Scott Horton Interviews Gordon Prather

Scott Horton, August 05, 2009

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Gordon Prather, former nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, discusses unsubstantiated claims Iran is secretly building nukes, the IAEA going beyond the scope of their mandate in Iran dealings, Bill Clinton’s broken promises regarding N. Korea’s nuclear program, accusations that Iran is pioneering new nuclear weapons designs, overstated dangers of EMP attacks and the indignant U.S. attitude toward Iran designed to provoke withdrawal from the NPT and IAEA programs.

MP3 here. (61:20)

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army.

5 Responses to “Gordon Prather”

  1. According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. And according to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. Please see the article by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, "The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy" in the 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 D5 linked to NAVSTAR obtain a CEP of 30-40 metres, enough to destroy any hard target. A First-Strike Capability won´t be complete without the missiles in Poland to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles. Even if it´s only for blackmail, the Russians may have no choice but implementing Launch On Warning.

  2. Great stuff Scott! Only a few technical points.
    Keep in mind regarding gun vs. implosion nukes:
    A gun-type weapon, while simple to design and build, can only be built with weapons-grade (99.9% pure) U-235. Plutonium is useless in this case. Now, the problem is that U-235 is VERY tough to manufacture. All industrial methods to produce weapons-grade uranium require vast resources (especially electricity) to produce even small amounts of metal. If the Iranians had a "secret" program to enrich Uranium, it would be impossible to hide. When the US blasted Hiroshima to kingdom come, Japanese physicists ascertained that the bomb used Uranium (it did), and that the US could not possibly have another one (we did'nt).
    As for implosion devices, they have several advantages, namely suitability for miniaturized missile-deliverable designs, MUCH better efficiency (gun-type nukes are usually around 10% efficient, advanced implosion designs are over 90%), and finally, you can use plutonium, which can be churned out prodigiously by a breeder reactor. Finally, though it is a small point, only two countries, the US and South Africa, initiated nuclear programs with the design of a gun-type device. The Russians, Chinese, French/Israelis, British, all started with implosion-type A-bombs.

  3. I might also add that only implosion-type devices can be used as primaries for hydrogen and neutron bombs.

    Same for the N.Koreans. N. Korea imports 90% of its electricity from China. Needless to say, running a gaseous diffusion plant would be a dead giveaway. That why N. Korea tried to use plutonium to build the Pakistani Uranium design (it failed of course, the neutronics of uranium and plutonium are completely different.)

  4. I believe that the EMP "kill" mechanism was conjectured to be the generation of a DC pulse that would saturate the cores in transformers all over the country, causing them to overheat and explode.
    What a crock!

  5. Very good interview.

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