12:59 AM
Check your local ham radio club Sandia.
 
2012-09-17 06:17:37 AM

UseUrHeadFred: When the lunch time whistle blows, I don't go out to eat. I'd rather stick around and polish a couple of cruise missiles.


imageshack.us

That's a Wonderful post.
 
2012-09-17 06:25:03 AM
We don't need no stinkin' infrastructure spending
 
2012-09-17 06:36:13 AM
They really don't need to work quite so hard for vacuum tubes - they just need to know where to look.

The Navy maintains a small but significant tube production facility to keep some of the older radar systems running.
 
2012-09-17 06:47:38 AM
fark that noise. just shoot off all those bastards at some unsuspecting country and claim it was a malfunction. might serve as a good reminder to others not to fark with rock flag and eagle.
 
2012-09-17 07:10:51 AM
But they have a better sound quality than today's solid-state nuclear bombs.
 
2012-09-17 07:30:41 AM
I liked this article better when it was an op-ed by Jeffrey Lewis a week ago.
 
2012-09-17 07:31:47 AM
Try Sovtek.

/Ironic?
 
2012-09-17 07:32:49 AM

Hawnkee: But they have a better sound quality than today's solid-state nuclear bombs.


Most missile refurbishment takes place at Pantex, outside Amarillo, TX. I need to go through the boxes of vac tubes I have and put them on eBay. Hawnkee was right, the vac tube versions have that "warmer" quality to them.
 
2012-09-17 07:37:44 AM
seems like an awful large investment for something with a very unlikely useage scenario.
 
2012-09-17 07:46:37 AM
Meanwhile, they are spending 4 billion to upgrade the nuclear bombs stationed in Germany.

/Budget crisis? What budget crisis?
 
2012-09-17 08:01:20 AM
FTFA: The Obama administration and Congress have pushed the program forward despite the enormous cost of refurbishing such complex weapons and over the strenuous objections of some nuclear strategists

What a bleeding-heart liberal who has no care about our national defense. We should vote him out of office.

/yeah, right
 
2012-09-17 08:05:03 AM

Baryogenesis: 10 billion dollars to maintain some cold war relics. This could be an episode of Hoarders. "No, we can't get rid of these! What if the Soviets come back?" 

[i798.photobucket.com image 500x375]


Too busy to read the article, what with your busy schedule and all?
 
2012-09-17 08:23:58 AM

Bob Down: Check your local ham radio club Sandia.


And vintage hifi forums. There are a couple hundred vacuum tubes under the bed from which I'm typing this post. Some are even military spec.
 
2012-09-17 08:26:32 AM

Hawnkee: But they have a better sound quality than today's solid-state nuclear bombs.


Let me guess? The launch sequence codes sound warmer on vinyl too. Yeah right dickhead, you've just been trained to think that. Geez, wake up Sheeple!
 
2012-09-17 08:26:42 AM

Father_Jack: seems like an awful large investment for something with a very unlikely useage scenario.


The military hates to use things it hasn't tested, and its difficult to test new bombs with the limits in place. New bombs are probably out of the question anyway.
Obama ran with the unrealistic ideal of culling our stockpiles. The reality is we still need a deterrent that fits on certain platforms and is compatible with vehicles in allied forces.

What else can you do besides spend money on maintenance?

/The Cold war may be over, but the only thing locked in Pandora's box is hope.
 
2012-09-17 08:31:18 AM
http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110303185648/fallout/images//7 /72/Fo1_Intro_Water_chip_OR.png
 
2012-09-17 08:37:16 AM
Rachel Maddow did a wonderful job explaining all this in her book Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military Power. We were so secretive that we didn't write stuff down. Now all the old engineers are dead or retired and there are some parts we just do not know how to make anymore. Others simply aren't produced anymore, so we have to scavenge like the article states. We have a stockpile that is aging. Our oldest nukes need to be dismantled. We still have well over a thousand if we do that. And we need to update those we aren't going to dismantle.

/Thank god we signed that nuclear reduction treaty with Russia
//These things cost ridiculous sums of money...
 
2012-09-17 08:49:12 AM
I am sure we can come up with new solid state technology to replace the old electronics in those bombs.

Why not do what the Navy does and just build a new plant to make new vacuum tubes. It can't be that hard, the Chinese are doing it now, and we did it back at the turn of the 20th century. So why can't we do it now?
 
2012-09-17 08:50:41 AM

way south: Obama ran with the unrealistic ideal of culling our stockpiles.


I agree. We don't need to cut our nuclear arsenal. We need to double it. Immediately.

i16.photobucket.com

/ Because enough firepower to practically evaporate the planet isn't enough
 
2012-09-17 08:52:29 AM
Better give more money to the military.z I heard they haven't gold-plated all of their F22s yet.
 
