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Utopia Talk / Politics / Russian explosion
Seb
Member
Thu Aug 08 16:56:15
Seems odd that there would be a radiation spike if this was a rocket engine failure under test.

Seb
Member
Thu Aug 08 17:01:07
Aha, not a missile test facility, an arm's dump. So possibly DU or if they had tactical nukes, the fissile material read dispersed.

The explosion looks conventional. Would have expected a brighter initial flash.
Seb
Member
Thu Aug 08 17:19:04
Ah the explosion vid is from another incident.


Looks like their nuclear powered cruise missile had a booboo.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Thu Aug 08 18:05:36
http://www...rs-explosions-at-siberian-base
Im better then you
2012 UP Football Champ
Fri Aug 09 00:56:51
"Its three roentgen. which bad but not horrible. I hear its the equivalent of a chest x-ray." Trump probably.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Aug 09 03:34:40
Look at the video of the people who are the closest and how a giant piece of shrapnel or rocket swooshes over their heads. Folks don’t go out on picknicks near ammo depots, ok?
Seb
Member
Fri Aug 09 06:36:46
3.6!
Sam Adams
Member
Fri Aug 09 10:11:58
"Seems odd that there would be a radiation spike if this was a rocket engine failure under test."

Maybe they were playing with an experimental nuclear motor. Or perhaps the retards cooked off a traditional motor while it was still attached to a live warhead, or conducted the test near live nuke warheads.
Sam Adams
Member
Fri Aug 09 10:12:54
"Its three roentgen. which bad but not horrible."

Lol great show. The AIR is GLOWING!!!
Sam Adams
Member
Fri Aug 09 10:16:54
Ya nimatzos vid is another accident... i think a conventional arms explosion in eastern russia recently.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Fri Aug 09 10:17:57
Wait so two explosions in Russia in the same week? lol :)
Sam Adams
Member
Fri Aug 09 10:21:15
Yup...
Sam Adams
Member
Fri Aug 09 12:02:47
the civil news in civil areas reported a brief spike to 20x background radiation... pretty insignificant if thats it.

Separately why would you burn the clothes of the victims? Wouldn't burying be the correct response?
jergul
large member
Fri Aug 09 15:00:47
A peace dividend from the end of the cold war. Lots of crap pulled back from Eastern Europe to beyond the Urals.

There is probably a better way to dispose of Warsawa pact ammo than using lightning, but cool.

Radiation is interesting. Not from DU. Something else.
Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 10:12:47
Sam:

Footage of victims being taken to specialist hospitals in Moscow, ambulance drivers in hazmats and the backs sealed with plastic.

Highly unlikely a warhead though. And even in an arms depot nukes are stored in hardened bunkers.

I reckon it's the nuclear powered (as in engined) cruise missile Putin bragged about.


jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 10:24:58
MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. The fire that broke out at an ammunition depot in the Krasnoyarsk Region’s Achinsk District, where a series of explosions occurred on Monday, has been extinguished, a source in the regional emergency services informed TASS.

More explosions rocked an ammunition depot in the Krasnoyarsk Region’s Achinsk District on Friday evening. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, one of the latest explosions occurred when a lightning hit an ammunition stack with damaged lightning protection.

The region’s governor said the explosions occurred during a bomb disposal operation.

On August 5, a fire and a series of explosions took place on the territory of an ammunition depot of a military unit in Achinsk District in the west of the Krasnoyarsk Region. A state of emergency was declared in the district and 16,000 residents evacuated from communities within a 20-kilometer area around the emergency. The fire was extinguished on August 6. The evacuees began to return to their homes. Thirteen people were injured, medics said. According to the latest reports, one person was killed.

==================

1. Something went wrong while old ammunition was being rendered inert.

2. The resulting explosion damaged another storage section that was then struck by lightning.

3. Experimental missiles are not stored at 1992 ammodump created to store stuff that used to be in Eastern Europe.

Stop with the CT already.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 10:28:36
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste

Daemon
Member
Sat Aug 10 10:56:00
http://www...-role-in-rocket-test-explosion

Russia’s nuclear energy agency has said an explosion that caused radiation levels to spike in the Arkhangelsk region was caused by an accident during a test of an “isotope power source for a liquid-fuelled rocket engine”.

In a statement released late on Friday, Rosatom said five of its employees had died as a result of the accident and three more were being treated for burns.

The statement was the first confirmation that the agency was involved in the incident, which briefly drove radiation levels up to 20 times their normal levels in the nearby city of Severodvinsk.

[...]


jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 10:57:20
Holy crap. I was completely wrong. Sorry about that Seb.
Daemon
Member
Sat Aug 10 11:00:07
jergul, there were two explosions at different places.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 11:01:34
Ach, that was a different incident. Thank God!

At least we know where they are testing experimental missiles.

20 times normal Severodvinsk levels might be quite high. I drove passed a harbour filled with decommissioned nuclear subs once. It was pretty cool. They looked like beached whales.

But am glad I did not have a geiger counter along. The ticking noise is quite annoying.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 11:04:30
May I also recommend the International Seafarers hotel in Arkhangelsk while in the general vicinity. Originally set up for the Murmansk convoys. It is (was?) quite nice by the standards of the day.
Sam Adams
Member
Sat Aug 10 11:07:19
The quick deaths indicate they died of other trauma from the blast/fire, rather than radiation. Not that they couldnt be badly irradiated as well.

