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Nuclear Grenade

a future weapon for Japan maybe?
  (+2, -11)(+2, -11)
(+2, -11)
  [vote for,

This is an idea I had of the top of my head once. My Mates laughed for some reason?

Basically get a grenade, and instead of putting so poxy explosives in it give it some of the real stuff! Yep, a thermo-nuclear grenade. It would wipe out everything in a wide area, (you could adjust this)

Obviosly there is one small hitch with this device, which you've probably already guessed.

Maybe some bright spark out there could think of a way to limit the blast to a concentrated area.

infamous orange, Jun 18 2001

(??) Completely nuked. http://www.infowar....4i/dinardo.html-ssi
Down near the bottom. [StarChaser, Jun 18 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The Curve of Binding Energy http://regehr.org/b...fbindingenergy.html
A marvelous book about one of the leading designers of nuclear weapons, Ted Taylor. Good bedtime faire. [bristolz, Feb 12 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Complete List of U.S. Nukes http://www.fas.org/...a/Tests/Storax.html
Davy Crocket warhead Mk 54 (same site as above). [pottedstu, Feb 12 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Rogue State Rollback http://mccain.senat...koreaweeklystan.htm
McCain's January 20 (sic), 2003 note in the Weekly Standard [FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004]

Nuclear Gernade http://video.google...pe=search&plindex=6
[quantum_flux, Oct 17 2007]

"Pay attention..." http://politicalhum.../blterrorschool.htm
[Ander, Oct 18 2007]


       I'v thought of this before aswell... quite funny at the time. About as usefull as the solar powered torch...   

       I also had an Idea for a potasium boat. It has all the most necesary properties: less dense than water, easy to cut.... unfortionatley there is one small snag: it reacts violently with water.
RobertKidney, Jun 18 2001

       Fully baked, actually. The 'Davy Crockett' nuclear bazooka. "See Gen Maxwell Taylor, The Uncertain Trumpet (New York, 1960); and Andrew F. Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam (Baltimore, 1986). The Davy Crockett was a hand-fired tactical nuclear weapon with a range of 1,500 meters and a blast radius of 3,000. "
StarChaser, Jun 19 2001

       I'm with SC on this one.  John McPhee's outstanding book on Theodore Taylor, "The Curve of Binding Energy," discusses very small tactical nukes.  Even though Mr. Taylor refused to say exactly how small they had gotten, he did discuss weapons with fissile cores that have cross sections the size of a penny.
bristolz, Feb 12 2002

       "...with a range of 1,500 meters and a blast radius of 3,000."
Is that a blast radius of 3,000 meters? Are we to understand that firing this bazooka would be the last thing that soldier ever did?
phoenix, Feb 12 2002

       Yeah, my eye caught on that, too.  Sounds like it would be the fiery last act.
bristolz, Feb 12 2002

       That's why it's called Davy Crockett. He *died* defending the Alamo.   

       See link for a little more (incl. picture).
pottedstu, Feb 12 2002

       I think I'd chip in for a little more gun powder, thankyouverymuch.
phoenix, Feb 12 2002

       I don't think nuclear weapons are as important as they once were. Their era as the dominant and most powerfull military weapon has ended, of course they still serve a powerfull puch as political weapons. However it seems like chemical and biological weapons are now far superior to the nuke as a weapon of mass destruction.
wood2coal, Jun 04 2002

       "a US attempt in the 1950's, ludicrous but true, to develop a nuclear hand-gernade ended when it was realized that even the strongest thrower would inevitably be within the lethal radius of his own weapon!" - see Modern Land Combat (Salamander Books Ltd., 1987)
DKM, Jan 14 2003

       Oh lovely, a weapon of mass destruction that only our worst enemies would want to use! Wait, didn't I see one of these on Ebay?   

       BTW, regarding your Japan comment: Sen McCain's recent speech on N Korea's development of the Bomb (link) sent shivers down my spine. News reports over here suggest that the US has hinted that it may be willing to allow Japan to get the bomb if N Korea becomes nuclear capable.   

       Has this guy no memory and no sense of irony? Imagine a combination of Pearl Harbour and Hiroshima.
FloridaManatee, Jan 14 2003

       What StarChaser said, plus, the Russians also developed a nuclear mortar shell that had a blast radius greater than it's range.
DrBob, Jan 15 2003

       They developed the Dog Mine, too (WW2). That tells you all you need to know about how the Soviet General Staff viewed their front line troops.   

