Nuclear Test at Bikini Atoll Was a Huge Mistake

Author: Paul ,

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  • Paul
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    Most of us have seen the Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, but did you know it was a mistake? Castle Bravo was designed to be a 5 megaton device, but when they set it off it unexpectedly yielded a 15 megaton blast. This was due to a mistake in the design.

    The fuel used was lithium 6 and the core was a mixture of 30% lithium 6 and 70% lithium 7, the lithium 7 was thought to be inert. When the detonation occurred the reaction stripped one of the neutrons from the lithium 7 atoms and that turned it in to lithium 6 so instead of a 5 megaton blast what they got was a 15 megaton blast.

    For the people at the test site this 15 megaton blast was a terrifying surprise and many of them thought they were going to die right then and there. Some of the people did end up dying later as a result of radiation poisoning.

    It seems such an obvious mistake that it's hard to believe that the scientists at the time didn't see it coming.

  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Paul
    Lesson learned. Hence the test.

    It's a pity that you weren't around at the time to put all those numpty scientists straight.

    Though some cynics might argue that you have the advantage of hindsight.

    Some might also say that all nuclear tests are a mistake.

    Though some might say that nuclear testing is an inevitable consequence of humanity.
  • Paul
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    --> @zedvictor4
    Yes the advantage of hindsight makes it seem obvious, but just think about it. When the bomb detonates atoms are going to get particles knocked off of them, if a lithium 7 atom gets a neutron knocked off what’s going to happen? It’s going to turn it into more fuel!

    Even though science has put us in bad situations and accidents have happened I still can’t think of a single time that the advancement of science should have been retarded or halted.

  • ebuc
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    --> @zedvictor4
    Though some might say that nuclear testing is an inevitable consequence of humanity.
    Some might say that humanities demise is an inevitable consequence of humanity.

    Its pretty much a multiple choice question:

    1} hydrogen bomb nuclear death of fire and radiation posioning, ---and all its resultant consequencies--,

    2} climate temperatures rise and the many consequences that can result from runaway temperature rise as ice melts and less reflection of suns heat back into space, --and the many resultant consequences of that--,

    3} slow ticking time bomb of many kinds of chemical and radiational posioning from growing poplulation that demands higher standard of living, ---ergo cancer rates rise rapidly as immune system of humanity falls to all time new lows--,

    4} bacteria or other viral infection plagues that humans have no immunity from,

    5} all the ones I'm forgettting



  • zedvictor4
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    --> @ebuc
    Maybe we're on a knife edge or maybe we're not.

    Things are always constantly changing. 

    A significant reduction in the human population wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing though.

    Maybe it's all about the reality of material evolution and our role within the process.

    Or maybe it's all pure chance.

    As ever, the jury's out.


  • ebuc
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    --> @zedvictor4
    A significant reduction in the human population wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing though.
    Uneccessary sufferring is always a bad thing.

    All of the pieces ---below-- for humanities demise are in place and you apparrenly missed the 40 years of M.A.D. and their partial resolution in late 80s early 90's.

    I always did best with multiple choice tests.

    1} hydrogen bomb nuclear death of fire and radiation posioning, ---and all its resultant consequencies--,

    2} climate temperatures rise and the many consequences that can result from runaway temperature rise as ice melts and less reflection of suns heat back into space, --and the many resultant consequences of that--,

    3} slow ticking time bomb of many kinds of chemical and radiational posioning from growing poplulation that demands higher standard of living, ---ergo cancer rates rise rapidly as immune system of humanity falls to all time new lows--,

    4} bacteria or other viral infection plagues that humans have no immunity from,

    5} all the ones I'm forgettting

  • zedvictor4
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    --> @ebuc
    We live unnaturally longer, but there again what is nature.  As it's fair to suggest that living unnaturally longer is in fact of a natural process.

    And we can apply that logic to every situation that you listed 1 to 4 and probably everything that can be listed under 5.

    And we can also apply that logic to the Bikini Atoll nuclear test and it's consequences.

    In fact we can probably apply that logic to everything.

19 days later

  • Ramshutu
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    --> @Paul
    While Castle Bravo was quite the miscalculation; the Tsar Bomba was originally planned to be 100MT - but was scaled back to reduce the fallout.

    (The secondary stage(s) used a compressed tamper of lead rather than fissionable Uranium).

  • sadolite
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    --> @Paul
    Ya, that,s why they call it nuclear testing. Set it off and see what happens record the results and adjust accordingly for the desired result.