Nuclear weapons accounts don't add up

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by PieAreSquared, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

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  3. soullust Registered Senior Member

    its kinda scary, now that your feds are basically "BR" and they will have to start cuts soon, I hope they are not dumb and let there arsenal deteriorate like Russia did after they collapsed.
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  5. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

    the labs have been stealing from Peter to pay Paul for quite awhile now. Mainly started around the time Reagan's Star Wars Pipe dream came about. Taking cash from energy research and using it for weapons.

    NIF<National Ignition Facility> is the latest in the charade, one of the most costly forms of nuclear welfare
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I am not the least disturbed by the facts (assuming they are facts) reported in the OP's link. I worked two summers at LASL when a graduate student and even back then only a small percentage of LASL employees worked on anything vaguely related to nuclear weapons. My efforts were centered on the interesting fact that Cesium gas that comes into contact with hot, high-work-function surface, such as dull red tungsten "boils off" as an ion.* This means that direct conversion of thermal energy into electric power is possible - Sort of a battery than provides electrical energy so long as you keep it hot. That we hoped would be the thermal energy inside of a nuclear reactor. Analysis show that this approach would be nearly 10 times more efficient than the solid state junctions that can do this.

    I am sure (without any facts to support my opinion) that now >90% of the work at these research centers is in NO way related to atomic weapons. The OP's link has the funding transfers (that may quasi-legally exist) exactly backwards. It is sad, but true, that it is easier to get funds for killing others more efficiency than it is for making society more efficient and less polluting, but surely more intelligent use of the tax payers money is not the big problem now it was during the cold war. Thus I know from direct experience that the following is false:
    Later in my 30 year career at JUHAPL I often worked on energy projects, under DoD funding. One full decade officially on the problem of slowing down the H-bomb as an energy source. Neither we, nor the US Navy, at that early stage understood how hard that is to achieve. The Navy gave our small group funds as they expected to be placing an order for a fusion powered aircraft carrier about a decade later. When it became clear to us all that it would be four or more decades before that problem was solved, if ever, they killed the funding for our group. - They never expected us to solve the problem, but did want some trusted, "hands-on" experts to help them evaluate bids and later independently oversee the work.

    Once, because I needed some platinum for electrodes I wanted to implant (with a JHU doctor) in several monkey's brains, I invented a project** for the US Navy that required platinum electrodes, got it approved, placed the minimum order for a 4 inch by 4 inch thin Pt sheet, which provided more than enough Pt for that navy project and all the electrodes of implantation I needed.

    It is very common that "Defense Funds" to get unofficially transferred to beneficial civilian projects. Very few scientists are "Dr. Strange Loves."

    * I helped build what may have been the world's biggest light bulb, but it gave no external light as the hot tungsten tube was inside a steel vacuum vessel about 6 feet tall and two feet in diameter.

    **The salinity of sea water smoothly varies with depth in the deep ocean, but if a sub has passed thru that gradient it would be "disturbed" and possibly be a way for the US Navy to covertly trail USSR's subs, if you could detect this tiny salinity disturbance. - Project was to see how accurately one can measure the salinity of sea water if you are moving thru it. Someone else did the experiment. I was not interested in it. – I just needed the Pt.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2010
  8. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

    It was LASL or LANL.. I worked on the hill when it was still LASL and yes things were much more diverse when it was LASL

    I have to disagree with your statement as I saw it happen first hand. Saw a number of energy programs that were getting good results only to see it get locked down for weapons. Also I knew a number of LASL employees that had to make the switch to weapons to keep their jobs.

    It's their study , not mine

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    also ;
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    To PieAreSquared:

    You first ref is from a reporter of minor newspaper in Taos NM, who is not well informed.
    Your second is a series of nine blogs (first 17/10/09 & last 25/6/10)by Jay Goghlan. I have not bothered to learn about him or his motives.
    Your third does tell who is the author: “Willem Malten lives in Santa Fe, where is an activist in the areas of local food security (the Northern New Mexico Organic Wheat Project) and nuclear disarmament. He is the founder of Cloud Cliff Bakery.”However he too is not well informed.

