Nuclear Bomb Craters in Nevada

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The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), previously the Nevada Test Site (NTS), is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in southeastern Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the city of Las Vegas. Formerly known as the Nevada Proving Grounds, the site was established on 11 January 1951 for the testing of nuclear devices.
During the 1950s, the mushroom clouds from the 100 atmospheric tests could be seen for almost 100 mi (160 km). The city of Las Vegas experienced noticeable seismic effects, and the distant mushroom clouds, which could be seen from the downtown hotels, became tourist attractions. The vast majority—828 of the 928 total nuclear tests—were underground.

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Indiana Jones nuketown scene. Indiana is one tough hombre.

Gun resembling Lego toy sparks backlash in US

A US gun company is facing a backlash for producing a pistol that looks like a children’s toy made of Lego.

Culper Precision said its customised Glock weapon, named Block19, was developed to “highlight the pure enjoyment of the shooting sports”.

But Danish toymaker Lego has written to the company demanding that it stop producing the weapon, which is covered in what looks like Lego bricks.

Gun control campaigners described the pistol as irresponsible and dangerous.

Shannon Watts, of the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign group, said her organisation had contacted Lego about the customised Block19 last week, and that the Danish company had then sent a “cease and desist” letter to Culper Precision.

Ms Watts also criticised the gun company, which is based in Utah, saying there was a risk that children may be drawn to use firearms “even when guns don’t look like toys”.

Culper Precision said in a statement that it had chosen to release the Block19 in an attempt to show that guns were “for everyone” and that “owning and shooting firearms responsibly is a really enjoyable activity”.

It added that the firearm could only be purchased by those legally permitted to own a gun.

Culper Precision president Brandon Scott told the Washington Post newspaper that after discussions with a lawyer he decided to comply with the request from Lego.

The weapon appears to have since been removed from the gun manufacturer’s website.A US gun company is facing a backlash for producing a pistol that looks like a children’s toy made of Lego.

Culper Precision said its customised Glock weapon, named Block19, was developed to “highlight the pure enjoyment of the shooting sports”.

But Danish toymaker Lego has written to the company demanding that it stop producing the weapon, which is covered in what looks like Lego bricks.

Gun control campaigners described the pistol as irresponsible and dangerous.

Shannon Watts, of the Everytown for Gun Safety campaign group, said her organisation had contacted Lego about the customised Block19 last week, and that the Danish company had then sent a “cease and desist” letter to Culper Precision.

Ms Watts also criticised the gun company, which is based in Utah, saying there was a risk that children may be drawn to use firearms “even when guns don’t look like toys”.

Culper Precision said in a statement that it had chosen to release the Block19 in an attempt to show that guns were “for everyone” and that “owning and shooting firearms responsibly is a really enjoyable activity”.

It added that the firearm could only be purchased by those legally permitted to own a gun.

Culper Precision president Brandon Scott told the Washington Post newspaper that after discussions with a lawyer he decided to comply with the request from Lego.

The weapon appears to have since been removed from the gun manufacturer’s website.

It is illegal in the US to produce a children’s toy that precisely resembles a real gun, but the laws do not explicitly prevent manufacturers from making a gun that resembles a toy.

Accidents involving children and firearms are on the increase in the US. More than 140 people were killed in such gun-related incidents last year.

Americans and their damn gun obsession and culture. Makes no sense. Over the last weekend 175 gun related homicides in the country!

America’s gun culture in charts

BBC

US president Joe Biden’s announcement on gun control throws the spotlight once again on Americans’ attitudes to firearms.

Here is a selection of charts and maps on where America stands on the right to bear arms.

How does the US compare with other countries?

There were 14,400 gun-related homicides in 2019.

Killings involving a gun accounted for nearly three quarters of all homicides in the US in that year.

That’s a larger proportion of homicides than in Canada, Australia, England and Wales, and many other countries.

Who owns the world’s guns?

While it is difficult to know exactly how many guns civilians own around the world, by every estimate the US, with more than 390 million, is far out in front. The latest figures from the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based leading research project, are for 2018.

Switzerland and Finland are two of the European countries with the most guns per person – they both have compulsory military service for all men over the age of 18. The Finnish interior ministry says about 60% of gun permits are granted for hunting – a popular pastime in Finland. Cyprus and Yemen also have military service.

How do US gun deaths break down?

Figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show there were a total of more than 38,300 deaths from guns in 2019 – of which more than 23,900 were suicides.

A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found there was a strong relationship between higher levels of gun ownership in a state and higher firearm suicide rates for both men and women.

The number of mass shootings fell last year during the pandemic.

According to investigative magazine Mother Jones, which has been tracking such incidents since 1982, there were only two in the whole of 2020. Mother Jones defines a mass shooting as three or more people shot dead.

It does not include violent crimes like robberies or gang-related violence in its statistics.

Other figures from the Gun Violence Archive suggest mass shooting may have risen last year. It uses a broader definition of shootings including those where victims are shot and injured, as well as robberies.

