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Identifying Nuclear Scientists Willing To Sell Their Knowledge 358

Posted by samzenpus
from the update-your-resume dept.
Harperdog writes "This is an interesting piece on U.S. programs most people don't know about: programs to identify and win over nuclear scientists who might be willing to sell their know-how to non-nuclear countries. Fascinating discussion, and points to the alleged Russian scientist who is reported to have sold information to Iran. How could he have been stopped?"
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Identifying Nuclear Scientists Willing To Sell Their Knowledge

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  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:57AM (#38083722)
    Someone please explain: why should he have been stopped?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:04AM (#38083744)

      Free trade is only for big businesses. What would the world come to if ordinary people could start monetizing their assets? On the other hand, if you need an explanation why it happened anyway: the Iran nuclear scare is going to fill the coffers of "defense" companies worldwide. They can't wait for us to go to war against Iran.

      • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:29AM (#38083862) Homepage

        This is the thing, though. Iran would benefit from having a nuclear weapon not because it could defend itself *directly* from the US but because they can start waving it at Israel if the Yanks start getting mouthy.

        The Iranian government is presumably nervous about the US coming over and "liberating" them with the same level of wholesale destruction and slaughter as in Iraq and Afghanistan. They've also got the Israelis who just love to herd Arabs into ghettos and kill them. Why *wouldn't* you want a nuke, with neighbours like that?

        • by Canazza (1428553) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:40AM (#38083926)

          Because the Arab ghettos are within the death zone of any nukes on the main population centres?

          That, and everyone would come and fuck you up in retaliation. Nuclear or not.

          • Because the Arab ghettos are within the death zone of any nukes on the main population centres?

            That, and everyone would come and fuck you up in retaliation. Nuclear or not.

            Are you sure? If the world politics/UN is anything to go by there would be some countries siding with Iran, some abstaining, some being in the retaliation camp, and then a veto or two against the whole plan by a country that's playing realpolitik. It would be a mess. But the power of having a nuke is that people start taking you more seriously on the world stage

          • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:00AM (#38084050) Homepage

            Counterargument:
            1. Iraq had no nukes. The US falsely claimed they did, and then used that as an excuse to blow them to smithereens.

            2. North Korea has nukes, as well as a military much weaker than Iraq did. The US has generally rattled sabers but left them alone.

            • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:18AM (#38084146)
              Let me almost fix that for you :).
              Counterargument:
              1. Iraq had no nukes AND OIL. The (G1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Nth economic clubs) which the US is one of claimed they did, and then used that as an excuse to blow them to smithereens. This got a lot of Tax money moving around the system. War does pay well and it only kills poor people.

              2. North Korea has nukes; but not as much oil, as well as a military much weaker than Iraq did. The US has generally rattled sabers but left them alone. When oil starts running ooohhhhh it's on baby.
              • by VMaN (164134)

                Their military might be weaker (I don't know if that's true), but as with real estate , location, location, location....

            • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:37AM (#38084260) Journal
              North Korea also has China as an ally. Invading North Korea would effectively mean declaring war on China (just as invading Poland prevented the UK from remaining neutral in the second world war). That's far more important than the nukes that NK claims to have (as I recall, they only had one test, which was underground and didn't appear to cause any detectable increase in radioactivity - I was in the USA at the time, and it was amusing that the test was front page news, but when the lack of radioactivity was discovered it was on the BBC but completely absent from the US news sources that had been trumpeting the test).
            • 1. Iraq had no nukes. The US falsely claimed they did, and then used that as an excuse to blow them to smithereens.

              The US legitimately believed Iraq did have WMDs, because Saddam engaged in a program of misinformation to make it seem like they did, in an effort to deter Iran from attacking. Saddam bet that Iran was the greater threat, and he bet wrong. Even President Clinton has said that the prevailing intelligence at the end of his term was that Saddam had WMDs.

              On a side note, the reason that North Korea is a tougher target is because of all the artillery they have pointed at Seoul. Yes, we would steamroll them, bu

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                The US legitimately believed Iraq did have WMDs, because Saddam engaged in a program of misinformation to make it seem like they did, in an effort to deter Iran from attacking. Saddam bet that Iran was the greater threat, and he bet wrong. Even President Clinton

                One quibble - Iraq DID have WMD's. Nukes are a subset of WMD's, not the whole thing. Chemical weapons (which the Iraqis had been using in their little internal wars for years, count as WMD's.

