Quality of warhead triggers questioned

The scientist spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

A watchdog group now is raising questions about whether the replacement triggers, also known as pits, can be guaranteed to be as reliable as those already in some 400 W88 warheads. The original triggers were made with the benefit of underground nuclear testing, which the U.S. She posed that question in a letter last Friday to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

The Project on Government Oversight says it was told by some Los Alamos scientists that the trigger certified last July and known as the W88 pit needed 72 waivers from the specifications used for the original triggers, including 53 engineering-related changes.

Precise manufacture of the trigger is essential.

The new ones were made by using a mold to cast the grapefruit-size plutonium sphere. The last of the original triggers were manufactured in the late 1980s.

“With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the group that monitors nuclear weapons-related activities. Because the United States no longer conducts underground nuclear tests, the Los Alamos scientists had to rely on other sources to replicate the original triggers and guarantee that the replacements would be as reliable as the old. The original triggers, all made at the now-closed Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, were hammered into precise form. It meant the warheads, after testing that makes the original trigger unsuitable for reuse, could be reassembled with a new trigger and put back into service.

In a warhead’s detonation, a conventional explosive packaged around the pit compresses the plutonium inward, creating enough pressure for an atomic chain reaction. These means included small-scale plutonium tests, technical data from past underground tests, and computer codes and models.

Since last summer’s announcement, the Los Alamos lab has made 10 additional W88 triggers. So far, nine have earned the “diamond stamp” from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab’s programs. Such approval means they are ready to use.

Resting atop the Trident II missile, the W88 warhead is among the mainstays of the country’s submarine-based nuclear arsenal. This process is viewed by metallurgists as producing a stronger product.

Any variation or flaw in the pit could cause a warhead not to detonate properly or to detonate with less explosive power than expected.

The government acknowledges differences between the old triggers and their replacements.. For years, however, testing the warhead’s components to ensure the weapon produces the intended blast instead of a fizzle has been complicated by a lack of replacement plutonium triggers.

Last summer, the first replacement plutonium trigger in 18 years received “diamond stamp” approval signaling it was ready for use in a warhead. That, in turn, creates the high temperatures and pressure to ignite a “secondary” nuclear component. To scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that was a milestone to celebrate. halted in 1992, and through a different process than the replacements. The result is a a massive hydrogen blast.

At least one other replacement pit required 71 specification waivers, a Los Alamos scientist indirectly involved in the production process told The Associated Press

U.S. Tomahawk Missiles Deployed Near China Send Message. Is this considered a threat to the Chinese government ?

Four of the 18 ballistic-missile subs no longer carry nuclear-tipped Trident missiles. More alarms were likely sounded when the U.S.S. Instead, they hold up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each, capable of hitting anything within 1,000 miles with non-nuclear warheads. superweapon had suddenly surfaced nearby. “There’s been a decision to bolster our forces in the Pacific,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. U.S.S. military has used repeatedly against targets in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Sudan. And the Klaxons would have maxed out as the U.S.S. The 14 Trident-carrying subs are useful in the unlikely event of a nuclear Armageddon, and Russia remains their prime target.

That’s why alarm bells would have sounded in Beijing on June 28 when the Tomahawk-laden 560-ft. In all, the Chinese military awoke to find as many as 462 new Tomahawks deployed by the U.S. Florida surfaced, also on the same day, at the joint U.S.-British naval base on Diego Garcia, a flyspeck of an island in the Indian Ocean. Michigan arrived in Pusan, South Korea, on the same day. But this one was different: for nearly three years, the U.S. military in the Pacific.)

Source : http://news.yahoo.com/

If China’s satellites and spies were working properly, there would have been a flood of unsettling intelligence flowing into the Beijing headquarters of the Chinese navy last week. Their capability makes watching these particular submarines especially interesting. A new class of U.S. But the Tomahawk-outfitted quartet carries a weapon that the U.S. “There is no doubt that China will stand up and take notice.” . Ohio popped up in the Philippines’ Subic Bay. (See pictures of the U.S. It was an Ohio-class submarine, which for decades carried only nuclear missiles targeted against the Soviet Union, and then Russia. Navy has been dispatching modified “boomers” to who knows where (they do travel underwater, after all). in its neighborhood

US keeping nuclear warheads in case of killer asteroids

(The asteroid that hit the planet 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs because of very bad timing, researchers say.). Asteroids?

US keeping nuclear warheads in case of ??? killer asteroids

A Malmstrom Air Force Base missile maintenance team removes the upper section of an ICBM at a Montana missile site. (AP Photo/US Air Force, John Parie)

Saying nukes are needed to defend the planet “may be an excuse for keeping the nuclear arsenal together,” he says.

Authorities say the warheads are being kept “pending a senior-level government evaluation of their use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,” reports the Wall Street Journal, which found the information “tucked away” on the 67th page of a Government Accountability Office report on the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Scientists believe it will be at least a century before any asteroids big enough to wreck the planet are close enough to worry about, but some researchers are worried about smaller asteroids and believe nuclear weapons could be an effective solution, the Atlantic reports.