"Highly unlikely a warhead though"

Ya, if the workers were badly irradiated it wasnt the warhead. A burning warhead might cause a minor background spike though.
Sam Adams
Member
Sat Aug 10 11:12:08
But i agree it sounds like they were fucking with nuclear propulsion. Let it go too critical and it flashed the propellant to vapor, burning them and irradiating them?
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 11:20:06
Let me get this straight. We are talking about the Severodvinsk explosion, not the one in Siberia (which is just an old ammo dump)?

Sorry about that. Nimi's link was a bit misleading.


10 Aug, 02:04
Five Rosatom employees die in accident at military testing range in northern Russia
An accident involving a liquid-fuel jet engine occurred at a military testing range near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region on August 8
Read also
Three patients in grave condition after blast at Russian military test site — medics

MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Five employees of the Rosatom state corporation have died and three more were injured in the accident at a military testing range in the Arkhangelsk region, the company's press service told reporters on Friday.

"As a result of the accident at a military testing range in the Arkhangelsk region involving a liquid-fuel jet engine, five Rosatom employees died.Three others sustained injuries and burns of varying severity," the press service said. "At this moment, all those injured were taken to a hospital and are receiving necessary medical assistance," the press service added.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that two people died in the accident with a liquid-fuel jet engine at a military testing range near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region on August 8.

"On behalf of Rosatom's staff, we express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Their families will receive aid and support," the company said.

============

Full release (which ironically was much shorter)


Five Rosatom staff members died and a further three people were injured in a tragic accident that took place during tests on a liquid propulsion system involving isotopes at a military facility in Arkhangelsk region.
We offer our deepest condolences, and all possible support, to the families and friends of those who died. Those injured have been admitted to hospital and are receiving treatment.
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of all those affected.

jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 11:23:44
The radioisotope rocket is a type of thermal rocket engine that uses the heat generated by the decay of radioactive elements to heat a working fluid, which is then exhausted through a rocket nozzle to produce thrust. They are similar in nature to nuclear thermal rockets such as NERVA, but are considerably simpler and often have no moving parts.

The basic idea is a development of existing radioisotope thermoelectric generator, or RTG, systems, in which the heat generated by decaying nuclear fuel is used to generate power. In the rocket application the generator is removed, and the working fluid is instead used to produce thrust directly. Temperatures of about 1500 to 2000 °C are possible in this system, allowing for specific impulses of about 700 to 800 seconds (7 to 8 kN·s/kg), about double that of the best chemical engines such as the LH2-LOX Space Shuttle Main Engine.

However the amount of power generated by such systems is typically fairly low. Whereas the full "active" reactor system in a nuclear thermal rocket can be expected to generate over a gigawatt, a radioisotope generator might get 5 kW. This means that the design, while highly efficient, can produce thrust levels of perhaps 1.3 to 1.5 N, making them useful only for thrusters. In order to increase the power for medium-duration missions, engines would typically use fuels with a short half-life such as Po-210, as opposed to the typical RTG which would use a long half-life fuel such as plutonium in order to produce more constant power over longer periods of time. The even shorter half-life element fermium has also been suggested[1]

Another drawback to the use of radioisotopes in rockets is an inability to change the operating power. The radioisotope constantly generates heat that must be safely dissipated when it is not heating a propellant. Reactors, on the other hand, can be throttled or shut down as desired.
Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 11:38:37
Jergul:

No probs. The two events and cross posting of vids in social media are confusing. I think most of the vids are the amo dumps.

I imagine the engine of a nuclear powered rocket could be quite messy - the US design was unshielded and frankly as bad as the bombs it carried. But the explosion was likely chemical so maybe not so bad from a radiation perspective as it'll just disperse fuel before it was critical.

Sam:
Not necessarily the case. I think it uses a conventional jet or rocket to get to speed before switching to nuclear scram jet. So launch based accident might well be the conventional first stage spreading pre-critical fuel. While possible, I'm not sure the nuclear stage going critical early is so likely.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sat Aug 10 11:52:04
Jergul
Yea, I also thought that ammo depot explosion was the radioactive one.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 12:32:32
Seb
I am not sure 1.5 kN could maintain a ramjet (it would depend on the friction coefficient), but in principle, I think you got it. The nuclear feature to maintain cruising/loitering speed (though - rofl@subsonic?).
Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 12:50:43
https://twitter.com/ArmsControlWonk/status/1160233838171181056?s=09

Looks like they confirmed it.

Jergul:

Nuclear on launch would be "problematic".

The details of the Russian system aren't out there, but I think the US system was a nuclear fission scram jet if I recall correctly - so you still need to get it from stationary to high supersonic before the scramjet works.

The benefit of nuclear is that it can maintain that for weeks in principle.

Is the Russian system fission or radioisotope? I don't really see how the latter would work.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 13:18:32
Seb
I am almost certain it is radioisotopic. I am also questioning the feasibility (rofl@subsonic missiles?).

Even assuming airlaunch (which I am).

I think the design specs aim for subsonic loitering and hypersonic approach. Though that would involve compressors, so wtf?

I think we can assume theoretical feasibility. But I am stuggling to see how.
Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 14:05:18
Jergul:

An RTG powered system would have near no thrust.

RTGs are very high activity - which poses challenges. An RTG can't be turned on and off - it's just generating heat by decay. So the missile is hideously dangerous to be near as you can't really shield it (shielding too heavy).

If that's what blew up, then that would be a very major nuclear incident as it would spread a huge amount of high activity waste everywhere. A big dirty bomb.

At least with fissioning nuclear thermal designs, the missile is low activity at launch and doesn't go critical until it is at altitude and distance.

