Jan 20, 2008

Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned

By H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Resting atop the Trident II missile, the W88 warhead is among the mainstays of the country's submarine-based nuclear arsenal. For years, however, testing the warhead's components to ensure the weapon produces the intended blast instead of a fizzle has been complicated by a lack of replacement plutonium triggers.

Last summer, the first replacement plutonium trigger in 18 years received "diamond stamp" approval signaling it was ready for use in a warhead. To scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that was a milestone to celebrate. It meant the warheads, after testing that makes the original trigger unsuitable for reuse, could be reassembled with a new trigger and put back into service.

A watchdog group now is raising questions about whether the replacement triggers, also known as pits, can be guaranteed to be as reliable as those already in some 400 W88 warheads. The original triggers were made with the benefit of underground nuclear testing, which the U.S. halted in 1992, and through a different process than the replacements. The last of the original triggers were manufactured in the late 1980s.

The Project on Government Oversight says it was told by some Los Alamos scientists that the trigger certified last July and known as the W88 pit needed 72 waivers from the specifications used for the original triggers, including 53 engineering-related changes.

"With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?" said Danielle Brian, executive director of the group that monitors nuclear weapons-related activities. She posed that question in a letter last Friday to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

The government acknowledges differences between the old triggers and their replacements.

The new ones were made by using a mold to cast the grapefruit-size plutonium sphere. The original triggers, all made at the now-closed Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, were hammered into precise form. This process is viewed by metallurgists as producing a stronger product.

Because the U.S. no longer conducts underground nuclear tests, the Los Alamos scientists had to rely on other sources to replicate the original triggers and guarantee that the replacements would be as reliable as the old. These means included small-scale plutonium tests, technical data from past underground tests, and computer codes and models.

Precise manufacture of the trigger is essential.

In a warhead's detonation, a conventional explosive packaged around the pit compresses the plutonium inward, creating enough pressure for an atomic chain reaction. That, in turn, creates the high temperatures and pressure to ignite a "secondary" nuclear component. The result is a a massive hydrogen blast.

Any variation or flaw in the pit could cause a warhead not to detonate properly or to detonate with less explosive power than expected.

Since last summer's announcement, the Los Alamos lab has made 10 additional W88 triggers. So far, nine have earned the "diamond stamp" from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab's programs. Such approval means they are ready to use.

At least one other replacement pit required 71 specification waivers, a Los Alamos scientist indirectly involved in the production process told The Associated Press. The scientist spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

The agency acknowledged there were "more than 70 engineering authorizations" — as it characterizes the waivers — approved in the new W88 pit certification and that this was a "relative high number."

But Los Alamos and agency officials bristle at suggestions that the new triggers might be less reliable or have flaws that could affect their performance.

In an e-mail response to the watchdog group's claims, Bernard Pleau, a spokesman for the agency's office at Los Alamos, said the changes do not "compromise the integrity of the parts. The bottom line — the pits produced meet all functional quality requirements for use and are fully accepted by NNSA."

Kevin Roark, a spokesman for the Los Alamos weapons program said the changes in specifications "have been fully explored, fully vetted and fully accepted by NNSA and engineering analysis (conducted) by us."

A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary.

Officials say the cost figures reflect the fact that new facilities and a new process for making the replacement triggers had to be developed. That required extensive computer modeling and testing to assure precise shape, size and weight and that the triggers meet performance requirements.

The change in manufacturing process, from wrought to cast, has been a subject of debate and extensive analysis among those involved in nuclear weapons. Scientists at Los Alamos and at the government's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California concluded the change did not degrade the reliability of the triggers, according to NNSA.

Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California at Berkeley, a longtime adviser to the government on nuclear weapons issues, said in an interview he is not surprised there have been some modification in the W88 warhead, but that does not mean it is less reliable.

"The manufacturing process for the W88 has been incredibly, thoroughly vetted," said Jeanloz. He was on a panel that last year concluded the plutonium in warhead triggers is much sturdier than previously thought, with a life span of as much 100 years.

The government will not say how many W88 warheads it has. The number has been estimated at about 400, in addition to an estimated 3,200 W76 warheads that also are designed for the submarine-based Trident II missile.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an angry and bitter nuclear weapon designer at LANL is eager to cause big problems and bring back underground testing at NTS.

