From: email@example.com (Badwater Bill)
Subject: Nuclear Tipped Rocket Ships from India???? (long and boring)
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 23:46:10 GMT
I know this is out of the forum charter but many of you have emailed
me about my thoughts on this since I'm a nuclear physicist and have
worked in the nuclear weapons testing program my whole life. So, if
you aren't interested then punch out now. Those of you who might be
interested I'll give you my perspective on the three Indian nuclear
tests two days ago.
The following is MY opinion only. It does not reflect upon the
opinions or the formal positions of any government or private
organizations that I work or consult for in any way.
I feel that the test itself means very little. We knew they were
working on building a few devices over two and a half decades ago.
They may have about 100 operative devices in their arsenal right now.
In fact their last test was in 1974. The test this week was a saber
rattling directed toward Pakistan in particular and China secondarily.
I think India is reaffirming they have both nuclear devices and
missile delivery systems to simply show a little hair as the old term
used to be. I think that India had long range intercontinental
ballistic missile delivery systems on the drawing board or in test as
long ago as the late 1970's let alone short range systems. The U.S.
could have been targeted already for almost 15-20 years. I think they
could have hit some of our northern cities with trajectories over the
North Pole with there technology 20 years ago. But, they had no
reason to. If they came at us at anytime we could have vaporized the
entire surface of their country to a soil depth of at least one meter
in less than an hour. So, in my opinion this crummy little test
(although one was thermonuclear) is really no big deal in the grand
scheme of things. Although they do need data so they can build
computer simulation models to predict yield and efficiency, the test
had the advantage that it was a big show for China and Pakistan.
China, however, is about 2 decades more advanced than India in this
arena. China has short range, tactical and intercontinental delivery
systems, on-line. I think we still have about 20 years before we
could see nuclear war between some of those big countries with India,
but we will see it eventually unless they all disarm. In the meantime
the real problem at hand is not this open, blatant little test. It's
the movement of Special Nuclear Material to the terrorists for the
construction of IND's (Improvised Nuclear Devices) that's got me
My greatest worry right now is that our emergency response (Europe and
the U.S.) might be hard pressed dealing with multiple nuclear
emergencies at the same time in the free world. I think when the
terrorists hit us they may do it in about 10-15 cities all at the same
time. This could bog the system down to the point where anyone who
knows what a gamma ray is will be drafted to help out (as they
should). The cold war is over but now we're in a much more dangerous
condition with Soviet scientists starving to death and possibly
selling both material to terrorists plus doing ballistic trajectory
calculations over the Internet for $300 a pop. I don't think the
question is, "Will there be nuclear terrorism?" I think the question
is, "When and where will there be nuclear terrorism." I believe there
will be nuclear terrorist activity in this country or other countries
of the free world long before we ever see anything of a threat from
India or China. I think that's a pretty safe statement.
In my opinion the most interesting thing to watch between these guys
is the development of a MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) strategy.
Right now, China could wipe out all of the major cities in India. The
real danger here is the same one the Allies faced in the mid 1940's
looking at the entire planet. It's a once in a lifetime window of
opportunity for China. China has a 20 year advantage on India as far
as nuclear weapons development and delivery. Right now is the time
that China could take India. They could do it without the loss of one
life. It's very similar to the status of the Allies just after WWII
and even into the early 1950's. We could have put the entire world
under one government with no loss of life because of our nuclear
superiority. We lost that window of opportunity and will never have
that situation again. China has this window of opportunity over India
now but once India builds a bigger and better arsenal, that window
will be gone and they will be assured of bilateral destruction in any
The real question for China is probably the same one that made us
"Pass" on taking over the world after WWII. Who want's it! India has
a very complex culture totally different than China's. They have
health and staggering poverty problems which transcend the profoundly
morbid. Managing India and their billion people would be an absolute
nightmare for China (or anybody else). I think this is the way the
allies felt after WWII, especially the Americans. We wanted to
retreat to our side of the planet and go back into isolationism. We
wanted to grow and work on our own country and not deplete our own
resources to take on big problems like India, the USSR, China, Africa,
etc. Truman and the others wanted only to help rebuild Europe through
the Marshall plan and stick to ourselves. And I can't blame them.
The trouble is, the world got smaller and the weapons got bigger.