          • by Talderas (1212466) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:22AM (#38084574)

            Once you use it. Yes.

            However that is just retaliation. The damage from the nuke has already been done and seeing as if Iran could get two nukes and drop them on the oil export terminals that Saudi Arabia owns in the Persian Gulf (well within the range of Iranian missiles) you would see about a 64% decline in the oil exports from Saudi Arabia. Repairs that could not begin until hostilities were taken care of. Even if they could redirect their pipelines to Yanbu on the Red Sea they would only have an export capacity of around 5 million barrels per day rather than the 14 million barrels per day they can handle now. They're lose at least 3.65 million barrels per days in exports so you're looking at a about a 42% reduction in Saudi oil exports with them running at 100% capacity.

            That's a very, very shitty situation for the whole world. Say what you want about peak oil and how we should get off of oil. A sudden significant reduction in world wide oil supplies isn't going to be good.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:08AM (#38084090)

          Laser guided bombs to try and minimize casualties of non combatants mean nothing to you? Check out how other countries deal with insurgents and militias, look up grozny. Better yet, look up rwanda or serbia where european UN troops stood by and let the people there to protect, get massacred. It seems that the rest of the world likes to either A: blow the town to hell even with civilians, or B: stand around and watch them die.

          "wholesale destruction and slaughter" was what japan did to china and SEA. You are either purposefully trying force a lie into being believed, or you are truly ignorant to the meaning of those words and the appropriate situations they apply.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Give up your nuke program in exchange for normalized relations. Didn't work out so well for Gaddafi.

          • by SpzToid (869795) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:37AM (#38084258)

            Sure I'm feeding the AC trolls here, but I'll reason that once Gaddafi gave up his nukes everything turned around for the better, as far as he was concerned. It wasn't until his people turned against him, and he chose to fight them, that things turned out badly for him.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Dunbal (464142) *

              It wasn't until his people turned against him,

              No - it wasn't until he suggested to the African states (especially oil rich Nigeria) that they drop the US dollar and accept gold or some other commodity in exchange for oil. An idea put forward several years ago by Chavez. An idea that is extremely dangerous to the US, because it's the only nation in the world allowed to print US dollars. Therefore the US gets its oil for free (well, in exchange for bits of paper it takes the trouble of printing up). Having to pay in gold or any other REAL currency that t

        • by Dunbal (464142) *

          but because they can start waving it at Israel if the Yanks start getting mouthy.

          Rubbish. Israel is far from defenseless and has its own nuclear arsenal. Iran is not going to threaten Israel at all. They can't afford to take that chance. What they can do, however, is stop being pushed around. Just like North Korea. Suddenly North Korea can shell South Korea and kill South Koreans and get away with "oh, sorry". That's what a nuke gets you. Not having nukes gets you, well, Libya.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @10:05AM (#38084912)

          They've also got the Israelis who just love to herd Arabs into ghettos and kill them.

          That is just the most ignorant thing I've read all day (although it is early here). If Israel 'loved' killing them there would be a lot more dead. Compare the number of Arabs killed by other Arabs to the number killed by Israel. The number killed by Israel is miniscule in comparison. Yes there's a lot of problems over there, but making up information, pretending that what's obvious isn't true, and misplacing the blame isn't going to get anything solved.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Isn't that a stupid question? I mean, it's clear why a government would want to stop him.

      As for the HOW to the WHY, the answer is usually "make people feel appreciated".

      • All knowledge required to build nuclear weapons is already freely available, e.g. in physics textbooks. If they can't use it then no scientist would be able to help them. It's strictly an engineering challenge nowadays.
    • by khallow (566160)
      The theory is that the more countries and NGO that have nuclear weapons, then the more likely they are to be used.
      • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:58AM (#38084030)

        The theory is that the more countries and NGO that have nuclear weapons, then the more likely they are to be used.

        Strange theory... last I know of, the only time a nuclear weapon was used in a war was at a time only one nation has had the technology.And they used it twice. And I heard/read some arguing that their use was gratuitous [wikipedia.org], just for showing some muscles.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@woCURIErld3.net minus physicist> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:45AM (#38084336) Homepage

          They were tests. Little was known about the effect on humans, animals, farmland and cities. They could easily have used their bombs on unpopulated islands or sparsely populated areas to for Japan to surrender (in fact one of the biggest factors in the decision was the threat of nuking Tokyo), but that wouldn't have told the much more than they already knew from tests on American soil.