BTW Your article mentions 1.5 Newtons, not kN - it's talking about space missions where that level of force integrated over months makes for much better mission profiles. An RTG poses a reasonable trade off between low thrust super efficient ion or plasma thrusters, and low efficiency but high thrust like chemical, while not having the huge earth to orbit payload of nuclear thermal.



Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 14:08:31
I'm pretty sure the Russian missile is, like the US one, fissioning. But might be liquid salt rather than solid fuelled.


Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 14:18:35
Another way to think of it:

For a given power output, an rtg is about an active a source as fission one. But a fission one can be safe when stored and safe of destroyed on the launch pad with no handling issues and turned on when down range, but an rtg is always on, difficult to handle etc.

So I'm pretty sure it's fissioning nuclear thermal not and rtg.

jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 14:34:50
Seb
Yah, 1.5 N is nothing. It can't be that.
Seb
Member
Sat Aug 10 14:44:55
I assume what they want is long range true hypersonic cruise missile (i.e. not boost glide) as a means to bypass missile defence.
jergul
large member
Sat Aug 10 15:05:03
Seb
Not an absolute spec. Russia has a number of sub-sonic cruise, but hyper-sonic terminal velocity missiles.

"liquid propulsion system involving isotopes"

The wording is odd.

We should perhaps also remember that Severodvinsk is primarily a naval area. Rosatom does not actually specify they were testing a missile.

They do have their nuclear torpedo too.
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 11 05:36:14
MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The fire outbreak and subsequent explosion near the city of Severodvinsk occurred when testing a missile on a sea-based platform, Communications Department of the Russian state corporation Rosatom told TASS.

"Missile tests were held on the sea-based platform. Missile fuel inflammation with further detonation occurred after completion of tests. Several staff members were thrown away to the sea and there was a hope to find them alive. The search continued until the hope to find survivors was present. The death of five Rosatom employees dealing with work related to a radio isotope power source being part of the missile was announced only after that," the department said.

"The concourse of factors was present, which often takes place when testing new technologies," a spokesman of Rosatom said.

The accident occurred at a military testing range near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region on August 8. The Russian Defense Ministry initially said that two people died in the accident involving a liquid-fuel jet engine. Later regional authorities said that six more people have been hospitalized after the accident. On August 10, Rosatom said that five employees were killed in the accident and three more were hospitalized
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 11 07:57:03
Jeffery Lewis's lot reckon they've inventoried the test stand known to be used for the cruise missile moved to there.

Also the same nuclear fuel carrier was in the exclusion zone for the test that was used for recovering a previous crash of the missile.

I'd guess they were testing sea launch/sub launch?

The whole logic of this missile is that every part of the flight profile is outside the scope of US missile defence, but for a genuinely all cruise hypersonic missile, of sufficiently useful range, you need nuclear not chemical thrust.









Seb
Member
Sun Aug 11 07:57:40
Identified the test stand
Sam Adams
Member
Sun Aug 11 10:12:07
Radioisotope generators just dont have the power density for this kind of thing. I think it has to be a proper fission core.
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 11 16:47:39
Sam:
Agreed.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Aug 11 17:03:32
How can it ever be a good idea to put a nuclear reactor inside something meant to fly here on earth? Wouldn't this thing even with a conventional warhead basically be a dirty bomb?
Seb
Member
Sun Aug 11 17:14:16
Nim:

Yes. It's a terrible weapon. Inherently non conventional. Insane.
jergul
large member
Sun Aug 11 17:39:10
Well, it seems to be demonstrated the system is not particularly dirty.

My guess is a hybrid system. Based on the description.

It could be a simple as wanting to vapourize and superheat propellant prior to ignition.

Basically just a preburner for improved expander cycle efficiency.

That actually sounds about Russian enough.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Sun Aug 11 17:54:59
Compared to a normal cruise missile that doesn’t raise the radiation levels 20 times, that is dirty. Assuming this is the final product and effect of the reactor/engine. We don’t have alot of dirty bombs to compare it with.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 00:41:14
Jergul:
Have we?

jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 05:07:15
Nimi
A DU shell raises background radiation far more than 20 times for far longer than the brief uptick in Severodvinsk and for a lot longer time (though over a smaller area.

Modern warfare is toxic warfare.

6 milliverts times 20 is 120 milliverts. But that would be per year.

The missile would be for delivering a nuclear warhead anyway. Any additional radiation would not register at all.

Calling this a dirty bomb is rediculous.

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Data from the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences received from radiation monitoring systems says that there are no radiation hazards for the local population after the incident during tests on a liquid propellant rocket engine at a test range outside Severodvinsk, the Arkhangelsk region, academician Leonid Bolshov said on Sunday.

"We have online data from radiation monitoring systems and on Thursday we saw an increase in background radiation in Severodvinsk for an hour-and-a-half," institute’s Director said.

However, "background radiation stays at a very low level, and it increased insignificantly," giving the population an additional radiation dose of one microsievert, he emphasized. "This is a thousand times less than one millisievert, the permitted level of exposure for the population within a year, a dose obtained from an X-ray treatment is much higher," he said.

"The recorded increase is a hundred times less than the radiation a person receives when flying on an airplane, the threat to the safety and health of the population is simply out of the question," he said.

He said an emergency commission led by the governor and involving all services met after a brief rise of the radiation level, and a statement was made afterwards that no incident harmful for the health of the local population had happened, the background returned to its level in an hour-and-a-half.

The Defense Ministry said earlier that the radiation level remained normal after the emergency and there were no hazardous escapes into the atmosphere after an explosion at a military test site.