    Your fourth link is much better, written by a retired physicist whose very long article is mainly concerned with the nation’s problems for storage of the waste from nuclear power plant. From it I learn two things: (1)The obstructionists have finally won their battle to kill the Yucca Mountain storage facility and that (2) both Livermore and Los Alamos were transferred to private industry management (& ownership?) about three years ago from the University of California. Thus, I suspect that (2) will make less research of civilian application at them now so it will be harder than in the past to divert nuclear dollar to other uses. I hope that U of Cal will get compensating funding of research. The cost of the new consolidation CMRR-NF is high because of the “seismic … requirements {&} safety-class ventilation equipments that … are not yet fully resolved.” – there never will be an absence of objections, but seems the government is trying to avoid having the billions spent on Yucca flat again wasted.

    Perhaps (1) will cause the simple and cheap waste storage plan I have suggested to be considered. – Several post describing it exist, but rather than try to find, quickly it is: After at least 10 years of swimming pool fuel rod storage for shorter life isotopes to decay the remainder is “glassified” into disks, the outer mm (or two) being only glass to stop alpha particles from escaping while disk is near any life forms, and then disks are simply hurled off the stern of a special ship (naval escorted etc. security) steaming over a deep ocean trench. The disk shape will disperse them (more than 500 meters average separation) as the fall thru 10 or so miles of ocean into the trench. Hurling is by simple, oscillating in angle, compressed air “machine gun”. Entire disk handling on this one use ship is fully automatic but monitored both by computers and humans. The deep trench is there because that part of the Earth is “diving down” into the deep interior not to come up to the surface again (at places like the mid-Atlantic ridge) for at least10 billion years, if ever. The disk shape allows internal heat to escape and prevents them for rolling together. – Never would be worth terrorists trying to find the well scattered disks and certainly not even possible now with current under sea robots.

    Your last link, a Wall Street Journal article, is excellent. I can only fault its lack of recognition that technical experience is also important so that a delay of decade in building a new facility to replace the older ones has a significant cost in experienced personnel. For security reasons exactly the pit production capacity of the existing 30 year old facility at LANL (a new name for LASL, where we both worked) is unknown, (to the public)but probably adequate for a few decades. Thus, I would not have much concern it only it were to exist while greater efforts were made towards elimination of nuclear weapons. Perhaps critical skilled personnel could have work schedules like Supreme Court Justices - work less than half of each year to keep skills needed for expansion of capacity from being lost?

    I personally am not too concerned by continued development of tiny (yield about same or less than existing large HE bombs) nuclear artillery shells and deep Earth facility destroyers were to continue; however, their actual use is a psychological threshold most are not rational about. Certainly because of this irrationality, ALL of their “big brothers” must be eliminated from Earth first.

    This is huge problem, which probably can only be solved by one world government. Separate nation have out lived their usefulness and need to be replaced – much like the long history of wars been Germany and France has been abolished by the formation, and still evolving, European Union.

    In the long range view of humanity, the US ceasing to disproportionally consume resources and lowering of it living standards* as now taking place and developing nations gaining higher living standards to reduce the gap is probably highly to be desired, both morally and as a practical step to avoiding the ultimate nuclear disaster.

    * The "good life" need not be a high consumption life - with better education and a change away from material goals, a better, more rewarding, life is possible
  10. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

    Billy T;

    I've meet Greg Mello a number of times and he is labeled as a activist, well because he is

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    But he is quite sincere and well informed. So right on in a number of the issues

    “The emphasis is shifting from maintaining existing weapons to replacing all of them.”

    Okay recycle some of the components. It's not like there is a shortage of them.

    In today's age .. who are the targets?
    Not like the "Good Old Days" when we had targets.
    Yesterdays targets are today's allies.

    The weapons have outlived their usefulness.
    Unless one feels that China is going to attack it's Cash Cow

    I'm not so concerned about the research, although I feel it's rather pointless.
    It's the large sums of money that could be spent else where and the shell game
    going on with where the money really comes from and who loses their piece of pie.

    I certainly agree with what you are saying in your closing statement
  11. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member


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