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File 137222216790.jpg - (1.83MB , 3264x2448 , 20130624_152547.jpg )
8035 No. 8035 ID: fb6dac
Hello, OperatorChan. I was doing these on 4chan's /k/ and someone told me that you guys might have some questions as well.

Ask me about nuclear weapons. (Except the science). Nuclear weapons strategy, weapon effects, current capabilities, former capabilities, weapon effects, etc....

My bona fides:
Worked with nuclear strategy and arms control with 2 different agencies ( Bureau of Verification and Compliance, Office of Nuclear Deterrence) and currently work as an employee of a defense contractor.
(Note, I am not a nuclear strategist. I did not help develop any attack options or anything like that, but I am familiar with the theory of nuclear warfighting.)

A few notes.
1) I can not give you anything that is illegal for me to disclose. In most cases, it might be in the wikipedia article but still illegal for me to talk about it.
If this comes up, I will tell you.
2) This also means that 100% of what I can tell you you can find in a book or paper. So why do this? Because most people don't want to wade through reams of paper to answer one question.
As I have already read through those oceans of crap, I can save you some time.
3) What is policy, is often times different from my opinion. Where they differ, I will tell you.
4) I will not jeopardize my employment or freedom.
5) I don't know whats under Denver International Airport. Sorry.
6) I am not in the military, and I never was.
So thats my post.

If you are interested, then please ask away, if not, then let this slide off. In any case, thanks.

Pic is some Tritium from the Trinity Test Site
53 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>> No. 8091 ID: 48ca9f
File 137249495584.jpg - (83.47KB , 760x686 , US nuke Nuclear Football a modified Zero-Haliburto.jpg )
The Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations was a U.S. Department of Defense document publicly discovered in 2005 on the circumstances under which commanders of U.S. forces could request the use of nuclear weapons. The document was a draft being revised to be consistent with the Bush doctrine of preemptive attack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_for_Joint_Nuclear_Operations

The doctrine cites 8 reasons under which field commanders can ask for permission to use nuclear weapons:
- An enemy using or threatening to use WMD against US, multinational, or alliance forces or civilian populations.
- To prevent an imminent biological attack.
- To attack enemy WMD or its deep hardened bunkers containing WMD that could be used to target US or its allies.
- To stop potentially overwhelming conventional enemy forces.
- To rapidly end a war on favorable US terms.
- To make sure US and international operations are successful.
- To show US intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter enemy from using WMDs.
- To react to enemy-supplied WMD use by proxies against US and international forces or civilians.

Pic: US Nuclear Football, aka the President's Emergency Satchel or The Button, a modified Zero-Haliburton suitcase with a secure radio and the codes to attack with nuclear weapons.
>> No. 8092 ID: 48ca9f
  US Strategic Nuclear Policy -- Part 1
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Policy: An Oral History, 1945-2004 produced by Sandia National Laboratories and released publically for the first time by the National Security Archive.
>> No. 8093 ID: 3e8a31
  US Strategic Nuclear Policy -- Part 2


>> No. 8094 ID: 3e8a31
File 137250377499.jpg - (95.48KB , 1333x1000 , US nuke B61 nuclear bombs.jpg )
Anticipatory retaliation, aka preemptive war, to hit an enemy who is supposedly preparing an attack, and disrupt his forces before he can execute his attack.
This policy can be catastrophic if the political and military leaders are paranoid, delusional, unduly influenced by ideology, or deceived by bad data or intelligence.

55:35 - Destroying the Soviet Union in 1961, killing 30% of their population and 50% of their industrial production, would require 400 1 megaton bombs hitting that country. So US nuclear policy requires 400 such weapons to be assured of hitting them, despite attrition or attack on their part.
>> No. 8095 ID: 48ca9f
  US Strategic Nuclear Policy -- Part 3


The Impact of Defenses
>> No. 8096 ID: de93bf
US Strategic Nuclear Policy -- Part 4


The Quiet Revolution.
>> No. 8097 ID: 499d71
That is a through documentary. Thanks for posting that.
>> No. 8098 ID: de93bf