          The US was aware that other countries were trying to develop nuclear weapons and was naturally worried about the effect they would have on US cities. The two bombs they dropped used different designs because they were trying to maximise the amount of data they could collect. Many non-military targets such as Kyoto were considered but in the end they decided that they should at least make some effort to claim they were attacking ports and manufacturing.

          Before the US became involved in the war they were against the targeting of civilians by British bomber raids on Germany. The British did it anyway in the grounds that the situation was desperate, even if it did violate the laws of warfare. That justification has been debated many times, but at least there was justification. Okay, in a conventional war more US soldiers would have died, but there was no chance of Japan invading the US or winning the war. Bad times indeed.

          • This fact is often forgotten. But the estimates at the time were running at ~2 million soldiers and ~10 million civilians dead in case of conventional invasion of Japan. And of course, Russians would probably have been there in time to "help" with invasion and occupation and raping and pillaging and they would have turned the occupied areas into puppet communist regimes as in europe.

            So nuclear bombs were bad, but not nearly as bad as conventional war would have been. OTOH there are people claiming peace
        • by Shoten (260439) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:46AM (#38084338)

          The theory is that the more countries and NGO that have nuclear weapons, then the more likely they are to be used.

          Strange theory... last I know of, the only time a nuclear weapon was used in a war was at a time only one nation has had the technology.And they used it twice. And I heard/read some arguing that their use was gratuitous [wikipedia.org], just for showing some muscles.

          Actually, there's another theory...that the more countries (and in particular, the more unstable countries) have nuclear weapons, the more likely they are to fall into the hands of an actor where deterrence does not come into play. The best current example of this is Libya, who fortunately gave up their nuclear program before the recent rebellion and subsequent chaos. It isn't at all difficult to imagine that if weapons-grade material or even a nuclear weapon itself were somewhere in Libya during the uprising that there wouldn't be forces trying to locate and seize it that would be far more likely to use a nuke than a nation-state (which can be nuked in return). This is the real nightmare scenario, these days. As you've accurately pointed out, deterrence is remarkably effective at keeping nation-states from using nuclear weapons on each other, but when you put a weapon into the hands of a group that many countries are trying to hunt to extinction anyways, there isn't much to deter them.

          • Talking about the Israelis? Because they often describe themselves as a 'group that many countries are trying to hunt to extinction'.

        • by Hentes (2461350)

          For deterrence to work, they had to be used at least once.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Strange theory...

          It's well known. My opinion is that it's also true.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Because even more superstitionists with nukes = bad and no concept of "fairness" is remotely important compared to that.

  • by rim_namor (2454342) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:02AM (#38083736)

    It's being shown time and again that strong countries do not get attacked. All countries need to understand that it is really in their best interest to get nuclear weapons fast. Libya made a huge mistake for example, so did Iraq. I think at some point Iran will have their weapon - good for them.

    Good for them. They should get as many as they can possibly put their hands on. You get fucked in the ass if you can't fight back, that's what we really know today, everything else is bullshit.

    • by gmuslera (3436) *
      Is also well known that countries sometimes get mad or at least weird thinking leaders, like North Korea, Venezuela, Libya or US. You want that those leaders have access to superpowerful weapons capable of wipiing out countries or the entire world?
      • yes.

        But I am for everybody having a nuclear bomb. Every single person. Unfortunately it's impractical, but every state should have their bombs.

        • by jpapon (1877296) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:30AM (#38083868) Journal

          But I am for everybody having a nuclear bomb. Every single person. Unfortunately it's impractical, but every state should have their bombs.

          I'm assuming that's just hyperbole, because nuclear weapons are only a deterrent for mentally stable people. If someone has no problem sacrificing themselves to blow others up, the whole idea of MAD and deterrence breaks down.

          • by dkleinsc (563838)

            But I am for everybody having a nuclear bomb. Every single person. Unfortunately it's impractical, but every state should have their bombs.

            I'm assuming that's just hyperbole, because nuclear weapons are only a deterrent for mentally stable people. If someone has no problem sacrificing themselves to blow others up, the whole idea of MAD and deterrence breaks down.

