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The Demon Core
Brain Release Valve ^ | 1/22/2009 | unkown

Posted on 07/25/2009 11:40:45 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld

August 26, 1945. Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.

Twenty four year old Harry Daghlian is working late, and alone. Both are violations of safety protocol, but Harry doesn’t care. He’s good at his job, and he’s careful. He doesn’t have to be working this late, six days ago the Japanese surrendered, and the war is over. But, that doesn’t mean his work isn’t still important. The bombs he helped build won the war, and he’s going to keep making them as long as he can.

This night, Harry is working on placing the final tungsten bricks in a neutron reflector around plutonium bomb core. The reflector would lessen the amount of plutonium needed for the bomb to go critical. When he was placing the final brick, his hand slipped. The small brick hit the core, and sent it critical. A blue light issued out from the core, dosing him with radiation. Frantic, Harry knocks off the brick in hopes that it will stop the reaction. Unfortunately, it doesn’t and he’s forced to disassemble much of the neutron reflector before the core retreats from criticality.

He saved the lives of everyone at the lab, but there was nothing to be done for Harry Daghlian. He died twenty one days later from accute radiation poisoning.

For many of those twenty one days, one of the old guard of Los Alamos, Louis Slotin, could be found by Harry’s side. Louis was known informally as the chief armorer of the United States. He had built the test bomb that was detonated at Trinity. He wanted to get out of military work, but there wasn’t anyone else with his experience or skill for building bombs.

Nine months after the accident that took the life of his friend Harry, Louis was working with the same core. Instead of using several tungsten bricks for the neutron reflector, the new construction relied on two beryllium hemispheres to encapsulate the plutonium core. The core was already placed in the bottom hemisphere as Louis moved the top into position. He was aligning the top with the use of his hand and a screwdriver, when he slipped. The top hemisphere struck the core, causing it to go critical. A burst of blue light and a wave of heat struck the scientists in the room. Instinctively, Louis pulled his hand up, his thumb still hooked into the beryllium hemisphere. The criticality was stopped, and the lives of the men in the room were saved. But, like his friend, Louis wasn’t so lucky.

Louis Slotin died nine days later of acute radiation poisoning. Another victim of what came to be known as the demon core.

The assembly Louis was working on was to be the final test of the demon core. It was fitted into a bomb and used as the ABLE test during Operation Crossroads at the Bikini Atoll.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: atomic; atomictesting; demoncore; doe; nuclear; nucleartesting; usnucleartesting
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This really happened. Photographs were taken of the two men while their radiation became acute. Those photographs are still somewhere in the Department of Energy files.
1 posted on 07/25/2009 11:40:45 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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Photo of the "Demon Core".
2 posted on 07/25/2009 11:46:01 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Tickling the dragon can be hazardous to one's health.
3 posted on 07/25/2009 11:46:07 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

Exactly. It killed two men in a very horrible way.


4 posted on 07/25/2009 11:47:15 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: sonofstrangelove

I like the Coca Cola bottle in that photo


5 posted on 07/25/2009 11:50:56 PM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie

Things were rather primitive back then when building bombs.


6 posted on 07/25/2009 11:52:21 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: sonofstrangelove

It’s a shame...

but he did to himself.

If he didn’t screw up, he would be alive.


7 posted on 07/25/2009 11:53:44 PM PDT by Nitro
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To: sonofstrangelove

For the first nuclear reactor, the SCRAM stood for the Safety Control Rod Axeman. His job was to cut a rope to drop the nuclear control rod, dropping the rod and ending the chain reaction.

Later, the “drop the control rod” technology killed several workers. The rod was dropped too far, the reactor overheated and blew out, the reactor over heated. Workers ran in to help and were irradiated. Eventually it was shut down, and they found the first man killed by the out of control reactor. He was pinned to the ceiling by the safety control rod. The cure was to control the position of the control rod with a worm gear, which positively controlled its position.