Hmmm, who could that angry, well educated LANL weapon designer be? I'm sure both NNSA and LANS would just love to know his name. You can bet that LANS is furiously going over the phone call lists at LANL this weekend to see who might have made any phone calls to POGO in Washington DC.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like the US is still nowhere near ready to make more nuclear weapons.

Anonymous said...

12:02,
Sounds to me like you have no idea what you are talking about. Which antinuclear organization do you belong to?

Extensive QA and documentation of that QA is not evidence of lack of performance.

Anonymous said...

Don't you want them to go "poof" rather than "boom"?

Anonymous said...

"A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary."

But *our* triggers are the world's best and brightest.

Anonymous said...

12:45 PM wrote"
"But *our* triggers are the world's best and brightest."

Excuse me. Did you miss the part about $430M being development cost over 10 years? It is a large cost, for sure, but it cannot be compared with $4M in a production line.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected.

Our triggers *will* be the world's best and brightest.

Some day.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that at great expense DOE has finally managed to make a few dubious copies of pits we built routinely a few decades ago. It isn't time for production yet, 12:22.

Evidence of performance is prior testing. When you make a pit with 72 waivers from the specifications and 53 engineering-related changes, you are making a pit with no evidence of it's performance.

PS I don't belong to any antinuclear organizations.

Anonymous said...

Every process in pit manufacturing is itself under rigid QA specs. If even the slighest process parameter is outside of specs, a deviation is recorded, and requires design agency approval. There are literally thousands of these specifications to manufacture a single pit, and given the changes in processes from Rocky to LANL, the first certified pit had to meet these thousands, many, many of them which were newly established and different from what was done at Rocky.

That roughly 50 fell outside of range simply means that the design agency had to investigate whether some of these process specs were too rigid or difficult to efficiently meet. This is standard for any new production line. The record of these deviations and a full recording of all specs for all processes forms a "birth certificate" for the pit, affectionately known as the "bomb book".

The old joke at Rocky was the pit didn't leave the plant until the bomb book was bigger than the pit. I can't recall a pit that came through the surveillance program that didn't have deviations in the bomb book, and a pit with dozens of deviations wasn't uncommon.

This is a non-story by POGO intended to misrepresent a rigorous quality process to a public eager for news of scandal and malfeasance from LANL. The AP is happy to run with this "scoop", and the little details such as those above will be lost on 99% of the audience.

Now, you know.... the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing, 7:47pm -- I tend to trust both the Associated Press *and* POGO more than I trust some anonymous know-it-all blogger.

Come to think of it, I am highly suspect of just about any pro-LANL, pro LANS version of a story that I hear. Call me paranoid if you like, but all the pro-LANL guys I know have too much of a verified record of being flat-out liars for me to believe one more word coming out of their mouths.

By the way, you seem to fall into that category.

Anonymous said...

7:58pm,

There are hundreds of people involved in the pit manufacturing program. Ask any of them the accuracy of the prior posts comments. No doubt, some of them will read this and chime in with there own comments.

The prior posts observations are correct, truthful, and just because you don't like the answer and (horrors!) may have to recognize that POGO might *just* have an agenda, doesn't mean that all LANL employees are "liars". That's insulting, frankly.

This isn't some super-secret hidden process. QC Rev 10 is an openly published DOE order which is the governing policy for QA in pit manufacturing. Go read it. Then come back here and apologize.

Anonymous said...

Agendas.

Like turning LANL into RFP-south?

Anonymous said...

At any cost?

Anonymous said...

Amazing how a little bit of truth and actual fact injected into a blog (by 7:47 pm) can rile the factless, clueless, agenda-driven yahoos who think they should be able to control what happens by loud and persistent demands absent any such encumbrances. Hey, there are some folks involved in pit production at LANL who are experts (many of them are ex-Rocky Flats), and who know what they are doing. They are commsumate professionals and will do the job right, no matter what POGO, or any other uninformed jerks, say. It is well known that POGO gets its info from NNSA insiders at Germantown and Forrestal. These insiders can make themselves sound actually knowledgeable, but shouldn't be confused for people actually doing the work (NNSA doesn't actually do work).

Anonymous said...

" 'With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?' said Danielle Brian"

Well, I guess POGO is advocating a return to nuclear testing. I'm glad they are starting to come around...

Anonymous said...