Attacks in US become deadlier
The Las Vegas attack in 2017 was the worst mass shooting in recent US history – and eight of the shootings with the highest number of casualties happened within the past 10 years.

How much do guns cost to buy?

For those from countries where guns are not widely owned, it can be a surprise to discover that they are relatively cheap to purchase in the US.

Among the arsenal of weapons recovered from the hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock in 2017 were handguns, which can cost from as little $200 (£145) – comparable to a Chromebook laptop.

Assault-style rifles, also recovered from Paddock’s room, can cost from around $1,500 (£1,100).

Who supports gun control?
US public opinion on gun laws has fluctuated over recent years.

Opinion polling by Gallup suggests that a majority of Americans would like to see the laws covering the sale of firearms made more strict.

Some states have taken steps to ban or strictly regulate ownership of assault weapons. Laws vary by state but California, for example, has banned ownership of assault weapons with limited exceptions.

Who opposes gun control?
The National Rifle Association (NRA) campaigns against all forms of gun control in the US and argues that more guns make the country safer.

It is among the most powerful special interest lobby groups in the US, with a substantial budget to influence members of Congress on gun policy.

Figures from the Center for Responsive Government suggest that groups advocating stricter gun controls actually spent more than gun rights groups like the NRA in 2018.

In January 2021, the NRA filed for bankruptcy as part of a fraud case against some of its own senior staff.

The NRA said it would continue “confronting anti-Second Amendment activities, promoting firearm safety and training, and advancing public programs across the United States”.

Dirty Harry can now get a bigger Gun

Dirty Harry can now upgrade to a bigger handgun.  The .44 Magnum that Harry used was very powerful.  It could take down a punk rapist at 150 meters and if it hit the punk in the head, it would take it clean off.  Even if it winged a slimy street robber it would take out such a big chunk, that the robber punk would be neutralized.

 

 

But now there is a bigger cannon on the block.  The Model 500 from Smith & Wesson is the biggest, heaviest, most powerful factory-production double-action revolver in the world. It’s built on an entirely new and massive S&W frame size. It fires the new .500 S&W Magnum cartridge, which is the most powerful factory load ever developed specifically for handgun use. The gun and the cartridge are both impressive product accomplishments, beyond the industry norm, and both moved together from concept to reality in less than a year.

This gun is 34 percent more powerful than the .44 Magnum.  If Dirty Harry used this weapon he could take down a rogue elephant at 200 meters.  Or splatter bad boy punk street slime all over the side of a building at 250 meters.  This bazooka fires a 50 caliber cartridge.  The .500 Magnum would very definitely make Dirty Harry’s day.

 

 

 

 The .500 Magnum (top) compared to the .44 Magnum.

 

Top secret U.S. carbon fiber bomb-the Blackout Bomb

The U.S. has used this bomb to knock out power grids in Serbia and Iraq.  It is currently delivered by F-15 E Strike Eagles.

The BLU-114/B is a special-purpose munition for attacking electrical power infrastructure. Although very little is known about this highly classified weapon, reportedly it functions by dispensing a number of submunitions which in turn disperse large numbers of chemically treated carbon graphite filaments which short-circuit electrical power distribution equipment such as transformers and switching stations. The weapon is sometimes referred to as a “soft bomb” since its effects are largely confined to the targeted electrical power facility, with minimal risk of collateral damage.

This previously undisclosed weapon, carried by the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter, was used for the first time on 02 May 1999 as part of Operation ALLIED FORCE strikes against Serbia. Following these attacks lights went out over 70 per cent of the country. The munition was subsequently used on the night of 07 May 1999 to counter Serbian efforts to restore damage caused by the initial attack.

Similar in concept to the “Kit-2” Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missile warhead used in the opening days of Operation DESERT STORM, few details of either weapons can be established on an unclassified basis. The missiles, packed with bomblets filled with small spools of carbon-fiber wire, deprived Iraq of 85% of its generating capacity. During the Gulf War Iraq responded to the use of this type of munition by disconnecting electrical power grid circuit breakers. Attacks on Iraqi power facilities shut down their effective operation and eventually collapsed the national power grid. Coalition planners in the theater initially directed that the switching system be targeted, rather than the generator halls. For the first three days, the ATO explicitly contained specific aimpoints for strikes against electrical production facilities. Subsequently the specific aimpoints were only sporadically included. When wing-level planners lacked specific guidance on which aimpoints to hit at electrical power plants, they sometimes chose to target generator halls, which are among the aimpoints listed in standard targeting manuals.

 

South Korea has announced plans to build graphite bombs for use against North Korea to paralyse its electric grid in the event of a new war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula, subject to funding from the country’s finance ministry. The weapons have been developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development, Yonhap news agency reported, as one element of the kill chain pre-emptive strike program. Contractors were selected in 2020 and the weapons are intended to be delivered by 2024.

French Atomic Bomb Tests

FRENCH ATOMIC BOMB TESTS – 1968 – FANGATAUFA ATOLL

Canopus was the code name for France’s first two-stage thermonuclear test, conducted on August 24, 1968 at Fangataufa atoll in French Polynesia.

