Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:01

Suraj wrote:The same 'scientific community' would have to conduct the next round of tests that is being demanded. And who 'validates' those tests ?


No, it is not only the same scientific community.

There is a demand for splitting the Nuclear development into two competing labs, reporting to the very head of GoI and no overlap till then.

There is demand for a overview board with retired folks of all branches, including Military.

There is a demand for inclusion of Military involvement and asking the Mil establishment for setting up test standards that when pass they believe.

----------------------------

In fact if you see that is exactly what has happened in this case as well albiet unofficially.

The other branch -- test cell from DRDO demurred.

The services are repeatedly asking for proven DECLARED weaponized devices which they can deploy.

But yes if the final arbiter of GoI -- the political leadership -- wants to do things in a particular way they can indeed ride roughshod over this structure too, just like now, even if formalized.

And again PEOPLE (such as retired Chiefs of staff, heads of DRDO and AEC etc) will crib.

But I cant for life of me figure out whats the problem if they crib -- there cribbing is the check and balance in the system - it is imperative that they crib when they feel things are not right.

Better to have 200 pages of whine on BRF based on the fact that GoI functionaries are crying murder than sit happily oblivious of the fact that we are in trouble and have a non working deterrence.
Last edited by Sanku on 18 Sep 2009 00:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sarma » 18 Sep 2009 00:01

The "major damage" at Khetolai could have been caused by a semi-successful TN weapon as well. The 25kT that S-1 is supposed to have yielded could have been sufficient to cause damage at Khetolai. After all, damage calculations would have involved some "coefficients" and even a small 10-20% discrepancy in them would have resulted in a different answer. This line of argument is neither necessary nor sufficient.

Suraj, you are going in circles, which can only be a sign of cognitive dissonance. Nobody can argue with that.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gagan » 18 Sep 2009 00:03

US, India can work together on NPT: Roemer
Mumbai: India's disinclination to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) notwithstanding, the US on Thursday said it is an issue that the two countries can work together on.

"Non-proliferation is an issue that the US and India can work together on," US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer said, when asked about his views on India keeping away from NPT.

"Even non-proliferation issue, I believe, we can work on in going forward. India has a rich and committed tradition on issues like reducing number of nuclear weapons in the world... from (Mahatma) Gandhi to Rajiv Gandhi," Roemer told reporters here. {Ya ya, mostly Indian warhead count has been reduced by OUR SCIENTISTS :(( }

"A strong relationship does not mean that you are going to completely agree on every single issue. There will occasionally be some issues on which you will not see eye to eye," he said.
...

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:04

Suraj wrote:Either one can accept that the ultimate truth on yields will only be known to BARC and that no one else including we can claim full authority, or go on an endless debate where every authority who's statement is not acceptable on subjective evaluation is deemed under suspicion.


But thats clearly not true, BARC should not be the final arbitrator, there was DRDO too which disagreed and whose words should have been taken into account scientifically (not a voice vote).

However if people want a BARC level thing itself, split BARC into two. That proposal has been made many times too.

However I think that only BARC can comment on yields is not a true statement by far.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Singha » 18 Sep 2009 00:07

cook off a 150kt device and seek secondary confirmation from russian siesmic detectors. if it fails, announce a open ended series of tests until problems get resolved

NPAs will publish their own 'studies' but who cares? once the indian and russian
calculations are in approx aggreement we will have our validation.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Suraj » 18 Sep 2009 00:12

Why would two competing weapons labs be a solution, as opposed to both lying and resolving it as a prisoners dilemma situation between them ?

Our national motto may say so, but neither BARC nor any weapons lab of any country will put forth all analysis for third party review. Further, what guarantees that the third party reviewers are not paid foreign agents ? Some even allege our PM is one, so where does it end ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:12

narayanan wrote:Aren't we dealing here with an Attempted Mass Murder of innocent villagers? Isn't it time to file PIL criminal charges for attempted murder against all those attempted murderers? Who was the person responsible for arranging the test?


Tests were designed to not effect Khetolai, an over yielding S2 marginally damaged Khetolai, if a full yield S1 buried at the right depth would have worked it would have not damaged Khetolai very much either.

