[ RadSafe ] Testing bombs

Maury Siskel maurysis at peoplepc.com
Sun Jun 29 01:36:08 CDT 2008

Tried to admit to my relatively crude knowledge of this but ... Back in 
those years, there was a popular (if not scientific) distinction between 
the atomic bombs that ended WW2 versus the subsequent nuclear or 
thermonuclear bombs.

Leaflet drops about the destructiveness of a new bomb were debated. A 
broad public warning of a new weapon if Japan did not surrender was 
given.  They did not;  we did .... Those two bombs were the only one's 
available -- a third was to be completed later in the month and then 
others accumulated against their need in connection with the expected  
mainland invasion. Given the Japanese military history of refusing to 
surrender, the expected casualties from an invasion were expected to be 
at least 1.5 million lives.

There apparently was a great deal of internal debate over even using the 
weapon at all, over what kinds of warnings might or should be given, 
over the delivery of a demonstration perhaps in Tokyo Bay,  and so on.

This thing was not undertaken on some kind of whimsy at all in spite of 
the revisionist history that pops up from time to time now -- like the 
big flap over the Smithsonian display a few years ago.

Nowhere is it written that humans are consistent .......

Louis N. Motion, Sr. wrote:

>I once read that one factor in not pre warning the Japanese was that they could not assure the President the bombs would work. Have no idea if it is true mind you but it makes some sense. 
>LNM from Baku, Azerbaijan 
>Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Maury Siskel <maurysis at peoplepc.com>
>Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2008 21:19:19 
>To: Steven Dapra<sjd at swcp.com>
>Cc: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
>Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Testing bombs
>If memory serves (and it certainly may not) Trinity was a test of an 
>atomic explosive device, not of either Little Boy or Fat Man. The test 
>simply confirmed that the explosive device did in fact work. Little Boy 
>and Fat Man both were explosive  devices in suitable shapes suitable for 
>release from a B-29 bomber. Little Boy weighed about 4.5 tons and had an 
>explosive yield of about 13 KT; Fat Man was larger with  an explosive 
>yield of about 21 KT.  Both employed nuclear fission and were the only 
>bombs completed then by the US . They were transported aboard the 
>cruiser, USS Indianapolis to Tinian and then dropped first on Hiroshima 
>and a few days later on Nagasaki.
>So called nuclear bombs were developed after the war and employed 
>nuclear fusion. These used a fission 'trigger' to start the fusion 
>process. Thus far, they have never been used in warfare -- the two 
>atomic devices were the only ones ever used in war.
>Nuclear weapons development and testing ensued for some years including 
>the largest known single weapon yield by Russia which exceeded 50 MT. 
>Present day testing to the best of my understanding is done by means of 
>simulations along with some destructive reliability tests of some 
>components. Concerns are related to the deterioration of some components 
>as a function of age.
>Most others, including Franz, on this List are far more capable than am 
>I of telling this story. Everyone must have begun their July 4th 
>vacations. Google also will quickly yield good accounts. (Pun intended)  <g>
>Steven Dapra wrote:
>>June 28, 2008
>>    From time to time I have read that one of the Hiroshima and 
>>Nagasaki bombs had to be tested before it was used, and that one did 
>>not --- that the engineers were so certain the latter bomb would 
>>explode that they didn't bother testing it.  I also read recently that 
>>hydrogen bombs must be tested.  Of these three types of bombs, which 
>>ones must be tested, and why?  For the one that did not have to be 
>>tested, why not?  (I don't have any bombs I want to test, I am merely 
>>Steven Dapra
>>sjd at swcp.com

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