Somebody’s been watching Armageddon: American nuclear authorities say they have delayed getting rid of old warhead components because they could help protect the world from killer asteroids.

More From Newser

But that runs the risk of having radioactive debris hit Earth, and a Purdue University professor tells the Journal that there are probably better ways to ward off asteroids, including a “gravity tractor” that could change their course.

This article originally appeared on Newser: US Keeping Nukes in Case of ..

What happens when you drop a nuclear warhead on concrete? — FCW

And, according to a statement from the labs, the W88 Alt 370 is cleared to move forward.

What happens when you drop a nuclear warhead on concrete?

By Mark RockwellNov 04, 2014

Image copyright to Sandia National Labs.

Sandia National Labs’ 185-foot Drop Tower Facility near Albuquerque, N.M., was used to gather data on the durability of the W88 ALT 370 warhead.

The Critical Radar Arming and Fuzing Test (CRAFT) was the first flight test of a prototype radar for the W88 ALT 370. It also will use the information to validate computer models designed to apply the results to other drop scenarios, since it’s not possible to replicate every possible accident in tests, according to the lab.

About the Author

Data analytics

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer covering acquisition, procurement and homeland security. The June CRAFT test, according to Tim Edwards, manager for the program’s technical basis and qualification activities, was the first of several planned tests intended to demonstrate the upgraded system’s performance. It was also the first flight test unit Sandia and its partners, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Kansas City Plant, and Pantex, delivered to the Navy for full-scale testing under the program.

Sandia said it will use vibration and shock measurement data from the test to update specifications for components in the weapon. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

The second test was more straightforward — and possibly a little alarming, if you’re not familiar with nuclear weapons design tests.

Gathering data for the latest nuclear warhead design is as nuanced as gathering intricate computer modeling data from flight tests and as brutally honest as dropping a nuclear warhead’s shell onto a concrete slab to see if it breaks.

In its first “drop test” of the W88 warhead since 1987, Sandia researchers hoisted an unarmed version of the weapon’s re-entry body on a crane and dropped it almost 200 feet to smash onto a concrete slab below.

Researchers at Sandia National Labs, who are responsible for validating designs, improving computer modeling and updating component specifications for the W88 Alt 370 (alteration), have finished gathering data from two tests for an upgraded version of the US W88 nuclear warhead used in the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The test is designed to replicate a crane accidentally dropping the re-entry body onto a concrete surface, according to the lab and helps develop evidence that the shell would remain safe during an accident. The test was conducted at Sandia’s 185-foot Drop Tower Facility near Albuquerque, N.M., using the same handling gear a crane would use to move the weapon.

. CRAFT demonstrated how the radar performed during re-entry through plasma generated by the hypersonic speeds at which the warhead travels

Asia Tankers-Supertanker rates to hover near 2012 low | Energy & Oil | Reuters

* Benchmark VLCC rates tumble to 2012 low of W38.86

SINGAPORE, July 3 (Reuters) – Rates for dirty tankers on key

Asian freight routes are expected to hover near this year’s low

as an oversupply of vessels overshadows Chinese demand for

Middle East crude, ship brokers said on Tuesday.

“Chinese contract fixing continued to make up a significant

portion of the market activity that did take place, whilst the

few spot cargoes that emerged received multiple offers from the

flotilla of vessels seeking employment,” said broker firm SSY.

“With cargoes being drip-fed into the market, rates show no

sign of improving,” said broker firm ICAP.

* Ample tanker availability overshadows Chinese demand

Rates on the benchmark very large crude carrier (VLCC)

export route from the Middle East to Japan dropped to

this year’s low of W38.86 on Monday, down 7 percent from W41.89

last week as ample tanker availability outweighed support from

Chinese demand. The market has fallen for seven consecutive


Rates for 80,000-tonne aframax tankers from Southeast Asia

to East Coast Australia edged down to W88.63 from W89.06

last week.


* Clean tanker rates surge 14 pct from last week

The Baltic Exchange’s rate for 260,000-tonne crude tankers

from West Africa to China fell to W42.18 from W42.50

last week.

Tottenham Hotspur Announces Fun88 as Club`s Asian Betting and Gaming Partner | Reuters


partnership brings together one of Asia’s top online gaming companies

and Tottenham Hotspur, one of the most exciting and attacking clubs in

the English Premier League.


About Fun88

Since the launch of Fun88 in 2008, it has successfully merged

entertainment with an unsurpassed gaming experience into a portal that

is both instantly recognisable and the choice of many Asian based

players. This is the first time the

Club has signed a regional partnership in Asia and is largely down to

the significant increase we have seen in the growth of our international

fan base over the past few years.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club today announced that Fun88, a leading

Asian gaming company, will become the Club’s Official Asian Betting and

Gaming Partner.