It is as simple, two shafts, two different designs of shafts, two devices, two depths, two damage equations, both under control.

One worked and proved the damage calculation to be right.

The second hardly worked and never had chance to prove the damage equation, if it worked it would have proved the damage equation too.

Khetolai was, is and will remain a red herring. Or in more mathematically exact terms-- neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition (sorry for the filch Sarma ji)
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:19

Suraj wrote:Why would two competing weapons labs be a solution, as opposed to both lying and resolving it as a prisoners dilemma situation between them ?

Our national motto may say so, but neither BARC nor any weapons lab of any country will put forth all analysis for third party review. Further, what guarantees that the third party reviewers are not paid foreign agents ? Some even allege our PM is one, so where does it end ?


Yes true, if the top is compromised one way or the other then there would be no solutions, just that some GoI folks will complain publicly and reduce the entire grand edifice of GoI scientific community to a farce.

I for one dont believe that retired Chiefs of Staff, AEC heads, DRDO officials ALL will publicly whine for no reason.

I can believe that a part of GoI may err but the checks and balances (which is supposed to be whining ) by others will keep the overall ship steady.

Yes, if despite all the official and unofficial checks and balances we dont hear complains, we can believe
1) All is well
2) Everything is so badly compromised that we are lost anyway.

So when we reach the optimum resolution of no complaints by different units of GoI we can then debate whether its (1) or (2) (and in fact I will say that really speaking then at BRF level there is NO difference between 1 and 2) but till then, when GoI is clearly split down the middle let us atleast hope for a new equilibrium point.

Hopefully it will not be 2, but then as I said, in that case 1 == 2 for all practical purposes.

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Re: Nukkad 53

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 00:21

Bade wrote:Nook nood dhaaga is very interesting onlee as many have opined. One statement from KS is scientifically more valid than one test onlee. :mrgreen: :P


Bade you are a physicst I think. What exactly did KS say in that article. Please reply here or there.

Thanks, ramana

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Re: Nukkad 53

Postby Bade » 18 Sep 2009 00:34

Ramana,

What KS said is what he said. I did not see any new data other than a different yield number, however low it may have been from earlier claimed estimates. I can run the high school statistics and quote confidence levels based on that. But, so what ? What more information can be inferred from it? All other statements about in-situ damage assessments is subjective.

My claim here is only one person has made a statement, and it is assumed that there are others who believe what KS is saying. But, they need to come out of the wood work of DRDO or BARC and stand by him openly. Then we the aam junta can believe. Till then it is just one data point with huge uncertainties only. The bickering that goes on in any institution, Indian or otherwise among personalities, is enough reason for late revealings of this nature. I cannot accept the claim based on this alone. It would have been another matter, if his associates at the time of the conduct of the test also did the whistle-blowing. He is a lone ranger and will not carry much weight, except for purposes of media blitz.

If there has even been an intentional cover-up post '98 for strategic or political reasons, then how come we at BRF keep parroting BARC scientists lied...it is another thing to say they were incompetent perhaps...that is par for science and its practitioners.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 00:36

No one wants to test right now. What is not wanted is the closing of the option. So long as that is open things should work out.

And if you think about it the S-2 has some advantages.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby dipak » 18 Sep 2009 00:37

Why Santhanam's Pokhran revelations are too late - B Raman

B Raman does not appear very convincing in his arguments.
But he confirms that Santhanam is not a loose-canon.
Last edited by dipak on 18 Sep 2009 00:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Suraj » 18 Sep 2009 00:40

Strategic weapons testing is not a matter amenable to wide checks and balances. Every addtional notional check or balance is also a potential for espionage.

Neither under the current nor any realistic future dispensation will you have the ability to completely satisfy all sources of dissent. Singha's suggestion on working with just Russian seismological centres is probably the only realistic short term option.

Please think very carefully before you criticise the GoI or BARC like this, because, despite all the 'demands' for parallel weapons labs, they're the very entities you'll be constrained to have to trust again after any future test, even if working with the Russians like Singha suggested.