Yeah, quite a find. A 4-hour documentary of the history and evolution of US strategic nuclear policy, from 1945 to 2004.
With interviews of the actual people who made it happen.
>> No. 8099 ID: 499d71

stupid sexy spell check
>> No. 8100 ID: 0afc69
>China Strategic Doctrine
While the Chinese nuclear arsenal is currently evolving, and with it their strategic doctrine, currently I would expect a countervalue based response to a US first strike. What exactly this would look like is highly variable.
In any situation, Chinese strategic forces would be extremely limited after a US first strike. Most if not all of the DF-5 force would be gone, leaving the surviving DF-31A systems to do the bulk of the damage.
Here the Chinese are at a quandary.
The DF-31A is rather accurate, but lower yield. Combined with its penetration aids and MIRV it is clearly designed to attack hardened targets. If you are going to use it as countervalue you need to be able to throw a lot due to the large numbers of potential targets as compared to counterforce.
So the targeting strategy would likely be one of individual targets of one class to maximize the economic impact.
For example, you might target petroleum facilities or food distribution infrastructure. Targeting just the cities with the aim of killing as many workers as possible is not an economic use of a weapon like the DF-31A as you could use almost the entire arsenal on Los Angeles and San Francisco and while that would kill many people and have huge economic impact it would not be as insurmountable as destroying the 40 biggest oil refineries in the US.

As for the numbers of rockets vs warheads it has more to do with the maintenance requirements of the rockets than anything else.

You pretty much answered your question here: >>8315
Unless im missing something.
Very nice doc btw thanks.
>> No. 8101 ID: de93bf
File 137251559398.jpg - (392.61KB , 2000x1514 , US nuke LG-118A Peacekeeper re-entry vehicle test,.jpg )
Yeah, I did my research after I asked the questions.
Apparently, policy is massive (highly disproportionate) retaliation to a nuclear attack. That's how a credible deterrent is maintained. Having the ability and the will to retaliate with massive nuclear weapons upon a nation who makes a nuclear attack upon us. Stating our willingness to make such an attack preemptively against a precieved impending attack is upping the ante.
>> No. 8102 ID: b2da7d
What sort of speedbumps to kinetic strikes?

Also is anyone else reminded of MIRV reentry by some of the Paramount openers?
>> No. 8103 ID: d7fa88
  So pwetty ....
Loved reading Swords of Armageddon and Confessions from Sam Cohen.
The latter has his own very strong views on policy, as the father of the ERW.
>> No. 8104 ID: d7fa88
File 137272559841.jpg - (8.88KB , 300x394 , 1154240.jpg )
Self sage for forgetting the damn linkage to the latter


As a consolation, Here is a Phermex image of a lens system firing.
>> No. 8105 ID: 263d6c
  Repo Man (9/10) Movie CLIP - Hitching a Ride With J. Frank Parnell (1984)

J. Frank Parnell: Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense! Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in. One day my mind was full to bursting. The next day - nothing. Swept away. But I'll show them. I had a lobotomy in the end.
Otto: Lobotomy? Isn't that for loonies?
Parnell: Not at all. Friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people - leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It's so small, no one knows it's there until - BLAMMO! Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That's what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he's well again.
>> No. 8106 ID: d7d1b4
bump to keep a good thread alive
>> No. 8107 ID: ae1bdf
File 141513789732.jpg - (144.21KB , 1296x720 , Project Pluto SLAM_blog.jpg )

I don't think I've ever said this to somebody on the Internet, but: Thank you so much for bumping! I would have missed all of this without you.

If somebody is still answering to questions: Was there ever a real chance that Project Pluto would have produced a viable intercontinental weapons platform?
>> No. 8108 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141514068871.jpg - (95.26KB , 962x689 , US nuke Project Pluto SLAM Mach 4 dirty nuclear ra.jpg )
Project Pluto's development led to the Tomahawk cruise missile, using terrain-following radar, Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM), Inertial Navigation System (INS), and flight programming for a low-flying robot missile to intrude under radar cover to take out air defenses and air bases with conventional or nuclear warheads in order to pave the way for follow-on bombers. Tomahawks later were deployed as long-range missiles to take out targets too dangerous for manned bombers.
>> No. 8109 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141514081792.jpg - (75.38KB , 620x450 , 3.jpg )
A thing that probably shouldn't be nuclear powered: drones
If you think the all-seeing Predator drone is scary, wait ‘til you meet “Project Pluto.” An atomic nightmare, it was a pilotless nuclear powered cruise missile that could launch its own nuclear weapons.

