China Ballistic Missiles and Nuclear Arms Thread


ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
Look at Japan, they don't have nuclear weapons but people say Japan can make a thousand nukes in a few months if they decided to.
That's inaccurate. The plutonium Japan has is from MOX fuel, which means it's contaminated with Pu-240. If U-238 is excessively irradiated, the Pu-239 (the weapons grade stuff) absorbs an extra neutron and becomes Pu-240 (which spoils nuclear weapons). Weapons reactors are designed to pass the uranium through the core relatively quickly to avoid this problem, a regular civilian reactor keeps the fuel in the core much longer. The plutonium Japan has is too contaminated with Pu-240 to be usable in nuclear weapons.

It is possible in theory to separate the isotopes and isolate the Pu-239, but centriguation is not feasible because the mass difference is too small (1 vs. 3 in the case of U-238/U-235 separation). It's possible to use laser enrichment, but it's one of those technologies that governments keep behind 7 proxies, so no one knows whether or not it works.
 

AssassinsMace

Brigadier
That's inaccurate. The plutonium Japan has is from MOX fuel, which means it's contaminated with Pu-240. If U-238 is excessively irradiated, the Pu-239 (the weapons grade stuff) absorbs an extra neutron and becomes Pu-240 (which spoils nuclear weapons). Weapons reactors are designed to pass the uranium through the core relatively quickly to avoid this problem, a regular civilian reactor keeps the fuel in the core much longer. The plutonium Japan has is too contaminated with Pu-240 to be usable in nuclear weapons.

It is possible in theory to separate the isotopes and isolate the Pu-239, but centriguation is not feasible because the mass difference is too small (1 vs. 3 in the case of U-238/U-235 separation). It's possible to use laser enrichment, but it's one of those technologies that governments keep behind 7 proxies, so no one knows whether or not it works.
You know more about Japan's nuclear reactors than me. I remember what I read years ago how they can estimate number of nukes a country could potentially have and separately Japan supposedly has a lot of plutonium stored. Plutonium is a by product of nuclear reactors. Japan has a lot of nuclear reactors.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
You know more about Japan's nuclear reactors than me. I remember what I read years ago how they can estimate number of nukes a country could potentially have and separately Japan supposedly has a lot of plutonium stored. Plutonium is a by product of nuclear reactors.
I don't know anything specific about Japan's reactors, but just the fact that they're used to produce power and not weapons-grade plutonium means the plutonium they do produce is contaminated (that's just physics). I'm familiar with the "Japan has a lot of plutonium" meme; American loudmouths often use it to threaten and blackmail China, "If we let Japan off the leash, they'll have thousands of nuclear weapons." I may be misremembering but I have the distinct impression that American officials have used it in the past. Like many memes, it's at best half true.

Unless Japan has science fiction technology to separate Pu-239 from Pu-240, that plutonium is just what it says on the storage barrel: waste.
 
I don't know anything specific about Japan's reactors, but just the fact that they're used to produce power and not weapons-grade plutonium means the plutonium they do produce is contaminated (that's just physics). I'm familiar with the "Japan has a lot of plutonium" meme; American loudmouths often use it to threaten and blackmail China, "If we let Japan off the leash, they'll have thousands of nuclear weapons." I may be misremembering but I have the distinct impression that American officials have used it in the past. Like many memes, it's at best half true.

Unless Japan has science fiction technology to separate Pu-239 from Pu-240, that plutonium is just what it says on the storage barrel: waste.
It is true that Japan has a lot of Plutonium, but it is not weapon grade plutonium at all, it is basically a waste from nuclear power plants. A lot of work (and expensive and long) to process it to weapon grade plutonium and everybody would know, especially China and SK. I highly doubt Japan would go that path, imagine the public outcry
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
It is true that Japan has a lot of Plutonium, but it is not weapon grade plutonium at all, it is basically a waste from nuclear power plants. A lot of work (and expensive and long) to process it to weapon grade plutonium and everybody would know, especially China and SK. I highly doubt Japan would go that path, imagine the public outcry
I think Japan as it is today will not ever consider a real militaristic re-armament. Because that would be absolutely idiotic for the Japanese. The societal and political climate of Japan of today is far different from that of their Meiji, Taisho and early Shouwa era. Even if Japanese military elites really want to start a re-armament campaign mirroring the early militarism, they would be facing a daunting task: their people will not as willing and enthusiastic as they could accept, their opponents (China, Russia, Koreas, and potential the USA) are far more powerful than they could ever hope to attain any meaningful advantage over. It would be a waste of resources for Japan, which would only result in catastrophe. Japan right now has actually a very good reputation even in China, Koreas and Russia. If they go the re-armament route, they will have much more to lose than what they can ever hope to gain.
 
I think Japan as it is today will not ever consider a real militaristic re-armament. Because that would be absolutely idiotic for the Japanese. The societal and political climate of Japan of today is far different from that of their Meiji, Taisho and early Shouwa era. Even if Japanese military elites really want to start a re-armament campaign mirroring the early militarism, they would be facing a daunting task: their people will not as willing and enthusiastic as they could accept, their opponents (China, Russia, Koreas, and potential the USA) are far more powerful than they could ever hope to attain any meaningful advantage over. It would be a waste of resources for Japan, which would only result in catastrophe. Japan right now has actually a very good reputation even in China, Koreas and Russia. If they go the re-armament route, they will have much more to lose than what they can ever hope to gain.
Totally agreed. Also Japan is very small country and most population and industries only concentrated in a few areas (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya mainly), so even 1 nuke would be highly devastated ... I suppose the same thing for SK
 

LesAdieux

Junior Member
That's inaccurate. The plutonium Japan has is from MOX fuel, which means it's contaminated with Pu-240. If U-238 is excessively irradiated, the Pu-239 (the weapons grade stuff) absorbs an extra neutron and becomes Pu-240 (which spoils nuclear weapons). Weapons reactors are designed to pass the uranium through the core relatively quickly to avoid this problem, a regular civilian reactor keeps the fuel in the core much longer. The plutonium Japan has is too contaminated with Pu-240 to be usable in nuclear weapons.

It is possible in theory to separate the isotopes and isolate the Pu-239, but centriguation is not feasible because the mass difference is too small (1 vs. 3 in the case of U-238/U-235 separation). It's possible to use laser enrichment, but it's one of those technologies that governments keep behind 7 proxies, so no one knows whether or not it works.

you should post this question to samurai, who claimed numerous times that japan has huge stockpile of plutonium and could assemble a bomb in hours.
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
It is true that Japan has a lot of Plutonium, but it is not weapon grade plutonium at all, it is basically a waste from nuclear power plants. A lot of work (and expensive and long) to process it to weapon grade plutonium and everybody would know, especially China and SK. I highly doubt Japan would go that path, imagine the public outcry
Besides, right now
you should post this question to samurai, who claimed numerous times that japan has huge stockpile of plutonium and could assemble a bomb in hours.
Sure, some people will claim that. But just because Japan has the capability, does NOT mean that Japan will want to pursuit that route. In fact, I would think that I can see the plausibility or even the desire for Japan to have actually pursued that route 30-40 years ago, in 1980s and 1990s. Today, however, I don't see it at all.
 

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