Thursday, October 30, 2008

Has Iran Already Tested a Nuke?

An Israeli report indicates that Iran has already tested a nuclear bomb successfully, and has missiles ready to deliver it to its intended destination. I have no idea whether this story is accurate — the military experts among our readers may want to venture an opinion — but here it is, anyway.

According to Israel National News:

Iranian Nuke Scientist: Weekend Quake Was a Nuclear Test

A weekend 5.0 Richter earthquake in Iran was actually a nuclear bomb test, says an Iranian nuclear scientist claiming to be working on the project.

The report is an Israel Insider exclusive.

This past Saturday night, southern Iran experienced what was reported as a significant earthquake — a seismic event measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was just north of the strategic Straits of Hormuz, which separates Iran from Abu Dhabi and Oman and which is the gateway to the Persian Gulf.

The report quotes an Iranian nuclear scientist who claims to be working in uranium enrichment for the project, and who said that the “quake” was actually an underground nuclear bomb test.

Israel Insider adds that the test/quake was actually the second in a series. Nine days ago, a 4.8 Richter scale event occurred, with its epicenter only five kilometers away from the weekend tremor.
- - - - - - - - -
The Israel Insider source reports that two nuclear rockets are currently ready — and are intended for use against Israel in the coming months.

If the report is correct, it would belie previous speculation that Iran would not begin nuclear testing until it had more nuclear-bomb production capability.

The geographical location of the test has several advantages. It is exposed to significant seismic activity, which could serve to mask nuclear tests; it is believed to be close to Iran’s nuclear development facility; delivery and transport of material and personnel can be effected easily through the Hormuz Strait; and Iranian enemies would hesitate to bomb the area because that would threaten the flow of a substantial percentage of the world’s oil…


Hat tip: Rolf Krake.

16 comments:

Zenster said...

Gotta call Taurine-Fecal-Matter on this one.

First off, Whiskey has gone to great pains on the subject of how Iran's HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) purification project is only capable of building a "Fat Man" style gun-bomb. Such a device is far too massive to be a payload on any existing Iranian rocket.

Secondly, the global community has in place an extensive array of seismic detectors specifically networked to both sense—and distinguish between—earthquakes and underground nuclear weapons tests.

A genuine nuclear expolsion releases so much energy in such a minute interval of time that its shock wave resonates within the earth's crust like a bell. The musical analogy goes much further than just this simple illustration.

In music synthesis and tonal analysis there is what is called an ASDR envelope. ADSR stands for Attack, Sustain, Decay and Release. These are the fundamental charateristics that define "timbre" or the "voice" of a musical instrument's tonality.

Some definitions:

Attack: The rise time in amplitude of a given waveform (Y axis) from its zero (silent) state to the peak value of maximum output or loudness.

Decay: The interval during which said waveform decays from its peak loudness to a more stable level of prolonged duration.

Sustain:: The length of time said waveform remains at its more stable level of amplitude.

Release: The interval during which the waveform's amplitude transits from its sustained level to zero loudness (i.e., silence).

The most pertinent aspect with respect to this discussion is that of "attack". When analysing a waveform, the transition interval between its zero state and maximum value is known as its "rise time".

While a square wave may appear to have a vertical leading edge, this is not possible. A perfectly vertical leading edge demands that the waveform be at both zero value and peak amplitude at the same time. This is the equivalent of something occupying two different locations at the same time and is physically impossible.

No matter how sharp the attack of a square wave may be, it will always have a measurable rise time and, therefore, some minute angle, however slight. This is known as its "knee", or the minuscule interval during which a signal transits from its state of zero amplitude to peak value.

Please keep this in mind as we transfer over to seismic detector arrays and how they discriminate between nuclear explosions and the detonation of conventional explosives.

Even the most well-timed and simultaneous detonations of conventional explosives like TNT, dynamite or FAE (Fuel Air Explosives), exhibit a lag between initiation and complete ignition of the flammable mass. This represents the rise time or “knee” of such an event’s “attack” waveform as detected by electronic sensors.

