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PostPosted: Feb 23, 2007 9:55 am 
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U-232 contaminated U-233 has far more radiation associated with it:

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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2008 6:37 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
jaro wrote:

Contrast this with the ease of building a bomb out of plutonium-239 or uranium-235, which are simple alpha emitters and easily shielded, and it's not hard to see why no one has ever built an operational nuclear weapon with uranium-233.


Actually the 1955 "MET" test from Operation Teapot used a U-233/Pu core swapped out for the U-235/Pu core.
Quote from http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Teapot.html

MET stands either for "Military Effects Test" or "Military Effects Tower" (according to Frank Shelton). This was a LASL test of a composite U-233/plutonium bomb core (the first test by the U.S. to use U-233) in a Mk 7 HE assembly. The 30 inch diameter spherical implosion system weighed 800 lb.

The primary purpose was to evaluate the destructive effects of nuclear explosions for military purposes. For this reason, the DOD specified that a device must be used that had a yield calibrated to within +/- 10%, and the Buster Easy device design was selected (this test gave 31 kt and used a plutonium/U-235 core). LASL weapon designers however decided to conduct a weapon design experiment with this shot, and unbeknownst to the test effect personnel substituted the untried U-233 core. The predicted yield was 33 kt. The actual 22 kt was 33% below this, seriously compromising the data collected.

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PostPosted: Sep 04, 2008 6:46 pm 
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Key word: "operational" nuclear weapon.

Not experimental.

The U233 bomb was lousy and reinforced to the military why U233 was such a bad idea. Plus making the special U233 for it required a level of carefulness (to avoid U232 contamination) that would not be practical for an "operational" weapon.

On that note, welcome Argo!


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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2008 9:47 am 
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argo wrote:
[ LASL weapon designers however decided to conduct a weapon design experiment with this shot, and unbeknownst to the test effect personnel substituted the untried U-233 core.
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Thus compartmental secrecy is so important that such things are allowed to happen from time to time. The classified military space program has that problem on occasion as well, since no one person knows all aspects. Now that should tell us that we don't know all the aspects of the 233 core (how it was used, what percentages, what was the design objectives, etc.), but we do know it was low yield and never used again. It also was not a big contender in the early bomb race when they were trying anything and everything. The Russians did not use it and they do all kinds of crazy things like making a 100MT device just to see if it was possible. It is safe to say it is not the weapon material of choice and any country or terrorist will find it much easier to get "the good stuff" and the design help to make it useful.

Welcome to the forum!


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