The Nagasaki a-bomb

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Aug 7 07:06:32 MDT 2000

(I received this private communication from a subscriber that was too
interesting to remain private. I have omitted his name in order to protect
his privacy.)

Hello Louis,

I'm a recent subscriber to your list and, having just seen your message on
the site re-design, have been browsing around and noticed this message on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki which I seem to have missed in the normal course of

I'm not an expert on material sciences and nuclear physics by any means but,
from what little I do know, I've always felt the interesting thing about the
Nagasaki bomb was it's composition and, subsequently, the way it blows away
the official line on justifying their use. Put simply those nations which
had a nuclear programme in those days amounted to Japan / Germany and UK /
US. All had concentrated primarily on the use of processed uranium as the
core of their bomb projects but were aware that another element which does
not occur naturally, plutonium, could be created and used in bombs for a
much higher yield. It quickly became obvious to all that processing uranium
for bombs rather than just making quantities of plutonium was orders of
magnitude cheaper and easier with results far in advance of anything that
had been achieved up to that point.

Nagasaki was an excellent way for these monsters to project power. It told
the world, more specifically the USSR, that the US could churn out bombs
made of plutonium when no one else could make even the uranium bombs. More
than that, if they can make plutonium *and* build bombs from it then how
many uranium based bombs can they make in the same amount of time?

Such is my two penneth.

Your list has proved an excellent resource in my short time lurking, thank
you for devoting your valuable time to keeping it going.


Louis Proyect
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