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9M730 Burevestnik (SSC-X-9 Skyfall) cruise nuclear-powered missile

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A smear test with 220 dpm/ 100 cm^2 isn't especially high, if that is what is being measured. Can someone translate the technical jargon? 220 dpm/100 cm^2 isn't good, but it wouldn't be immediately harmful.
 

flateric

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Orionblamblam

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Yes, Cesium 137 confirmed as contamination in the hospital where the unfortunates were taken. Not merely on one doctor.
The focus on Cesium 137 remains baffling The report makes it sound like that was the primary or perhaps only radioactive isotope that was detected. If the Cs-137 came from a burst uranium reactor, there should be far more uranium, plus a boatload of other fission byproducts. You'd think, anyway...
 

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Probably because its one of the most problematic isotopes around, other isotopes either decay very fast to undetectable levels, or like Uranium decay so slow that they are not major risks. Cesium is in that sweet spot where it decays slow enough to be around for a while but fast enough to cause problems in humans. The presence of it probably indicates that the missile uses a conventional if very small highly-enriched uranium-fueled reactor and not a nuclear "battery", RTG, or exotic Hafnium reactor.
 

greenmartian2017

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Grigori,

Thanks for posting this article. Horrific and criminal incompetence. More people will be damaged because of some high-level apparatchik's order for secrecy.
 

Zootycoon

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Probably because its one of the most problematic isotopes around, other isotopes either decay very fast to undetectable levels, or like Uranium decay so slow that they are not major risks. Cesium is in that sweet spot where it decays slow enough to be around for a while but fast enough to cause problems in humans. The presence of it probably indicates that the missile uses a conventional if very small highly-enriched uranium-fueled reactor and not a nuclear "battery", RTG, or exotic Hafnium reactor.
After fission you’re left with a soup of radionuclides one of which is Cs 137, there will be others equally persistent and highly detectable such as Strontium 90. The timescale from incident to reported detection is too short for that needed to allowed significant decay to occur , such as Iodine 131 (8 days). Also the percentages of fission products and actinide presents in spent fuel, even long irradiated, is tiny compared to the fuel fraction (which itself will be radioactive especially in a small system).

If Cs137 alone is being detected it’s can only be because it’s being used for its own unique properties;- as pointed out earlier on this thread, it’s principally used as a strong gamma source,
 
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Forest Green

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If Cs137 alone is being detected it’s can only be because it’s being used for its own unique properties;- as pointed out earlier on this thread, it’s principally used as a strong gamma source,
95% of Caesium-137 decay is by beta emission, which is a real problem once it gets inside the human body. It's the Barium-137m resulting from Caesium-137 decay that causes the gamma emissions.

 
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Forest Green

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With a modern hand held giger counter it’s tells you on the screen what radionuclides you’re dealing with.
Thinking about it though, I think they're just mentioning Caesium-137 because it's well known about. Obviously there are others there since, even if you started with pure Caesium-137, it would decay into others, which would also be present.
 
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greenmartian2017

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I'm afraid that this will continue to be an evolving story, in absence of transparency coming from Putin's government officials.

Some processed data now appears to indicate a second blast at the Russian test site. This following article, appearing on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty site, also has updated satellite photography that seems to indicate scorch marks from an explosion on the test barge.


Here is an excerpt of the beginning of this long article:

Norwegian Researchers Say Data May Point To Second Blast At Russian Test Site


Researchers at a Norwegian institute believe that there may have been two explosions, not one, at the Russian naval test site on the White Sea earlier this month, an incident that killed at least five people and raised new questions about Russia's weapons research.

The conclusions were published on August 14 by the Norsar Research Institute, based on seismographic and acoustic readings taken the day of the deadly incident, but had gone largely unnoticed.

Anne Lycke, the institute's chief executive, told RFE/RL in an interview on August 23 that the institute's monitoring stations first detected seismographic readings on August 8 at around 9 a.m. local time in Arkhangelsk, a major city on the White Sea.

The readings, she said, pointed to an explosion that occurred somewhere close to the Earth's surface, either on ground or on water.

Around two hours later, at 11 a.m., a different sensor designed to pick up infrasound, or low-frequency sound, registered another, different acoustic event, Lycke said.

Researchers concluded that that was likely an explosion that occurred in the air, some height above the ground, she said.

"Yes, it appears that two explosions took place, based on our findings," Lycke said.

The institute's findings, which were first reported by the newspaper Afternposten on August 22, add to a growing body of publicly available evidence about the August 8 incident that took place at the Nyonoksa naval test site, a range on the White Sea that has been used for decades by Soviet and Russian military planners.
 

zen

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Could Caesium be used in this 'liquid' fuelled engine?

