Is the EMP threat a hoax?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG4JYD, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is the EMP threat a hoax?

    This may be the most efficient combining I've ever seen of an irrational fear with an irrational conspiracy theory.

    A rally cry for the tinfoil hat team!
     
    W4IOA likes this.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Besides the happy side effect of killing lots of people while leaving structures relatively undamaged there is another very strategic use for the neutron bomb.

    As you probably know the neutron bomb emits an enormous pulse of very high energy neutrinos. If an adversary were to launch a salvo of nuclear missiles containing multiple warheads our anti missile system would likely miss most of them. However, by setting off a neutron bomb in the vicinity of the missiles (before they get too close to a populated area) the high energy neutrinos will go right through the incoming bomb casings like hot knives through butter. As you know, any nuclear weapon, either a fission bomb (nuclear bomb), or fusion bomb (thermonuclear bomb) contains a fission bomb at it's core.

    If the concentration of high energy neutrinos is sufficient they will, even though the fissile material is not at critical mass, cause many small chain reactions in the material that will generate tremendous heat, similar to a non-critical nuclear reactor. The heat causes the geometry of the HE shell and the fissile core material to change resulting in a defective device, so no nuclear detonation. The most likely outcome would be a bunch of dirty HE bombs. This is not some crackpot scenario, it is very real and while it is not the ideal defense solution for a lot of reasons, it is one solution. I don't know if we still have them or not but it would not surprise me.

    Also, the notion that the range of the Neutron blast is limited to the fireball is simply not true. Neutrinos from such a device can have a devastating effect for 50 miles or more. These are not small bombs by any stretch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    KB4QAA likes this.
  3. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes enhanced radiation warheads were developed and fielded for SAM/ABM use in the 1950's. President George Bush (47) cancelled the W70 and W79 tactical "neutron" weapons. The warheads were disassembled and destroyed.
     
  4. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That and for use against Soviet armored formations coming through the freaking Fulda Gap en masse. ;)
     
  5. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Those were part of the ongoing SALT treaty negotiations. As far as we know neither the US nor any other nation has these weapons in their arsenals, as far as we know.;)
     
  6. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    We know that's never going to happen, those days are gone. :)
     
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Relatively." You still wouldn't want to be under one when it went off. It's relatively low yield, and there's no U235/238 in the Secondary pusher, but it will still be one hell of a bang.

    I believe you meant to type "neutrons," not "neutrinos." And since neutron radiation effects drop off rapidly with distance in air, the range is actually quite limited. One of the drawbacks to using it an an anti-armor weapon; especially with the Soviets beginning to armor their vehicles more strongly against neutron radiation. You are correct that the range of the radiation is not limited to the diameter of the fireball, but it's not a great deal more--one of the reasons the warheads were scrapped.
     
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I hope so, anyway. In retrospect, it probably wasn't as likely as we thought it was after all.
     
  9. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is always possible to make your adversaries ten feet tall. Military professionals plan for what is known and best estimated capability, not 'possibles".
     
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Somebody probably would if they could figure out a use for them. ;)
     

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