With the latest crop of retiree's you may hear a little more on this subject. It's time to hear the real truth about the 'certification process' 8:35 you must not work at LANL, what you say is absurd, sounds good on paper but it's just not so.

Anonymous said...

8:03 PM got it right: it is all about having an agenda.

LANS has the agenda of doing NNSA's bidding to make LANL *the* plutonium production pit facility. LANS' agenda has $79 million per year for the next seven years riding on it.

What's the Associated Press' agenda? What's POGO's? Exposing yet another bit of corrupt DOE bid rigging, bought and paid for in this instance by Bechtel, Inc.?

Guess which side I'm on here.

Anonymous said...

9:06,

"what you say is absurd, sounds good on paper but it's just not so"

Huh? Better be specific with that observation. What's incorrect or absurd about 8:35's comments?

Anonymous said...

"Follow the Money"

--Deep Throat, to Bob Woodward

Anonymous said...

"Well, I guess POGO is advocating a return to nuclear testing. I'm glad they are starting to come around..."

Is POGO really opposed to nuclear testing? I'd like to see a citation on that.

Anonymous said...

"Is POGO really opposed to nuclear testing? I'd like to see a citation on that."

Send them an e-mail and ask. The answer will be enlightening...

Anonymous said...

"Is POGO really opposed to nuclear testing? I'd like to see a citation on that."

Spoken like a true scientist looking for a peer-reviewed publication bibliography. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia.org; "Pogo dance," (satire):

"The pogo is a dance where the dancers jump up and down, while remaining in the same location; the dance takes its name from its resemblance to the use of a pogo stick, especially in a common version of the dance, where an individual keeps their torso stiff, their arms rigid, and their legs close together. Although just as often, pogo dancers will flail their arms around wildly while trashing their bodies about.

While similar to the religious dances of the Pentecostal faith and various African tribes, pogo dancing is perhaps most associated with punk rock [Ramones, Sex Pistols et al], as both performers and audience members at punk rock performances often pogo; a pogo mob is a group of pogo dancers at a punk concert (see also punk dance)."

Anonymous said...

Go to www.pogo.org and see for yourself. Do your own homework and make your own conclusions. No need for "citation" whining or for obvious ignorance based on laziness. Just do it, if you want to be informed. Or not, if you want to be lazy and have uninformed opinions. Which preference, of course, is not confined to Los Alamos.

Anonymous said...

I'll just sit here and whine until you provide a source.

POGO opposes nuclear testing, yes or no?

Anonymous said...

1/20/08 7:47 PM is exactly correct. This is an excellent description of the QA process in LANL's pit production operations. Insinuations that this description is a lie are just incredible.

You anti-nukes come across as ignorant and shrill, with no facts supporting your position. Only shouting. Pure slime.

Fortunately for all of us who take pride in the quality of our work, the people who really matter either understand the truth or are willing to listen.

Anonymous said...

Patently
Obvious
Government
Obstructionists

Anonymous said...

You are just a POGO hater. You must not even work at POGO. Are you Chris Mechels?

Anonymous said...

"You are just a POGO hater. You must not even work at POGO. Are you Chris Mechels?

1/21/08 2:58 PM"

You sound a little crazy. What is your point?

Anonymous said...

"A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary."

LANL management would consider this a success. Why should we do it for $4M if we can get $430M for the product?

Anonymous said...

Trigger, Trigger, Trigger. Why is Roy Rogers' horse such a point of contention?? No one except ignorant jourmalist types refers to them as "triggers". The term of art is "pit" since they form the core of a device known as the "primary", to distinguish its function (in time and space) from that device known as the "secondary", where "primary" and "secondary" refer to the stages of the weapon, in time as well as in force of yield.

I don't understand why the press pretends such ignorance, when the use of the term "trigger" is so obviously inappropriate and also so misleading to the general public (it isn't something someone "pulls" like on a handgun, and the function is not even remotely similar. All of which is unclassified). Oh wait, maybe I just got it. Anti-nuclear = anti-gun. Wow! Obfuscation rules!

Anonymous said...

Isn´t a bigger problem this:

1) The "pits" at Rocky Flats were "wrought."
(Viewed by some metallurgists to produce a better pit(s).)

2) The "pits" at LANL are "casted."
(Viewed by some metallurgists not to meassure the previous wrought process of the pit(s) at Rocky Flats.