Wasn't it lithium that absorbs x-rays well?
 

Zootycoon

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Russian authorities now claimed the Caesium 137 came from the first responders eating Fukushima crabs. How much more Bizarre can this get?


In another report the death toll has risen by two more.
 

greenmartian2017

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Here's some more data that has come to light. This is from businessweek.com in the United States.

It reports that the Russian "Barents Observer" was told by a Norwegian nuclear authority that isotopes strontium, barium and lanthanum were detected. This allegedly confirms that a chain reaction took place, and that a nuclear reactor of some type had exploded.

Also, that US intelligence officials suspect it was indeed a test of the Burevestnik missile.

 

greenmartian2017

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Some further information has come to my attention, although its provenance is unknown, and so I urge caution. The notorious UK newspaper rag "The Sun" has posted on line some interesting video taken by someone allegedly in the area of the explosion, in which two barges were near the shore, with one heavily damaged. There is also further details that one of the people who had died was a military diver, and that an alleged leaked medical record shows the diver had received 1,000 times the lethal dose of radiation.

 

greenmartian2017

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A new news report from the US media network CNBC is stating that the explosion took place during a recovery operation from the ocean floor for a Burevestnik missile previously tested earlier on.

Here's an excerpt from that report.

"...


WASHINGTON — A U.S. intelligence assessment found that the mysterious explosion off of Russia’s northern coast occurred during a recovery mission to salvage a nuclear-powered missile from the ocean floor, according to people with direct knowledge of the report.
The mysterious explosion on Aug. 8 killed five scientists and sparked fears that Russia had tested its new nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known as Skyfall.

“This was not a new launch of the weapon, instead it was a recovery mission to salvage a lost missile from a previous test,” said a person with direct knowledge of the U.S. intelligence assessment. “There was an explosion on one of the vessels involved in the recovery and that caused a reaction in the missile’s nuclear core which lead to the radiation leak,” said another person, who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.

..."

 

greenmartian2017

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Posted just today.

"An inadvertent criticality" The most up-to-date and comprehensive coalescence of OSINT data by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on the early August event. Satellite imagery, some video as well (different than from before posted by other sites). A 100-foot-high water column indicating a blast near the surface of the water... ALso confirmation of the tracking of mission-linked recovery ships. Additionally, there is an allusion to a launch test of Burevestnik at Kapustin Yar last year. Also, no NOTAM, so the inference was that there was not a launch at all in the time frame.

Some excerpts:

"...

Did A Botched Bid To Recover A Sunken Missile Cause The Russian Radiation Blast?

The explosion at a Russian naval test range earlier this month that killed at least five people and sent out a plume of radiation may have occurred when specialists tried to salvage a sunken missile from the White Sea floor.

Documents, photographs, satellite imagery, and other open-source materials reviewed by RFE/RL point strongly to an accident -- most likely underwater, or just near the surface -- as the cause of the August 8 blast in Nyonoksa, where Soviet and Russian military planners have conducted missile tests for decades.

In the days after the mishap, Russian civilian and military authorities gave conflicting information as to what exactly occurred, how many casualties there were, and where a recorded spike in radiation came from, and whether it was dangerous. It also sent intelligence analysts from Washington to Brussels to Oslo scrambling to figure out what happened.

...

Meanwhile, monitoring stations in the nearby shipbuilding port of Severodvinsk reported a brief spike in radiation levels in the hours after the explosion, but emphasized that there was no danger to public health.

On August 26, Russia's federal weather agency said its sensors had detected several radioactive isotopes, including those that independent experts said were associated with a nuclear reaction, or a "fissile event."

...

Among the photographs and videos obtained by RFE/RL and first published on August 22 is one that shows two pontoon platforms floating close to the shoreline just west of the main Nyonoksa range site.

On each platform are two 6-meter, blue shipping containers, the kind that often appear in Defense Ministry promotional materials about missile launches.
The location of the containers matches up with satellite imagery obtained by RFE/RL in the days shortly after the explosion that also shows two objects floating close to shore in a similar position.

It matches up with another image obtained exclusively by RFE/RL that shows a blue container onshore at the Nyonoksa test site in October 2018.

And it matches up with a Google Maps image from 2019 of Kasputin Yar, a test range in southern Russia where analysts say a nuclear-powered cruise missile called the Burevestnik may have been tested in the past.

The blue containers are also used by a St. Petersburg shipping company called Ekomet-C, which advertises them as suitable for the "storage and transport of solid radioactive waste."