It's only 30 minutes to shoot a rocket-ship from Russia to New York
City or San Francisco. And that rocket-ship can carry a small payload
that you could hold in your hands which can level any city. It kind
of makes the world a tiny place. If we'd have put the world under one
government in 1945 we could be in control of this and probably
wouldn't be in such a predicament. As I said, I think China faces this
same dilemma with India right now although not on the grandiose scale
as the one we faced after WWII.
What's going to happen? You got me! My major worries in the near
future are the crazy terrorists who die for a religious cause. There
are many in this world who think the more people they take out when
they go, the higher place they'll have in their heaven. How do you
deal with that?
What I find really interesting right now is the attitude of many of
the people on the street concerning the possibility of getting blown
up by a nuclear device. Most people think since the cold war is over
they can breath a breath of relief. Maybe I'm stupid but never in my
life have I felt more at risk of dying from a nuclear attack than
right now. In the days when we were balanced with the Soviet Union,
both superpowers knew that we'd go up in a blazing inferno if either
side pushed the button. At least we had balanced power. It kept
everybody honest. Now, who's in control? The Soviets can't even
account for all of their weapons-grade material (plutonium), maybe
even all of their weapons! Not only that, the Soviet Union itself is
in a massive depression. It could have a civil war which could cause
the use of nuclear arms internally. This could expand into parts of
Europe and then we'd be involved. You could get some little warlord
in one of the Soviet states controlling a few hundred devices with
intercontinental delivery vehicles and holding up the world over it.
We always have insane people governing some countries in the world
too. Like Libya and Iraq. What if these guys buy some plutonium and
their terrorists backpack a few little devices into some major cities
for some fireworks. There's just too much nuclear material around
that's not being managed properly to make me feel comfortable. That's
not the case in this country or Europe but it appears to be getting
worse in other less developed areas of the world. Take India itself.
What are their safeguards? I'll bet they are nothing like ours are.
Maybe I worry too much. But I do worry.
In closing I'd like to say that I think Clinton is stupid to have shut
the U.S. weapons testing program down, here in Nevada. What we have
out there in our nuclear weapons arsenal, are corroding devices which
are very complicated from a materials standpoint and electronically.
The Plutonium, the high explosive triggers, the tritium is decaying
away etc. Many of these devices are in silos with high humidity and
other things which cause them to have a finite shelf-life. So, as we
replace components, we replace them with systems containing new
materials, new software, new electronics and new delivery systems.
If we don't test a few of them once in awhile simply for quality
control measures then how in the hell can we maintain a sophisticated
arsenal? It's like having 20,000 Ferraris parked in garages all over
the place that we can't start up for a test run now and then. But, our
life depends on them running perfectly. Then if we're launched upon
by a Soviet Warlord we have about 5 minutes to make some decisions for
attack. Now we expect the Ferraris to all start up perfectly, run
smoothly and save our butts. It ain't going to happen that smoothly
Another thing we've lost is the old timers. They've all gone away.
What if the Soviets started testing again tomorrow like they did when
they violated the agreement we had with them in the late 50's. The
bastards used about 4 years of time to catch up to us. They broke the
anti testing treaty agreement in 1963 and if memory serves me
correctly they tested about 50 devices in a row. It took the stupid
U.S. government about 2 years to get back up to speed to just keep up
with the Russians..
While your dumb politicians and stupid American leaders are resting
right now with no nuclear weapons development, testing program or
quality assurance testing of our nuclear arsenal (which you paid for),
the other countries of the world are working double-time to catch up.
And I mean China, India, France, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya,
North Korea and many other smaller places like maybe even Argentina,
South Africa and Brazil. So sleep tight Americans while the rest of
the world catches us and our arsenal rots away from lack of proper
scientific maintenance through testing.
I guess I'm just cynical. I guess all of us taxpayers have to
understand that we are so great we have to lead the world here. We
have to set the example and let our scientific experts pass on with no
transfer of knowledge. We have to let our nuclear weapons undergo no
quality control testing, we have to be bigger than the rest of the
countries in the world while each of them is free to test.
What a joke!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Badwater Bill)
Subject: Re: BWB is as Crazy as... - 9mm.jpg (0/1)
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 15:17:13 GMT
> Are you sure you're not confusing Pertec with Diablo? Pertec was a
>9 Track Mag tape OEM.
Oh, I'm positive about that. I remember that Pertec got into the
competition with DEC over that RK05. The Pertec platters weren't
interchangeable with the DEC platters either. I remember this
distinctly because the technology was so poor in those days we were
always losing data. I built big Gamma Spectrometers in those days to
analyse air samples some of which were taken to analyse the fission
products from underground nuclear tests the Russians conducted which
vented to the atmosphere.
