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Author Topic: Nuclear Bomb stuff  (Read 6183 times)
Power User
Posts: 7833

« on: January 04, 2007, 10:16:58 PM »

The largest nuclear explosion was in 1961.   It was the detonation of the Soviet Tsar bomb with explosion estimated at somewhere between 50 to 57 million tons of TNT (50 to 57 megatons).  This is compared to the bombs dropped on Japan that had explosive power measured between 12 and 20 thousand tons of TNT.  The largest US bomb now active is around 1 to 1.5 megatons - still 650 times the power of the Nagasaki bomb.   The Nagasaki fireball had a diameter of roughly 0.2 kilometers.  The Tsar bomb's fireball had a diamter of 4.6 kilometers.   The destructive blast would of course be many times larger.  What is the diameter of the NY metropolitan area?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 07:34:01 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 07:34:17 PM »

North Korea: Rumors of a Second Test

Reported activity at a suspected North Korean nuclear test site has triggered another round of speculation about whether Pyongyang intends to carry out a follow-up to its October 2006 nuclear test. While South Korea, Japan and the United States are stepping up surveillance of North Korea, it is unlikely there will be another test anytime soon. By carrying out intentionally suspicious activity in full view of foreign satellites and reconnaissance aircraft, Pyongyang is sending a message to Washington ahead of the upcoming talks over the sanctions against the hermit kingdom: Lift financial restrictions or risk another North Korean nuclear test.


Rumors and speculation surrounding a possible second North Korean nuclear test have been circulating for a week after reports indicated vehicle movements and other suspicious activities have been taking place around suspected North Korean nuclear test sites. The reports have triggered an increase in surveillance by the United States, Japan and South Korea, and prompted a series of statements from these and other states urging North Korea to refrain from another test and warning of consequences.

These warnings are exactly what Pyongyang wants to hear. North Korea is well aware that its nuclear sites are under near-constant surveillance by foreign satellites and reconnaissance aircraft, and it frequently has shuffled equipment to create a stir. This activity also creates a crying-wolf situation, in which warnings of imminent missile or nuclear tests become so frequent that when a test does occur, it comes almost as a surprise.

North Korea is looking to resume talks over U.S. action against foreign banks dealing with North Korean accounts. North Korea has cited these "sanctions," as Pyongyang calls them, as its justification for pulling out of the six-party talks and for testing its nuclear device. Pyongyang has said several times that it considered the sanctions a hostile act, and the nuclear test was its response.

North Korea's intense focus on the banking restrictions demonstrates just how significantly the country was impacted by the U.S. action, which cut money sources for the regime's elite. While the North Korean government could tolerate economic strictures on the nation and its people, it was not willing to accept similar action against the elite's own bank accounts and alternative financing methods.

The success of these U.S. financial actions makes it less likely that Washington will back down, as the United States has long sought a lever to shape North Korean actions and options. At the same time, the personal nature of the banking restrictions means the North Korean leadership cannot back down, since this would risk a fracturing of the elite -- triggering instability within the top ranks of the leadership.

By moving around trucks for the satellites to see, North Korea is sending a message to Washington. Pyongyang believes the United States does not want another North Korean nuclear test, but is currently unable to prevent one militarily. Thus, Pyongyang is warning that unless economic restrictions are loosened, North Korea will again embarrass the United States by conducting a test. Washington's failure to respond beyond new sanctions on wine and iPods will simply prove that the American emperor has no clothes. And this apparent impotence will affect U.S. efforts to block Iran's nuclear development.

For now, Washington is not backing down. If an agreement is not reached between Washington and Pyongyang, or if China decides not to rein in North Korea, a second test is likely -- but not for several months. Until then, North Korea will posture and exploit satellite imagery, seeking to shape the political dialogue but also to create a sense of alert fatigue, giving some room for surprise when a test finally is conducted.
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 07:33:06 PM »

Moscow welcomes President Obama's plan for cut in nuclear weapons


From Times Online

February 4, 2009

Moscow welcomes President Obama's plan for cut in nuclear weapons

Tony Halpin in Moscow

Russia moved swiftly today to extend a hand to President Obama over American plans for big cuts in nuclear weapons.

Sergei Ivanov, the Deputy Prime Minister, said that Russia was ready to sign a new strategic missile treaty with the United States after The Times disclosed that Mr Obama is to seek an 80 per cent reduction in stockpiles.

"We welcome the statements from the new Obama Administration that they are ready to enter into talks and complete within a year, in this very confined timeframe, the signing of a new Russian-US treaty on the limitation of strategic attack weapons," said Mr Ivanov, a hawkish former defence minister once seen as a candidate to become president of Russia.

He added: "We are also ready for this, undoubtedly."

The landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1991 is due to expire in December. It reduced stockpiles held by the two states from 10,000 to 5,000 but there has been little progress in negotiating a successor treaty.

Talks faltered in part over President George W. Bush's enthusiasm for siting a missile-defence shield in eastern Europe, a move that infuriated Russia. Mr Obama has not said whether he will press ahead with the plan to put ten interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

A delay in the programme could ease Russian concerns and pave the way for talks to cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each. An official in the US Administration told The Times: “We are prepared to engage in a broader dialogue with the Russians over issues of concern to them.”

The significance of missile defence as an obstacle to successful negotiations was underlined by a former chief of staff for the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces. Colonel-General Viktor Yesin said that a deal on missile cuts made sense only if Washington accepted Moscow's security concerns.

"If the American Administration really intends to radically cut Russia's and the US's strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,000 warheads, this would undeniably be a step that could promote real nuclear disarmament," he told Interfax news.

"However, with such considerable reductions of nuclear arsenals, an equal level of security for Russia and the US could be ensured only on condition that Washington drops the idea of deploying . . . its missile defence system in Europe."

Andrei Piontkovsky, executive director of the Strategic Studies Centre in Moscow, said that defence experts in Russia understood that the US missile shield posed no military threat, but Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and former president, was determined to prove that the West could not decide anything in Eastern Europe without Moscow's approval.

"The Start treaty for Russia is a symbol that it is still a superpower, so I think the Kremlin would be satisfied with the fact that Obama is not pushing this issue [missile defence] ahead," Mr Piontkovsky said.

Pavel Felgengauer, one of Russia's leading defence analysts, told The Times that Mr Obama would face domestic pressure to accelerate the missile-defence programme after Iran's success in launching a satellite into space yesterday.

"This puts a serious shadow over the arms-control negotiations because it was assumed that the Democrats would freeze or postpone deployment of this project until the missile threat emerged. Now it has," he said.

"The pressure is going to be on the new US Administration to continue deployment and maybe even speed it up. With missile defence in Europe getting this new impulse from Tehran, that makes it even more difficult to achieve results with Russia."
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