Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby piqaboo » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:22 am

I believe the Germans think us a tad barbaric because we still have the death penalty.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby lliam » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:35 am

DavidS ] quote]I sincerely trust that Japan, Germany, and other former adverseries have by now joined the family of nations with true humane values.

HEAR, HEAR David.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby lliam » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:13 pm

Originally posted by piqaboo:
I believe the Germans think us a tad barbaric because we still have the death penalty.
Mmmm, maybe. Anyhow, who cares what gerry thinks Piq, wish we had a Government with the B**ls to bring capital punishment back in the UK. Our problem is we also have to many do-gooders and human rights activists, they don't seem to think about the rights of the victims.

Capital punishment, the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, Some jurisdictions that practice capital punishment restrict its use to a small number of criminal offences, principally treason and murder.

Prisoners who have been sentenced to death are usually kept segregated. In some places this segregated area is known as "death row."

Historically—and still today under certain systems of law—the death penalty was applied to a wider range of offenses, including robbery or theft. It has also been frequently used by the military for crimes including looting, insubordination, and mutiny.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby analog » Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:16 pm

Re the drop at hiroshima -

If you visit East Tennessee there's a great little museum in Oak Ridge dedicated to the Mahnattan Project. Among the displays is a wall covered with letters from servicemen to their brothers who'd been working on the project. The most oft expressed sentiment is '.. wondered what you were working on, and sure glad you got it done for it saved my butt...' . The invasion was really dreaded.


My Uncle Bud flew photography P38's from Tinian for the B29 campaign. His words were "Hiroshima didnt look any worse than Tokyo. Just we did it all at once instead of taking a week's night bombing with incendiaries. That one bomb set the whole town on fire. We could only ignite about a square mile at a time with incendiaries." The Japanese did not know we were out of bombs. They knew we had plenty of bombers. They figured it would take us less than a week to eradicate all life from the islands. I guess they thought we'd really do it - so the emporer stood up to his generals and and surrendered.

Hiroshima Diary is an interesting little book about the weeks following that day.

Richard Rhodes' "Dark Sun" is a fascinating read about that time. I haven't read his first book yet.

John McPhee's "The Curve of Binding Energy" is an interesting and somewhat scary read about bombs (if you're interested). It sorta started the awareness of proliferation.

Lastly -

The Chernobyl reactor was pretty much a copy of our very early WW2 plutonium producing reactors, made from stolen plans and scaled up to make lots of electricity. They're graphite moderated and water cooled. When I took the reactor engineering course our prof said "nobody uses these much anymore, they have some peculiarities of control." Basically if you let the water start to boil the reactor power goes up not down and you get more boiling,,,,,and round and round.
OT---Chernobyl's moderator void worth was four dollars - -- those fellows let it get away from them and had a huge steam explosion that tore the building apart... there's a good NOVA episode on it.
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:31 pm

Hi Analog,

It's always great to read whatever you have to say.

I forgot about the numbers involved with the fire bombings we conducted on Japan. We indeed killed far more people and destroyed many more square miles in the fire bombings, and still the Japanese resolve wasn't shaken.

Has anyone heard of someone saying the bombs were a mistake?
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby Marye » Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:48 pm

Maybe a regret?

Eisenhower wrote in his memoir The White House Years:

"In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives."
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 25, 2005 8:11 am

Well,

Eisenhower started the "atoms for peace" project, to spread the availability of nuclear power to other nations. Perhaps the use of the bomb did trouble him.

Ironically, the "atoms for peace" reactors have provided the start for many nuclear weapons programs.

V/R
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby bignaf » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:22 am

Why Truman Dropped the Bomb?
it was too heavy.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Aug 25, 2005 1:35 pm

Piq,
As an aside there were some polls a few years ago (and no, I can't find them) that reflected that a majority of Germans, Brits and I think French, supported the death penalities.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:14 pm

Originally posted by analog:
OT---Chernobyl's moderator void worth was four dollars - -- those fellows let it get away from them
Can you explain this terminology?
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby rynbaskets » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:50 pm

I have not read all posting in this thread so I apologize if I am posting redundant message.
That said, I am a Japanese from Hiroshima living in the US. My relatives including my father lived in Hiroshima when the bomb was dropped. My grandmother's families lived very close to the epicenter and nothing was found about them after the bomb. My father told me of stories after the bomb time and time again. Orphans, burning bodies at a school yard, etc.
You may not believe it but I am really glad US stopped the war and won. I think Japanese polical philosophy was very wrong at that time and it was good that the right side won. It was wrong of Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and invade Asian nations. I just want you all to remember that there are human faces in the bombing and I do not want you to take war rightly. I believe there are times when a nation must take part in a war (such as the way US did during the Second World War) but please always remember that there are people, civilians and military, suffering because of wars.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:58 pm

rynbaskets,

Welcome to the B.com BB. It is refreshing to hear a point of view from someone close to the story.

V/R
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby rynbaskets » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:29 pm

Oh, I made a typo in my posting. I wanted to say "take war lightly" not "take war rightly". I am sure you all were wondering what the heck I meant by "rightly". I hate it when I do this.
By the way, thank you, Shapley.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby Trumpetmaster » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:40 pm

welcome to the pit rynbaskets.

