Writing about spies and Stalin\’s bomb program:
But the knowledge that the Soviets, relying on their Siberian uranium and plutonium deposits, could theoretically build an unlimited number of H (hydrogen) bombs and A (atomic) bombs, meant that such international brinkmanship would henceforth always herald the possibility of global Armageddon.
Now that is new information. Siberian plutonium deposits, eh? And there was I thinking that plutonium was a man made element, created in reactor piles by the use of Uranium in them.
That\’s certainly the way we Brits and the USians got their plutonium so the Soviets really were very lucky to have it just lying around, weren\’t they?
Well, it could have been Pu244 but then that would be bloody pointless for their bomb programme. And I’m sure, if you looked hard enough, you’d still find various isoptopes knocking around at Oklo, but probably not much Pu239 (’cause of its lowish half life). And Oklo isn’t in Siberia.
And, of course, its tritium and other light elements that you need for the ‘H bomb’ (yes, I know you need a fission primary) and …
Oh, and the article: just because it might have taken the Soviets a bit longer without the information Norwood leaked might have changed the outcome of the Korean War but I don’t think that a five-year gap would have made much difference to the strategic geo-politics of the Cold War stand-off in Europe. And Roberts presents no evidence to suggest such.