       It's not hard to make a hand grenade MUCH more powerful than the exisitng designs. However, the delivery system remains Arm, Human, Standard, Mk 1. which limits the range and hence the calculation of the "lethality radius".   

       Notably, the Mills bomb historically provided to British and commonwealth forces (the familiar little black "pineapple" grenade) has a very poorly defined lethality radius. Due to the way the cast steel casing randomly fragments (the indentations are there to provide for better grip, they don't control the fragmentation), portions of casing can be lethal up to 100m, yet completely miss a target only a metre away.   

       Modern grenades are designed to provide an isotropic distribution of fragments with a controlled radius of action to linit the risk to the thrower. A larger or more powerful device would be better described as a demolition charge or a mine than a grenade.   

       [Briztolz] It's an advanced squeeze technique combined with a complex initiator to get a limited yield out of a subcritical mass.   

       Personal opinion: fission weapons are a really bad idea, especially in urban areas.
8th of 7, Jan 15 2003

       Lets see, I can throw 30-60 feet and a nuclear grenade blows a mile or more. HMMMMMM, sounds to me like my ass would get nuked trying to eliminate my enemies
jeffman, Apr 16 2003

       i do believe there is a critical mass that needs to be obtained before the plutonium will start to destabalize. Nuclear weapons .....a full sphere split in two, the two halves are brought together to induce painfull results....or at least thats how we learned it in Chem 202
lkbio540, Jan 07 2004

       lkbio, critical mass is determined by the radiation energy that any particular particle experiences, i.e. a larger mass will spontaneously undergo fission once a certain threshold is reached. The method used in "little boy", where a total mass that exceeds critical mass is separated into 2 or more pieces which will spontaneously begin fission when brought together, is similar to what you describe. Another method, as used in "fat man", is where a single fissile mass which is smaller than critical mas is compressed by high explosives until it becomes dense enough to initiate cascade fission.   

       While any amount of material can be made to undergo fission, a smaller mass (much smaller than uncompressed critical mass) requires a higher explosive charge to compress it than a larger mass (only slightly less than critical mass) would require. As fissile material volume goes down, required explosive volume goes up, and so there is a point of minimum total volume required to produce a nuclear explosion of significant yield.
Freefall, Jan 07 2004

       ahh thats where the terrorist went, j/k. Thanks for the clarification, sorry for the confusion
lkbio540, Jan 07 2004

       So wrong. So very, very wrong.   

       (Thanks [Freefall] - I'd never heard of the "fat man" method before.)
Detly, Jan 07 2004

       Baked in soooooo many sci-fi books.
DesertFox, Jun 28 2004

       Ah yes. Exactly what this world needs. Thermonuclear devices that are more easily accesible to the general public!
I wish I could give you more than one fish.
evilmathgenius, Jun 28 2004

       There you are, I just did it for you.   

       This reminded me of Lady Penelope's atomic pistol. When I was about eight I thought they might exist. The thought bothered me somewhat.
stilgar, Nov 27 2004

       What about a thermite-primed full fusion "plasma grenade"?
Chrontius, Jul 05 2005

       what if you made it into a nuclear RPG (Rocket propelled grenade) that way you could give it enough range to get out of the blast radius
tesseract9, Aug 11 2006

       //StarChaser// Great, now suicide bombers can do more damage and be fairly far from the target. I like it!
Shadow Phoenix, Sep 27 2007

       This would sterilize whoever has one in his pocket. Suicide bombers listen up, "your reproductive equipment won't work anymore if you handle one of these gerenades, and then the virgins in the afterlife will really have something to laugh at! Also, people who die virgins are usually fat or ugly."
quantum_flux, Sep 27 2007

       //What about a thermite-primed full fusion "plasma grenade"?//   

       Say what>? Oh, you're referring to the model with the unobtanium firing pin, right?   

       Under what set of obscure physics laws would thermite be energetic enough to trigger a fusion reaction?
Custardguts, Sep 27 2007

       //This would sterilize whoever has one in his pocket.// Actually, I'm not sure it would. According Mr. Wiki's paedia (which shows someone holding 235U pellets in their latex-clad hand), the half-life is 700 million years, which means it's not all that fiercely radioactive (assuming a chain reaction doesn't get under way). And it allegedly decomposes (non-fissilely) by alpha emission: alpha particles are pretty easy to stop (for example, with a sheet of paper). I therefore don't think it would do you much harm to carry a sub- critical mass around. But I may be wrong. Does anyone here have a father who has tested this?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2007


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