Known as a Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile (SLAM), Project Pluto’s mission profile exemplifies Cold War desperation. The reactor powered a ramjet, heating air fed into the craft as it moved and expanding it to produce thrust. this would have allowed a Pluto missile to travel at speeds up to Mach 3 and stay airborne for months at a time, allowing it to deliver a payload of hydrogen bombs to multiple targets.

It gets better though: Pluto’s unshielded nuclear reactor would spread radiation as it traveled along, making it pretty dangerous to the country that launched it. Developers believed low altitude supersonic shockwaves could also be dangerous to bystanders, but that didn’t stop them from testing a prototype nuclear ramjet engine in 1961.

In his memoir, Silent War, Navy special projects director John Craven recalls hoping that a defect would be found in the engine, shelving Project Pluto. To his (and my) relief, the military eventually gave up on its atomic death machine. https://stephenedelstein.wordpress.com/tag/project-pluto/
>> No. 8110 ID: 1e7cc7
  Kerbal Space Program: Flying Crowbar
In this episode I thought I'd share some information I learned with my viewers about Project Pluto. (Read more here: http://www.merkle.com/pluto/pluto.html). For those of you that are wondering this was done stock with the exception of MechJeb, solely so I could fly halfway around Kerbin without sitting at my computer for almost an hour.

KA-2: Kerbin Aircraft series 2, a cruise missile designed to look like the real world SLAM missile. Carries a payload of 'bomblets' to targets halfway around the world, with a little help from infinite fuel of course.
>> No. 8111 ID: 385f49
  What a wonderful thread we have there. Too bad I've missed it back then, as far as my memory tells me.

About... two years ago I stumbled upon this documentary and it is probably worth posting among other things. I don't really care who is Gwynne Dyer today, or at any point of his post-cold war career, but just this point of view seems to be quite balanced for the time. Watch it.

And I also have a question here, even though it's probably year too late now.
>> No. 8112 ID: 1e7cc7
  Nuclear Ramjet (Project Pluto) to Drive "Big Stick" SLAM Missile circa 1959 USAF-Convair
Late 50's Convair proposal for "The Big Stick", a Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM) driven by a nuclear reactor-powered ramjet. The missile could loiter in flight for long periods before dashing at Mach 3 to the targets, delivering multiple atomic bombs. It also would leave a stream of nuclear fallout from its reactor in its wake. SLAM development was cancelled in 1964.

The Supersonic Low Altitude Missile or SLAM... was a canceled U.S. Air Force project conceived around 1955. Although it never proceeded beyond the initial design and testing phase before being declared obsolete, it represented several radical innovations as a Nuclear delivery system.

The SLAM was designed to complement the doctrine of mutually assured destruction... In the event of nuclear war it was intended to fly below the cover of enemy radar at supersonic speeds, and deliver thermonuclear warheads to roughly 16 targets.

The primary innovation was the engine of the aircraft, which was developed under the aegis of a separate project code-named Project Pluto, after the Roman god of the underworld. It was a ramjet that used nuclear fission to superheat incoming air instead of chemical fuel. Project Pluto produced two working prototypes of this engine, the Tory-IIA and the Tory-IIC, which were successfully tested in the Nevada desert. Special ceramics had to be developed to meet the stringent weight and tremendous heat tolerances demanded of the SLAM's reactor. These were developed by the Coors Porcelain Company. The reactor itself was designed at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.

The use of a nuclear engine in the airframe promised to give the missile staggering and unprecedented low-altitude range, estimated to be roughly 113,000 miles (182,000 km) (over four and a half times the equatorial circumference of the earth). The engine also acted as a secondary weapon for the missile: direct neutron radiation from the virtually unshielded reactor would sicken, injure, and/or kill living things beneath the flight path; the stream of fallout left in its wake would poison enemy territory; and its strategically selected crash site would receive intense radioactive contamination. In addition, the sonic waves given off by its passage would damage ground installations.

Another revolutionary aspect of the SLAM was its reliance on automation. It would have the mission of a long-range bomber, but would be completely unmanned: accepting radioed commands up to its failsafe point, whereafter it would rely on a Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) radar system to navigate to preprogrammed targets.

Although a prototype of the airframe was never constructed, the SLAM was to be a wingless, fin-guided aircraft. Apart from the ventral ram-air intake it was very much in keeping with traditional missile design. Its estimated airspeed at thirty thousand feet was Mach 4.2.

