1994-08-25 - Re: Nuclear Weapons Material

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From: Bill Sommerfeld <sommerfeld@orchard.medford.ma.us>
To: ecarp@netcom.com
Message Hash: b934453ec6738173e93b62ba45ad7d2ca410a5f1fdc5d7611bfdfd6866f6b0b6
Message ID: <199408251233.IAA00508@orchard.medford.ma.us>
Reply To: <m0qdXE6-0004EcC@khijol.uucp>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-25 12:53:11 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 25 Aug 94 05:53:11 PDT

Raw message

From: Bill Sommerfeld <sommerfeld@orchard.medford.ma.us>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 94 05:53:11 PDT
To: ecarp@netcom.com
Subject: Re: Nuclear Weapons Material
In-Reply-To: <m0qdXE6-0004EcC@khijol.uucp>
Message-ID: <199408251233.IAA00508@orchard.medford.ma.us>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> Wrong.  If you will notice, I said "the earliest devices".  They didn't 
> use plutonium for nuclear devices until much later.

Much as I hate continuing to inject facts into an off-topic

I wouldn't call it "much later".

The first bomb *design* was the uranium gun-type bomb.  They thought
that they could use the same design with Pu239, but discovered when
their first significant samples of Pu showed up that it just wouldn't

The first bomb ever *detonated* (at Alamogordo, NM, on 16 July 1945)
was an implosion bomb using plutonium.  You see, the implosion design
was sufficiently hairy that they needed to test it before using it for

The "Los Alamos Primer" I cited yesterday contains a photo captioned:

   "Sgt. Herbert Lehr delivering plutonium core of first test bomb in its
   shock mounted case to the assembly room at McDonald Ranch, on the
   Trinity test site in the desert northwest of Alamogordo, NM, July 12

(The "shock mounted case" in question is a rectangular box, roughly

						- Bill