If they only had a weapon …

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

I’m listening to Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan, and my jaw dropped, even though I expected the random thinker to spew nonsense.  Even I was shocked at the randomness.

His assertion that they (Iran) can enrich the Uranium (HEU [or other fissile material] is greater than 90%, and I won’t say any more because of my familiarity with MOX) but don’t have a weapon to put it into.  He repeated this assertion, again and again and again.

That’s sort of like asserting that a vandal making a Molotov Cocktail may have the accelerant and fuel, but damn it, they don’t have a bottle or rag!

My mouth just dropped open.  I am almost without words.  Seriously.

So the Iranians build a housing and a well-timed trigger that shoots the pieces of HEU at each other to achieve Keff >> 1.

Eh … perhaps a month or two.  You can stop listening to the blow hard now.  The longer you listen the stupider you get.  Joe the mouth is making hay of the Iranians: “If they only had a bomb.”  I wonder what would happen to Joe “If he only had a brain.”

UPDATE #1: I’m reminded by a friend.  Proverbs 29:9 – “When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.”  I guess we got both from Biden.

UPDATE #2: From Rich Lowry

From a friend who follows these things closely:

“The worst part of the debate and the part that I wish Ryan had been able to counter was when Biden started in on the “They don’t have a bomb to put (the fissile material ) into.

This is outrageous. The hard part of building a nuclear weapon is to get the fissile material, bomb designs are a dime a dozen and anyone who has access to a copy of the Progressive Magazine from the 1970s when they published a bomb design they had dug up from some documents that were found in the Los Alamos public library can build one.

The A.Q, Khan design has long been available to then including any refinements the North Koreans have made.

Making a warhead that can fit on a missile may be harder, but building a basic nuclear weapon that could be put on an airliner or a ship is easy once you have the material…”

  • bob sykes

    The US was so confident that the simple uranium bomb Little Boy would work we didn’t even test the design before hand. Hiroshima was the test.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Well, proof of principle was accomplished at the Trinity test site.

  • Jean

    Everyone is concerned about what the Iranians would do with a bomb vis-à-vis Israel. But there is not much talk about tactical implications of a nuclear armed Iran and Strait of Hormuz or the Gulf of Aden. It’s a game changer. They don’t need a perfect bomb, a Big Boy type bomb tossed in the general direction of our fleet would be a disaster.

  • Dave F

    A simple uranium bomb is relatively simple to build, but as the North Koreans proved, a working simple uranium bomb is a bit more difficult. The stuff that has to happen, has to happen within a few fractions of a microsecond, within a few microns, and within an explosion. Yeah, we didn’t test the Little Boy before we dropped it, but 1) we had a LOT of really smart guys building it and 2) nobody would have known if it didn’t work, and we did have the other (tested) one. So far, noone has successfully tested one of those designs from a 1960’s progressive magazine. If we can’t trust a 1960’s progressive magazine to design the economy of California, why do you think that their nuclear bomb designs are better?

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Dave F,

    I believe that it’s fairly well known that Iran purchased A. Q. Khan’s design, and the Pakistanis have tested their weapon.

    Again. Fire pieces of HEU at each other to create Keff >> 1. The hard part is the HEU. If they have HEU, they essentially have a bomb.


You are currently reading "If they only had a weapon …", entry #9257 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iran,Obama Administration and was published October 11th, 2012 by Herschel Smith.

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