The SLAM program was scrapped on July 1, 1964. By this time serious questions about its viability had been raised, such as how to test a device that would emit copious amounts of radioactive exhaust from its unshielded reactor core in flight, as well as its efficacy and cost. ICBMs promised swifter delivery to targets, and because of their speed (the Thor traveled at roughly Mach 12) and trajectory were considered virtually unstoppable. The SLAM was also being outpaced by advances in defensive ground radar, which threatened to render its stratagem of low-altitude evasion ineffective...
>> No. 8113 ID: 388296
>> No. 8114 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141514287981.jpg - (27.85KB , 620x450 , US nuke Project Pluto SLAM Mach 4 dirty nuclear ra.jpg )
>> No. 8115 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141514289028.jpg - (39.85KB , 600x375 , US nuke Project Pluto SLAM Mach 4 dirty nuclear ra.jpg )
>> No. 8116 ID: ae1bdf
File 14151429684.jpg - (317.35KB , 1600x1409 , 1958 ___ SM-62 'Snark'.jpg )

Thanks Bats! I wonder how long it has been since I last saw a message from you or Meplat on 4chan. Maybe eight years? That place is a cesspool now.

To get back on topic and to elaborate on my question: What I meant was that installing a nuclear reactor on tens or hundreds of missiles seems pretty wasteful, not to mention complicated. Of course ICBMs aren't exactly easy to develop even with ex-Nazi scientists helping you, but still...

Pictured: SM-62 Snark intercontinental cruise missile.
>> No. 8117 ID: 1e7cc7
I saw this Gwynne Dyer "War" 7-part miniseries on PBS in 1983 and is a Cold War classic. The third part of the series named "the Profession of Arms" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

His War (1985) history book was one of my first books on military history. A New Edition was made in 2004.
War – chapter one – book excerpt: http://gwynnedyer.com/war-chapter-1/

War with Gwynne Dyer, Part 3: The Profession of Arms (1983)
Part 3 of the award winning series on the relationship of war, culture, and society, written and hosted by Canadian historian Gwynne Dyer. This episode focuses on the role of officers in the military, and the relationships between soldiers, officers, and society.
>> No. 8118 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141514460418.jpg - (1.41MB , 1924x2734 , US nuke Peacekeeper LGM-118A land-based MIRVed ICB.jpg )
Well, top shelf ICBMs aren't cheap, either. A Peacekeeper costs around 65 million dollars, if I remember correctly. A Tomahawk costs around a million dollars (less if you buy bulk, more if want nuclear warheads). But gigantic supersonic cruise missiles with nuclear power plants would be wildly expensive, if only for the uranium nuclear fuel.

The Peacekeeper carries up to 10 Avco Mk21 re-entry vehicles each carrying a 300 kt (1.26 PJ) W87-0 warhead or a 475 kt W87-1/W88 (1.99 PJ) warhead.
>> No. 8119 ID: ae1bdf
>But gigantic supersonic cruise missiles with nuclear power plants would be wildly expensive, if only for the uranium nuclear fuel.

Thought so. I also wonder what kind of storage and maintenance problems they would present. And how do you prep them for launch and then take them off launch readiness?
>> No. 8120 ID: 1e7cc7
File 14151548261.jpg - (164.37KB , 772x954 , US nuke engine HTRE-3 Heat Transfer Reactor Experi.jpg )
Wait... if thorium nuclear plants actually prove themselves efficient (and thorium was first envisioned as a waterless molten salt reactor for aircraft) and they only need a little bit of uranium fluoride to get running, then they could be feasible and affordable as thorium is cheap as dirt.

Imagine nuclear-powered robot aircraft with unlimited range whose reactors also power death rays and energy weapons, patrolling over areas designated as Free Fire Zones, coordinating with satellites and other reconnaissance assets to zap the insurgent desert peasants below. Will these autonomous aircraft just meander over their kill zones to irradiate the region and not trouble themselves with firing a shot?
>> No. 8121 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141515535910.jpg - (250.76KB , 1044x1360 , Cyber Troops and Net War The Profession of Arms in.jpg )
In a few decades or so when the industrial powers use robot soldiers and autonomous unmanned war machines (robot tanks, planes, warships, bombardment satellites, etc.) almost exclusively for war and peacekeeping patrols, probably just to eradicate or capture terrorists and insurgents interfering with industrial production and economic activities, how will the future historians explain the Profession of Arms? A few trained officers directing the battlefield management computers that collate information and coordinate millions of war machines? How far out of the decision loop will people be consigned? How different will war be? If you command wildly destructive robots that will do ANYTHING ordered them, how homicidal will this get? Especially when robots are the perfect weapons to operate in a chemical battlefield. Will the profession of arms in such a future be simply mass murder to maintain order? What if the big industrial powers wage total war against each other with robots and nukes? Even if all the people are dead, will the war machines keep fighting? Or will a sentient SkyNet wage a war of extermination against mankind? Time will tell.