After one radiation accident, the chief called out for everyone to hold still, and he walked around to each of them, and they drew chalk lines around their feet to mark where they were standing during the incident. That enabled the calculation of their dose, and this was matched to their eventual symptoms and time of death to better understand the effect of radiation on the human animal.

In the tradition of Lavoisier a good scientist always wants to do one last experiment.


8 posted on 07/26/2009 12:02:21 AM PDT by donmeaker (Invicto)
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To: donmeaker

Tell us about SNAP-9..........

the true cause of cancer.


9 posted on 07/26/2009 12:13:43 AM PDT by Nitro
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To: sonofstrangelove

Picture of Daghlian's hand.

10 posted on 07/26/2009 12:27:04 AM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: donmeaker
The rod was dropped too far, the reactor overheated and blew out, the reactor over heated. Workers ran in to help and were irradiated. Eventually it was shut down, and they found the first man killed by the out of control reactor. He was pinned to the ceiling by the safety control rod

I believe you are referring to this accident, are you not?

http://www.radiationworks.com/photos/sl1reactor2.htm
11 posted on 07/26/2009 12:32:59 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in the panties of American history, 0bama is the yellow stain in front.)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Thanks for posting this.

I had not heard of this fascinating bit of nuclear history.


12 posted on 07/26/2009 12:41:53 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The UN has never won a war, nor a conflict, but liberals want it to rule all militaries.)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Photo of the "Demon Core".

That photo shows the demon core to be too close to that guy's family jewels. How many heads did his children have?

13 posted on 07/26/2009 12:42:13 AM PDT by Swordmaker (remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Been to Trinity... it’s awesome, even though there’s hardly anything there. You’re standing right at the spot where that first atomic bomb blew up... It’s on part of the White Sands Missile Range and is only open two days a year, for a few hours for each of those two days.

I think there’s only been about 50,000 or so people in the U.S. who have visited the site since that time.


14 posted on 07/26/2009 12:46:03 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: woofie
That's there for scale.

≤}B^)

15 posted on 07/26/2009 12:56:12 AM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: Prodigal Son
My Dad was an aircraft mechanic and a civilian crew chief at McClellan Army Air Base during WWII. He is mentioned in the book "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" as the unnamed crew chief who the book's author, Capt. Ted Lawson, was mad at because he was revving the engines of the Ruptured Duck beyond specs while it was chocked and chained down and the props were kicking up sand and rocks that were hitting the fuselage. It was my Dad's crew's job to tune those engines to get 110% efficiency so they could make it to Tokyo and beyond. Dad's crew also worked on the Enola Gay.

A few years later, a co-worker with my Dad, one of his crew of mechanics, boarded the chase plane that had followed the Enola Gay over Hiroshima. That plane, intending to photograph the bomb damage, accidentally flew through the edge of the cloud of fallout from the bomb. While on board, my Dad's friend got some oil on his hands and picked up a rag on the plane and wiped his hands. Around 20 years later, he started developing tumors on his hands. He reported them to his supervisor after the doctor diagnosed them, and he was medically retired with full pay by that afternoon.

This guy lived about five doors down from where my Mom still lives. He lived to a ripe old age, in fact outlived my Dad who died at 85, but his hands kept producing tumors that had to be cut off. He also had extremely sensitive skin and they were easily damaged by even the lightest touch.

Radiation is nothing to play with... or to wipe one's hands with.

16 posted on 07/26/2009 12:58:54 AM PDT by Swordmaker (remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!)
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To: Star Traveler

The interesting thing about driving in on the military grounds there, in going to Trinity, is that you are told that you cannot take any pictures on the way driving in. But, once you are at the gravel parking lot there at the actual Trinity site, then you can take pictures...

But, there’s about nothing to see on the drive there, so I don’t know what kind of pictures that one would get, besides dry parched ground and some mountains... it’s really out in the middle of nowhere.

