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Old 09-13-2020, 09:42 AM   #11
Fred Brackin
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Going Nuclear (small question)

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I'd think it would be a pretty solid no, assuming we mean a proper detonation rather than a possibly damaging misfire.

The neutron flux would certainly induce fission in fissionables. But it won't change that those fissionables aren't arranged in a configuration that allows them to achieve supercriticality.
<shrug> The second fission stage in a multi-stage device is set off by neutrons from the first stage rather than another implosion. Or so says Wikipedia.

Then there's the outer casing. If you want a clean bomb you use lead. If you want more power you use uranium and double the yield of your device. It doesn't even need to be enriched uranium. If you do use enriched uranium (as in the US W88 strategic warhead) you can roughly triple the yield. Placing 2 W88s casing to casing and detonating one of them might well cause sigificant nuclear activity in the second one.

You do need to properly arm and detonate the first bomb though. Nobody but you has mentioned setting off nuclear bombs with conventional ones. That's an obvious no.

I'm not even sure you can build fusion-only strategic warheads (in a deliverable form and with a higher yield than modern mutli-stage devices as Spaceships assumes).
Fred Brackin
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nuclear, ref, spaceships

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