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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2018, 07:38 PM

4. In a sensible world, this plutonium would be highly valued.

Last edited Tue Apr 24, 2018, 06:02 AM - Edit history (1)

Metallic plutonium, of which all warheads are composed, albeit as a gallium alloy used to stabilize the delta phase, has unique properties, the most important of which is its very low melting point.

Its metallic forms a binary eutectic with iron, and a well characterized ternary eutectic with cobalt and cerium.

More intriguing is its eutectic with neptunium, suggesting that weapons grade could almost instantaneously rendered entirely unsuitable for nuclear weapons by applying the "Kessler Solution".

By the use of the neptunium/plutonium eutectic, it would be relatively straight forward to completely and totally phase out nuclear weapons.

These properties - the properties of plutonium eutectics - were explored in a marvelous reactor type that ran at Los Alamos for about two years in a very small reactor operating at about 1 MW of power in the early 1960s, before stupid journalists began holding forth on subjects about which they know nothing. The reactor could be easily contained in a small garage.

Because the phase system of plutonium includes the insolubility of the fission products strontium and cesium. This means that the use of liquid plutonium fuels allows for spontaneous separation - without appeal to any kind of chemical reprocessing - of fission products from fuel. Since cesium boils at a relatively low temperature, this means that a continuous separation via distillation is possible, allowing for the recovery of pure radiocesium for use to irradiate pollutants such as the alkyl halides, in particular those that are extremely intractable, PCBs and PFOS.

Liquid plutonium has the highest known value of eta, the neutron yield per fission, meaning it is quite simply, the world's best breeding fuel. It has a breeding ratio of 1.5, unprecedented, suggesting a doubling time of 7 years.

breeder was discussed in ref. (29). The general configuration assumed is an array of reactor modules, containing a sufficient number of modules to produce 500-1500 MW(e) (perhaps 10-30 modules). A specific and realistic description of a molten plutonium fuelled capsule core, using current best estimates for limiting factors, yields a doubling time of 7 years, breeding ratio of 1-5, and specific power of 1 MW/kg Pu.


(Whitman, Fast Breeder Reactors, Proceedings of the London Conference on Fast Breeder Reactors, Pergamon Press 1966 pg 286.)

At a specific power of 1MW/kg of liquid plutonium this means that the 54 metric tons that the idiot reporter thinks of in terms of "nuclear explosions" even though he clearly has no idea how nuclear weapons work, is sufficient to produce about 54000 megawatts of power.

In order to produce this power level, each second 671 milligrams would need to fission.

In January of 2018, according to the EIA, the consumption of electricity (accessed 4/23/18) was 373,213 thousand MWh, which translates to an average continuous power of 502000 MW.

Thus the surplus plutonium is enough produce more than 10% of US electricity. Moreover, since it has a high breeding ratio and a short doubling time none of it need be consumed; after 7 years it would be sufficient (particularly in a "breed and burn" reactor that is designed to not be refueled over periods of decades) to provide more than 100000 MW, after 14 years, 200,000 MW.

The EIA figures for January 2018 show that 64,455,000 tons of coal were burned to generate electricity in January 2018, which is up 1.8% over January of 2017, or 24 tons per second.

In order to save some of the 19,000 lives lost from air pollution every damn day, 365 days a year, 366 in leap years, we would need to completely eliminate this 24 tons a second of coal, not that we have any stupid journalists anywhere on this planet who give a shit about the 7 million people who die each year from air pollution while they prattle on ignorantly about putative "nuclear explosions.

As for "thousands of nuclear explosions" this is a remark from a scientifically illiterate shithead journalist who doesn't know shit from shinola about plutonium and doesn't apparently know what a fucking "disaster" is. A disaster is those 7 million people, not the 54 metric tons of plutonium. A "disaster" is not something that resides in his imagination to the exclusion of everything else. A disaster is what's happening.

As for "slips of the hand" one of those occurred in 1946 and killed Louis Slotin. It didn't cause a "nuclear explosion." Of the 8 people in the room, 3 lived for more than 40 years after the accident, several died in accidents, and one seems to have died from a radiation related cancer.

I know more about plutonium than the reporter at Reuters will ever know, especially since he's clearly starting somewhere close to zero.

We live in times that exalt stupidity, fear and ignorance. Journalists are a big part of the problem.

In recent years I've come to know many young men and women, people in their late teens and early twenties who are nowhere near as stupid as we are. In fact, it's been my pleasure to know many who are clearly brilliant, unbelievably so.

The plutonium described here was prepared by a race of people in a race to assure they would be known as the most absurd generation ever to have lived. These young people are vastly smarter than that generation was.

We are leaving these young people with a planet with depleted resources and a severely degraded environment, but at least, being much smarter than we are, at least they will have this plutonium and plenty of available and already mined depleted uranium in order to make more of it.

Regrettably, this, it seems to me, to be their last best hope. Thank God they have it, even if we're way to unintelligent to have understood it ourselves.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
TexasTowelie Apr 2018 OP
hunter Apr 2018 #1
eppur_se_muova Apr 2018 #2
Sherman A1 Apr 2018 #3
LineNew Reply In a sensible world, this plutonium would be highly valued.
NNadir Apr 2018 #4
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