            Except that there's almost never 1 person only who can actually launch the nukes, so all it takes is 1-2 guys somewhere in the chain of command who's not that stupid / crazy. Basically, you can stop a nutcase with a Stanislav Petrov [wikipedia.org].

      • by makomk (752139)

        Too late. Israel have already got their hands on nuclear weapons and have quietly been threatening behind the scenes to reduce much of the Middle East to radioactive rubble if they ever get invaded. Then there's countries like Pakistan whose current leadership probably wouldn't use nukes but is incredibly unstable and in danger of being overthrown.

    • Problem is that you need to be a big country to make your own nukes, so nuclear weapons place small countries at an even greater disadvantage than they already are at.

      • I never said it was going to be easy. But if you don't have a large stick and the monkeys around you do - you are fucked. And hey, maybe it's just they it should be. The bigger monkeys with bigger sticks fuck the smaller monkeys with no sticks. That's how it is in nature.

    • by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:14AM (#38083800)

      Libya made a huge mistake for example, so did Iraq.

      Yeah because it would have been great if one side had access to nuclear weapons in those civil wars wouldn't it? With smaller undemocratic countries the chances of nukes getting into the hands of some crazy rogue dictator is huge. Just look at all the suicide bombers, there are many people who don't care about death. If every country had nukes there would at least one dumb enough to use them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by wmac1 (2478314)
        Suicide bombers did not exist before Israel, US and some other countries effectively occupied middle east. Islamic extremism came to existence after Islamic countries got raped. Some of their people could not bear it and reached a state that they would explode themselves to force occupiers out.
        • by jpapon (1877296)

          Suicide bombers did not exist before Israel, US and some other countries effectively occupied middle east.

          That's ridiculous. Suicide bombers have existed for just as long as bombs. Persuasive leaders have always been able to convince their followers to die for them.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          the arab countries got raped by uk and other arab countries long before israel came to be again.

          suicide bombers, martyrs and activists of all sorts did exist before that too though.

        • by rrossman2 (844318)

          The other poster is right.. they've been around as long as the bomb.... and a needless example to.prove your thoughts wrong, would you not consider a Japanese kamikaze pilot a suicide bomber, since they knew before take off what their role was, used the plane as their bomb, and had religious beliefs in what they were doing just like any current bomber?

          And obviously this was before "Israel" existed...

        • by necro81 (917438)
          There have always been people willing to die spectacularly for their cause, and to take as many down with them as possible. (I won't call them martyrs, because the definition of martyrdom does not include wantonly slaying the innocent.) To say that the creation of Israel led to invention of the suicide bomber is disingenuous and ignores, well, all of humanity's bloody history.

          From a practical standpoint, the reason you don't hear many stories of suicide bombers, say, 200 years ago, was due in no small
    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      It's being shown time and again that strong countries do not get attacked. All countries need to understand that it is really in their best interest to get nuclear weapons fast. Libya made a huge mistake for example, so did Iraq. I think at some point Iran will have their weapon - good for them.

      Good for them. They should get as many as they can possibly put their hands on. You get fucked in the ass if you can't fight back, that's what we really know today, everything else is bullshit.

      Yeah, but if you can't even afford to feed your own people, or your government is so corrupt that most of the money the state brings in goes straight the the bank accounts of the leader and his family/cronies, how are they going to protect these nukes? Nukes aren't a rifle, or a MANPAD; hell, it's not even a tank. These things have a limited damage potential (either in number of casualties, or portability/mobility). A nuke can be very small, and can kill hundreds or thousands of people very easily. Ther

    • Right, because Germany did not attack France early in WWII and Japan did not attack the U.S. early in the same war. Sorry, the evidence suggests that balance of power world politics always leads to war sooner or later.
      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        Well to be fair it was France and Britain that declared war on Germany. But that only disproves the GP's point even further, since Germany was a strong military force in 1939, rivaled possibly only by Japan.

        No I think the main point to consider where war is concerned is that logic and the rules of logic cease to apply.

