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  1. #1 US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles (Beryllium pits for W76 warheads) 
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles

    Hugh Pickens writes "The US and the UK are trying to refurbish the aging W76 warheads that tip Trident missiles to prolong their life and ensure they are safe and reliable but plans have been put on hold because US scientists have forgotten how to manufacture a a mysterious but very hazardous component of the warhead codenamed Fogbank. "NNSA had lost knowledge of how to manufacture the material because it had kept few records of the process when the material was made in the 1980s, and almost all staff with expertise on production had retired or left the agency," says...

    "they are talking about the old W76 physics package .The W88 has better yields !"

    http://www.sundayherald.com/news/her...494129.0.0.php
    .................................................. ..
    Various Physics Packages used in US MIRV'S ,A Physics Package is a fancy name for the warhead.
    ..................................................
    W76/Mk-4 Yield 100 Kilotons D5 SLBM multiple warheads in D5
    W87-0/Mk-21 Yield 300 Kilotons (Upgradable to 475 Kt) PEACEKEEPER
    W88/Mk-5 Warhead/Reentry Yield 475 Kt D5 SLBM (Clear The Decks)
    SLBM multiple warheads in D5
    ...............................................
    The W76 is the warhead used with the Mk 4 reentry vehicle which arms Trident II (D-5) submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Designed for use on MIRV (multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle) bus upper stage.

    W76/Mk-4 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package
    Yield 100 Kilotons
    Weight 362.5 lb
    Number In Service 3030

    Design Features
    Two stage thermonuclear warhead
    RV CEP (circle error probability) is 1250 feet (Too large for a missile field attack !)
    Materials Probably contains beryllium neutron reflected plutonium core
    High explosive is PBX-9501
    Deuterium-tritium boosted
    Uranium radiation case, backed with plastic
    Probable thermonuclear fuel is lithium-6 deuteride in an enriched uranium jacket.

    Delivery Method
    UGM-133A Trident II D5 SLBM. Trident II can carry up to 14 warheads, but due to arms limitations agreements currently carries 8 or fewer. Based on Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.
    .................................................. .......
    The W88 warhead belongs to the newest missile warhead family, sharing a design similar to the W87.
    It was designed for use on the Trident II (D5) SLBM. It combines a relatively high yield with increased accuracy to make it an effective hard target kill weapon. It is hardened against nuclear effects, and has enhanced safety features.......................................... ......
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  2. #2  
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    US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles warheads 2


    The W76 is the warhead used with the Mk 4 reentry vehicle which arms Trident II (D-5) submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Designed for use on MIRV (multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle) bus upper stage.

    W76/Mk-4 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package
    Yield 100 Kilotons
    Weight 362.5 lb
    Number In Service 3030

    Design Features
    Two stage thermonuclear warhead
    RV CEP (circle error probability) is 1250 feet (Too large for a missile field attack !)
    Materials Probably contains beryllium neutron reflected plutonium core
    High explosive is PBX-9501
    Deuterium-tritium boosted
    Uranium radiation case, backed with plastic
    Probable thermonuclear fuel is lithium-6 deuteride in an enriched uranium jacket.

    Delivery Method
    UGM-133A Trident II D5 SLBM. Trident II can carry up to 14 warheads, but due to arms limitations agreements currently carries 8 or fewer. Based on Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.
    .................................................. .......
    The W88 warhead belongs to the newest missile warhead family, sharing a design similar to the W87.
    It was designed for use on the Trident II (D5) SLBM. It combines a relatively high yield with increased accuracy to make it an effective hard target kill weapon. It is hardened against nuclear effects, and has enhanced safety features.
    .............................................
    The W87 warhead belongs to the newest missile warhead family, sharing a design similar to the W88. It was designed for use on the Peacekeeper (MX) ICBM. It combines a relatively high yield with increased accuracy to make it an effective hard target kill weapon. It is hardened against nuclear effects, and has enhanced safety features.

    W87-0/Mk-21 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package Yield 300 Kilotons (Upgradable to 475 Kt)
    Weight Warhead: 440 - 600 lb;
    Number In Service 525

    Design Features,General
    Two stage radiation implosion weapon;
    U-238 lined radiation case;
    Plastic foam filled radiation channel;
    RV CEP (circle error probability) is <400 feet
    The warhead yield can be upgraded from 300 Kt to 475 Kt by adding rings or a sleeve of oralloy (highly enriched uranium) to the second stage. This probably entails replacing depleted uranium rings used in a cylindrical fusion tamper so that less energetic neutrons can produce additional fission.
    Warhead is more efficient in its use of special nuclear materials than the similar yield W-78. This may refer in part to substituting depleted uranium for U-235 in the secondary.
    ...............
    Primary Stage
    Two-point initiated (two detonator) firing system;
    Uses LX-17 and PBX-9502 insensitive high explosives (IHEs) - a TATB plastic bonded explosive composition. An ultra-fine grain TATB booster is used to fire the main charge. Beryllium Neutron reflector; Fissile plutonium core in the form of a hollow ellipsoidal thin shell; Deuterium-tritium gas Neutron boosted
    .....................

