September 25, 2017

That Other "Football"

While millionares who get paid big bucks to play games effectively thumb their noses at the fans who pay to see them, it probably behooves us to remember that "football" is also a term for something rather more consequential


This springs to mind because The North Koreans are now threatening to pop off an ATMOSPHERIC nuclear test over the Pacific, and further claiming that it will be the biggest explosion in that part of the world. (This would make the calamitous Castle Bravo test of 15 megatons the lower end of what they are promising). 

That seems rather high for anything that the DPRK could put on a missile, but, while the Norks are full of bluster to be sure, for the past few years they've made good on their promises regarding WMD. Note that their last (250KT) test, broke their mountain.
...reports of the mountain’s demise are highly exaggerated, although there is little doubt that there would have been significant "cracking” (possibly extending to the surface) as well as significant "irreversible strain” resulting from this event. Such cracking facilitates radioactive gas seepage in other environments. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not the North Portal will ever be used for another nuclear test. There are still two unused additional tunnel complexes (served by the South and West Portals) that are also deemed potentially capable of further nuclear testing, albeit for tests having lower yields than that of the sixth test.
 So, if they want to pursue higher yields (which makes sense if they'll have only a limited number of devices in the near furture) then they probably have to do atmospheric tests as there are so few safe places to do underground tests in the DPRK.

The generally quoted maximum yield to weight ratio is about 6 kilotons per kilogram, but only a few American weapons in the megaton range achieved that. The U.S. reportedly had designs for weapons with yields as high as 11 kt per kilogram in the early 1960s, but such efficiencies are only possible at the very high yields which went out of favor in the U.S. around that time. Note that "that time" was 50 years ago, The DPRK's weapons labs are no doubt well behind those of the other countries today, but it is unlikely that they are substantially less advanced than Los Alamos 50 years ago.  The notion that they could put a 15 +megaton nuke on one of their missiles is therefore unlikely, but not beyond the realm of possibility.

There's another really dreadful scenario, and that is that they detonate the device in the water, either as a depth charge or as the warhead on a nuclear torpedo like the Russians are again beginning to deploy. The fallout from such a weapons test would likely be pretty bad, even if less than Castle Bravo.

This brings us, inevitably, to video of Castle Bravo.


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:09 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 488 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Finishes reading.  Goes to med cabinet in bathroom to check exp date of potassium iodide tabs... 08/2019.  Good.

Posted by: Clayton Barnett at Mon Sep 25 19:49:34 2017 (ug1Mc)

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