The accident occurred at a military testing range near Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk region on August 8. The Russian Defense Ministry initially said that two people died in the accident involving a liquid-fuel jet engine. Later regional authorities said that six more people have been hospitalized after the accident. On August 10, Rosatom said that five employees were killed in the accident and three more were hospitalized.


Seb
The incident threw some people off a barge. We can of course speculate, but if liquid fuel is in fact used as a propellant, then it would not be correct to think this is a nuclear powered engine.

I think its just the Russians messing around with isotopes to increase efficiency somewhat.

It does not seem like a great idea. I am almost willing to be money they are trying to justify not removing the P-700 launchers from their two nuclear battlecruisers.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 06:59:35
Jergul:

The purpose of boty the torp and the cruise missile was to defeat missile defence. For the cruise missile this means to have a manouvreable hypersonic cruise missile that is cruise all the way (not boost glide), at hypersonic speeds, but which can sustain hypersonic flight over intercontinental ranges (so can't be pre-empted), and thus be immune to any nmd interception or first strike.

As a scheme, I'm utterly convinced the nuclear powered cruise missile is full fission. The yanks already designed one, and in many ways it's much easier and operable than anything rtg based. And I can think of no way rtg would realistically work to deliver the intended effect.

The American design used a solid state fission core, but there's some reason to think the Russians might be using a liquid salt scheme for the fission core. It would simplify fuelling.

A fission cored scramjet would be staged. Chemical to get up to scram Jet operating speed, then send the fission core to critical.

I suspect what happened was that the rocket or jet chemical first stage exploded. This would likely disperse some of the fission cores fuel. But while radioactive, pre critical fuel wouldn't be that radioactive. Potentially just volatile natural decay products released from fuel that's never been critical (release of liquid nuclear fuel would rapidly solidify, is non water soluble, and likely wouldn't show up quickly).

That said, I would take all official figures and press statements with a grain of salt. They will want to be created a degree of obfuscation.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Mon Aug 12 08:20:50
Jergul, this:

"That said, I would take all official figures and press statements with a grain of salt. They will want to be created a degree of obfuscation."

I can't really say that my opinion about this isn't swayed by the fact that there are other dirty and toxic weapons out there already. And I said "even with a conventional warhead", obviously with a nuke it doesn't matter how dirty or clean the propulsion is.
jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 08:56:29
Seb
Russia has conceptual designs for virtually everything. Same as the US in that sense.

You are adding all kinds of odd criteria to what a missile needs to do to defeat missile defences.

Our sources of information is actually the official releases.

If you want to freely speculate unbridled by information, then feel free to do that.

"I think its just the Russians messing around with isotopes to increase efficiency somewhat."

If fits the information we have on what happened.

I think they just want to sexy up the p-700 launchers and justify their continued existence on two nuclear battle cruisers.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 11:15:22
Jergul:

Describe to me the parameters of an RTG system that would
increase the efficiency of a scram jet. What's the heat flow it needs to achieve to heat about the right order of magnitude of fuel in about the right order of magnitude of time to meaningfully change the performance of a SCRAM jet? Given that heat flow, what activity does the source need to have? What level of shielding does the canister need to have? And how do you do heat management when the missile isn't in flight?

The amount of heat it would need to give off to raise the temperature of the fuel as you describe means it's going to be lethal.

Which means heavy shielding. So it has to be stored with warhead attached, and remotely fuelled. And will likely irradiate crew on laugh.

When Putin announced both the torp and the cruise Missoula, he was clear about an intercomunal pure cruise missile powered by a nuclear reactor.


The reason for wanting that is obvious: boost glide vehicles are vulnerable (in theory) to missile defence schemes targeting boost phase and mid course intercept schemes.

Only a fission core could deliver on that requirement.

Further, a fission core would be remarkably easier and safer to implement from an operational and stockpiling perspective than RTG - and frankly I can't see anything RTG could realistically do to increase the performance of a SCRAM jet in any useful way.

The requirements of such a missile fit, they have announced the intent, they have the technical means. We've seen them test it previously.

So why on earth would we doubt that they have developed a fission cored cruise missile and instead invoke this totally unclear RTG thing you've invented?

An explosion of a missile with an RTG you describe is going to lead to a much higher release of radiation, as it will have material with a very high no of bequerels; or none at all if the casing is intact.

Sieverts are dose so in any case an odd unit to use and point to an absence of knowledge. Nuclear spill incidents are normally presented in curries or bequerels - amount and activity of material. The Sieverts will depend on the distance the reading is taken from the source, any shielding, the sources activity, the type of radiation etc. So a reading in Sieverts means either the reporting authority doesn't know the activity of the source, or does not want to disclose the activity of the source.

In theory if we know where the sievert reading was taken, you can work out how many bequerels were released to first order. If the reading is taken in the port and the barge was a few km away when it blew up, and the prevailing winds was out to sea, then 20 times background might be quite high!

But I'd expect a ruptured RTG with thermal output sufficient to heat fuel in a hypersonic flow by any appreciable amount to result in far more bequerels of released activity than say, unburned uranium fuel rods being blown up.


Generally, with the caveat that there are insufficient data, I'd say the relatively low release points to natural decay products from nuclear fuel; not a very high activity rtg source capable of appreciably heating hypersonic flows of material.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 11:15:58
Tl;Dr the radiation readings definitely don't seem to fit the scheme you are describing.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 11:27:59
I need to get a new screen protector. I think when it gets too worn it affects the precision of the touch screen and gesture based typing.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 11:42:23
Nim:

I think it does matter how dirty the exhaust is.

While the US thought the dirty exhaust a good feature for bringing doom to Russia, they realised that it would necessarily contaminate everywhere en route.