New Mexico’s Trinity Site: A pocket full of Trinitite
http://www.cyberwest.com/cw08/v8adwst2.html

Trinitite is the green glassy substance that was formed on the ground there, at the time of the blast. You’re not supposed to pick up any of it on the grounds, but it’s sold in various stores in the local area. It’s supposed to be slightly radioactive, I guess.

Trinity Atomic Web Site
http://www.cddc.vt.edu/host/atomic/trinity/index.html

Trinity (nuclear test)
http://tinyurl.com/6da9mq


17 posted on 07/26/2009 1:03:32 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: Star Traveler; Quix; TaraP

If you’re out there, right off the Trinity site, at night, on the highway going past the front entrance (going in to Trinity), you can see some strange lights moving around there at night... kinda weird... One time I was there, and stopped off and looked around on the way to Socorro, New Mexico, for the night, and some strange lights and what they were doing made me want to get out of there in a hurry and hit the road again... LOL...

Maybe those UFOs are drawn to radiation from nuclear bombs... :-)


18 posted on 07/26/2009 1:09:46 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: SpaceBar; Salamander
"Tickling the dragon can be hazardous to one's health."

Do not mess with Dragons.....



Remember - You are crunchy and good with ketchup.

19 posted on 07/26/2009 1:20:30 AM PDT by shibumi (" ..... then we will fight in the shade.")
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To: sonofstrangelove

for all those that laugh at the chinese, russians, and various middle eastern countries... just remember how 'primitive' our setups were that produced hiroshima and the arsenal we have today.

20 posted on 07/26/2009 1:22:09 AM PDT by sten
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To: Star Traveler

White Sands Missile Range is the gray area...
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=33.408517,-106.64978&spn=4.68565,6.899414&z=7

Trinity Site
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=33.678068,-106.476531&spn=0.018249,0.026951&t=h&z=15

[... you’ll see the outline of a big circle and then inside that you’ll see an oval shaped outline. Trinity is inside that oval.

The “Oval” fenced in area...
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=33.677452,-106.475893&spn=0.002281,0.003369&t=h&z=18

[... you’ll see a rectangular light colored object, which is a low building which covers a large amount of Trinitite on the site. The small very dark object on the right side of the oval, is the shadow of the Trinity monument, which is the exact location of the nuclear bomb tower.]


21 posted on 07/26/2009 1:24:48 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: mkjessup

By the way, I think, if my unusually retentive brain is working correctly, that I owe you a credit for the line I used in post #19.

One of your old taglines - yes?


22 posted on 07/26/2009 1:26:42 AM PDT by shibumi (" ..... then we will fight in the shade.")
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To: Star Traveler

On this...

White Sands Missile Range is the gray area...
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=33.408517,-106.64978&spn=4.68565,6.899414&z=7

Apparently, you have to set it to “maps” to get the gray area... so you can see it, not the satellite view...


23 posted on 07/26/2009 1:27:09 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: shibumi

ANAIL NATHROCK!
UTHVASS BETHUDD!
DOCHIEL DIENDE!

[everybody better duck, now]


24 posted on 07/26/2009 1:34:13 AM PDT by Salamander (Cursed with Second Sight.)
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To: Star Traveler

Where do the mutant cannibal people live that were in “The Hills Have Eyes”?


25 posted on 07/26/2009 2:34:57 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: Salamander

Oh yeah?

We’ll...

Klatu, Berunda, Nec...ummm...errr...mumble mumble mumble.

So there!


26 posted on 07/26/2009 2:38:24 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Grizzled Bear

Klaatu barada nikto.

[you will need to perfectly memorize this should a giant robot named Gort decide to destroy the earth....or if the Evil Dead or Keanu Reeves shows up at your door]....;-D


27 posted on 07/26/2009 2:49:19 AM PDT by Salamander (Cursed with Second Sight.)
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To: Grizzled Bear; Salamander
It's "Klaatu Barada Nickto"



I said that to my robot and he came back with these:


28 posted on 07/26/2009 2:54:49 AM PDT by shibumi (" ..... then we will fight in the shade.")
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To: sonofstrangelove

If any Freepers ever worked at West Fort Hood when it was an atomic storage facility known as as “Site Baker” or “Killeen Base,” it would be great to read any of your recollections of that place that you might be willing to share. Surely your pledges of secrecy are outdated now that the purpose of the site is generally known.


