[ RadSafe ] Centrifuges
Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon Sep 19 11:54:11 CDT 2011
To the best of my knowledge, centrifuges aren't used when making a
plutonium based nuclear device. Centrifuges are used to increase the
percentage of U235 compared to U238. Each pass increase the
concentration only a small amount, and so to get to very high
concentrations you need a lot of passes. If you want a lot of enriched
material, and you don't want to wait forever (and generally speaking,
leaders who decide they want a nuclear weapon are not overly patient).
Hence the need for a lot of centrifuges.
On the other hand, I still think it is better that "the bad guys" fixate
on nuclear weapons rather than some of the easier, cheaper,
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of
JPreisig at aol.com
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2011 4:54 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Centrifuges
From: _jpreisig at aol.com_ (mailto:jpreisig at aol.com) .
Don't want to dwell on proliferation, but what follows. I
think, needs to be said.
Some of the smaller nations of the world, with nuclear
on hand, or are in the process of
building their first nuclear devices, seem to need 100's or more
centrifuges. Hmmmm, actually, I think
a small nation or a handful of scientists/engineers (nowadays)
do some pretty severe
U235 or Pu enrichment with 5-10 centrifuges or less. Probably
could have fewer centrifuges
and round the clock shifts of people running the centrifuges.
be careful out there.
On an unrelated topic, Health Physics scientific journal
currently has a whole issue on Chernobyl.
Browse it, read it, etc, even the geologists on radsafe.
Have a good week at work....
Regards, Joseph R. (Joe) Preisig, PhD
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