No known explosive on earth exhibits a resultant waveform with a perfectly vertical “knee” to its seismic signature. Initiation of an explosive event always displays some slight but detectable transition between ignition and completion of the detonation. Dynamite or TNT will show a near-vertical knee compared to gunpowder or ammonium nitrate “fertilizer” bombs. However, nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can match the near-vertical attack waveform transition of a nuclear explosion.

The direct conversion of mass into energy which occurs during the detonation of an atomic device exhibits so abrupt of an excursion between energistic states that there is no possible way to confuse such a weapons test with any, repeat ANY, ignition of conventional explosives. Any possible confusion of a nuclear explosion with an actual seismic event is not even open to debate.

No matter how much conventional explosive you are trying to ignite, such an event will never alias the sort of instantaneous detonation that a nuclear weapon presents to ordinary electronic sensors.

Bearing that in mind, far more organizations that Israel would know if Iran had managed to light off an atomic weapons test. Even given the very worst sort of conspiracy theories with respect to suppression of such knowledge, concealment of that hostile regime’s aspiration to being a nuclear power approaches less than zero.

Plainly put: Ain’t no effing way Dinner Jacket’s gonna light off a nuke without so many other people knowing that Israel would NEVER have an exclusive on the story.

Zenster said...

BAH! Of course, that is supposed to be an ADSR envelope and not an ASDR waveshape. Carry on.

Indicator Veritatis said...

Zenstr's explanation of the near-vertical rise time of a nuclear blast's ADSR is certainly plausible. But this then raises the question: wsa it the Iranians or the Israelis who started the rumor?

I can think of cynical reasons for either party to start this rumor.

christopher said...

This is some weird site. I will have to come back & check it out again. I agree with Zenster. If the Iranians had tested a bomb there are tools to pick that stuff up. I can guarantee that little troll that they call president would be on worldwide television to laugh & boast. I am surprised that the Israelis have not sent a sharpshooter to take him out.

Rolf Krake said...

Excellent explaination by Zenster.

It got me an idea and one way to know is to figure out what we know - An Iranian source has got as much credibility as Santa Claus.

Here is a link showing the difference between an eart quake and a nuke with some graphs in addition to Zenster's explaination, there is a clear difference between an earth quake and a nuclear explosion:

As part of DOE's effort, teams at Livermore and Los Alamost have been working to improve ways to seismically characterize clandestine underground nuclear explosions and differentiate them from other sources of seismicity, such as earthquakes and mining explosions. Much of Livermore's work has centered on developing regional discriminants, which are characteristic features of a seismic waveform (for example, the peak amplitude at a particular frequency, within a specific time frame) recorded at distances less than 2,000 kilometers away. These discriminants are used to differentiate between explosions and other types of seismic sources.
https://www.llnl.gov/str/Walter.html

Now it could be interesting to watch the graph from a seismic reading and compare - The difference between the seismic readings in southern Iran the 21th and the 25th is the depth, the 25th is 4 times deeper.

DATE LAT LON MAG DEPTH
25-OCT 20:17:22 26.70 55.02 5.0 57.3 SOUTHERN IRAN
25-OCT 01:28:50 26.74 54.96 4.5 35.0 SOUTHERN IRAN
21-OCT 14:23:59 26.70 54.96 4.8 14.0 SOUTHERN IRAN
21-OCT 13:03:01 26.58 54.91 4.7 14.0 SOUTHERN IRAN

DATE links are into the IRIS WILBER system where you can see seismograms and request datasets.

http://www.iris.edu/seismon/zoom/events/?lon=55.02&lat=26.7

What is puzzling is that there are no graphs from the 21th and 25th available - only from the 10th of oct in southern Iran and plenty of other data.

http://www.iris.edu/dms/wilber.htm

It still doesn't prove anything but it could be interesting to actually see a graph of a seismic reading.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Thanks, Zenster.

The nuclear process in a uranium bomb is driven by neutrons zooming around in the core. These are extremely fast.

Baron Bodissey said...

Zenster & Rolf --

Thank you for clarifying and extending our information on this subject. That's why I put the speculation here for everybody to see, so that people who really know something about the topic could add the value of their expertise.

RINGLENS said...

fat man was an implosion weapon,not a gun type weapon.

Afonso Henriques said...

Wow... Zenster's explanation took away my "right" to have an opinion:

Against facts, there are no arguments possible.