29 posted on 07/26/2009 3:42:31 AM PDT by olrtex
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To: sonofstrangelove

So am I reading this correctly? A piece of tungsten hitting into a piece of plutonium will cause a critical nuclear reaction?! What’s to keep terrorists from doing this today?


30 posted on 07/26/2009 4:37:51 AM PDT by MrDem (From Morning in America to Mourning in America...)
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To: shibumi
By the way, I think, if my unusually retentive brain is working correctly, that I owe you a credit for the line I used in post #19.
One of your old taglines - yes?


Actually, no - but I thank you for your thoughtful consideration! :)
31 posted on 07/26/2009 5:46:48 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in the panties of American history, 0bama is the yellow stain in front.)
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To: Swordmaker

Thanks for that post, I remember the first time I read the book ‘Thirty Seconds over Tokyo’, it was a wartime edition with many of the names of the Chinese who helped our air crews escape from the Japs blanked out, likewise for many of the small villages where they traveled, and I remember that part about the crew chief revving the engines of the Ruptured Duck in a manner displeasing to Captain Lawson, lol (not funny at the time, but funny in retrospect now)

One of my great uncles was a welder in the Kaiser shipyards in California during WWII and as the story goes, he and other welders were approached and asked if they would volunteer for a secret welding job, they agreed, were given background checks, sworn to secrecy and then put on a bus with blacked out windows and driven for what seemed like an eternity to a place where they disembarked and told that they would be building a radio transmission tower out in the middle of nowhere (a desert), they built the tower, got triple wages for it in cash, and were driven back to California and told to never speak of it.

Years after the War ended, my uncle saw a picture of that radio tower in a copy of Life Magazine, and that’s when he realized that he had actually helped build the tower from which the Trinity device was detonated.

He only acknowledged it to family members, who mostly kept it to themselves over the years, never looked to cash in on it, or get a book deal, or be ‘famous’ on TV, he was just proud to have been part of it, and was grateful for having been generously compensated for his skills.


32 posted on 07/26/2009 6:02:59 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in the panties of American history, 0bama is the yellow stain in front.)
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To: Star Traveler

Reportedly one of the lines from the critters will be that

humans have torn horrid holes in the fabric of space/time with their atomic bombs and are putting the universe at risk . . . and so

MUST

be controlled by a world government etc. etc. etc.


33 posted on 07/26/2009 6:35:38 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: sonofstrangelove; donmeaker

The film “Fat Man and Little Boy” (1989) contains a scene based on these incidents:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G422z8pDn4


34 posted on 07/26/2009 9:15:59 AM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but he will give us the shaft.)
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To: Quix

They could be Trinitite collectors, too... :-)

I think I even scored some Trinitite... [... I glow at night, too... ]


35 posted on 07/26/2009 9:31:23 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: Star Traveler

Hmmmmmmm.

Hopefully you don’t flash on and off at a rapid rate.


36 posted on 07/26/2009 9:32:52 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: Quix

depends on how fast I blink my eyes... :-)

But, aside from all that... (... LOL ...), if anyone gets a chance, they ought to go down to Trinity at least once, sometime, on one of those two days a year, and stand on that spot where the first atomic bomb went off (and get irradiated and kill a bunch of germs in your body... :-) just kidding...).


37 posted on 07/26/2009 9:37:24 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: Star Traveler

Hmmmmmm

A more traditional kind of zapping?