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Re: Nukkad 53

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 00:41

Bade wrote:Ramana,

What KS said is what he said. I did not see any new data other than a different yield number, however low it may have been from earlier claimed estimates. I can run the high school statistics and quote confidence levels based on that. But, so what ? What more information can be inferred from it? All other statements about in-situ damage assessments is subjective.

My claim here is only one person has made a statement, and it is assumed that there are others who believe what KS is saying. But, they need to come out of the wood work of DRDO or BARC and stand by him openly. Then we the aam junta can believe. Till then it is just one data point with huge uncertainties only. The bickering that goes on in any institution, Indian or otherwise among personalities, is enough reason for late revealings of this nature. I cannot accept the claim based on this alone. It would have been another matter, if his associates at the time of the conduct of the test also did the whistle-blowing. He is a lone ranger and will not carry much weight, except for purposes of media blitz.

If there has even been an intentional cover-up post '98 for strategic or political reasons, then how come we at BRF keep parroting BARC scientists lied...it is another thing to say they were incompetent perhaps...that is par for science and its practitioners.


Its only now people are understanding this aspect. The psy-ops about giving enough latitude for the tests managed to hide this role. Sri BM's blatant finger pointing to Sri APJK was a revelation of the process. Its all black lentils and not just some.

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Re: Nukkad 53

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:47

Bade wrote: and it is assumed that there are others who believe what KS is saying. But, they need to come out of the wood work of DRDO or BARC and stand by him openly.


But a lot already have? Even the latest paper has TWO names.

Anyway it does not matter KS with his reputation is enough to cast serious doubts, especially when there is no other corresponding proof to say that it worked (note that is not the case for FBF) Mil folks are already out and asking for more tests. So clearly he has made an impact.

Shouldn't we continue this on the other thread though. The other nanha mujahids of which I am one will complain if a heavyweight like you starts this in Nukkad :mrgreen:

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 00:53

dipak wrote:Why Santhanam's Pokhran revelations are too late - B Raman

B Raman does not appear very convincing in his arguments.
But he confirms that Santhanam is not a loose-canon.



That being so, why did he keep quiet for so long? He has been quoted in some sections of the media as saying that he decided to go public now after 11 years because he apprehended a US attempt to force India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. His hint is that India needed to carry out more tests to master the fusion weapon. He should be knowing that after India signed the civil nuclear co-operation agreement with the US and subsequently agreed to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency of Vienna [ Images ], the question of its carrying out any more tests just does not arise in view of the commitments, which it has already made not to carry out any more tests.

One would have appreciated his action if he had made this disclosure before India signed the agreement with the US. He did not do so. He refrained from joining the other critics of the Indian agreement with the US and the subsequent developments. He thereby gave the impression that he had nothing against the agreement with the US.



The bolded part is not correct. The IUCNA which is a bilateral agreement ceases in the event of an Indian nuke test. As Sri MMS had said in Lok Sabha, India reserves the right to test as the situation warrants. And India decides what warrants the situation. Further the 123 deal also gives the US President right to determine what the situation is with out automatic sanctions. So its not a cut and dry agreement. In some circumustances India could test and the US had the right to impose sanctions.

CTBT is not like that. It is an international agreeemnt where India foreswears the right to test for ever. India is not one of the NPT NWS/P-5 which have that right.

Hence Santhanam was right in being supportive of the IUCNA for it was step in getting rid of NSG restrictions to ease the civlian power agreement.

There is a difference between the nuke deal and signing CTBT.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby svinayak » 18 Sep 2009 00:54

RamaY wrote:
1. That NDA govt betrayed the nation with a fizzle bum and did not retest the design which would help India avoid yet another round of sanctions.

Are you serious?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 00:55

Suraj wrote:Strategic weapons testing is not a matter amenable to wide checks and balances. Every addtional notional check or balance is also a potential for espionage.


I do not accept that declamation at all. Is asking the test team to accept what the designer said is too much?

Just one test team to accept one designer? We dont even have that now.

Lets first get there.

-----------------------

Secondly it is not clear to me what exactly are we hiding so dramatically and from whom? What deep secrets will be revealed by having a BARC 2 team do the radiological tests than that BARC1 itself (where 1 is the designer)

Everything else was anyway done by DRDO which has we see, disagrees.