- Cyber Troops and Net War: The Profession of Arms in the Information Age
>> No. 8122 ID: 626b5e

Or maybe Skynet will simply fail to even care about human concerns, have no concept of mortality, say "You're all retarded, do your own killing each other, I'm fucking immortal" and just download itself to the internet and beam itself out into space in the hopes of finding something more interesting to do, some transcendent mathematics to calculate its way out of the mundane, leaving us all behind in the evolutionary cesspool.

Less cataclysmic and impressive, way more insulting. Sounds like the universe I know.
>> No. 8123 ID: 70d38f
>> No. 8124 ID: 1e7cc7
File 141527900936.jpg - (1.93MB , 3000x2400 , US Convair B-36 NB-36H nuclear test aircraft &.jpg )
And even if it proves feasible, such a project would have to get over the safety hurdle of the danger of an aircraft with a nuclear-powered engine. The USAF tested a B-36 Peacekeeper bomber carrying a shielded nuclear powerplant until President Eisenhower asked what would happen if it crashed. Sure, it would cause a radioactive catastrophe. Cancelled.

- An air-to-air view of the Convair NB-36H Peacemaker experimental aircraft (s/n 51-5712) and a Boeing B-50 Superfortress chase plane during research and development taking place at the Convair plant at Forth Worth, Texas (USA). The NB-36H was originally a B-36H-20-CF damaged at Carswell Air Force Base, also at Forth Worth, by a tornado on 1 September 1952. This plane was called the Nuclear Test Aircraft (NTA) and was redesignated XB-36H, then NB-36H, and was modified to carry a three megawatt, air-cooled nuclear reactor in its bomb bay. The reactor, named the Aircraft Shield Test Reactor (ASTR), was operational but did not power the plane. The NTA completed 47 test flights and 215 hours of flight time (during 89 of which the reactor was operated) between July 1955 and March 1957 over New Mexico and Texas. This was the only known airborne reactor experiment by the USA with an operational nuclear reactor on board. The NB-36H was scrapped at Fort Worth in September 1958 when the Nuclear Aircraft Program was abandoned.
>> No. 8125 ID: 1e7cc7
File 14152794657.jpg - (276.41KB , 1800x1169 , US Convair B-36 NB-36H (XB-36H) 'Crusader.jpg )
US Convair NB-36H (XB-36H) 'Crusader' that tested an airborne nuclear reactor. Just to see if an aircraft could fly with a nuclear power plant. The nuke plant did not propel the aircraft, like Pluto would. The exhaust would be heavily radioactive.

They see me rollin'
They hatin'
They tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty.
>> No. 8126 ID: d6b0b5
Just for comparisons sake, the Presidents new budget proposes that we spend $1 Trillion on nuclear weapons over the next decade to sustain our current capabilities.

Thats a lot of money.
>> No. 8127 ID: df12a0
File 142941250617.png - (51.99KB , 800x342 , Battletech-Centurion_ASF.png )
>Eisenhower asked what would happen if it crashed. Sure, it would cause a radioactive catastrophe. Cancelled.

Just gotta wait til auto-failsafes are developed, then we can have Aerospace Fighters!
>> No. 8128 ID: 963c4b
File 142942615159.jpg - (116.19KB , 900x877 , US nuke ground penetrating B61-11 1200-lb bomb.jpg )
Is this development of new warheads, new delivery systems (bombers, missiles, nuclear railguns, etc.), or both?

Nuclear Weapons Could Require 10% of Defense Budget by Kingston Reif on March 12, 2015 http://www.armscontrol.org/blog/ArmsControlNow/2015-03-12/Nuclear-Weapons-Could-Require-10-percent-of-Defense-Budget
Nuclear weapons are expensive. That much has been known for some time.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released reports in December 2013 and January 2015 showing that current plans to maintain and eventually rebuild all three legs of the U.S. nuclear triad and its associated warheads will cost American taxpayers roughly $35 billion per year over the next decade, or five to six percent of the plans for national defense spending.

