Wacky Ideas from my Past – #2 The Nuke Core Neutralizer
April 7, 2008 1 Comment
This one felt really important during the height of the cold war.
All H-Bombs have an A-Bomb at their core. The A-Bomb is needed to generated the million of degree temperature to begin the fusion reaction in the H-Bomb fuel. So, all nukes, therefore, have at their core, a hunk of fissionable material, generally Uranium-235 or Plutonium-239. U-235, for example, works well as a nuclear fission fuel because when the nucleus absorbs a neutron, it becomes unstable and splits into two smaller nuclei (e.g. Barium and Krypton), releasing more neutrons which then generate more reactions. A critical mass of fissionable material will explode because the number of neutrons needed to maintain the reaction is exceeded by the number generated. But, U-235 can also safely absorb a neutron and not undergo fission, transmuting in non-fissionable U-236 before further decay. But if some process (for example, creating the perfect neutron energy) were to be discovered that caused absorption rather than fission, the core of the nuke could be neutralized.
So, my thought was to blanket the earth with a “rain” of the right particles to neutralize all nuke cores, regardless of where they are buried or hidden, thereby ending all fear of nuclear strikes.
My naivete may have been to think that we could generate enough particles at high enough density to neutralize a nuke core at any given point on the earth without having that particle beam have an adverse effect on plant and animal life.
So where are we today? Actually, there are a number of nuclear remediation technologies (for example see Gary Vesperman’s “Comparison of My List of 27 Methods of Neutralizing or Disposing of Radioactive Waste with PACE’s 9 Methods“) that can clean up cores of nukes or fissionable material in general. None can be accomplished on the “earth blanketing” scale that I envisioned. However, maybe nanotech can come to the rescue. Imagine a healthy swarm of nanobots, all carrying the materials needed for a nuclear remediation technique, such as RIPPLE Fission, and instructed to seek out all U-235 and P-239 and unleash the neutralization technique.
Time frame? I’m thinking…