...
Satellite images and websites that track global shipping traffic have also identified the presence of a Rosatom ship called the Serebryanka that was in the Dvinsk Bay in the days leading up to the August 8 explosion. The ship is known for its role in transporting nuclear waste for the atomic energy company.

The ship was located 4 kilometers from Nyonoksa on the day of the blast and was tracked leaving the region and returning to its home port of Murmansk on August 9.

Another ship also appears in a satellite image dated August 13: a special purpose rescue and recovery ship known as the Zvyozdochka. Equipped with two heavy-lift cranes positioned on its aft, the ship also has two deepwater, unmanned submersibles believed to be used primarily for salvage and recovery operations.

 

greenmartian2017

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Some very courageous Russian journalists....there is also a youtube video embedded. There are no guards anywhere around these contaminated barges....


Measurements taken at 13:00 on August 31, 2019 at 150 m away from the pontoons show radiation from debris ranged 70-186 µR/h. (That is 70- to 186 microRoentgens/hour.) Shortly after the appearance of the pontoons the maximum level reached 750 µR/h.
 

Grey Havoc

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I think they are now panicking a bit because their hopes that the development difficulties the Russians suffered earlier in the time would ultimately derail the program seem to have come to naught.
 

GARGEAN

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Remember, Su-57 is a fraud and will never see serial production.
 

flateric

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Remember, Su-57 is a fraud and will never see serial production.
these are two totally different programs with totally different TRLs and problems
 

GARGEAN

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these are two totally different programs with totally different TRLs and problems
Was just a little memeing about same low level of western journalism in relation to non- western dev.
 

flateric

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I really doubt you can show me any reputable Western publication that was insisting that PAK FA will never enter serial production.
 

haavarla

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As it was. There was some few media outlets that misqouted or spun the Russian senator(or minister?) interview a good time back, where he said Russia was in no hurry to produce Su-57 as they already had a healty Su-35S production going which also gave them Export revenue.

This somehow correlated in some western media outlet as to the Su-57 program being canceled or heavy delayed, later only 12 was being produced, then canceled.. then 76 produced, THEN canceled.. and the Lord Behold, that train of thought silently died out.
Ofc some communities like F-16.net was on it with the -"Told you it would happen" too, Lots of people just whishing this program would vaporize..
 

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I'm really interested on what kind of nuclear reactor it use. Back in 60's the SLAM was planned to use unshielded reactor, so yeah. The air will have a direct contact with reactor elements. Thermally efficient but make the weapon one time use.

The other kind of reactor design which planned to use intermediary heat carrier appears to not built. I suspect Buresvestnik would use the latter as it wont leave radiation exhaust trail.
 

Zootycoon

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I'm really interested on what kind of nuclear reactor it use. Back in 60's the SLAM was planned to use unshielded reactor, so yeah. The air will have a direct contact with reactor elements. Thermally efficient but make the weapon one time use.

The other kind of reactor design which planned to use intermediary heat carrier appears to not built. I suspect Buresvestnik would use the latter as it wont leave radiation exhaust trail.
The evidence from the detected contamination doesn’t support a fission type;- for a liberated fission fuel you would expect it to consist of a majority of U235 or Pu239/240 with a tiny fractional soup made up of every element from zinc through to the lanthanides. This wasn’t detected, just Cs137 ...a strong gamma source. The subsonic airframe is a significant indication that the power plant is energy limited, again inconsistent with a fission process. A Russian official has described it as “a type of nuclear battery”, yes could be disinformation, but it fits with other known evidence except existing RTG’s are no where near the power output/density required to power even a subsonic airframe.

We don’t yet know what this thing is.
 
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stealthflanker

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The evidence from the detected contamination doesn’t support a fission type;- for a liberated fission fuel you would expect it to consist of a majority of U235 or Pu239/240 with a tiny fractional soup made up of every element from zinc through to the lanthanides. This wasn’t detected, just Cs137 ...a strong gamma source. The subsonic airframe is a significant indication that the power plant is energy limited, again inconsistent with a fission process.
Or the contamination is not from the actual "fission part" of the missile.
 

Zootycoon

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So why would you use (non fissile) Cs137 in a fission reactor? Moreover a chunk of Cs137 separate to the main reactor? Normally gamma is unhelpful so why give yourself even more of a problem?

Also the old flying fission reactor schemes need large volumes of cooling air but Buresvestnik doesn’t have a particularly big air intake.
 
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Josh_TN

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Have there been any tests reported since the accident a year ago?
 

Grey Havoc

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Some radiation readings that could be related to further tests, but nothing else even half solid that has yet emerged in the public domain to date, so far as I am aware.
 
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