Thank you Zenster. Your comments raise the level of this blog.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Zenster's explanation took away my "right" to have an opinion.

That's a pretty cool fact about facts. When you have enough of these, opinion leaves the equation.

I'm pretty darned impressed, too. Usually I'm the guy around who explains how tiny particles create big explosions, what makes sense and what does not. This time I had nothing to add, just to learn.

Pretty cool that common citizens take interest in these matters.

heroyalwhyness said...

FWIW:
USGS map & details
Remarks Nine people injured in the Kong area.

Last two weeks of earthquakes in Southern Iran

Knowitall said...

Good stuff from Zenster. Very interesting insights on seismic detection methods. The info about the pulse shapes of various events, such as earthquakes, mining explosions, and nuclear explosions is most illuminating. However, I wish to clarify a few points, and raise a few of my own. For one thing, "Fat Man" was a very heavy & rotund implosion bomb based on Plutonium, not a Uranium gun-style bomb. The first Uranium gun bomb was named "Little Boy", and it was, as Zenster pointed out, very bulky and heavy. No Iranian SCUD knock-off could carry such a massive warhead. Why was it so heavy? Little Boy was an untested weapon and therefore an exceedingly conservative design. Everything about it was over-engineered...many times thicker and stronger than necessary. At the time, there was zero experience base on nuclear weapon design. It absolutely had to work on the first try, so compactness and light weight were not a priority. That’s why Little Boy seems so heavy, crude, and inefficient by modern standards. Unlike the US bomb designers of the 1940’s, the Iranians have the benefit of decades of nuclear weapon refinement to guide their efforts. Also, they are probably receiving technical assistance from experienced nuclear weapon states like Pakistan and China. In 1952, the US tested a 15 kiloton Uranium gun artillery shell only 11 inches in diameter and weighing only 800 pounds. I bet even a bad copy of the SCUD could loft that! The US test shot was code named “Grable”. Google it for yourself and see. If the US could build such a rugged, compact, and lightweight device in the early 50’s with no help from anyone, isn’t it plausible that Iran could develop a similar device in 2008 with help from foreign bomb-making exerts? I’m not saying Iran has or has not conducted an underground test. My best guess is that they have not. If they had conducted a successful test, I think the regime would have loudly and publicly crowed about it like the proud, strutting peacocks they are. Likewise, had the US or any EU government detected a nuclear test seismic signature, I’m sure they would have sounded the alarm to put even more pressure on Tehran.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is whoa. Zenster, you certainly know a lot! I'm very impressed.

Zenster said...

Hokay, so it was "Little Boy" and not Fat Man that was the gun type weapon. That's the last time I confuse those two puppies.

Aside from that, if I've managed to pre-empt Afonso's characteristically prolex tendencies, I'll call that a win.

Henrik R Clausen: That's a pretty cool fact about facts. When you have enough of these, opinion leaves the equation.

To quote Homer Simpson:

Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!

Thank you all for the positive replies. I'm glad to contribute to this community's knowledge base. I've had an ex-CIA spook validate my observations about event detection as totally reliable.

Finally, does anyone think that Bush wouldn't take this public in a heartbeat in order to justify his commitment about bombing Iran. Tehran's nuclear aspirations need to be taken offline at the soonest possible moment. I'll repeat what I have always said about a nuclear Iran:

ALLOWING IRAN TO OBTAIN NUCLEAR WEAPONS WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS THIS NEW CENTURY'S MOST CRUCIAL STRATEGIC BLUNDER.

Zenster said...

christopher: I am surprised that the Israelis have not sent a sharpshooter to take him out.

All I can say is that if non-Muslim nations don't sprout a set and start capping Islamic leadership, we're going to end up doing it the hard way; As in glass and Windex™ the entire MME (Muslim Middle East).

Henrik R Clausen said...

Zenster, from a physical point of view, the description makes a lot of sense, as does the comparison to sound. It's all about waves. Big ones :)

For the record, I don't quote Simpson. I consider him a culturally Marxist.

Finally, I hope the crashing oil price will destroy the Iranian regime. I've lived in the country for 2½ years and am having a hard time digesting all the evil that goes down in that exiting country.