If you look at the top of a post, you will see a piece of paper with a pencil. You can click on that and edit or delete what you posted.

Regards,
TM :)
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:46 pm

Hi Rynbaskets, welcome to the Pit! :)

Thank you for your perpsective.
I agree, people tend to insulate themselves from the toll war takes on humanity. Especially if it's not "our side's" casualties. We have a blow by blow count of American soldiers who've died in Iraq(and I'm okay with that), but we as Americans don't have any idea how many Iraqi security forces or civilians have died since the invasion.
Or, as Haggis has pointed out on several occasions, the slaughter that occurs in Africa and never even makes the newspapers here. Do we know how many Rwandans have died as a result of their genocide? To be honest, I don't.
Do we know how China is dealing with their dissidents these days? Probably not.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby piqaboo » Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:00 pm

Oh yes, they have faces, and lives, and hopes and fears. Its remembering that which creates peace activists.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby DavidS » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:12 am

Originally posted by piqaboo:
Oh yes, they have faces, and lives, and hopes and fears. Its remembering that which creates peace activists.
Yup, it's definitely about time for "swords into ploughshares", and crossbows into violin bows...
Tel grain, tel pain.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby juan j » Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:19 am

Hey OT,

I have not been a Nuc. I would enjoy being one.
I happened to had a Physics teacher in the university who had made doctoral work in reactors. He knew quite a bit and sparked my interest. Only later I learned about his work; he was one of those very smart, quiet guys that never presumed, always willing to share his knowledge with others.

Not many people consider the casualties of the strategic bombing campaign that did not break the will of the Japanese to fight and the murderous losses of an invasion. In the end the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki contributed to bring the war to an end.

To turn swords into plowshares is always desirable. However, noble ideas are always protected by fierce warriors in order for them to survive. Hence the importance to remember those who died. It is part of honoring them and their memory. Warriors are humans, too. And, as DAV puts it, "America will remain the land of the free as long as it is the home of the brave."

<small>[ 08-26-2005, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Juan J ]</small>
Be happy with what you have got
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby analog » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:02 pm

Originally posted by BigJon@Work:
Originally posted by analog:
[b] OT---Chernobyl's moderator void worth was four dollars - -- those fellows let it get away from them
Can you explain this terminology? [/b]
Bigjon - i didnt think anybody but old nukes would be interested. It'll take defining a couple other terms, but here's my best try for you----

A "Dollar" is a unit of reactivity. It's the amount of reactivity that will put a reactor "Prompt Critical".

To grasp those terms, first:
Think of a reactor as a multiplying engine. Instant by instant it multiplies its present power level by a multiplying factor K. K is kept very close to 1.00000 with the control rods. Therefore power stays constant, or at most changes slowly, since 1.000 X 1.000 is close to 1.000, instant after instant after instant. To raise power you adjust K slightly above 1.000, and to decrease power you set it slightly below.

"Reactivity" is defined as (K-1)/K, which is very nearly (K-1). This is zero for a reactor at steady state (K=1.000), and slightly positive (or negative) when raising (or lowering) power. Adding reactivity raises power, removing reactivity reduces power.
Okay with reactivity?

Next, think of the concept of "doubling time". It's the amount of time for reactor power to change by a factor of two. That's a more intuitive unit than reactivity, because you can feel it. Most reactors have a meter that reads it out directly, although more often in units of "period" (time to change by a factor of e, 2.71) or "decade" (factor of ten). A doubling time on the order of a minute would be quite a comfortable start up rate for a commercial reactor. Ten seconds would be way too fast for me, though maybe not for OT. A reactor that's at steady power will never double, so has doubling time (and period) of infinity. The shorter the doubling time , the faster the reactor is increasing its power.

"Prompt Critical": If somehow enough reactivity gets added to push doubling time down into the millisecond range, the reactor power will go through the roof before anyone (or anything) could react. With your calculator, figure 2 to the 100th power - you're looking at that kind of power change in a second... The extreme case is called "Prompt Critical". A "Dollar" of reactivity is the amount it takes. Reactor designers are extremely careful to limit the rate at which one can intentionally add reactivity. A few cents is quite a bit of it.

"Void Worth" is reactivity change due to boiling of water in the reactor core.
That Russian reactor had the unfortunate characteristic that boiling in its core added reactivity and lots of it. The full amount it could add was greater than a dollar, in fact four dollars, according to a report that circulated around the US power industry a while after the accident. Those poor guys bypassed some of their built in safeguards, then disconnected the reactor from its heatsink which started in-core boiling and let it go prompt critical. Of course a huge steam explosion resulted, followed by a graphite fire...

That's why when I lived in South Florida I prayed Castro would never finish that big Russian reactor in South Cuba. And I'm pro-nuke!

I hope this helps you. Please feel free to email me if not.

<small>[ 08-26-2005, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: analog ]</small>
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Re: Why Truman Dropped the Bomb

Postby BigJon@Work » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:34 pm

:eek:
:eek:
:eek:
Great explanation Analog. Thanks!

Did they ever determine why the operators shut off the heat sink?

<small>[ 08-26-2005, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: BigJon@Work ]</small>
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