A HUGE Nuclear Bomb

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Tristan, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    I remember reading about that the russians (or soviets) constructed a massive nuclear bomb (or hydrogen) and sent it afloat on a boat to the pacific. It was to be detonated if something or another happened.

    Extremely vague, but does anyone know what I am speaking of?


    Later
    T

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  3. cthulhus slave evil servant Registered Senior Member

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  5. nico Banned Banned

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    The Soviets exploded the largest nuclear weapon ever yes, but it was launched from a Tu-95 bomber not a ship...

    http://www.thebulletin.org/research/qanda/bombsize.html

     
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  7. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

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    Soviets and big bombs

    Can't say I have ever heard of the Pacific ocean idea before. Care to share where you caught wind of that?

    The largest fusion nuclear weapon ever produced by the Soviets was Tsar Bomba ("King of Bombs").

    This weapon had an estimated yield of 100 megatons. A 50Mt version of Tsar Bomba was tested in September 1961, which was the largest nuke ever tested on the planet - I think the actual yield of that bomb was closer to 60Mt.

    Maybe there was another one produced closer to 100 Mt and that this was the weapon mentioned in your legend?
     
  8. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

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    nico!

    ...wry Googly smile...
     
  9. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    I think thats the one I was talking about. Cool, thanks

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  10. Pollux V Ra Bless America Registered Senior Member

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    Wait...fusion nuclear weapon? I thought that wasn't possible...

    Shouldn't it be fission?
     
  11. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

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    Yes it is. It happens when atom bombs explode...its extremely ephermal. Nuclear fusion happens at extreme temperatures aka sun. It is possible to recreate it at Earth but it doesn't last very long. Atom bombs reach the temperature of the sun at the very first nanoseconds of the explosion.

    Nuclear fission is what power plants do, it is isn't as effective as nuclear fusion.
     
  12. Tristan Leave your World Behind Valued Senior Member

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    Uh huh. A bomb is constructed to create a fission reaction which, when it explodes, ignites a fusion reaction, adding to the potential yield of the bomb. Thus it is called a Thermonuclear bomb as opposed to a Nuclear bomb. This is also is what makes this type of bomb arbitrairly powerfull, thus the possibility, though impractical, of a 100mt bomb.

    Am I wrong?

    Thanks for the name of the bomb... thats what I needed to find info on it

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    Later
    T

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  13. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

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    Not sure about current bombs, but the early thermos used what was called "fission-fusion-fission," in which a normal fission bomb was used to set off a fusion reaction, igniting an eve nmore powerful fission reaction. From the book, "Dark Sun," by Richard Rhodes. The fusion reaction actually produces only about thirty or so percent of the yield.
     
  14. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

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    I have seen a documentary that discussed this. As reported, it seems that Kruschev [I think] wanted to build a doomsday device. The plan was to make a cargo ship into one giant nuclear bomb - capable of wiping out all life on earth. If a certain level of radiation was detected by sensors on the ship, thus indicating that the Soviet had been nuked, the super bomb would automatically detonate. Luckily [allegedly], his advisors recognized the madness of the concept and they managed to subvert implementation of this plan.
     
  15. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Re: A HUGE Nuclear Bomb

    wow I'd really like to see that... do you have any idea where you saw it?? PBS?
     
  16. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

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    Re: Re: Re: A HUGE Nuclear Bomb

    Probably TLC or TDC...this was not too long ago...and most of the crap on PBS in Oregon is stuff like Sewing with Nancy.
     
  17. dinokg Registered Senior Member

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    Yup what Ivan Seeking said is basically what happened.
    The documentary was on History Channel. I forget the exact name of the show but is was Secrets of Something. But I do remember the info from the show.

    The plan was to make an entire battle ship into one huge nclear weapon larger then any other nuclear weapon ever made. If made this ship bomb would have a 1000 km blast radius! And thats just the direct explosion! The exact megatonage is not exactally known but if regular "small" bombs can have a megatonage of 100megatons then a ship that already weights a few megatons IS A NUCLEAR BOMB then the megatonage would be increased exponentially.

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    Luckily this nuclear bomb ship wasn't created because it was way to dangerous.

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  18. Vortexx Skull & Bones Spokesman Registered Senior Member

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    In those days, was speculated, that with more than 100 megaton pressures and temperatures would become such that the hydrogen of the seawater itself would start a spontanious fusion reaction and the whole world would go out with a bang.

    That was one of the reasons why they scaled down the bomb.

    Luckily, later it was found that higher temperatures / pressures were needed to set off the oceans in a giant firework....
     
  19. dinokg Registered Senior Member

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    Yup unless nuclear weopons get to be more powerful then asteroids hitting the planet we don't have to worry about the planet turning into a fire ball.