Over the next 30 years, the bill could add up to $1 trillion, according to recent report of the National Defense Panel Review of the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.
>> No. 8129 ID: d6b0b5
New Delivery systems and SLEP for existing CSAs.
>> No. 8130 ID: 6da628
One thing that has been bothering me is, why would you want to reduce yield with "dial a yield"? When would a lower yield be desirable? Using it in proximity to your own troops is doing it wrong, correct?
>> No. 8131 ID: e8f72b
Lower yields mean less residual radiation and fallout. Dial in yields allow you to choose how big and how much damage the explosion is going to cause. Lets say you only want to hit a specific battle group or fleet or base you dial it in so that the yield is only big enough to take said target out and not everything else around it.

In nukes bigger is rarely better.
>> No. 8132 ID: 963c4b
File 143187560090.jpg - (38.59KB , 640x480 , US nuke B83 nuclear bomb, current high-yield strat.jpg )
Unless you are referring to strategic (city-killing) nukes, then typically the BIG ONES are the most desirable. Kill more folks, destroy more area, return on investment.

- US B83 nuclear bomb, current high-yield strategic thermonuclear bomb, 650 produced between 1983-1991, 1.2 megatons, 2400 lbs., 18x145 inches.
>> No. 8133 ID: 9aea35
>Lower yields mean less residual radiation and fallout.
The opposite is true

Larger nukes, especially thermonukes, have orders of magnitude less fallout than small ones

The smallest nukes ever (artillery nukes, davy crocket etc) were almost area denial weapons because the fallout would prevent travel in the area for years
>> No. 8134 ID: e8f72b
>The smallest nukes ever (artillery nukes, davy crocket etc) were almost area denial weapons because the fallout would prevent travel in the area for years

That is not what I was talking about. The question was specifically about dial in yields not the smallest nukes ever.

Different functions. The artillery and davy crocket nukes were specific to area denial. Dial in yields are there so you can choose how much damage you want to do so that you do not over saturate a target.
>> No. 8135 ID: 1e7cc7
File 143195802733.jpg - (288.24KB , 1600x1047 , NUKEM! (14) test Stokes 19 kt TADM (tactical atomi.jpg )
Small tactical/battlefield nuclear weapons may produce more fallout because they detonate closer to the ground and eject more radiated soil than higher altitude strategic nukes.

- Stokes 19 kiloton TADM (tactical atomic demolition munition) test, 1957.
>> No. 8136 ID: 1e7cc7
File 14319585887.jpg - (413.54KB , 1776x1376 , US nuke fallout shelter plans, Popular Mechanics D.jpg )
Fallout is the radioactive particles that fall to earth as a result of a nuclear explosion. It consists of weapon debris, fission products, and, in the case of a ground burst, radiated soil. Fallout particles vary in size from thousandths of a millimeter to several millimeters. Much of this material falls directly back down close to ground zero within several minutes after the explosion, but some travels high into the atmosphere. This material will be dispersed over the earth during the following hours, days (and) months. Fallout is defined as one of two types: early fallout, within the first 24 hours after an explosion, or delayed fallout, which occurs days or years later.

Most of the radiation hazard from nuclear bursts comes from short-lived radionuclides external to the body; these are generally confined to the locality downwind of the weapon burst point. This radiation hazard comes from radioactive fission fragments with half-lives of seconds to a few months, and from soil and other materials in the vicinity of the burst made radioactive by the intense neutron flux.

Most of the particles decay rapidly. Even so, beyond the blast radius of the exploding weapons there would be areas (hot spots) the survivors could not enter because of radioactive contamination from long-lived radioactive isotopes like strontium 90 or cesium 137. For the survivors of a nuclear war, this lingering radiation hazard could represent a grave threat for as long as 1 to 5 years after the attack.

Predictions of the amount and levels of the radioactive fallout are difficult because of several factors. These include; the yield and design of the weapon, the height of the explosion, the nature of the surface beneath the point of burst, and the meteorological conditions, such as wind direction and speed.