    Secondary Stage
    Spherical thermonuclear secondary;
    Contains oralloy (highly enriched uranium U-235) as a thermonuclear spark plug;
    U-238 fusion pusher/tamper;
    U-235 as an optional secondary tamper material to boost yield;
    Lithium-6 (95% enrichment) deuteride fusion fuel
    Mk-21 RV:
    Alumium substructure, sheathed in graphite-epoxy composite;
    Carbon fiber fabric nose;
    Carbon fiber-phenolic resin heatshield
    http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W87.html
    ................................................
    W88/Mk-5 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package Yield 475 Kt
    Weight <800 lb ?
    Number In Service 400

    Design Features
    Two stage radiation implosion weapon.

    RV CEP (circle error probability) is 300-400 feet

    The basing mode of the W88 led to the adoption of lower criteria for warhead hardening and fire safety than the W-87 and thus lower weight. The reliance on stealth, and the absence of basing mode hardness (compared to fixed silos) reduced the need for shock hardening. The necessary compactness of the submarine carried Trident II, led to a design where the RVs are 'wrapped around' a high energy propellant upper stage. This in turn made a high degree of warhead fire safety pointless. The warhead thus uses a non-insensitive higher power explosive, and omits refractory insulation. The pit is not fire-resistant.

    snip

    Materials
    W88 warhead:
    Contains oralloy (probably in second stage)
    (Oralloy Is 'Oak Ridge Alloy, Ie Plutonium !)

    Uses PBX-9501 - an HMX-based plastic bonded explosive composition
    Probable features:
    Beryllium reflected plutonium fissile core for primary
    Deuterium-tritium boosted
    Lithium-6 (95% enrichment) deuteride fusion fuel

    Mk-5 RV:
    Alumium substructure, sheathed in graphite-epoxy composite
    Carbon fiber fabric nose
    Carbon fiber-phenolic resin heatshield
    Delivery Method
    Trident II (D-5) submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
    ...................................
    http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W87.html

    Plutonium pits are the triggers in most nuclear explosives. Pits are sealed weapon components containing plutonium and other materials and came into being in 1956, replacing the plutonium "capsule" trigger design.xli Pits are surrounded by carefully machined high explosive spheres. When the high explosives are detonated the plutonium is compressed and imploded, thus triggering the nuclear detonation (see Figure 1-1).

    http://www.bredl.org/sapc/Pu_ReportIII.htm
    .................................................. .
    Santa Fe, NM: For nearly two years the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the Department of Energy, has been seeking to raise the level of plutonium pit production at the Los Alamos National Laboratory from the presently sanctioned level of 20 pits per year to 50 to 80 pits per year. Plutonium pits are the crucial nuclear cores that “trigger” modern thermonuclear weapons.

    .................................................. ...........
    U.S. Plutonium Pit Manufacturing
    Plutonium pits are the triggers that are at the heart of modern thermonuclear weapons. The U.S. lost the capability to produce plutonium pits for its nuclear weapons stockpile in 1989 after a raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating alleged environmental crimes at the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, Colorado. At that time, the Rocky Flats Plant was the stockpile plutonium pit production facility for the American nuclear weapons complex. Although the US Department of Energy (DOE) repeatedly tried to restart pit production at Rocky Flats, it never succeeded in doing so.
    snip

    Not coincidentally, in 1993 DOE officially decided to relocate beryllium manufacturing operations to LANL, which had also been performed at the Rocky Flats Plant. DOE had previously declared that beryllium manufacturing had to be located at the future plutonium pit production facility. [Beryllium is used in plutonium pit liners, tampers, reflectors, and neutron generators for nuclear weapons.] Together, the relocation of these two missions represents a return to the lab's historic "roots." LANL had produced plutonium pits before Rocky Flats was built in the mid-1950's, both for weapons that were deployed to the stockpile and for the design and testing of new weapons.