PKI cant be asked to lead a supervisory board? He is a potential leak? Homi Sethna is?

Come on now.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Bade » 18 Sep 2009 01:05

Splitting barc and setting up parallels test streams is a long term affair. It has to come from a new stream of 20 year old hires to the famous barc training school to be hand-held and groomed for another 10-20 yrs before you can pick leaders from them and make independent teams. Lot of the older generation tifr guys also came from this same training school. So all the present guys at existing dae facilities would be unusable if one begins with the assumption that they are either compromised or even silenced by the seniors.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sanku » 18 Sep 2009 01:12

Bade wrote:Splitting barc and setting up parallels test streams is a long term affair.


Sure, and all the reason to start NOW, isnt it. Meanwhile at least get a parallel team out, I have seen what marvels change in reporting structure bring about first hand.

And if we still have some one like PKI and KS crib publicly, listen and talk to them. If they shut up good (it means either its perfect or totally rotten) or fix the damn problem.

KS is certainly not a loose cannon, neither PKI, nor Sethna, nor Gen Malik.

KS has shook things up that is certain.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Raj Malhotra » 18 Sep 2009 01:15

Re Arun_S

If you remember a discussion few months back on BRF in which some BRites pointed out that it is normal to aim at 25kt yield with fission bomb and 8kg plutonium core also gels with that yield for the fission bomb. Hence I think Sanathanams article is more damaging. I think he is saying that fission bomb was 25kt but was reported to be 10kt to save some lungis. Which would mean that yield of TN is (Original fission 10kt + Original TN 43kt) = 53kt - revised 25kt for fission = 28kt for the fizzile TN. He refers to fission bomb and TN seperately and it is difficult to believe that he will confuse these terms. He also refers to 30m crater for 25kt fission bomb and NO crater for TN bomb. I think he is still saving some lungis and not telling what was the designed yield of TN but only referring to claimed yield of 50kt for TN which he saying was not achieved. The fear in the pit of my stomach is that even the "boosted" primary of TN may have failed.
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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 01:22

One sidewinder is Kalam saab's comment about agni delivering flowers is coming true in unintended ways.
-----------------

Raj, That was my feeling yesterday. I felt like this as a kid waking up one October 1964 morning and see screaming headlines in the five newspapers that my dad used to order "CHINA TESTS A-BOMB!". Mind you for a child who has heard about the debacle in NEFA in 1962 and death of PM Nehru in 1964 it was utter helplessness.

Most of the people here were not born to know that feeling. Thats where I am coming from.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Sep 2009 01:30

even if working with the Russians like Singha suggested.


The Russian yield estimates for the NoKo tests are much higher and have been dismissed by the non proliferation ayatollahs.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sarma » 18 Sep 2009 01:33

ramana garu: Your conjecture, based on K Santhanam's talk at IDSA, about Brajesh Mishra dropping the ball completely has been borne out perfectly. This guy orders a "voice vote" and based on that vote, says everything is fine and dandy. No wonder he supported IUCNA blindly from the beginning, in spite of BJP's misgivings. He wanted to foreclose the testing option permanently, it seems.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Sep 2009 01:34

India is not one of the NPT NWS/P-5 which have that right.


AFAIK there is nothing in the CTBT that allows testing by the NPT NWS. Being P5 however, they are immune to UNSC sanctions.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby munna » 18 Sep 2009 01:46

Times of India uvach: Link
Three former nuclear leaders -- M R Srinivasan, P K Iyengar and A N Prasad -- said in the wake of revelations by K Santhanam, project leader for Pokhran II, the government must order a peer review into the yield of the thermonuclear test of May 1998

R Chidambaram, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and the architect of the nuke tests; Anil Kakodkar, then director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and APJ Abdul Kalam who led the team from Defence Research and Development Organisation, have insisted the device operated according to its design specifications and the yield was 45 kilotons.

