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Neutralization of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction using nuclear methods
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This thesis addresses the threat of chemical and biological armed ballistic missiles and their neutralization by nuclear methods. The objective of this effort is twofold. The first objective is to develop a justification for using nuclear interceptors in neutralizing chemical and biological weapons (CBW) based on the current CBW threat to the U.S. The second objective is to reproduce a computer model developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 1992 to estimate the effectiveness of low-yield nuclear interceptors to neutralize biological or chemical tactical ballistic missile warheads and to extend the model for high-energy neutrons (20 MeV) to explore the effect of increasing neutron energies. The original model was developed using TARTNP. MCNP4C was the code used to reproduce the model. At least 27 countries now possess - or are in the process of acquiring and developing - ballistic missiles. Furthermore, more than a dozen states are pursuing offensive CBW capabilities, and some have exhibited a willingness to employ them. One particular method of neutralizing biological and chemical ballistic warheads, which has previously been investigated, is by means of nuclear interceptors, i.e., using a low-yield nuclear device to neutralize the weapon by bombarding it with high-energy particles and rendering it ineffective. To investigate the ability of nuclear interceptors to neutralize CBW missiles, a MCNP model was created based on the LLNL data. The results from the new model were compared to the sterilization requirements suggested by LLNL and to the LLNL results. Although there were differences between the two, the MCNP model produced data with the same trend as the LLNL data and all submunitions were given sufficient energy to exceed the sterilization requirements. Finally, a comparison was made of the neutralization capabilities of a fission device, a fusion device, and an advanced neutron source. It was shown that the advanced neutron source, with its 20 MeV neutrons, delivered on average 12 times as much energy per particle to the Sarin as the fission device and 1.6 times as much energy per particle to the Sarin as the fusion device.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 29-30).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
McAffrey, Veronica Lynn (2002). Neutralization of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction using nuclear methods. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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