    Now that the plutonium pit production mission has been relocated to LANL, DOE and the laboratory are planning on huge investments in the lab's plutonium pit manufacturing infrastructure (please see the DOE graph on the reverse side of this page). This includes over half a billion dollars in construction over the next decade for upgraded or new facilities that are directly involved in plutonium pit production. All of this is to sustain a relatively modest production rate of up to 50 pits a year. But as if that were not enough, DOE is also making contingency plans for future production rates of up to 500 a year, most likely to be located at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina (to cost an estimated $3 billion). For the sake of emphasis, these are just projected construction costs, not total program costs (which are typically triple that of construction costs).
    sniphttp://www.ananuclear.org/Issues/GlobalNuclearEnergyPartnership/Library/tabid/56/articleType/CategoryView/categoryId/37/Los-Alamos-National-Laboratory.aspx
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  3. #3  
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    US Forgets How To Make Trident Missiles 3


    The W76 is the warhead used with the Mk 4 reentry vehicle which arms Trident II (D-5) submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Designed for use on MIRV (multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle) bus upper stage.

    W76/Mk-4 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package
    Yield 100 Kilotons
    Weight 362.5 lb
    Number In Service 3030

    Design Features
    Two stage thermonuclear warhead
    RV CEP (circle error probability) is 1250 feet (Too large for a missile field attack !)
    Materials Probably contains beryllium neutron reflected plutonium core
    High explosive is PBX-9501
    Deuterium-tritium boosted
    Uranium radiation case, backed with plastic
    Probable thermonuclear fuel is lithium-6 deuteride in an enriched uranium jacket.

    Delivery Method
    UGM-133A Trident II D5 SLBM. Trident II can carry up to 14 warheads, but due to arms limitations agreements currently carries 8 or fewer. Based on Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.
    .................................................. .......
    The W88 warhead belongs to the newest missile warhead family, sharing a design similar to the W87.
    It was designed for use on the Trident II (D5) SLBM. It combines a relatively high yield with increased accuracy to make it an effective hard target kill weapon. It is hardened against nuclear effects, and has enhanced safety features.
    .............................................
    The W87 warhead belongs to the newest missile warhead family, sharing a design similar to the W88. It was designed for use on the Peacekeeper (MX) ICBM. It combines a relatively high yield with increased accuracy to make it an effective hard target kill weapon. It is hardened against nuclear effects, and has enhanced safety features.

    W87-0/Mk-21 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package Yield 300 Kilotons (Upgradable to 475 Kt)
    Weight Warhead: 440 - 600 lb;
    Number In Service 525

    Design Features,General
    Two stage radiation implosion weapon;
    U-238 lined radiation case;
    Plastic foam filled radiation channel;
    RV CEP (circle error probability) is <400 feet
    The warhead yield can be upgraded from 300 Kt to 475 Kt by adding rings or a sleeve of oralloy (highly enriched uranium) to the second stage. This probably entails replacing depleted uranium rings used in a cylindrical fusion tamper so that less energetic neutrons can produce additional fission.
    Warhead is more efficient in its use of special nuclear materials than the similar yield W-78. This may refer in part to substituting depleted uranium for U-235 in the secondary.
    ...............
    Primary Stage
    Two-point initiated (two detonator) firing system;
    Uses LX-17 and PBX-9502 insensitive high explosives (IHEs) - a TATB plastic bonded explosive composition. An ultra-fine grain TATB booster is used to fire the main charge. Beryllium Neutron reflector; Fissile plutonium core in the form of a hollow ellipsoidal thin shell; Deuterium-tritium gas Neutron boosted
    .....................

    Secondary Stage
    Spherical thermonuclear secondary;
    Contains oralloy (highly enriched uranium U-235) as a thermonuclear spark plug;
    U-238 fusion pusher/tamper;
    U-235 as an optional secondary tamper material to boost yield;
    Lithium-6 (95% enrichment) deuteride fusion fuel
    Mk-21 RV:
    Alumium substructure, sheathed in graphite-epoxy composite;
    Carbon fiber fabric nose;
    Carbon fiber-phenolic resin heatshield
    http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W87.html
    ................................................
    W88/Mk-5 Warhead/Reentry Vehicle Package Yield 475 Kt
    Weight <800 lb ?
    Number In Service 400

    Design Features
    Two stage radiation implosion weapon.

    RV CEP (circle error probability) is 300-400 feet

    The basing mode of the W88 led to the adoption of lower criteria for warhead hardening and fire safety than the W-87 and thus lower weight. The reliance on stealth, and the absence of basing mode hardness (compared to fixed silos) reduced the need for shock hardening. The necessary compactness of the submarine carried Trident II, led to a design where the RVs are 'wrapped around' a high energy propellant upper stage. This in turn made a high degree of warhead fire safety pointless. The warhead thus uses a non-insensitive higher power explosive, and omits refractory insulation. The pit is not fire-resistant.

    snip

    Materials
    W88 warhead:
    Contains oralloy (probably in second stage)
    (Oralloy Is 'Oak Ridge Alloy, Ie Plutonium !)