38 posted on 07/26/2009 9:41:57 AM PDT by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 2 presnt: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2130557/posts?page=81#81)
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To: sonofstrangelove
Tickling the dragon's tail. At Los Alamos, Slotin's duties consisted of dangerous criticality testing, first with uranium in Otto Robert Frisch's experiments, and later with plutonium cores. Criticality testing involved bringing masses of fissile materials to near-critical levels in order to establish their critical mass values.[8] Scientists referred to this flirting with the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction as "tickling the dragon's tail," based on a remark by physicist Richard Feynman who compared the experiments to "tickling the tail of a sleeping dragon".[9][10] On July 16, 1945, Slotin assembled the core for Trinity, the first detonated atomic bomb. He became known as the "chief armourer of the United States" for his expertise in assembling nuclear weapons.[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Slotin
39 posted on 07/26/2009 10:07:40 AM PDT by Excellence (Meet your new mother-in-law, the United States Government)
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To: ansel12

You asked — Where do the mutant cannibal people live that were in “The Hills Have Eyes”?

I don’t know for sure, but I was watching out for them as I was driving across White Sands Missile Range to see Trinity... LOL... (besides watching out for any live missiles flying over my head...)...


40 posted on 07/26/2009 10:15:30 AM PDT by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: MrDem

It is very easy to build a bomb. All you need is the Uranium and Plutonium which is harder to get. You cannot walk into any Walgreens and ask for Plutonium.


41 posted on 07/26/2009 4:46:56 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: Star Traveler

I have been there. If you look very carefully you can see
green glass which contains bits of plutonium.


42 posted on 07/26/2009 4:48:21 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: Prodigal Son

That is probably he grabbed the core and a sign of acute radiation sickness.I’m interested where you got the photograph because those photographs was the last time I heard to be classified. WARNING TO EVERYONE: When you are starting to get sick from acute radiation sickness, ingest salt or potassium iodide


43 posted on 07/26/2009 4:57:44 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: olrtex

I am very limited as to where I go. If there are special places or information I need special permission.


44 posted on 07/26/2009 5:01:50 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: sonofstrangelove

But I thought it was very, very tricky to “smash” the component together with the right force... just touching them is enough?


45 posted on 07/26/2009 5:27:02 PM PDT by MrDem (From Morning in America to Mourning in America...)
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To: MrDem

You are talking about the uranium “gun weapon”. It is not tricky at all to get them together. Actually, this is rather easy method.We dropped a uranium gun weapon on Hiroshima.Many nations uses the gun weapon for artillery shells(See Shot Grabel/Operation Knothole) The North Koreans have been producing the tricky plutonium implosion bomb and recently they switched to the uranium “gun” method because it was cheaper and much easier.


46 posted on 07/26/2009 5:54:25 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: MrDem

The scientists did not test the “gun” design because they were confident it was going to work. But, they needed to test the implosion method because they were not sure it was going to work. Well, it worked.


47 posted on 07/26/2009 5:59:50 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: sonofstrangelove
I’m interested where you got the photograph because those photographs was the last time I heard to be classified.

Google images- 'Daghlian's hand'. There is a picture of it on wikipedia as well.

No reason for it to be classified. At the end of the day, it's just a burn. (granted, not just the 'put some ice on it' type of burn- but still a burn)

48 posted on 07/26/2009 6:15:49 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
I read in a book called “The Doomsday Scenario” which is a book that is written by the U.S. Government mentioned that most of the photos were classified. I guess that was the less grotesque part of his body.
49 posted on 07/26/2009 7:23:37 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld (A leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone-Henry Kissinger)
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To: olrtex
If any Freepers ever worked at West Fort Hood when it was an atomic storage facility known as as “Site Baker” or “Killeen Base,” it would be great to read any of your recollections of that place that you might be willing to share. Surely your pledges of secrecy are outdated now that the purpose of the site is generally known.

I'm well-acquainted with West Fort Hood, and Robert Gray Army Airfield, although not during the timeframe you mention. The bunker where the weapons were stored during the time the site was a nuclear weapons storage site, are of course, still there, and we used them for the storage of far less esoteric items during my time there...

the infowarrior

50 posted on 07/27/2009 5:10:55 AM PDT by infowarrior
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