Stressing that there should be a probe by a committee constituted by the government, Prasad said that the team should comprise those having serious doubts about the yield of the test as well as experts who can include former nuclear scientists who have been raising their voices. ``It should not consist of only yes men. It should consist of those who are knowledgeable, who have the capacity to investigate such a serious matter,'' he said. ``If this committee concludes that the thermonuclear test had completely failed then the government has played a major fraud on the people of this country,'' he said. Asked if the AEC itself can investigate, he replied: ``It has credibility, but no expertise.''

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby NRao » 18 Sep 2009 01:48

Raj Malhotra wrote:Re Arun_S

If you remember a discussion few months back on BRF in which some BRites pointed out that it is normal to aim at 25kt yield with fission bomb and 8kg plutonium core also gels with that yield for the fission bomb. Hence I think Sanathanams article is more damaging. I think he is saying that fission bomb was 25kt but was reported to be 10kt to save some lungis. Which would mean that yield of TN is (Original fission 10kt + Original TN 43kt) = 53kt - revised 25kt for fission = 28kt for the fizzile TN. He refers to fission bomb and TN seperately and it is difficult to believe that he will confuse these terms. He also refers to 30m crater for 25kt fission bomb and NO crater for TN bomb. I think he is still saving some lungis and not telling what was the designed yield of TN but only referring to claimed yield of 50kt for TN which he saying was not achieved. The fear in the pit of my stomach is that even the "boosted" primary of TN may have failed.


What am I missing.

At even 28Kt the shaft and the A-frame should have vanished. Right?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby enqyoob » 18 Sep 2009 01:58

The "major damage" at Khetolai could have been caused by a semi-successful TN weapon as well. The 25kT that S-1 is supposed to have yielded could have been sufficient to cause damage at Khetolai. After all, damage calculations would have involved some "coefficients" and even a small 10-20% discrepancy in them would have resulted in a different answer. This line of argument is neither necessary nor sufficient.


Ah! Cognitive dissonance at its best.

The argument is that if there had been any more "yield" from EITHER S1 or S2, people would have been hurt or died. S1 and S2 were SIMULTANEOUS. Why is this "neither necessary nor sufficient" to prove that one of the following has to be true:

1. the tests achieved no less than the yield that they were designed to yield. As it is, they caused damage well beyond what should have been allowed.

2. the tests were designed by someone who intended to cause total destruction of the village and the mass death of its residents, all innocent civilians. The same would also have destroyed the logistics base from where the tests were conducted. So the test director was both a criminal and an idiot.

Take your pick from those two, but pls don't try to bamboozle me with claims of "neither sufficient nor necessary" etc. I didn't fall out of a tree yesterday. Thx.

John Snow wrote:
So according to N guru its not the signs of science but what the scientists said takes precedence.

Even criminals are given a chance to retract statements they made. More recently Kasab did it did he not?


Er... and this whole 130 page rona-dhona is based on "science" which is Classified and no one here has a clue about, or "statements by **scientists***"??

According to me it is NOT the statements that people make and retract, but the clear evidence before one's eyes, about which no one can lie:
1. Khetolai suffered damage. Houses were cracked, the water tank cracked and emptied.
2. The kids at the school were asked to go outside and be outside during the tests.

So it is clear from (2) that either
a) the test director expected no damage and no venting (no reason for the concrete, specially hardened shaft, to be destroyed) at maximum yield
b) the test director was out to make a spectacle and blind all the kids and destroy the village.

Take your pick based on the scientific, logical facts. Not the "statements of (political?) scientists". Cheers

And the topper is the claim that
Khetolai is a red herring


Actually Khetolai is a village, not a fish. And if it is the British colonial figure of speech that is intended, well, it is quite misplaced. The village has been there since way before 1974. So it was not somehow placed there to confuse people, which is what "red herring" usually means. In fact, Khetolai may more properly be called a "Red Rag" as in what makes the bulls "see red", herrings or otherwise. Because its presence, and the undeniable reality of what happened there, very simply refutes all their technobabble "output".