Someone deploying this delivery system is doing so with the implicit understanding that it's part of a global extinction level event.

There's no possibility of this being used in say, a proportional or limited exchange.

Which is problematic as it isn't consistent with the aim of defeating missile defence which would be overwhelmed by large volleys in unrestrained nuclear war.

So it probably means Russia thinks it can cover Europe and the Arctic with highly lethal levels of nuclear fall out from these missiles in a limited exchange without prompting an escalatory response.

jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 15:16:30
Seb
You are overspecifying. I retracted the RTG theory a long time ago.

Thorium 231 is a byproduct from the nuclear reactors on the Russian battlecruisers. It gives alfa and beta radiation on a half-time of 25 days.
jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 15:20:22
Your theory seems to be the Russians are crazy.

I think I will stick with my thoughts on them mucking around with efficiency on ramjets mainly to justify keeping the horizontal launch tubes on their nuclear battlecruisers.
Sam Adams
Member
Mon Aug 12 15:56:41
Id like to think it was a criticality accident. More fun that way.
Seb
Member
Mon Aug 12 16:01:48
Jergul:

A nuclear powered cruise missile would allow beneficial flight profile.

They said they were building a nuclear powered cruise missile.

We know a nuclear powered cruise missile is possible.

So... why wouldn't it be the entirely possible to build thing they said they were going to build which would actually help them by giving them an entirely unmatched capability?

Why would an explosion on a test barge result in thorium leak from a battlecruiser?

How would anything nuclear meaningfully increase the efficiency of a ramjet?

Why would such increase be necessary to justify keeping the horizontal launch tubes?

You are overcomplicating things.

They said they'd build a nuclear powered, intencional hypersonic cruise missile. They are doing so.


jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 16:54:16
Seb
Because it does not make sense. The Burevestnik project has had more than a dozen tests. You would not have Rosatom researchers on a barge for that. You would have Burevestnik team members from various institutions and military branches. The Burevestnik also has a dedicated test location elsewhere.

The facts as we know it is that liquid fuel is being used in combination with radioisotopes. That is not the Burevestnik.

Ramjets lose efficiency as delta T decreases due to air compression. Increasing exhaust T increases efficiency.

Thorium 232 is very energy dense. It has a short half-time. It is available on nuclear powered battlecruisers

Horizontal missile launchers suck. Removing them from Russian battlecruisers is not trivial. Keeping them is preferrable if that can be justified by improved ramjet missile capability.

This is a different project.
jergul
large member
Mon Aug 12 17:08:48
http://www...imo:8929513/vessel:SEREBRYANKA

Just returned to Murmansk from a holding position in proximity to the test site where it was anchored when the accident occurred.

The first picture is a different vessel.
Sam Adams
Member
Mon Aug 12 23:19:45
"Increasing exhaust T increases efficiency."

Ah yesssss... jergul physics. The opposite of real physics.
Sam Adams
Member
Mon Aug 12 23:31:01
"Thorium 232 is very energy dense. It has a short half-time."

No. 232th has a half life of about the age of the universe, and thus an energy density on human timescales of 0.

You probably mean 234th which decays too rapidly to be an effectively stored fuel while being too slow to provide useful power density. Oh and its a hopeless beta emitter.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 01:43:59
Jergul:

A whole dozen tests!

Why would that mean this wouldn't be a test?

Why would you not have Rossatom staff for a nuclear reactor powered missile?

"The Burevestnik also has a dedicated test location elsewhere."

The test stand at that site has been seen to be dismantled and reassembled here.

"The facts as we know it is that liquid fuel is being used in combination with radioisotopes. That is not the Burevestnik."

That is entirely consistent description of Burevestnik. Liquid fuel for the jet. And while obscure, nuclear fuel is a radio isotope.

"Thorium 232 is very energy dense. It has a short half-time. It is available on nuclear powered battlecruisers"

Again, work out the parameters and demonstrate this harebrained scheme would be viable. Extracting thorium from battlecruiser nuclear reactor mid voyage is a damned site crazier. Also I'm pretty sure you don't mean 232.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 01:56:59
The press statement seems pretty clear:

The explosion was caused by a liquid propulsion system (firststage chemical engine that gets it up to scram jet speed) involving radioisotopes (some pre critical nuclear fuel leaked - probably HEU. Not good, but not terrible).

"Vyacheslav Solovyov, scientific director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, called the deaths “a bitter loss for our entire institute” in a video interview with a local newspaper, and said the researchers had been studying “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”"

Fissile materials are radioisotopes. Radioisotopes are not necessarily fissile.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 04:51:58
Also, if I were handling comms I'd be resorting to convoluted language to avoid saying the words chemical and nuclear.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 04:52:35
Hence liquid and radioisotope.

jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 05:10:43
Seb
Demonstrate why Rosatom suddenly is the only project management of the Burevestnik programme?

I have pretty much demonstrated this is Rosatom mucking about (the vessel I linked is also a Rocatom ship. Its marked clearly on the side of the ship).

I thought you knew how projects run.

There is no way Rocatom would be testing a full Burevestnik missile along with its attendent booster (you are arguing that a complete missile with its booster were being tested) all by itself on a barge in some god forsaken place off Severodvinsk.

You are already theorizing. RTGs can actually produce quite a lot of energy if you are willing to accept short half-lifes.

Sammy
Thanks for catching that. I was referring to the wrong thorium isotope.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 05:37:18
I'm sorry, what evidence makes you think that the only project management here are Rossatom?

I imagine Rossatom manages most of the ships equipped and cleared to do this kind of testing work though.