This issue [wrought/cast] is also addressed in POGO:s [Ms. Danielle Brian] letter to DOE Secretary Bodman, it is also addressed in the article "Quality of nuclear devices questioned," by H. Josef Herbert.

The same issue [wrought/cast] is also addressed in "The United States Nuclear Weapons Program, The Role of the Reliable Replacement Warhead, Nuclear Weapons Complex Assessment Committee, AAAS, April 2007: /---/ "One frequently cited concern is that pits are produced at Los Alamos by a cast process instead of the wrought process that had been used at Rocky Flats. There is, however, an accepted test pedigree for cast pits. The decision to use the casting process was made for two reasons: (1) the expense and difficulty of installing the necessary equipment for wrought processing at TA-55 and (2) the wrought process was difficult to reproduce. Designers concluded, however, that a sufficient test pedigree for cast pits existed to allow the certification. Other process changes implemented at Los Alamos were rigorously and judged acceptable. Extensive laboratory and subcritical tests were conducted to justify certification.", p22.

Anonymous said...

From Los Alamos Science Number 28 2003, The Pit Production Story:

"Creating the dry machining process took approximately 18 months and involved development of new tools, procedures, machining parameters, and airtight gloveboxes (Figure 3). We altered materials processing. At Rocky Flats, wrought processing techniques had produced the plutonium. But installation of the equipment for that process at the Los Alamos facility would have forced major facility changes with consequent lengthy delays in acquiring a revised facility operating permit. Instead, both our pit-manufacturing and certification staff compared the properties achieved through wrought processing and casting and concluded that cast material could indeed meet the needs of the weapons community—refer to Figure 3."

An "accepted test pedigree for cast pits" isn't mentioned. I'd like to hear more about that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9:48 on the use of "trigger." Maybe this usage was started by our Public Affairs office.

"...also known as pits." Um, no, pretty much only known as pits.

Or ocasionally "PITs." For reasons that again, I do not comprehend, some people seem to think PIT is an acronym.

Anonymous said...

Let's let Danielle Brian spend some quality time with Anita Leivo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 1:00am, for the Los Alamos Science link.

While there is no reason to have much confidence in anything POGO says, or H. Josef Hebert, for that matter, they have made it possible for some useful comments to be added to the blog.

If there is any real desire at "high" levels to make sure the weapons with new primaries work, then it will be necessary to make a crater in the Nevada desert. It may be that the U.S. no longer has the capability to conduct such a test, of course. Not that it probably matters much. The contemporary conventional weapons are adequately destructive, as evidenced by U.S.-conducted terrorism taking place in Iraq. And is it really a good idea to have a nation whose processes select "leaders" such as we presently have have at their disposal nuclear weapons?

Anonymous said...

We need not agree on the ultimate goal of disarmament to agree that adding unproven weapons to our arsenal increases uncertainty and instability. It makes us less safe.

Anonymous said...

"I agree with 9:48 on the use of "trigger." Maybe this usage was started by our Public Affairs office."

I seriously doubt it. IIRC, the term "trigger" was used in reference to Rocky Flats way back in the '80s. I don't believe I ever heard reference to "trigger" way back in the early days when LANL produced all the pits for the stockpile - pre-Rocky Flats.

Anonymous said...

" ..... then it will be necessary to make a crater in the Nevada desert. It may be that the U.S. no longer has the capability to conduct such a test, of course."

I believe the capability still exists, but we're losing ground quickly, due in part to the loss of critical staff from the Labs. This is not being helped by the fact NNSA has taken the operations of NTS facilities from LANL and LLNL. Those NTS-based employees that are lucky will still be employed, just not by the Labs.

Pinky and The Brain said...

1:00 AM,
Jeffry Lewis covered this in a post at Arms Control Wonk last summer called Italian Stallions & Plutonium:

Turns out, Los Alamos performed a series of subcritical experiments “to investigate differences in material properties between cast and wrought plutonium driven by high explosives (HE).”

Los Alamos named the series … wait for it … Stallion, and the experiments … I am so not making this up … Mario, Rocco, and Armando.

Mario, Rocco and Armando. The Italian Stallians that prove cast Pu performs just as well as wrought.

Anonymous said...