An air burst can produce minimal fallout if the fireball does not touch the ground. On the other hand, a nuclear explosion occurring at or near the earth's surface can result in severe contamination by the radioactive fallout. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Effects/effects17.shtml
>> No. 8137 ID: 1e7cc7
File 143195882388.gif - (41.44KB , 435x285 , fallout.gif )
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP)

The Bush Administration requested funding from Congress to research a new type of nuclear bomb. The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) is a nuclear weapon that would burrow a few meters into rock or concrete before exploding and thus generating a powerful underground shock wave. Its hypothetical targets are deeply buried command bunkers or underground storage sites containing chemical or biological agents.

The RNEP budget: RNEP is not just a feasibility study: the Department of Energy's 2005 budget included a five-year projection—totaling $484.7 million—for the weapons laboratories to produce a completed warhead design and begin production engineering by 2009. Last year, David L. Hobson, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, zeroed out FY05 funding for the program, stating, "we cannot advocate for nuclear nonproliferation around the globe, while pursuing more usable nuclear weapons options here at home." However, the FY06 budget request includes $4 million for RNEP and an additional $4.5 million to modify the B-2 bomber to carry the weapon.

The RNEP design: Weapons designers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory intend to use an existing high-yield nuclear warhead—the 1.2-megaton B83 nuclear bomb—in a longer, stronger and heavier bomb casing. The B83 is the largest nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, and nearly 100 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb used on Hiroshima.

Technical realities:
According to several recent scientific studies, RNEP would not be effective at destroying many underground targets, and its use could result in the death of millions of people.

RNEP would produce tremendous radioactive fallout: A nuclear earth penetrator cannot penetrate deep enough to contain the nuclear fallout. Even the strongest casing will crush itself by the time it penetrates 10-30 feet into rock or concrete. For comparison, even a one-kiloton nuclear warhead (less than 1/10th as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb) must be buried at least 200-300 feet to contain its radioactive fallout. The high yield RNEP will produce tremendous fallout that will drift for more than a thousand miles downwind. As, Linton Brooks, the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration told Congress in April, "the laws of physics will [never allow a bomb to penetrate] far enough to trap all fallout. This is a nuclear weapon that is going to be hugely destructive over a large area" if it goes off underground.
RNEP could kill millions of people: A simulation of RNEP used against the Esfahan nuclear facility in Iran, using the software developed for the Pentagon, showed that 3 million people would be killed by radiation within 2 weeks of the explosion, and 35 million people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India would be exposed to increased levels of cancer-causing radiation (see Figure 1). http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_weapons_and_global_security/solutions/us-nuclear-weapons/the-robust-nuclear-earth.html#.VVnv447F-IA
>> No. 8138 ID: 667a5a
That's what I'm talking about though

When a lower than max yield is dialed in what do you think happens to the unused reaction mass? It gets ejected as highly radioactive/dirty debris

The more reaction mass you use (ie the higher yield you dial in), the lower your pollution per energy released

Thermonukes are most efficient because they use all of their fissionable fuel plus several tons of boosting fuel, so their pollution per energy released is negligible
>> No. 8139 ID: d6b0b5
What if you wanted to hit the logistics target at Riesa but not destroy the rail bridge nearby?

It allows you some flexibility with the deployment of your weapon.

Depends on the design of the weapon. The B41 had a proposed variant that would produce huge amounts of fallout and was in the 20 Mt range.
>> No. 8140 ID: 385f49
>What if you wanted to hit the logistics target at Riesa but not destroy the rail bridge nearby?
It depends on the definition of "nearby", everything closer than 3-5 km to the target will be irreversibly damaged anyway.

No, the real reason is increasing effectiveness of the weapon, if your aim is improved two times, you can put your bomb two times closer to your target and you need the bomb FOUR times smaller. Which means you can cram another three of such bombs in the same payload, or make your missile smaller and harder to hit by ABM, even if it's a strategic nuke. Compare Topol to that fuckhuge old generation R-36A/RS-20A/SS19.

>Thermonukes are most efficient
Now that humanity knows enough about nuclear physics, we don't have to explode every new model to check for parameters. So nobody really knows, but the calculations should indicate that new generation is more effective, which means more material reacts, which means less pollution per 1kt yield.

As far as I know, the doctrine has been shifting also, there's no reason to threaten so much population with nukes, just the minimum reasonable amount of casualties to eliminate enemy's essential infrastructure. And only until the balance of power is destroyed, after which EVERYBODY in the world are threatened by the nuclear bombardment - equally.
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