    Because asteroids with thousands of times the power of nuclear weopons have allready hit the earth many times before and even they didn't totally set the earth on fire.
     
  20. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

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    Heh, I'll quote some Vice Admiral William Blandy, commander of JTF One during Operation Crossroads:
    As for the thread topic the Tsar was exploded with an ultimate yield of about 57 megatons, although nobody is really quite sure exactly. 57 is what the Guinness has as the largest explosion ever. Because it was a three stage fission/fusion/fusion, it was the cleanest buring weapon tested from the standpoint of fallout per megaton, but since the weapon was stupidly large, it was also the single largest source of radioactive debris from all the atmospheric tests. On it's own it contributed about 11% of the global fallout count.

    The only place I've seen it credited at 57 megatons is in Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie and The Guinness Book of World Records. It's generally accepted to have been 50 megatons even though claims range from 46 to 62 megatons, and even the russians who conducted the test still aren't quite sure.

    Tsar was the cleanest nuclear weapon ever exploded per unit of explosive yield because the Soviets left its U238 tamper jacket off of the weapon and replaced it with Tungsten to cut down on bomb debris from tertiary fission. As such, the bomb produced yield from two stages - a primary fission device of the implosion design yielding maybe five kilotons, and the remaining 56.95 megatons entirely from two fusion stages, yielding what was probably around 1.5 and 55.45 MT respectively. Tsar used dry Lithium-Deuteride bricks to store deuterium and produce tritium in the presence of the neutron flux from the primary device. It is referred to as a clean weapon because of the debris/yield ratio, but as I said above, it was the dirtiest explosion ever simply because it was so large that the ratio didn't mean dick.

    If the Soviets had put the U238 tamper jacket on it, Tsar would have yielded in excess of 100 MT from tertiary fast-fission of the Uranium tamper (this is how all modern 2.5 staged fission-fusion-fission devices function). Tsar epitomized the Cold War fad of nuclear dick waving. It was so large to be utterly impractical for actual use, and the fuels required to produce it were so voluminous that the Soviets would have run themselves dry trying to make more than a few of them.

    The Soviets started talking about it in 1958 when the voluntary moratorium began. They could have built it rather quickly since it was a simple design, and ultimately it only took 13 weeks from approval to completion in October of 1961. This thing hadn't really left the conceptual stages until early July of 1961, and for political reasons Khrushchev wanted it for a planned October test series. Given the speed with which they actually did develop and deploy the weapon, there's no reason to believe that they couldn't have done it as early as 1958 or 1959, which is after the Soviets had already demonstrated controlled multi-staged weapon technology.
     
  21. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Wow we came that close to a real Dr. Strangelove doomsday device???

    lets remember that the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs had a impact yield of several thousand gigatons(1000 megatons)! this nuclear bomb battle ship could have had a yield of maybe a gigaton or more. It would probably have been double stage because of no mass and size requirements massive vats of thousands of lbs of liquid Deuterium/Tritium or other fissionable could have been placed around bomb, that much u238 would have been very expensive.

    Sea water would not have undergone much fusion as the ratio of functional high energy fissionable is very low.
     
  22. Stokes Pennwalt Nuke them from orbit. Registered Senior Member

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    Well, the "doomsday device" that was presented in that movie was based around the then-new idea of the Cobalt bomb.

    The Colbalt and other dirty/salted bombs were initally researched as an area denial weapon meant to contaminate an area so badly that the enemy wouldn't be able to take/hold/use it in the aftermath. The idea was to wrap a weapon with something easily excitable like Colbalt-59 or Gold-197 so that the weapon detionation would produce a lot of very highly radioactive contaminants that would be spread about the area by the rise and collapse of the fireball. Despite the popular myths and what the FAS/CNN would have you beleive, only one preleminary experiment in this field was conducted (the British Antler test in September of 1957, on the western coast of Australia) and it is generally regarded as a conceptual failure. No special-purpose contanimant weapons have ever entered the arsenal. It would probably take quite some time to develope one given the difficulties encountered in the early test stages. Besides, staged fission/fusion/fission weapons are nasty enough that adding additional contaminants would probably be more effort than it's worth.
    WRT U238, it's actually the least expensive to produce of all potentially fissile fuels. Pitchblende is 99.7% U238 when it's extracted from the earth's crust, and after gas centrifugation to produce weapon/reactor fuel with anything from 5-95% U235, literally tons of pure U238 remain as a byproduct. This is one of the reasons it is used for armor piercing ordnance - it is extremely cheap (it is also better than Tungsten because it is pyrophoric and more dense).
     
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    it cheaper then lithium-6? lithium is far more abundant and cheaper to mine and the isotope is easier to purify :bugeye:
     

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