This keeps getting better. Lewis also quotes Dick Garwin in that post, "There is not a significant difference in primary yield and you don’t need to reopen that question. That decision has been made."

Garwin implies that a cast pit has been tested and he does not want to discuss it.

Anonymous said...

8:56 am: "The contemporary conventional weapons are adequately destructive, as evidenced by U.S.-conducted terrorism taking place in Iraq."

Wow. Well, you just killed whatever respect you hoped to gain for your views. Just had to include that little zinger, didn't you? No hiding the agenda now. Tsk, tsk.

BTW, I'd bet most Iraqis would think the source of terror was roadside bombs, IEDs, and suicide bombers.

Anonymous said...

Nuclear weapons are nothing but a great big bluff anyway, so who really cares about cast pits. They'll never be used during the next 100 years. They just have to look pretty, not actually perform. And if this very limited number of new pits don't perform, we have thousands of existing nukes on the shelf ready to go. This is all a non-issue.

Anonymous said...

It's not even a jobs program anymore, just a welfare program. You don't care if it's done right or if it's dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Another good summary of [wrought/cast] is from "Dazed and Confused by RRW - Part 3" in:

www.defensetech.org/archives/002638.htmlwww.defensetech.org/archives/002638.html

Pinky and The Brain said...

Dazed and Confused by RRW - Part 3

Anonymous said...

"BTW, I'd bet most Iraqis would think the source of terror was roadside bombs, IEDs, and suicide bombers.

1/22/08 11:40 AM"

They'd think Iraqis were the source of the devices mentioned. They'd think America was the source of the Blackwater agents that killed their relatives and the planes that bombed their infrastructure. And, they could care less whether U.S. bombs have cast primaries and will work as claimed.

Anonymous said...

1:25 pm: "They'd think Iraqis were the source of the devices mentioned. They'd think America was the source of the Blackwater agents that killed their relatives and the planes that bombed their infrastructure."

Very little point there. Blackwater yahoos killed how many? US planes bombed the infrastructure when? 8:56 am was talking about "U.S.-conducted terrorism TAKING PLACE in Iraq" (present tense emphasis added). Again, EIDs, VBEIDs, and roadside bombs are the contnuing sources of "terror" not the US. Most Iraqis want the US to stay to guarantee the (ever increasing) sense of peace. We have won, we just need to hold onto the victory.

Anonymous said...

POGO is on an obvious mission. If you read the letter they sent to Bodman, it is quite clear. It is interesting to note that there is no win here in POGOs eyes unless the NW complex vanished and all the NWs with it. If we had tested it to prove it works, we would have been villains. If we simulate and do small-scale tests to prove it works, we are villains. If we were to attempt to resurrect Rocky Flats to build them, we would be villains. See the pattern yet? I know. I will hear about how I am a typical labbie and am shooting the messenger. Say what you want, but if you read the letter you will see the clear anitnuke agenda. This speaks directly to their credibility. Again.

Anonymous said...

Why is it such horrible news that LANL should have to learn to make wrought pits?

Why is it bad news that POGO gives a damn about what you do?

And remind me again why you should be able to do as you please, at taxpayer expense, without being questioned.

Anonymous said...

Irrelevant. The letter went to Bodman. He's not going to do anything.

Game over, you lose.

Anonymous said...

Don't you want them to go "poof" rather than "boom"?

Ask Kim Il Gook what that feels like.

Anonymous said...

Lemme guess, his cast pit corroded because it didn't have a tantalum coating as one of the engineering changes?

Anonymous said...

"...The "pits" at LANL are "casted..."

As in casting call, casting couch, or casting BS when you don't know how to use the word?

The word is "caste" as is heirarchy. In it's first life, the ergot material is fired in high temperature cryogenic helium. In the second life, it is overwrought with pressure and vacuum at excessive STP. In the final reincarnation, the pit becomes part of the "caste" when its humunculus is certified as compliant with the D.O.L.T standard certification. The units are specified in Colberts, or for micropits, miniColberts.

Anonymous said...

No, the secret is in the BS.

Anonymous said...

At least this doesn't involve DHMO. Or does it?

Anonymous said...

11:14pm, there is nothing wrong with answering questions but this is a losing game. POGO does not care about the answer. There is no way to fully answer such "questions" without divulging classified information anyway.

Anonymous said...

6:42 am: "There is no way to fully answer such "questions" without divulging classified information anyway."