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 18 Sep 2009 02:10

narayanan wrote:The argument is that if there had been any more "yield" from EITHER S1 or S2, people would have been hurt or died. Why is this "neither necessary nor sufficient" to prove that one of the following has to be true:


There are numerous reports that villagers were asked to come out of their homes before the test. Here is the first link that google gives when you use "Khetolai come out of homes",



Excerpt:~
At about 1PM, soldiers of the Indian Army rudely herded out of their houses Khetolai;s 1,500 residents and told them that there was "going to be a big explosion,a big bomb"... they were made to stand out in the open for four hours.


If there are no occupants in a home that collapses, how will they get hurt or die?

Can you please abandon this argument, that peoples lives or limbs were at stake, now?

What was at stake was, STRUCTURES, not lives.
Last edited by sudeepj on 18 Sep 2009 02:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Suraj » 18 Sep 2009 02:11

Sanku wrote:PKI cant be asked to lead a supervisory board? He is a potential leak? Homi Sethna is? Come on now.

Why are they trustworthy but not those whom you deem untrustworthy ? R Chidambaram isn't apparently trustworthy, APJAK is waffling, MMS is a likely traitor... how does selectively tarring establishments and personalities let you subsequently have confidence in any subsequent action ?

Regardless of what you demand, whether it is parallel weapons labs or independent verification boards, the more you assert against those currently at BARC and GoI today, the harder you make it to trust any entity or personality in future. In other words, you're making the 'all is lost' subjective viewpoint a self-fulfilling one.

Bade has already referred to the logistical issues related to multiple BARCs. Chances of it happening are negligible. Can you perform a detailed cost analysis of building and maintaining parallel labs, the educated manpower and training requirements, and all other details ?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Sarma » 18 Sep 2009 02:12

The yield could have been just 25kT (i.e. much less than the design value) and still cause all the damage that was observed in Khetolai. That is the point I was trying to make. That there was damage beyond what was expected is not sufficient to show that the yield was the design value. Like I said, any small discrepancy in the empirical values used in the damage calculations can offset the results significantly. The damage argument is not sufficient to prove the yield was the design value. I was not trying to bamboozle anyone.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby enqyoob » 18 Sep 2009 02:16

A little bit of thought would tell whoever made the above post about Khetolai residents being asked to stand outside, that asking people to stand OUTSIDE during a thermonuclear nuclear blast that may very well vent, is an incredibly stupid thing to do. Nuclear plumes rise to 12,000 feet and anyone who looks at those is likely to get blinded, certainly irradiated towards a slow and certain death.

So if there was the slightest danger that there would be venting or anything else, the villagers would have been asked to get as far from Khetolai as possible, say the night before at the latest. Already too late for any spies to do any harm.

BUT.. hey, what am I saying? "Thought"? Here?

The question here is again, what would have happened if you had, say another 20 or 30 KT of thermonuclear blast added to what happened, at the same time. I am sure the people who make posts like the above understand the question exactly, they just can't afford to acknowledge the simple truth of what the answer says.

So, sorry, no, I cannot abandon that argument because you cannot afford to answer it properly.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gagan » 18 Sep 2009 02:17

Now it sounds like
25 KT for the fission + 10 KT for the FBF Primary of the TN = ~ 35-37KT.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ramana » 18 Sep 2009 02:20

And there were numerous reports of people being asked to stay outside to prevent injury in case of houses falling. So they did worry about people getting injured. The structures were another thing. There was no question of venting as the device was buried deep enough in the S-I shaft and India wasn't a new comer to underground testing. Recall 1974 PNE and the crater. No claims that it ever vented. Banberry in US did on the other hand.

Evacuvating the people before its time would have revealed the test plans. They were instructed a few hours before the tests.

BTW, in latest TOI article, M.R. Srinivasanji is asking for review. Wasnt he on the AEC letter committee on Sept 15th that was posted here?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby enqyoob » 18 Sep 2009 02:24

Gagan, note that I have not said anything about the precise numbers for the kT. To me, the simple question is:
Did the tests achieve the yield that they were DESIGNED to achieve?


The Khetolai evidence is unambiguous. It says that it is extremely fortunate that no more yield was achieved, or there would have been a catastrophe with dead or blinded children and other innocent villagers, on top of all the other breast-beating. And surely, criminal charges against the test designers and test director.