    Uses PBX-9501 - an HMX-based plastic bonded explosive composition
    Probable features:
    Beryllium reflected plutonium fissile core for primary
    Deuterium-tritium boosted
    Lithium-6 (95% enrichment) deuteride fusion fuel

    Mk-5 RV:
    Alumium substructure, sheathed in graphite-epoxy composite
    Carbon fiber fabric nose
    Carbon fiber-phenolic resin heatshield
    Delivery Method
    Trident II (D-5) submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
    ...................................
    http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W87.html

    Plutonium pits are the triggers in most nuclear explosives. Pits are sealed weapon components containing plutonium and other materials and came into being in 1956, replacing the plutonium "capsule" trigger design.xli Pits are surrounded by carefully machined high explosive spheres. When the high explosives are detonated the plutonium is compressed and imploded, thus triggering the nuclear detonation (see Figure 1-1).

    http://www.bredl.org/sapc/Pu_ReportIII.htm
    .................................................. .
    Santa Fe, NM: For nearly two years the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the Department of Energy, has been seeking to raise the level of plutonium pit production at the Los Alamos National Laboratory from the presently sanctioned level of 20 pits per year to 50 to 80 pits per year. Plutonium pits are the crucial nuclear cores that “trigger” modern thermonuclear weapons.

    .................................................. ...........
    U.S. Plutonium Pit Manufacturing
    Plutonium pits are the triggers that are at the heart of modern thermonuclear weapons. The U.S. lost the capability to produce plutonium pits for its nuclear weapons stockpile in 1989 after a raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating alleged environmental crimes at the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, Colorado. At that time, the Rocky Flats Plant was the stockpile plutonium pit production facility for the American nuclear weapons complex. Although the US Department of Energy (DOE) repeatedly tried to restart pit production at Rocky Flats, it never succeeded in doing so.
    snip

    Not coincidentally, in 1993 DOE officially decided to relocate beryllium manufacturing operations to LANL, which had also been performed at the Rocky Flats Plant. DOE had previously declared that beryllium manufacturing had to be located at the future plutonium pit production facility. [Beryllium is used in plutonium pit liners, tampers, reflectors, and neutron generators for nuclear weapons.] Together, the relocation of these two missions represents a return to the lab's historic "roots." LANL had produced plutonium pits before Rocky Flats was built in the mid-1950's, both for weapons that were deployed to the stockpile and for the design and testing of new weapons.

    Now that the plutonium pit production mission has been relocated to LANL, DOE and the laboratory are planning on huge investments in the lab's plutonium pit manufacturing infrastructure (please see the DOE graph on the reverse side of this page). This includes over half a billion dollars in construction over the next decade for upgraded or new facilities that are directly involved in plutonium pit production. All of this is to sustain a relatively modest production rate of up to 50 pits a year. But as if that were not enough, DOE is also making contingency plans for future production rates of up to 500 a year, most likely to be located at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina (to cost an estimated $3 billion). For the sake of emphasis, these are just projected construction costs, not total program costs (which are typically triple that of construction costs).
    sniphttp://www.ananuclear.org/Issues/GlobalNuclearEnergyPartnership/Library/tabid/56/articleType/CategoryView/categoryId/37/Los-Alamos-National-Laboratory.aspx
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teetop View Post
    I disagree.The newspapers aren't the only source of information, let alone reliable information.In fact most military news in newsprint is so distorted and down right falsified that it's worthless .
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  6. #6  
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    I guess they solved the problem with the W76 and restocked the D5 warheads !

    Refurbished W76 Warhead Enters U.S. Nuclear Weapon Stockpile

    WASHINGTON, DC – The first refurbished W76 nuclear warhead has been accepted into the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile by the Navy, according to a senior official at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This culminates a ten year effort to ensure that the aging warhead, already years beyond its original intended life, can continue to be a reliable part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

    “This is another great example of the unsurpassed expertise throughout NNSA’s national security enterprise,” said William Ostendorff, NNSA’s principal deputy administrator. “It becomes more and more challenging each time we extend the life of our nuclear weapons. I am proud that our dedicated scientists and engineers were able to once again meet this unique responsibility.”

    Most nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile were produced anywhere from 30 to 40 years ago, and no new nuclear weapons have been produced since the end of the Cold War. Integrated into the Department of the Navy’s Trident II “D5” Strategic Weapon System, the first W76 entered the stockpile in 1978.

    NNSA must use science-based research and development to extend the lifetime of the current weapons in the stockpile. By extending the life, or time that a weapon can safely and reliably remain in the stockpile without having to be replaced or removed, of a current weapon, NNSA is able to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent without producing new weapons or conducting new underground nuclear tests.

    http://nnsa.energy.gov/2286.htm
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