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Nuclear weapons: Difference between revisions

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===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
===Reactor Physics/Fuel Cycle===
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
* Neutron moderators - fueling - MOX - breeders - feedbacks - inherently safe designs
* Four-factor formula - criticality control - fuel burnup - fission products - fission poisons
* Four-factor formula - criticality control - fuel burnup - fission products - fission poisons - Xe<sup>135</sup> - Sm<sup>149</sup>
* Intertial confinement fusion - hydromagnetic confinement fusion - cold fusion - bubble fusion
* Intertial confinement fusion - hydromagnetic confinement fusion - cold fusion - bubble fusion
* Etienne Parent (2003). "[http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/17027/54495851.pdf Nuclear Fuel Cycles for Mid-Century Deployment]".
* Etienne Parent (2003). "[http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/17027/54495851.pdf Nuclear Fuel Cycles for Mid-Century Deployment]".
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* Criticality - subcritical - supercritical - prompt criticality - critical insertion time - insertion (gun-type) method - spontaneous fission
* Criticality - subcritical - supercritical - prompt criticality - critical insertion time - insertion (gun-type) method - spontaneous fission
* Implosion method - levitated pits - multi-point implosion
* Implosion method - levitated pits - multi-point implosion
* Th232 - U233 - U235 - U238 - Pu249 - Pu240 - minor actinides - transuranics - fissile, fissionable, fertile
* <sup>232</sup>Th - <sup>233</sup>U - <sup>235</sup>U - <sup>238</sup>U - <sup>249</sup>Pu - <sup>240</sup>Pu - minor actinides - transuranics - fissile, fissionable, fertile
** <sup>233</sup>U is fissile, and can be bred from <sup>232</sup>Th. Without subsequent physical enrichment, however, it'll be contaminated to some degree by <sup>232</sup>U, a retarded younger brother noted by a meager lifespan and γ-rich decay chain.
** <sup>235</sup>U is fissile, but requires enrichment infrastructure (no plausible breeding path). Given sufficient mass of highly-enriched uranium, it's a real dream to work with, and criticality is about as difficult as lighting a Sparkler. With a 700+ million year half-life, it's not going anywhere, either. Modern cores employ <sup>239</sup> for three reasons: (a) smaller critical mass (b) beancounting and (c) style.
** <sup>239</sup>Pu is fissile, and can be chemically extracted from neutron-activated actinides. Without subsequent physical enrichment, however, it'll be contaminated to some degree by:
*** <sup>240</sup>Pu becomes a <sup>241</sup>Pu rather than compound {<sup>241</sup>Pu} (fission precursor), meaning two neutrons (and associated time) to yield a fission event. Predetonation hazard due to spontaneous fissions. Burnable in a recycling reactor, but undesirable for weapon material.
*** <sup>241</sup>Pu is highly fissile. Undesirable in weapons due to short half-life (α to useless <sup>241</sup>Am).
*** <sup>242</sup>Pu is plutonium gone wrong every possible way. The only redeeming grace is scarcity.
* Enrichment levels - enrichment methods - degradation - downblending
* Enrichment levels - enrichment methods - degradation - downblending
** Observable properties of processing tech (plutonium's more intensely thermal)
** Observable properties of processing tech (plutonium's more intensely thermal)