Yep, and POGO has demonstrated that it is not above making highly inflamatory staatements it knows are wrong, just to elicit a classified response from someone who isn't careful enough.

Anonymous said...

Those cast pits must be good. They have a diamond seal placed on them.

Anonymous said...

In a few more years there will be no one who possesses the capability to know if the diamond seal means anything. The younger scientists who might have moved into the weapons work are pulling out, same as the junior officers in the military. Perhaps just as well. It may prevent the unchecked imperialist mentality from causing the complete demise of the republic.

Anonymous said...

It's a "diamond stamp" folks, not a "diamond seal". Geez, at least get the terminology right if you are going to pretend you know what you're talking about! It is so comically easy on this blog to tell who the "wannabees" are! Sorta like the "cast" vs "casted" discussion.

Anonymous said...

1/23/08 9:24 PM

Who would "Wanna Be" a pit person?

Anonymous said...

Who would want to make potentially useless pits? I mean, at that point you're just doing it for the money. Does it pay that much better than Walmart?

Anonymous said...

10:45 pm: "Does it pay that much better than Walmart?"

Yep, unless Walmart is paying $120k per year, including extra time, "hazardous duty", and oh yeah - extra pay for "workforce retention." Seems not everyone wants to (or has the smarts to)work hand-on with plutonium. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "72 waivers in the production process, 7 administrative exceptions, 5 product exceptions and 53 engineering authorization changes", wannabes, and other trivia... who here remembers Don Brown?

COMPLAINT
[...]
In brief, these failures involve and include the lack of implementation of Nuclear Quality Assurance ("NQA-1") criteria at LANL, failures with the quality assurance programs and lack of formalized quality assurance programs, proper site welding procedures, inspections and qualification directives in accordance with national standards.
[...]

The WEMS Audit

15. In June 2003 Complaintant was tasked with the responsibility of performing an audit of the WEMS program. Complaintant was unable to complete his responsibilities for this audit because managers at LANL ordered the stoppage of his audit on several occasions. WEMS, having no parameters in place to insure an unbiased audit, were able to hamper the efforts of the complaintant and other auditors from completing their job responsibilities. It was not until the LANL director intervened that the audit was permitted to continue.

16. Significant findings uncovered by the Complaintant and other auditors were the failures in the WEMS QA program which should have prevented anomalies in two missile components used for nuclear warheads: The W88 Pit and the W76 Pit. The W88 Pit is the central component used in the nuclear warhead of Trident Missiles. The W76 Pit is a trigger system mechanism used in nuclear weaponry. The anomalies uncovered by Complaintant and other auditors questioned the reliability of the W88 Pit and the W76 Pit. All nuclear weapons systems used by the United States rely on either the W88 Pit or the W76 Pit.
[...]

Anonymous said...

This is one of the strangest strings of comments on this blog. Something about posting after midnight, perhaps?

"As in casting call, casting couch, or casting BS when you don't know how to use the word?

high temperature cryogenic helium

"caste" when its humunculus is certified as compliant with the D.O.L.T standard certification

1/23/08 12:23 AM"

Above obviously is not written by a dolt.

Not so sure about the person changing complainant to complaintant.

Oh well, a blog's a blog. Take the chaff with the wheat and separate the two the best you can.

Diamond seal or stamp? Sort of doubt they use a big hammer to make a dent in a chunk of Pu. Must be a gold star that gets stuck on the top of the pile of paperwork that documents all the so-called waivers. Just a guess.

Anonymous said...

LOS ALAMOS MARKS START OF NEW PLUTONIUM PIT PRODUCTION CAPABILITY
___________________________________

Date: July 5, 2007
[...]
During the event, a replacement pit for a W-88 warhead was “diamond-stamped,” which involves placing on the device a diamond-shaped stamp with the letters “D-O-E” inside. The stamp signifies the pit is ready for installation on a warhead.

A. Dolt

Anonymous said...

A "seal" of approval something akin to a postage stamp? What happens if the glue deteriorates and the diamond-shaped "stamp" falls off?

Anonymous said...

"What happens if the glue deteriorates and the diamond-shaped "stamp" falls off?"

You carefully moisten the plutonium sphere with your tongue, and then quickly (i.e. before the pit dries) press the stamp back on.

Happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It's good that there is an easy fix.