      • by coder111 (912060)
        Hm, you could argue that ANYTHING leads to wars sooner or later, as most countries get involved into war during their history. However, given that there was no major war for 100 years in XIXth century (1815-1915, see Congress of Vienna, Concert of Europe and a guy called Metternich) I'd say balance of power gets reasonably good results at preventing wars. XXth century already gave us 2 world wars and a multitude of regional ones. Some people argue that loss of balance of power after World War I and Treaty o
    • by tgd (2822)

      It's being shown time and again that strong countries do not get attacked. All countries need to understand that it is really in their best interest to get nuclear weapons fast. Libya made a huge mistake for example, so did Iraq. I think at some point Iran will have their weapon - good for them.

      Good for them. They should get as many as they can possibly put their hands on. You get fucked in the ass if you can't fight back, that's what we really know today, everything else is bullshit.

      I think the population living under those dictatorships are probably pretty happy both of those countries didn't have nuclear weapons, for two reasons:

      1) They wouldn't be free now
      2) They were the ones who would be vaporized when their batshit-insane dictator lost a nuclear weapon or worse, did something stupid and escalated the rhetoric to a nuclear confrontation.

    • It's being shown time and again that strong countries do not get attacked.

      And what do you do in the interim while some states have it and others do not? It basically forces every country to develop nuclear weapons as soon as as one of their neighbours has them. Or more likely launch a preemptive strike before they get them if one is ahead of the other. Or quickly use their new found nuclear power to wipe out regimes they don't like and call the bluff that the USA will retaliate in kind.

      How does the international community stop genocide, etc. in a nuclear armed country?
      What do

  • by paper tape (724398) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:05AM (#38083758)
    Once they've sold their knowledge, they can be identified, sometimes.

    Keeping the knowledge from spreading isn't possible - eventually it will become commonplace. The challenge is making the raw materials and weapons grade nuclear material out of the hands of those who would misuse it.

    A similar problem exists with bioweapons - eventually the knowledge to make them will become commonly available. The differences there are that raw materials for bioweapons are far easier to obtain, the equipment needed is far less expensive than for nukes, and the potential damage of bioweapons is far worse.
  • By giving him job with salary better that one of Nigerian garbage collector in Abuja.
  • by mseeger (40923) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:42AM (#38083930)

    I would bet 100% of nuclear scientists are willing to sell their secrets. So the identification is the easy part.

    The only question is: at what price? One will spill for a drink at the hotel bar, the other only when offered critical medical services for his sick child.

  • No proof. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siddesu (698447) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:44AM (#38083946)

    There was nothing close to believable evidence for most of the "damning" allegations in the report, no sufficient information to justify taking them seriously even while reading the 20 odd pages. Most of the report was based on stuff that was shown by "one member state", and it happens to be the same member state that manufactured "evidence" for the war against Iraq. Excuse me if I delegate it to the trashcan without more extraordinary and unambiguous evidence than a table in yellow, orange and red.

    From the rest of the report it was only evident that a) Iran has not succeeded in buying weapons tech or plans, b) Iran does not even have the fundamental science to develop weapons and c) all their efforts invariably end up in a brick wall.

    Finally, while I keep hearing these scary stories about everyone and their dog develop nuclear weapon based on Russian know-how, it is, as a Russian combinator would say, a medical fact that ALL non-NPT nuclear programs except the Chinese are based either on US or NATO expertise.

    Will we get a break from these scary, but largely baseless stories?

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      To be honest, Russian nuclear technology is also based on the US one.

      • by siddesu (698447)
        Yes, and they stole it for the same reasons everyone else is trying to. It is no coincidence that the only time a nuclear weapon was used was the time only one country had it.
    • by berashith (222128)

      a table in yellow, orange and red.

      three colors!!! If it was printed on glossy paper then it has to be true!

  • by lemur3 (997863) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:55AM (#38084022)

    Gotta love how the real world is a lot different from TV..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Directive [wikipedia.org]

    Instead of letting this culture/nation, Iran, Naturally develop their science to a high level, nuclear weapons, allowing them to flourish much as the USA has..

    the US and the big guys on the anti nuke front are actively SQUELCHING the scientific advancement of Iran .. Pushing them further into the past because USA et al wont alllow them to develop naturally (or however iran develops..russian scientists or not)

    I personally find it reprehensible that a nation would fight so hard to stifle the scientific understanding and development of a nation/culture/anyone.

