Not a surprise

Iran has the know-how to produce a nuclear bomb

This isn\’t rare know-how nor is it tough to get. TGive me enough highly enriched uranium (or, better still, give me half a dozen people you don\’t mind dying and I\’ll tell them what to do from afar with the HEU) and we could get a bomb together in a few days.

It\’s a little more complex than simply dropping one large piece of HEU onto another but not much. Good old black gunpowder would do the trick of getting the plates to hit each other fast enough.

The difficulty is in making the HEU: something we know Iran can indeed do. The others are all about making a bomb small enough, efficient enough, that you can put it on a missile and so on. Those are tough, yes.

But if all you want is a low yield bomb that fits on the back of a truck then if you\’ve enough HEU it\’s pretty trivial.

One comment on “Not a surprise

  1. Errm. Not quite. As the North Koreans found out. Getting it together enough to get a critical mass is indeed trivial. Getting enough uniform pressure (even with a gun / plug design) to keep the critical mass together for long enough for the chain reaction to produce “useful*” output power is less simple.

    AFAIR, there were several criticality incidents during the Manhattan Project where there was no explosive effect (Daghlian & Slotin – with the same Pu core!) Admittedly, the neutron radiation did for them both.

    * By “useful”, I mean at least an order more damange than could be done by packing the same truck with modern explosive and using your fissile for a dirty bomb.

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