“We are looking forward to working with Club to launch a new bespoke

betting microsite. With its unique blend of sportsbook, casino and live dealer

products and with more innovative gaming platforms under development

such as peer to peer gaming and poker networks, Fun88 promises to

deliver the ultimate gaming experience for users each and every time.


For Media Enquiries:

Esther Cochrane

T: 00 44 7875961828



Notes to Editors:

Tottenham Hotspur Announces Fun88 as Club’s Asian Betting and Gaming


The two year agreement, which begins immediately, will see the two

organisations work together to engage with Asian sports fans through a

range of online and offline activities which will include launching a

co-branded gaming microsite.

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “We are delighted that

Fun88 will become an Official Club Partner. We believe that our knowledge of developing fun,

interactive and engaging gaming platforms will provide Tottenham

Hotspur’s international fan base with an exciting, new gaming


Fun88 Casino: www.fun88.com/Casino


“Over 60% of our global fan base comes from Asia and together with the

Club’s reach through the Barclays Premier League broadcast platform, we

are ideally placed to support Fun88′s continued growth in the Asian



Fun88 Sportsbook: www.fun88.com/Sportsbook

Fun88 Promotions: www.fun88.com/Promo

Nick Lee, founder of www.Fun88.com

commented: “I am proud to announce Fun88′s partnership with Tottenham

Hotspur, as the Club’s Asian betting and gaming partner

Beau Biden Hospitalized

Beau Biden hospitalized for undisclosed illness

Vice President Joe Biden’s son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for an undisclosed illness.Wochit

What are your best frugal living tips? (Weekly Topic Inspiration)

I agree with the hubber who says – write down every single penny spent. That way you can ‘track’ your money.

Grow your own veg, fruit, keep hens, ducks, poultry – even in a small space. By not going to the store for these items you will make better use of your time, energy and ingredients.

Bake your own items – bread, cakes, pies etc. for things you want. Get ideas from magazines, online.

Discard the credit card – use a debit card, if needed. Make a philosophy of it.

. Make a ‘hobby’ of it.

Look for the discounted items.

Ask for discount.

Look for the ‘free’ items. Everything homemade tastes better, so therefore, i believe, your needs are more satisfied.

Re-vamp old items into ‘new’ furniture, clothes, curtains, cushions. Make a hobby of it.

Swap unused items with friends, neighbors etc. Make it a festive occasion.

Live on less. you will feel the ‘pain’ of the immediacy of that money spent.

Buy as many items ‘on sale’ or ‘reduced’ as possible

Should the US government legalize prostitution?

For better or for worse, governments have been granted the authority to regulate commerce in their jurisdictions, even to the point of forbidding certain trades and products within their jurisdictions, for whatever reason they think fit.

As soon as money changes hands it becomes the business of the IRS, the Commerce Department, the Health Department, the CDC, the Labor department, OSHA, the Zoning Board … — Just what do you think all those USO dances in WWII really were? Though, granted, they tended to be staffed by amateurs.) . And last I checked it was legal in Nevada.

But in all more domestic situations where the male-to-female ration approaches parity, prostitution is rightly prohibitted on the grounds of the social costs: increased STD rates; increased organized crime activity; increased exploitation and degradation of young desperate women; increased rates of domestic violence, divorce and marital problems; etc.

But all the libertarian “It’s none of the government’s business” assertions are just false. We’re not talking about recreational sex between consenting adults. Prostitution is a business transaction.

The fact is, prostitution has typically been legal in “wild West” situations (5 or more young men per 1 woman in the territory) for the reason that it’s necessary to maintaining public order. (The US military has always discreetly sponsored it around bases, occupied areas, and near warzones, the top brass considering it essential to morale and discipline.

Well it can’t legalize it for the simple reason it isn’t currently illegal: there is no Federal statute prohibiting prostitution, and none that requires (or even pressures) States to make it and keep it illegal.

Prostitution laws are simply a State, County Municipal matter. in short, just about every Federal, State, and local regulatory agency there is

Spurs bets go East; RESULT!

But most British men have done the same thing.



No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

. l y e Football clubs are always looking at ways to gain a

slice of the massive Asian market, if only to access pirate DVDs. “Why else?” I answered.

k The Londoners have also just signed a deal making Betfred their

official UK partner.

Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. s e I

told a mate the other day that I once went to a casino in central Asia.

“Tibet?” he asked. All rights reserved.

It does sound a bit like cheating, having one UK partner and one

Asian partner.

iabat Spurs and Fun88 hope inside the two-year agreement to launch

a new bespoke betting microsite and that’s not a bad idea – in two

years people might just know what it means.

AT a time when most Premier League teams are signing players,

Tottenham have signed two deals with betting companies. l g -The

agent for Emmanuel Adebayor (right) has already requested 10 per cent of

the deal. What are the

odds on that? Spurs have announced Fun88 as the club’s official

Asian betting and gaming partner in a lucrative twoyear deal