Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Misplaced Priorities Update: Big Bang a Flop?

There's an interesting article this morning in the Los Angeles Times. It's suggested that the seismic event the other day in North Korea (which seems to have been an attempt to detonate a nuclear device) produced a yield on the level of about 3 per cent of the yield from the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs. If that's so, the blast had a yield of about 600 tons of TNT. Nothing to sniff at, to be sure, but hardly Armageddon on a large scale.

The consensus of the experts is that the test, technologically speaking was a failure to adequately compress the fissile material. Which means that the North Korean bomb program, like the missile program, was a dangerous flop. It doesn't mean they'll stop trying, but it does mean they haven't figured out how to make it go bang.

What that suggests is that the test was a failure, technologically speaking, along the lines of the latest test of the Long Dong Daddy. It also establishes the metrics of the North Korean nuke program more concretely. We now know their performance level where the rubber meets the road.

Stay tuned.


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