2012-09-17 08:52:35 AM

Father_Jack: seems like an awful large investment for something with a very unlikely useage scenario.


Look, sometimes nukes are just necessary to ensure a domination victory when your opponents have deeply entrenched cities that would take several drawn out conventional battles to conquer.
 
2012-09-17 08:54:42 AM

Jurodan: Rachel Maddow did a wonderful job explaining all this in her book Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military Power. We were so secretive that we didn't write stuff down. Now all the old engineers are dead or retired and there are some parts we just do not know how to make anymore. Others simply aren't produced anymore, so we have to scavenge like the article states. We have a stockpile that is aging. Our oldest nukes need to be dismantled. We still have well over a thousand if we do that. And we need to update those we aren't going to dismantle.

/Thank god we signed that nuclear reduction treaty with Russia
//These things cost ridiculous sums of money...


I'm pretty liberal, but that interpretation, at least in this particular case, is horsesh*t. The fact is that we're in this situation because we obligated ourselves to the CTBT, and have not tested any nuclear weapons in about 20 years. The CTBT is a great tool for minimizing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But we're obligated to both avoid live testing and maintain a nuclear stockpile. The fact that we can even maintain our stockpile at all without testing is remarkable. It's obvious to everybody that it's going to be more expensive without live tests.
 
2012-09-17 08:59:20 AM

KrispyKritter: fark that noise. just shoot off all those bastards at some unsuspecting country and claim it was a malfunction. might serve as a good reminder to others not to fark with rock flag and eagle.


I recommend some other country with public libraries.

READ ABOUT THIS, BIATCHES!

/Shock and awegasm
 
2012-09-17 09:00:57 AM

way south: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama ran with the unrealistic ideal good idea of culling our stockpiles of weapons unlikely to be used in any current warfare scenario.


The fact is that between the Bushes and Clinton, we've cut far more stockpile than Obama ever could. And for good reason.

We need a stockpile to deter the use of offensive nuclear weapons. We can do this with a far smaller stockpile than we needed in the past.
 
2012-09-17 09:10:22 AM

Father_Jack: seems like an awful large investment for something with a very unlikely useage scenario.


It's less about that and more about ensuring the engineered reliability of the systems - especially the safety systems, you know, the ones that keep the things from accidentally going off. The article says these things are 40+ years old. You can't make components to last that long. Springs lose tension, solder degrades, metals oxidize, plastics get brittle. Once stuff ages and loses its designed properties the system stops doing what it was engineered to do.

I for one think $10 billion is a small price to pay to not lose a major city or two because we neglected our stuff and they started going off like fireworks on the 4th of July.
 
2012-09-17 09:10:32 AM

GranoblasticMan: Because enough firepower to practically evaporate the planet isn't enough


See that first number on your graphic?
You'll need to do something about that before the one below it can get any smaller.

/Realistically, not every nuke will be launched on game day when the enemy is targeting your bases.
/The key to M.A.D. wasn't the mutual, it was the assurance that came from big stockpiles.
 
2012-09-17 09:16:11 AM

way south: /The Cold war may be over, but the only thing locked in Pandora's box is hope.


Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained.
 
2012-09-17 09:21:32 AM

way south: See that first number on your graphic?
You'll need to do something about that before the one below it can get any smaller.


Ah, gotcha. So then you agree with Romney that the Soviet Union is still our #1 enemy.
 
2012-09-17 09:23:11 AM

way south: /Realistically, not every nuke will be launched on game day when the enemy is targeting your bases.


No. They'll use what's called a dense pack strike to get the dug-in targets. That's where they hit the same place about six times in half-hour intervals. Just to make sure.

/Kind of like I hit that one girlfriend of mine...
 
2012-09-17 09:23:25 AM
Have they looked in the Sandia Man cave for parts?
 
2012-09-17 09:27:15 AM

way south: /The key to M.A.D. wasn't the mutual, it was the assurance that came from big stockpiles.


Every analysis since the fall of the USSR says that big stockpiles are not necessary for deterrence any more. Partly due to the change in geopolitical climate, partly due to the improved ability to hit strategic targets without having to level the 10 sq miles around it.

Also, that number is inaccurate. Even the wacky-ass FAS says that Russia only has 4650 active warheads, and the US has 2500.
 
2012-09-17 09:31:12 AM

Babwa Wawa: We need a stockpile to deter the use of offensive nuclear weapons. We can do this with a far smaller stockpile than we needed in the past.


I disagree because of this article.
If we don't intend to build new weapons, ever, then you need enough inventory to cover for loss and breakage over the next century.

Its like owning a fleet of cars. Some are gonna rust, others are gonna break, a few might be lost/stolen and whats left must be scavenged for parts to keep the working units active.
How many do you need to last through the next century?

