[thechat] Flaws in Cultures

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Tue Sep 24 04:40:02 CDT 2002

On Mon, 23 Sep 2002, John Handelaar wrote:

> % Iraq cannot create any nuclear weapons because none of Arab
> % countries have any
> % high
> % standards of scientific education to develop such weapons.
> If this were true they wouldn't have nuclear power
> stations either.  But they do, and for the same reason
> Pakistan and India have both nuclear power and weapons:
> they *bought* them.
> Once you've got the components bought in, building a
> fission bomb is astonishingly easy.  They teach the
> theory in high schools in the UK.

Sure - take two lumps of plutonium each about 1/2 the size of an orange.
Bring together. Stand well back[1].

The process of doing this so it happens where and when you want it is
pretty tricky, and relies on a *lot* of bought in technology, not just the
raw materials. Today's 'shock announcement' in the UK 'dossier' on Iraq
claiming that Iraq was asking around Africa to buy some Uranium (of which
kind? 235? 238? Either way, it's not going to be that useful as a raw
material) didn't really mean much, even if it *is* anything more than


[1] On reflection, this should have been earlier in the method.

"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

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