We had an EC-135 (Boeing 707) sitting in international airspace over
the North pole just orbiting. When the Russians would conduct a
nuclear test north of the arctic circle at their test sit on Novaja
Zeml'a (at about 70 degrees north and 60 East) our guys would vacuum
up the air and plate out the fission products on filters for spectral
analysis. The equipment we flew in those days was built by Nuclear
Data Corporation out of Schamburg Ill. They used the RK05's on that
spectrometer but the damn things were real sensitive to turbulence in
the EC-135 and on ships. So, Pertec came up with a competing drive
that worked much better. I think we could store about 2 megabytes on
those platters at the time. We'd run 4096 channel spectra at 4 bytes
per word. So, each spectrum with a header block would take up 16k of
disc space. We thought we were in hog heaven with that kind of
Just as a sideline I'll tell you something. Go look at Novaja Zeml'a
on a map. There are two islands that make up that site. Look at the
channel that splits the two islands. The Russians would drill a hole
(mine out a tunnel) on the western island and have a line of sight
view from that harbor back into the tunnel where they'd put the
device. They'd park a ship in that channel with physics packages on
it along with communications satellites etc. Then they'd detonate the
device and flux the experiments on the ship. This was to simulate a
close proximity nuclear blast in space so they could "harden" their
physics packages and communications satellites. Oh, "physics package"
usually mean an RV (reentry vehicle). This is a nuclear warhead in a
container that is the package on the top of an ICBM.
We did the same thing here at the Nevada Test Site but with one big
difference. We'd put a device in a tunnel and have a line-of-site
pipe with a constant solid angle (a cone about 1/4 mile long) that
started out with about a diameter of an inch and expanded to many
feet. We'd load RV's and com satellites into the pipe then pump it
down to the vacuum of space. We'd detonate the device and all the
experiments would get fluxed then big doors would close to keep the
rocks from slinging down the tunnel and wiping out our experiments.
The Russians weren't as good at this and most of their tests vented
fission products into the atmosphere. Well, hell, all you have to do
is collect those fresh fission products in your EC-135, run a spectrum
of them and bingo, you could reconstruct the device. You could not
only tell what the design of the device was, you could tell the burn
efficiency, yield, and even the geometry they were using. It was
I got my 1500 hours of PIC time flying radiation cloud tracking
aircraft for the government so I could get my ATP. That's how I did
it 20 years ago. I had a dual job description as a pilot and a
physicist on those airplanes. Everyone else wanted to sleep, so I
just built time.
P.S. One more thing. God, I love the smell of fresh fission products
in the morning!
From: email@example.com (Badwater Bill)
Subject: Re: Any EC-135 people out there?
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 14:54:49 GMT
On Tue, 21 Sep 1999 19:05:26 -0500, "JRS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>The hospital where I work as a mechanic is planning on upgrading in the near
>future and they are leaning towards the EC-135. Does anyone out there have
>any experience or comments on this aircraft? Everything I read on it makes
>it sound like a great machine. All composite fuselage, true twin engine
>performance (capable of flying away on one engine fully loaded), extremely
>quite, fast, etc. From what I see and read it looks like it will be quite an
>EMS ship. Jim Seeliger
I used to work on equipment that went on an EC-135 (Boeing 707) that
flew missions over the north pole back in the nuclear testing hay day.
The Russians didn't bury their physics packages deep enough and about
1/3 of them would vent fission products to the atmosphere. They
tested on an Island inside the arctic circle too. The EC-135 would
sit in International airspace and pull large volumes of air through
HEPA filters and activated charcoal cartridges for on board analysis.
We could reconstruct the Soviet Nuclear weapons from that data, even
the burn efficiencies and yield. All this while orbiting the North
The interesting thing about it all is that the Soviet Union was always
behind us by a long way in the intricacies of their devices. They
also had terrible targeting equipment. Hell, back in the 70's we
could hit some ones backyard in Russia from anywhere on Earth
including missiles fired from the Trident submarines which were in
motion. The Russians were so crude in their targeting they'd be lucky
to hit Seattle from 100 miles offshore. So, they built big-BIG bombs
to take up the slop. Ours were tiny and for use in surgically
removing some factory or whatever.
Anyway, the EC-135 was a Boeing 707 rigged with electronic counter
measures equipment mostly. Ours was a radiation cloud tracker.