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(Some Guy)   The five most extreme nuclear experiments ever...including the nuclear reactor powered bomber   (physicscentral.com) divider line 3
    More: Cool, nuclear reactors, experiments, Freeman Dyson, liquid metal, General Atomics, natural gas field, South Atlantic, compressed air  
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8490 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2013 at 12:18 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-16 11:40:37 PM
1 votes:

dittybopper: erewhon: Those were a bit bigger than a basketball.

These weren't:


W-54 warhead from a Davy Crockett, the same basic device used in the SADM.

We made them even smaller than that:


Basketballs are that big in your world? Look at the guy's arm in relation to the weapon. I said it was a bit bigger. It is. Even with some of the casing stripped for a SADM, it's still a bit bigger than a basketball.

The howitzer shell was what I was referring to when I said we had long ago gotten them smaller than a basketball. However, that warhead was dropped from consideration almost as soon as it was designed, it's inherently unsafe and doesn't meet DOE's specs. For one, it's vulnerable to fratricide, for another it's a single point trigger design and had no PAL, worse, with sp designs it doesn't take but a few minutes to bypass PAL anyway.

They're two different designs, also. The howitzer shell is a topology changer. That's how the Russians do "suitcase nukes", very crappy inefficient low yield weapons. But they're small. Generally single or double point triggers.
2013-08-16 01:14:14 PM
1 votes:

dittybopper: Best Princess Celestia: Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.

Because:

1. It's very technically feasible, and
2. If we hadn't stopped development, we could have had manned missions to Mars and the outer solar system by now, and perhaps had an unmanned interstellar probe half-way to the Alpha Centauri system by now.


This, except that it is also a textbook example of unintended consequences:  one of the major design goals
of the project was to create efficient nuclear bombs the size of basketballs, and apparently they may well
have succeededl.  Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure since most of the technical details are
still classified, but if so I can understand why the US was reluctant to build it for real since I'm sure there are
other uses for nuclear weapons that small that would be outside of their design parameters.

This is an excellent, dare I say definitive, book on the subject, and is an enjoyable read to boot.
2013-08-16 12:26:01 PM
1 votes:
Why is the Orion engine always there?
Getting really old now. In fact, all this stuff has been outed like every 6 months since 2000.
 
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