Re: India's Nuclear test a failure? - What do you think!

Robert Harley (
Wed, 20 May 1998 11:10:36 +0200 (MET DST)

Monsieur Sri Rohit-san wrote:
>My take: low-yield could in fact be a sign of a well-engineered trigger, since
>pouring on more hydrogen just gets you to the megaton range. [...]

Well, if the "10 to 25 kilotons" estimated from the seismic record is
correct, it sounds like the fission trigger went off but didn't even
ignite a fusion reaction. Fission is easy: get two sub-critical
chunks of uranium or whatever and stick them together. You could
literally do so by hand (although dynamite is more often used!). The
only hard part is getting enough fissile material. But fusion is very
hard to get started and that might have failed completely.

>But it doesn't help that Indian politicians are putting out such transparent
>lies as "oh, the seismic waves cancelled each other out".

Hey man, in fact they've been doing tests all along, in successive pairs
with the same epicenter and in anti-phase!