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(Yahoo)   Nuclear agency plans five new plutonium buildings at Los Alamos lab. You'd think that'd be hard on employees but oh well   (news.yahoo.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, United States Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Nuclear weapon, Savannah River Site, Plutonium, PUREX, Nuclear proliferation, Radioactive waste  
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337 clicks; posted to STEM » on 19 May 2022 at 5:05 PM (18 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-19 7:54:52 PM  
5 votes:

Flowery Twats: Ummm...do we really need more nukes?

Or is this just some sort of maintenance of existing nukes? TFA talks about ramping up production of triggers, so it sounds like they're trying to build more weapons, not just refurbish existing ones.

Anyone care to comment?


Triggers utilize a short-lifetime actinide and (iirc without looking anything up) beryllium, such that when crushed together by the chemical implosion wave, the alpha rays from the actinide are guaranteed to spall a few neutrons off the beryllium during maximum compression and initiate mega-big-ba-da-boom.

The short life of the trigger's actinide means they require regular maintenance/replacement. This is a significant part, btw, of why a lot of us suspect that a large fraction of Russia's nukes are nothing but dirty bombs at this point.

There's also an increasing need for Pu-238 for deep space missions, in light of... *ahem*... certain logistic problems likely to arise in terms of the supply from Russia. Which we depended on because flushing money down the drain on pointless wars in the middle east and criminalizing being nonwhite were more important than our ability to do science (among other things).
 
2022-05-19 9:51:21 PM  
4 votes:

Flowery Twats: Ummm...do we really need more nukes?

Or is this just some sort of maintenance of existing nukes? TFA talks about ramping up production of triggers, so it sounds like they're trying to build more weapons, not just refurbish existing ones.

Anyone care to comment?


After a while the decay products poison the yield of nuclear weapons. If let go too long they cease working. The plutonium has to be reprocessed to remove the impurities. In some cases the pu-239 will neutron capture to become pu-240 and pu-241. If these isotopes get too high it is cheaper to make fresh pu-239 than seperate the heavier isotopes.
 
2022-05-19 5:13:21 PM  
2 votes:
If you want to have nuclear weapons and reactors... it costs money. Upgrades are a good thing. Rejoice!
 
2022-05-19 8:51:26 PM  
2 votes:

Flowery Twats: Ummm...do we really need more nukes?

Or is this just some sort of maintenance of existing nukes? TFA talks about ramping up production of triggers, so it sounds like they're trying to build more weapons, not just refurbish existing ones.

Anyone care to comment?


You can do more with Pu than just build nuclear bombs.

But this is the US here, so, I doubt it's an ice drill for a Europa submersible mission the need it for.
 
2022-05-19 3:07:37 PM  
1 vote:
How to make Plutonium
Youtube -sh5XZo5wRE
 
2022-05-19 5:30:31 PM  
1 vote:
live.staticflickr.comView Full Size
 
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