 

In 1966, France was able to use fusion fuel to boost plutonium implosion devices with the Rigel shot. Roger Dautry, a nuclear physicist, was selected by the CEA to lead the development effort to construct a two-stage weapon. France did not have the ability to produce the materials needed for a two-stage thermonuclear device at the time, so 151 tons of heavy water was purchased from Norway and an additional 168 tons from the United States. This heavy water went into nuclear reactors in 1967 to produce tritium needed for the device.

The announcement by France in the late 1960s to test a hydrogen bomb provoked the People’s Republic of China to conduct a full scale hydrogen bomb test of its own on June 17, 1967.

France was to test the new device as part of a 5 shot series conducted at the nuclear testing grounds in French Polynesia. The device weighed three tons and used a lithium deuteride secondary stage with a highly enriched uranium jacket primary.

Fangataufa was selected as the location of the shot due to its isolation in respect to the main base on Mururoa. The device was suspended from a large hydrogen filled balloon. It was detonated at 18:30:00.5 GMT with a 2.6 megaton yield at an altitude of 1800 feet. As a result of the successful detonation, France became the 5th thermonuclear nation.

 

 

 

 

 

French Atomic Bomb Tests

FRENCH ATOMIC BOMB TESTS – 1968 – FANGATAUFA ATOLL

Canopus was the code name for France’s first two-stage thermonuclear test, conducted on August 24, 1968 at Fangataufa atoll.

In 1966, France was able to use fusion fuel to boost plutonium implosion devices with the Rigel shot. Roger Dautry, a nuclear physicist, was selected by the CEA to lead the development effort to construct a two-stage weapon. France did not have the ability to produce the materials needed for a two-stage thermonuclear device at the time, so 151 tons of heavy water was purchased from Norway and an additional 168 tons from the United States. This heavy water went into nuclear reactors in 1967 to produce tritium needed for the device.

The announcement by France in the late 1960s to test a hydrogen bomb provoked the People’s Republic of China to conduct a full scale hydrogen bomb test of its own on June 17, 1967.

France was to test the new device as part of a 5 shot series conducted at the nuclear testing grounds in French Polynesia. The device weighed three tons and used a lithium deuteride secondary stage with a highly enriched uranium jacket primary.

Fangataufa was selected as the location of the shot due to its isolation in respect to the main base on Mururoa. The device was suspended from a large hydrogen filled balloon. It was detonated at 18:30:00.5 GMT with a 2.6 megaton yield at an altitude of 1800 feet. As a result of the successful detonation, France became the 5th thermonuclear nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wile E. Coyote and the Acme Corporation

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The Acme Corporation is a fictional corporation that features prominently in the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote animated shorts as a running gag featuring outlandish products that fail or backfire catastrophically at the worst possible times. The name is also used as a generic title in many cartoons, especially those made by Warner Bros., and films, TV series, commercials and comic strips.

The company name in the Road Runner cartoons is ironic, since the word acme is derived from Greek (ακμή; English transliteration: akmē) meaning the peak, zenith or prime, yet products from the fictional Acme Corporation are often generic, failure-prone, and/or explosive.

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Sedan Nuclear Crater

The Sedan nuclear crater is located at the Nevada Test Site, about 90 miles north of Las Vegas. It is the result of the Sedan nuclear test, an underground nuclear test carried out on 6 July 1962 as part of the Plowshare Program, established in June 1957 to explore peaceful applications for controlled nuclear detonations. The idea was that a nuclear explosion could easily excavate a large area, facilitating the building of canals and roads, improving mining techniques, or simply moving a large amount of rock and soil. The intensity and distribution of radiation, however, proved too great, and the program was abandoned. Operation Plowshare resulted in 27 thermonuclear detonations. Only four events were intended to produce craters, among which Sedan was by far the largest.

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The device that produced the crater was buried 194 meters below the desert floor and had a yield equivalent to 104 kilotons of TNT or around eight Hiroshima bombs. The blast first lifted a dome of earth 90 meters above the desert floor before it vented at three seconds after detonation, exploding upward and outward displacing 12 million tons of earth. The resulting crater is 100 meters deep and 390 meters wide.

The explosion created fallout that affected more US residents than any other nuclear test, exposing more than 13 million people to radiation, although within 7 months of the detonation, the radiation had decayed to the point that the bottom of the crater could be safely walked upon with no protective clothing. Today, more than 10,000 visitors visit the crater every year through free monthly tours offered by the U.S. Department of Energy. An observation platform built on the rim of the crater allows tourists to peek into the crater below.

Negative impacts from Operation Plowshare’s 27 nuclear projects ultimately led to the program’s termination in 1977, largely due to public opposition.

The Soviet Union continued to pursue the concept through their program “Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy” and carried out more than 150 nuclear test. The best known was Chagan – a test identical to Sedan – which created the artificial lake reservoir Lake Chagan.

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The Sedan nuclear test on 6 July 1962.

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Satellite image of the Sedan crater.

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The Nevada Test Site is pockmarked by numerous nuclear tests. The Sedan crater is the largest among them.

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Observation deck at Sedan Crater.