"There is no way Rocatom would be testing a full Burevestnik missile along with its attendent booster"

Ok, so let's say the test fails and you spread a disassembled nuclear reactor across a few km of Sea. Which agency would you have on hand to manage cleanup?

And would you move an experimental missile with an unshielded (albeit sub critical) nuclear reactor on it, or would you fuel it before testing?

It seems perfectly obvious such a test will involve Rossatom to handle fuelling and cleanup activities.

Yes, short half life = high activity = very dangerous. Particularly as the energy per mass requirements mean limited ability to have shielding on the missile.

What I'm inviting you to do is pick a thermal power output this source needs to have to be in any way useful, and from that we are going to work out how many bequerels the source needs to have, and then we are going to discuss how many feet and kilos of shielding this monstrosity needs not to kill the crew.

Even if we manage to find a way that you can assemble this thing (remotely!) and put it in a shielded sealed canister with warhead attached, I pretty much gaurantee it won't fit on your launchers!

And let me flip my question back on you: if this is just an RTG, why have Rossatom on standby? RTGs aren't complex. Just a bunch of radioactive material in a sealed unit. It's purely passive.

If, in your view, there's no need for Rossatom to be there for a test of the Burevestnik, then why do they need to be there for this unworkable rtg concept you've dreamed up?

There's no need to overcomplicate this. They were testing the thing they say they've been building. A fission powered hypersonic cruise missile.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 05:55:25
Seb
The researchers killed were not clean-up crew. The vessel that was there left and is not a clean-up vessel.

The military and civil defence has dedicated units for nuclear damage relief. They would be on point. As they were (we saw the nbc suits).

You would want an isotope that was primarily an alfa and beta emitter to alleviate your concerns on safety.

I am not arguing that Rocatom was on standby. I was arguing they are mucking about on a pet project that involves an isotope with a short half-life. Rocatom has an extensive RandD branch.

I was not arguing that Rocatom would not be part of testing the Burevestnik. I was arguing that they would not be the only ones there.

I am just referring to the facts as we know it. Liquid fuel and isotopes.

I have no idea why you think this is a destroyed nuclear reactor.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 05:58:59
The Russian Federal Nuclear Center — All-Russia Research Institute of Experimental Physics

The researchers were from there.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 06:19:45
Jergul:

The vessel, Serebryanka, was involved in the recovery of a Burevestnik crash of Novaya Zemlya last year. That was confirmed.

Like I said, you'd have Rossatom there for fuelling, maintenance and prep, and recovery and cleanup.

As I said earlier, I suspect they were either fuelling (as in loading the reactor) or conducting checks, and the failure was in the conventional engine or booster rocket used for launch or acceleration to scram speeds.

Military and civilian would certainly handle casualties. They would not handle clean up and disposal. Handling experimental nuclear reactors are going to be Rossatom folks, not the military nuclear engineers.

There's nothing to suggest they were the only ones there, and they wouldn't be the only ones there in the scenario you outline, so if you do think the scenario suggests they were the only one there, you need to explain why Rossatom would be the only one conducting a test of a scramjet where the innovation is an entirely passive nuclear device that requires no fuelling, and where you've indicated they aren't there to deal with clean up and recovery.

I'm just baffled what your point is - it's completely incoherent.

The facts we know, liquid fuel and radioisotopes, are entirely consistent with Burevestnik.

Meanwhile, an RTG enhancement to a scramjet looks highly implausible as a viable piece of technology just of physics order of magnitude calcs on paper as a thing that could even work, it it would work be hugely impractical and impose all sorts of operational risks and constraints, and world certainly need bespoke launchers and cannisters incompatible with the motivation you present.

Further, the failure of such a device would result in much greater radioactive contamination than we've seen. Norwegian detectors should have picked it up by now. At least any source powerful enough to rapidly heat a hypersonic plume of gas.

The measurements, unless they are being suppressed, tend to point to either a low inventory or a low activity source, like unburned nuclear fuel rods natural decay products. Not a large inventory high activity source that an RTG source you outline.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 06:20:31
Or, you know, put up and jot down the rough parameters!
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 06:44:36
http://www...a.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 06:53:53
Seb
Like I said, you would not have at 8 Rocatom researchers alone by the launch barge for a Burevestnik test.

This is something else, though it could be related for example mucking around with booster efficiencies that could also be used to piggyback the Burevestnik.

Something with a short half-life would definitely require fueling. You should most definitely be able to theorize how something like that would give higher exhaust temperatures than would otherwise be the case.

I am limiting the scope to the booster. Because all the evidence we have suggests that a booster exploded.

We have no evidence of a reactor being destroyed (was not your theory that they would inherently poison the Artic and Northern Europe?)

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 07:01:08
Jergul:

Firstly, how do you know they were alone?

Secondly, yes, you absolutely would if you were loading the fuel assembly.

You'd have only cleared staff with radiation handling.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 07:21:39
RTG - I can certainly theorise - but it's immediately obvious that anything adding materially relevant amounts of heat to exhaust is going to be utterly lethal, and unlike a fission reactor, always on, making it wildly impractical. Also given the lower power density Vs fission, probably prohibitively heavy.

I'm inviting you, given you are speculating about this, to pick the parameters of your choice so we can discuss this further.

"We have no evidence of a reactor being destroyed (was not your theory that they would inherently poison the Artic and Northern Europe?)"

Come on jergul, I know you aren't ignorant enough to confuse a reactor that's critical and fissioning and a reactor that's pre-critical and a stack of HEU quietly sitting there waiting to have its control rod removed and moderator added.

We all agree that what exploded was likely just the chemical fuel for booster/stage 1.