    The Reverse Prime Directive!! Don't let them get Warp technology! ITS DANGEROUS!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is there some benevolent use of nuclear weapons that I'm missing? You don't need to be able to weaponize the technology in order to build, say, power-generating nuclear reactors. The weaponry branch of nuclear technology is a scientific dead end, and the pun is very much intended. This is like saying that by stopping al'Qaeda from acquiring sarin nerve gas that we're just oppressing Arab chemists in their rational pursuit of novel uses for organophosphates.

      • Deterrent. I'm guessing other countries are less likely to sabotage you if you can threaten them with a nuke.

  • Sure, they will "win them over" with a Predator drone.

  • If he was employed, he wouldn't have been tempted to sell the information.

  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:38AM (#38084266) Homepage
    Did the identify the CIA [wikipedia.org] as being a source of nuclear proliferation to Iran?
  • by dltaylor (7510) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:38AM (#38084268)

    Just as the US (and British) bullied the Japanese in the 1920s and '30s, limiting the number of battleships they could have, bullying the Iranians about nukes will simply push them into the aircraft carrier equivalent for the 21st Century.

    Ultimately, we can probably beat them in a war, or, at least, turn the livable parts of Iran into radioactive glass, but can we really block every single every avenue of damage to the US without turning the whole nation into even more of a gulag, with the attendant impact on innovation and productivity?

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Battleships kill soldiers, nukes kill civilians, and millions of them. BIG difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:43AM (#38084316)

    I teach on a Nuclear Reactor physics masters course. We teach students from all over the world - I've had Saudi and Iranian students in the past. Everyone who graduates our course could have a decent stab at building a bomb. Why is this myth that the physics of constructing a nuclear weapon is a well kept secret? You could teach yourself, easily, from publicly available materials.

    The countries that the US and allies want to prevent from acquiring weapons are only held back by the lack of availability of the fissile materials. The physics is well known and the engineering is fairly straightforward.

    • by wfstanle (1188751) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:42AM (#38086170)

      The matter of putting the knowledge of building an atomic bomb ando actually producing an atomic bomb is a wholly different matter. The facilities to make one are enormous. Before Neils Bohr was aware of the Manhattan Project he stated the opinion that ( I am paraphrasing) making an atomic was theoretically possible but to make one you would have to make a factory the size of an entire nation. When he later became a member of the Manhattan Project he toured the facilities and then stated (again I am paraphrasing)... I said that making an atomic bomb would require a factory the size of an entire nation and that is exactly what you have done! (He was probably talking about a nation the size of Denmark, his home.)

      Granted, the knowledge of how to build an atomic bomb is easy to master. In fact, it is easier to prematurely detonate a "Little Boy" type bomb than to actually deliver one to a target and THEN have it go off. An implosion type bomb ("Fat Man") is much safer as far as premature detonation. There still is the high explosive component of such a bomb which can go off prematurely. The chances that the resulting conventional explosion will cause a nuclear explosion is quite small. The explosion would be like a "dirty bomb" going off.

      PS. If you are interested in the history behind the Manhattan Project, I highly recommend reading "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes. It is easy reading and I understand that it is fairly accurate.

  • with all 18 half/lives and there is no keeping that secret safe anymore...

    the government spooks trying to play "whack a mole" with scientists from all over the world is a losing game, too bad its only a matter of time before the big one goes off, it is not "IF" but "WHEN" since that info is already out there.
  • Instead of getting paid little to work, I could be getting paid a lot to *not* work. D'oh!!!

  • Where was the US (Score:4, Informative)

    by Evtim (1022085) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:03AM (#38085610)

    when the Pakistani guy was selling the technology he stole from the Netherlands left, right and center?

    According to a BBC documentary I saw a few years back there were at least 4 cases where the CIA asked to "deal with him" and was forbidden because at the time the US wanted to empower Pakistan against India which has become “dangerously socialist”.

    So, under the approving eye of the west the dear doctor did sales pitches in Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria and god knows where else. For more than a decade. Well done!

    To summarize:

    1. The nuclear powers have no moral right to deny development of nuclear weapons to any nation, especially since the most prominent member of the club is the only one that actually used them against civilians.
    2. Fight the “red menace” by funding and training religious fanatics, allow them to build the bomb and then come back to squash them later. Win-win!
    3. Lie your pants off in case they did not actually manage to build the bomb.
    4. Invade
    5. Profit

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