PDA

View Full Version : Stuart Slade on suitcase nukes.



Bill
24 Feb 06,, 20:23
Seer Stuart
The Prince of Darkness
Posts: 4591
(2/24/06 15:37 )
Reply

:eek

Dancing on eggs here.

Assuming by "suitcase bomb" you mean something that has an element of man-portability, the lower limit would be about 0.01 kilotons (explosive power equivalent to 10 tons of TNT). Its unlikely to get that low because its VERY hard to build low-yield devices.

The upper limit is harder to determine since it also depends on the sophistication of the producers. Technically, it could go up to 150 kilotons since it's posisble to build a sort-of man portable fusion or boosted fission device that small with that sort of yield.

By the way, sophisticated nuclear devices like those extremes have relatively short lives before they degrade to uselessness

As a personal guess, assuming the device is assembled by somebody without decades of experience in such things, the device would be somewhere in the 5 to 25 kiloton region, expanding out to the extremes as the experience of the builders grows.

Another by the way, sophistication (ie the ability to build small low-yield and small high-yield) devices goes roughly like this.

US
UK
Russia
India
France
Israel
China
Pakistan

India's anomalously high position is because a lot of device design at this level is mathematics and India produces a lot of world-class mathematicians (nobody knows why but the number of such maths experts in India is far above average). The Uk scores very high because there are few things the US does that the Uk doesn't get told about.

Nations do not survive by setting examples for others.
Nations survive by making examples of others
http://p076.ezboard.com/fhistorypoliticsandcurrentaffairs68862frm9.showMes sage?topicID=2142.topic

Dreadnought
24 Feb 06,, 20:28
India produces a lot of world-class mathematicians (nobody knows why but the number of such maths experts in India is far above average).

I can vouge for that one my professors at college is an extremely articulated mathematician. The man is a math machine :)

HistoricalDavid
25 Feb 06,, 10:34
I think that's true, India labour supply for skilled software development is also abnormally high for such a developing country.

Aryan
25 Feb 06,, 16:26
India also stands a good chance because India has a lot ,more experience with Uranium 233.

But the idea that a suitcase nuke can be 150kt is a little farfetched, but a 20-40kt nuke would be very impressive. The biggest contraint is the limitations imposed on the implosion system, and the possibility of the use of any tamper or reflection (besides beryllium) is excluded.

"The Uk scores very high because there are few things the US does that the Uk doesn't get told about."

Bull.

I'd put Russia on the top of that list, as it is the only country that we know has produced them in the past, but the N5 all have the technical capacity to make them.

Officer of Engineers
25 Feb 06,, 16:30
The only real measure is how much money anyone is willing to spend to get these things.

Bill
25 Feb 06,, 17:20
India also stands a good chance because India has a lot ,more experience with Uranium 233.

But the idea that a suitcase nuke can be 150kt is a little farfetched, but a 20-40kt nuke would be very impressive. The biggest contraint is the limitations imposed on the implosion system, and the possibility of the use of any tamper or reflection (besides beryllium) is excluded.

"The Uk scores very high because there are few things the US does that the Uk doesn't get told about."

Bull.

I'd put Russia on the top of that list, as it is the only country that we know has produced them in the past, but the N5 all have the technical capacity to make them.

Hey Rocket Scientist, before you go adding your 'expert' interpretation please keep in mind that the original post on this thread was written by a real live US nuclear weapons targeteer for the US DoD/DoE who knows full well what a 'suitcase nuke' is capable of. WTF do you think i asked him for?

Repeat after me: Stuart Slade is a widely acknowledged expert in the field of nuclear weapons, i, Aryan, am not.

Jeez.

Aryan
25 Feb 06,, 17:39
Hey Rocket Scientist, before you go adding your 'expert' interpretation please keep in mind that the original post on this thread was written by a real live US nuclear weapons targeteer for the US DoD/DoE who knows full well what a 'suitcase nuke' is capable of. WTF do you think i asked him for?


Jeez.

:cool:

My reading into it certainly isn't expert (most of it was done 4-5 years ago+),
and I ain't saying that I know more than a nuclear weapons targeteer. Had I known the original poster was one, I would have worded my post different.

But with what I know, I still think that a 120kt suitcase device is impossible, even wiht a boosted fission. 40kt would be the upper limits in my mind with boosted fission. For instance, most fission devices utilise a uranium tamper to increase yield; but such a tamper would make a suitcase bomb immobile.

How does this guy suggest a 120kt to be possible? Surely, not by boosted fission alone...

Bill
25 Feb 06,, 18:01
:cool:

I'm reading into it certainly isn't expert (most of it was done 4-5 years ago+),
and I ain't saying that I know more than a nuclear weapons targeteer. Had I known the original poster was one, I would have worded my post different.

But with what I know, I still think that a 120kt suitcase device is impossible, even wiht a boosted fission. 40kt would be the upper limits in my mind with boosted fission. For instance, most fission devices utilise a uranium tamper to increase yield; but such a tamper would make a suitcase bomb immobile.

How does this guy suggest a 120kt to be possible? Surely, not by boosted fission alone...

One suggestion would be to follow the thread. Tell him you are a friend of mine, and then ask.

However i would point out that knowing this man, if he says something can be done wrt nuclear weapons, it can be done.

Talking to him about nukes is about the same as talking to me about sniper rifles. Hell, it's even better........he's still with the Gov't, and is still completley current on the moden stuff(unlike me).

Aryan
25 Feb 06,, 18:33
I'll definitely pop in at some point :)

raj
02 Mar 06,, 12:37
atlast some one said some thing good about INDIAN mathematicians

Dreadnought
02 Mar 06,, 13:43
atlast some one said some thing good about INDIAN mathematicians

Raj, this professor I have goes on math rants for an hour at a time hes a mad scientist and extremely intellectual. ;)

raj
03 Mar 06,, 05:33
Raj, this professor I have goes on math rants for an hour at a time hes a mad scientist and extremely intellectual. ;)
:biggrin:

leib10
03 Mar 06,, 06:58
India produces a lot of world-class mathematicians (nobody knows why but the number of such maths experts in India is far above average).

I can vouge for that one my professors at college is an extremely articulated mathematician. The man is a math machine :)

Agreed. My old math tutor was from India, and probably the smartest man I've ever met.