WHY they were DESIGNED to that level, whatever that level was, is a completely different discussion. All I can say is that the design yield, and more, was achieved. May have been 1 KT for all I know.

Incidentally, for the A-Frame issue: Note that people here happily argue that the S1 shaft was placed so deep etc. that there was no way any disturbance from S1 could have reached Khetolai. By citing villagers and kids standing outside, they are also saying that there was NO danger of venting.

BUT.. I see people here, incl the same ones above, going into agonies citing the apparent survival of the reinforced concrete TOP of (a) shaft and an "A-Frame". I would use the "eyes turning up" smiley on that "logic" but it would bring further fallout down on me.

Note also that in most BakPak incidents, the head of the soosai fedayeen survives intact. I guess this is proof that the BakPak bum "piffled" and the mijjile and other parts containing the brain went straight to Houristan, hain?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gagan » 18 Sep 2009 02:25

It seems that BARC was pretty confident of the shaft and that it would not vent. They knew the geology very well, and they had the baneberry simulation model to which they further added their own data points to arrive at the correct shaft characteristics for a certain yield.

Now the depth and shaft design are also a trade secret, no way to verify weather the yield that BARC had set out to achieve was ever met. K Santhanan has now said in no uncertain terms that this was not met, further indicating that the design itself was faulty.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gagan » 18 Sep 2009 02:26

N^3-ji,
I am not responding to you. Your last reference to me was, how shall I say, less than charitable. [/sulk]

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby Gerard » 18 Sep 2009 02:33

It seems that BARC was pretty confident of the shaft and that it would not vent.


Would that not imply the top of the shaft and the A frame would survive?

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby sudeepj » 18 Sep 2009 02:40

narayanan wrote:A little bit of thought would tell whoever made the above post about Khetolai residents being asked to stand outside, that asking people to stand OUTSIDE during a thermonuclear nuclear blast that may very well vent, is an incredibly stupid thing to do. Nuclear plumes rise to 12,000 feet and anyone who looks at those is likely to get blinded, certainly irradiated towards a slow and certain death.


1) "incredibly stupid" or not, that is what happened. Virtually *ALL* sources describing the test say that Khetolai residents were asked to step out of their homes and assemble in one location before the tests. There are 0 reports that say Khetolai residents were taking their afternoon naps when the tests were conducted. It follows that there was no danger of people getting injured from collapsing houses.

2) A nuclear test can vent regardless of whether it is a hydrogen bomb or a pure fission weapon. The one known case that did vent was a pure fission weapon, the Baneberry test. The danger of venting was there, regardless of whether the article under test was a Thermonuclear weapon or a pure fission weapon, and regardless of how small the probability of venting was.

3) Test Shaft design is crucial in determining the danger or the probability that an experiment may vent. Presumably, this was done correctly. A properly designed shaft can take even a 5MT test!

So if there was the slightest danger that there would be venting or anything else, the villagers would have been asked to get as far from Khetolai as possible, say the night before at the latest. Already too late for any spies to do any harm.


If you look at the map of Khetolai, you will find that the village is right next to a national highway. Having traveled on that road, I might add that its a very nice highway, the surface is better than most American highways! If the 1500 residents of Khetolai were assembled next to the highway, if required, a complete evacuation could have been underway in minutes! Presumably this was done, if the person in charge of this had half a brain.

The question here is again, what would have happened if you had, say another 20 or 30 KT of thermonuclear blast added to what happened, at the same time. I am sure the people who make posts like the above understand the question exactly, they just can't afford to acknowledge the simple truth of what the answer says.


If the test shaft was designed to take that extra 20 or 30KT, nothing would have happened! no venting, no loss of life or limbs!
Last edited by sudeepj on 18 Sep 2009 02:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pokhran II not fully successful: Scientist - Part-2

Postby ss_roy » 18 Sep 2009 02:42

If S1 was TN and S2 was BF, why did we perform S3, S4 and S5 as subkiloton explosions? What was being tested?

S3 was supposedly a device using reactor grade Pu, so why not test a full scale (20-40 kt) version of it? Considering that the andaman islands are earthquake prone, could we not have tested such weapons on or below some of the smaller and uninhabited islands in that chain?


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