We need a few thousand bombs across hundreds of locations just for the deterrence, so there probably isn't much wiggle room left from what we have now.
 
2012-09-17 09:34:32 AM

way south: If we don't intend to build new weapons, ever, then you need enough inventory to cover for loss and breakage over the next century.


See, that's how I know you didn't read the article. We are building new weapons. The systems described will be completely rebuilt at a cost of $25M/system. That's a bargain if they can pull it off at that price.

But we don't need 30,000 of the damned things.
 
2012-09-17 09:38:46 AM
www.mitflea.com
 
2012-09-17 09:46:50 AM
Um, duh?

farm4.static.flickr.com

It's the future and stuff?
 
2012-09-17 09:53:19 AM

StingerJ: Bob Down: Check your local ham radio club Sandia.

And vintage hifi forums. There are a couple hundred vacuum tubes under the bed from which I'm typing this post. Some are even military spec.


"Virgin commies" my friend called them. As most of which come from the former soviet union. The Russians had vacuum tubes no bigger than a grain of wheat. As someone pointed out, they can handle EMP.
 
2012-09-17 09:54:15 AM

Babwa Wawa: But we don't need 30,000 of the damned things.


I wasn't arguing for a return to the cold war.
I'm saying that a politician shouldn't cut the stockpile further for simple political gain, because it will create these sorts of problems.
Especially when there isn't much of a stock left.
 
2012-09-17 09:56:00 AM

Babwa Wawa: way south: If we don't intend to build new weapons, ever, then you need enough inventory to cover for loss and breakage over the next century.

See, that's how I know you didn't read the article. We are building new weapons. The systems described will be completely rebuilt at a cost of $25M/system. That's a bargain if they can pull it off at that price.

But we don't need 30,000 of the damned things.


We don't have 30,000 anymore. Our total deployed warheads are fewer than 2000, with a few thousand more in reserve. We won't use them unless we get hit first or invaded, in which case we have to figure to lose anywhere from 50-75% of our deployment before we can hit back. So we need enough warheads where even if we get absolutely clobbered, we can have a second strike option that no country on earth can survive.

That's how I understand it at least.
 
2012-09-17 10:12:06 AM

H31N0US: Try Sovtek.

/Ironic?


I was going to say Virgin Commies....
 
2012-09-17 10:15:03 AM

way south: I wasn't arguing for a return to the cold war.
I'm saying that a politician shouldn't cut the stockpile further for simple political gain, because it will create these sorts of problems.
Especially when there isn't much of a stock left.


Nobody's cutting it for political gain. They're cutting it because it makes sense. In this case, cutting the B61 makes no sense, because it's one of the most likely devices to be used in a limited nuclear conflict.

And Obama is not proposing cutting the B61 as you implied. The DoD (not Obama) proposed three options for cutting the stockpile to 1100 from 1500. There are a lot of weapons in our arsenal that we wouldn't use.

And the numbers are not far off between the US and Russia - long-range warheads are currently between 1500 and 1700 for both countries.
 
2012-09-17 10:28:23 AM

natazha: StingerJ: Bob Down: Check your local ham radio club Sandia.

And vintage hifi forums. There are a couple hundred vacuum tubes under the bed from which I'm typing this post. Some are even military spec.

"Virgin commies" my friend called them. As most of which come from the former soviet union. The Russians had vacuum tubes no bigger than a grain of wheat. As someone pointed out, they can handle EMP.


Some new production tubes come from China as well, though that just helps your "commie" comment. The vintage hifi people are more likely to have vintage tubes, including new-in-box ones from the '50s. Whether they sound better or not is probably moot; the people who can afford them have almost certainly lost their high range hearing. It's more the collector aspect than anything. "Wow, a new old stock Telefunken ECC803S!"

/I think ECC803S is a common collector one
//might be E803CC?
 
2012-09-17 10:38:55 AM

StingerJ: natazha: StingerJ: Bob Down: Check your local ham radio club Sandia.

And vintage hifi forums. There are a couple hundred vacuum tubes under the bed from which I'm typing this post. Some are even military spec.

"Virgin commies" my friend called them. As most of which come from the former soviet union. The Russians had vacuum tubes no bigger than a grain of wheat. As someone pointed out, they can handle EMP.

Some new production tubes come from China as well, though that just helps your "commie" comment. The vintage hifi people are more likely to have vintage tubes, including new-in-box ones from the '50s. Whether they sound better or not is probably moot; the people who can afford them have almost certainly lost their high range hearing. It's more the collector aspect than anything. "Wow, a new old stock Telefunken ECC803S!"

/I think ECC803S is a common collector one
//might be E803CC?


usr.audioasylum.com
 
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