But for Rossatom staff to be there, they'd need to be some nuclear aspect to the assembly: likely the nuclear reactor in my scenario, or in your scenario they are booting on this crazy RTG source.

Generally, 8 Rossatom staff sound far more likely to be overseeing the fuelling or maintenance of a reactor than bolting on an RTG.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 13 08:15:46
Seb
>>I think it does matter how dirty the exhaust is.<<

I don't disagree, there are probably many reasons why this is a filthy and insane idea that should have been left back in the 50's.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 09:33:31
Seb
The parameters that matter are:

1. Significantly higher energy density than kerosine.

2. An alfa/beta emitter

Do you know of any isotopes that qualify?

Consider the device a booster enhancer.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 13 09:58:08
>>Come on jergul, I know you aren't ignorant enough to confuse a reactor that's critical and fissioning and a reactor that's pre-critical<<

I would not be so quick to pass judgement. Now I am not this kind of nerd so the technicalities are beyond my knowledge, but the other day Jergul told me being correct 5% of the time or less, is good enough correlation for women to abort their male fetuses. That is a far lower quality error to make since it isn't contingent on specific knowledge.

We have to assume that he also thinks being wrong 95% of the time is a good enough debating style. His view of reality correlates "good enough" with actual reality.

I want to stress that this isn't an adhom, but an observations based conclusion.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 10:59:19
Jergul:

I'm inviting you to define the temperature and power you would need.

From that we can start to work out what a good isotope would be, and how much mass it would add.

Without that, the problem is too ill defined to work with. Alpha vs Beta isn't really worth going into at this stage: Alpha is preferable as it will thermalize with thinner and less massive shielding. But remember, an alpha emitter is a gamma emitter too. And beta radiation being thermalized will emit brhemstrahlung.

What you are going to find is anything producing the wattage needed to heat a hypersonic flow of gas is going to be giving anyone near by a pretty big dose of radiation from shine through and either gamma or brhemstrahlung.

And of course, it will be producing that heat all the time. So will need active cooling in the canister. Or will need to somehow be loaded onto the missile prior to launch.

On a kg for kg basis, I doubt any radio-isotope can match kerosenes power output by just decaying. Burning releases energy fast, and mass is ejected. Radioisotopes are heavy, and while the total stored energy is high, it's is released at a predetermined rate and the decay products mass remains as dead weight.


jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 12:30:06
Nimi
Woot! Yah, you were owned in that thread. Hence your need to reimagine it. Good going, trumptard.

This is not an ad-hom. It is simply an obvservation based conclusion.

Seb
You are imagining this as a booster modification, right?
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 12:50:19
Jergul:

What's "this"?

I'm not imagining your RTG thing at all. You are.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 12:56:52
The fission core is a second or third stage.

Rocket to launch, probably a jet engine and or another rocket engine to get it tens to hundreds of km down range and up to scram jet speed and then the reactor goes critical and you transition to scram jet hypersonic speed, with the air intakes running through the core or possibly a great exchanger surrounding the core.


Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 13:05:43
The RTG thing - I'm assuming you want it to behave similarly to an afterburner, running the exhaust gas after the turbine through some kind of heat exchange that's bolted to a big rtg. Or if we are talking about a ramjet or scram jet, then the RTG acting in pretty much the same role as the fission core except in tandem with chemical fuel - the combusted exhaust - but not really seeing how this later case works as a ramjet/scramjet basically is a big afterburner.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 13 13:20:56
Jergul
You couldn’t own something you paid for.

”Trumptard”, bitch please. It is a conclusion based on the same 95% error rate jergulologic.

Do you not advocate women make ”rational choices” and abort their male babies? Did you not object to using genetic markers to focus social resources and say ”correlation is good enough” ”look no further than the Y chromosome”?

That is an error rate of 95+% (being generous to have visually pleasing figures). That includes you, seb, Breivik and Trump.
Sam Adams
Member
Tue Aug 13 15:36:01
Any rtg with a half life small enough to provide this kind of acceleration will have a half life too short to store it as a fuel.

It is known.

jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 16:08:10
Nimi
The 95% error rate is an example of your inventing crap.

Seb
I learned that effective ramjet boosters use the ramjet engine volume for fuel storage.

Its the Burevestnik.

The Russian Federal Nuclear Center is heavily vested in breeder technology.

NAK fuel would explain the strange wording at least.

A fast breeder does have a number of advantages.

Sammy
Well duh. Why did I specify it needed a reactor deployed along with it many, many times (the nuclear battlecruisers).
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 16:16:16
Jergul:

So. Where's the separation and reprocessing facility on the battlecruiser again? We aren't seriously suggesting that onboard the battlecruiser, they extract and reprocess fuel rods, separating out the radio-isotope needed, encapsulate it to make an RTG, and drag it up to the missile cannisters, pop them open, open the missile fuselage, load in the rtg, and somehow avoid giving everyone lethal doses of radiation - perhaps have a robot do all that while the crew gets into a life boat and rows a few hundred metres away.

Sodium coolant? Maybe. But I'm not sure that it would need that level of sophistication. You really just want a CV massive heat sink - you want it to get really hot and it only needs to last an hour or two tops.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 16:38:48
Anyway, so we are now agreed it was a failed Burevestnik?

BTW, NaK is coolant not fuel! I don't really see what a sodium coolant adds here - all the heat needs to go into the air stream, it's an open cycle - so why introduce a primary coolant loop?

Either run the air directly through the fuel assembly as in the Pluto design, or run the air over the surface of a heat exchange directly bonded to the fuel assemblies similar to how the AGR worked. What use is the sodium coolant here? it's only useful for getting to very high temperatures in a closed loop system without the pressure issues of a water reactor wanting to boil; and sodium doesn't slow the neutrons down as much as water in a fast reactor.

But as we are open cycle, we don't need to worry about water. We just use the air flow. So we can have our fast reactor without any need for sodium coolant at all.


I was wondering if they were using a liquid salt fuel scheme. I was thinking you could then safely pre-fuel the missile with solid salt, say in several thin tubes, and then use the heat of the first two stages to melt the fuel so it flows into a shape where it will go critical - e.g. a sphere of stubby cylinder surrounded by moderator which is suspended in SCRAM jet chamber with lots of heat sink fins.

That would make it quite safe to ship in sealed canister, is quite proof against accidental going critical in an accident.

But I think the clumsy wording is a comms officer trying to say "It was the nuclear rocket, but only the chemical fuel exploded", while avoiding using the words "nuclear" and "chemical" as both of those tend to increase panic in local population. The former for obvious reasons, the latter because chemicals are dangerous and toxic.

The liquid was, as you say, probably just kerosene.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 16:48:28
*AGR - meant Magnox
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 16:53:51
Seb
Using sodium coolant as booster fuel has a ton of advantages. With the caveat of me not knowing how much energy it produces.

You really want something you can activate, and shut down.

The booster tank could act as a huge assed heat sink.

Burn up all the coolant, you have drained the ramjet and have a redhot nuclear power unit to boot.

This fits with the awkward wording.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 16:58:16
NAK does burn nicely.

The problem with kerosine is that it evaporates if heated. So you could not store it as fuel in the ramjet engine. Meaning loss of storage volume.

I think they would just have called it kerosene if it had been a kerosene explosion.
Nimatzo
iChihuaha
Tue Aug 13 16:59:50
>>The 95% error rate is an example of your inventing crap.<<

It's very simple, I will explain again. A small minority of Y chromosome carriers commit violent crimes. I will give you 5%. Saying ”look no further than the Y chromosome” and ”sometimes correlation is good enough”, results in 95% errors. You would have better luck using a magic 8 ball to guide your through life.

This makes you ignorant. Being ignorant doesn't make someone a bad person. What strips you of all human value is advocating selective abortion based on a 95% error rate. Kinda like sterilizing gypsies and arctic goat herders based on some wacky 19th century idea about "race" and the size and shapes of bumps on human skulls.

These posts are essentially lifesavers I am throwing your way to pull you back out of the deep.
Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 17:11:17
jergul:

If your idea is to use a fission reactor to heat chemical fuel and then eject that and combust it - just use rocket fuel. Job done.

The only reason you use sodium in a fast breeder is because you have a closed primary coolant loop to take heat at very high temperatures and use it to boil your working fluid - water - and have the expanding steam drive a turbine. You don't want the radiation to get out, so you need a sealed loop to take the heat from the core to the working fluid.

In a fast reactor, if you use water in that primary coolant loop, it's boiling point is too low and water slows the neutrons down. Hence sodium it has it has a low melting point and a high boiling point and low cross section to neutrons. In every other way it is an absolute bugger of a material, but has the great advantage of not being lithium.

Here, you really don't care that much about the radiation getting out - it's not like you have the weight or space for shielding or containment - no need for a primary coolant loop at all. You don't need to worry about any of that. No need for a coolant - just dump your heat straight into the working fluid - the air flow. After all, that is the sole point of your reactor - heat the air flow in place of chemical combustion so you can fly without worrying about running out of fuel.

"You really want something you can activate, and shut down."

Why do you care about shutting it down? It's a missile. It goes kablooie at the end, and it's going to be delivering 10 million tonnes of canned sunshine to that kablooie.

Ok, so maybe your test versions want a way to shut down the reactor for recovery. That's simple enough - and fuck all to do with the coolant. Jam a control rod into it, or have the stack require a moderator (which is kinda the opposite of a fast reactor) to achieve criticality which you can then remove.

The sodium is just needlessly complex here. If it makes sense to use the ramjet air inlets and combustion chamber as a storage tank (not convinced it is) you can just as well use kerosene as sodium.



Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 17:14:39
I think you are reading way too much into the wording.

It's not like Russia is known for its transparency and clarity in such matters.

I'm pretty sure sodium is a shitty rocket fuel and any efficiency gained from using the volume of the ramjet filled with sodium is lost due to using a not very efficient rocket fuel.

Seb
Member
Tue Aug 13 17:15:36
In any case, you want your ramjet channel clear and with air flowing through it before the reactor heats up, otherwise it chokes.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 17:56:55
Nimi
A generalized tendency towards violence and general high risk behavior. You just made a thread about it expounding on your driving skillz.

That was always my argument. Your reframing it is blatantly dishonest, trumptard.

Seb
You would want your ramjet channel clear and with airflow when you run out of booster fuel.

It may actually be quite a decent rocket fuel, particularly when preheated by a reactor.

The ability activate and stand down is pretty crucial to maintaining readiness. The decision to launch the missile should not be made at the same time the reactor is activated.

You would also care about radiation getting out as the missile will be standing still for almost all of its life.
jergul
large member
Tue Aug 13 18:08:02
It ticks the boxes I had.

Explains a high density of Rocatom researchers (the booster fuel is also the cooland). It also explains how the hell they even survived.

Explains the clumsy wording (academics dislike lying, and jetfuel or kerosene is actually quite innocent sounding).

Explains the radiation pattern, while discounting a reactor breach.
Rugian
Member
Tue Aug 13 18:10:36
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