A Blunted Sickle - Thread II

As shown by the cost cutting that could have made the Windscale disaster, far far worse, had not a few sane people objected and greenlit the filters for that dual air-cooled graphite reactor setup.
Without US involvement, the cheap refining of Uranium Ore to pure metal would have been far more expensive, and each reactor would have needed almost 200 tons of uranium metal.
Prewar price was $1000/lbs.
With the US mass production enabled by ISU 'Ames process', it was around $1/lbs
One of the two scientists responsible for the Ames process (Frank Spedding) was born in Canada and left Canada as a boy. I wonder if the Canadians can get him to come back (He got a full professorship at Iowa State in 1941) if they thrown enough money at him...
 
One of the two scientists responsible for the Ames process (Frank Spedding) was born in Canada and left Canada as a boy. I wonder if the Canadians can get him to come back (He got a full professorship at Iowa State in 1941) if they thrown enough money at him...
I would doubt that. While he admitted in that he thought he would never have picked ISU for a career, he was there in 1937 after nowhere else would offer a job in his field, and while not a full professor, was made head of the Chemistry Department. He stayed at ISU as that till he retired.
So I don't think it would be for just money.

But in this ATL, I don't think there will be hunge amounts of time, resources, men and money will be tossed at a bomb program with all out abandon as OTL, with Germany not a huge threat in making a superbomb
 
As shown by the cost cutting that could have made the Windscale disaster, far far worse, had not a few sane people objected and greenlit the filters for that dual air-cooled graphite reactor setup.
Without US involvement, the cheap refining of Uranium Ore to pure metal would have been far more expensive, and each reactor would have needed almost 200 tons of uranium metal.
Prewar price was $1000/lbs.
With the US mass production enabled by ISU 'Ames process', it was around $1/lbs
  1. The Windscale Pile 1 filter decision seems not to have primarily driven by cost-cutting but by a lack of understanding of the risks (essentially they didn't consider a fire a plausible risk). Without them things would certainly have been worse, but that isn't saying a huge amount - as it was the health impacts were below the limit of detection.
  2. That's largely a function of the fact that nobody had any requirement for uranium metal in any quantity before the Manhattan project kicked off - it was used in lab quantities of a few grams at a time, for which costs of $1000/lb are not a problem and don't justify an improved process. As soon as someone has demands in tonnage quantities, not only will you see the cost automatically dropping (at least a factor of 10x cheaper for the same process) but people will start looking at improved processes. Given the timeframe - the Ames process was running at a lab scale within 2 months of the Manhattan Project being authorised, and was producing hundreds of tonnes per year within a year of Manhattan being authorised - and the fact that it used 50 year old technology it's a real stretch to see anybody trying to refine uranium metal not rapidly coming up with a similar process by themselves. Fundamentally it's a pretty basic REDOX reaction

One of the two scientists responsible for the Ames process (Frank Spedding) was born in Canada and left Canada as a boy. I wonder if the Canadians can get him to come back (He got a full professorship at Iowa State in 1941) if they thrown enough money at him...
No reason to do so - he seems to have been pretty settled. However, he was previously at the Cavendish so could probably have been persuaded to work on chemical problems from Iowa if someone like Chadwick had remembered him and approached him. Remember, the US isn't a hostile power here and has no reason to act as if uranium chemistry is a matter of serious national security concern at this stage.

But in this ATL, I don't think there will be huge amounts of time, resources, men and money will be tossed at a bomb program with all out abandon as OTL, with Germany not a huge threat in making a superbomb
Correct, at least to start with. However, once the US realises that both the Great White North and the USSR has these weapons I'm expecting a fairly strong reaction. Not as high a priority as the OTL Manhattan project, but sizeable all the same.
 
the Ames process was running at a lab scale within 2 months of the Manhattan Project being authorised, and was producing hundreds of tonnes per year within a year of Manhattan being authorised - and the fact that it used 50 year old technology it's a real stretch to see anybody trying to refine uranium metal not rapidly coming up with a similar process by themselves. Fundamentally it's a pretty basic REDOX reaction
Yet Westinghouse was using a far less efficient process, till they couldn't deny the superiority from a place best known for agricultural ideas.
The German process(s) wasn't even as good as what Westinghouse was doing

So yeah, eventually it will be sorted out, but it won't be as soon as what happened with the USA
However, he was previously at the Cavendish so could probably have been persuaded to work on chemical problems from Iowa if someone like Chadwick had remembered him and approached him
He was traveling in the same circles as a lot of the other big names in Atomic research in the '30s, so eventually his name would come up, and maybe toss some money at him while he's at ISU for that research.
It might raise some eyebrows, but I don't believe the US Gov would spike that, but maybe wanting to be kept in the loop
 
However, once the US realises that both the Great White North and the USSR has these weapons I'm expecting a fairly strong reaction. Not as high a priority as the OTL Manhattan project, but sizeable all the same.
The USN program for Atomic Boilers might be advanced, rather than tossed into the MP and get lost in the whole Bomb Focus
 
It *really* does lead to the question of whether the Americans would have any more access to the Research and Technological development of the Entente Nuclear development than the Italians, Soviets or Japanese. (They certainly will be physically closer to the research, and

I think it would be quite appropriate for an inversion of OTL

From Wikipedia on the France and weapons of Mass Destruction.

Because the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 prohibited sharing information on nuclear weapon design, a method known as "negative guidance" or "Twenty Questions" was used; French scientists described to their U.S. counterparts their research, and were told whether they were correct.

iTTL, the Americans can ask the questions and get told whether they are correct. In exchange, the Americans demonstrate their rocket technology to the Entente by putting Lyman Briggs into orbit. The mission *after that* will demonstrate that they can bring someone back to earth. :)
 
Mixing a few recent topics together (India, decolonization, and Italy vs. Portugal) (and using the names used at the time)

1) If India is a (relatively) loose federal State, is there *any* chance that either OTL Burma or OTL Ceylon will be folded into an Independent non-partitioned India?
2) In regards to Portugal, would a loose federal state make it more or less likely that Portuguese India (Goa, etc.) will be absorbed any faster?
3) Similiar question on French India (Pondicherry, etc)
4) And in a looser federal state, could the Tamil speaking areas of South India end up with a separate foreign policy in regards to Ceylon to the rest of India? (What's Tamil for Enosis?)
 
In exchange, the Americans demonstrate their rocket technology to the Entente by putting Lyman Briggs into orbit. The mission *after that* will demonstrate that they can bring someone back to earth. :)
Is there a german rocket program with Werner von Braun ITTL? The Entente will get him.
 
Is there a german rocket program with Werner von Braun ITTL? The Entente will get him.
Perhaps, but without the *obvious* public signs (V1&V2 rockets launched) that they have succeeded in anything that would make those who worked at Peenemünde Army Research Center obvious to be snapped up. None of the Rockets being worked on there were actually used to attack until 1943, I think. While funding did get shifted around iTTL (for example minimizing what was spent on the surface fleet), I don't remember indicating that a bunch of money was dumped on the Peenemünde people. And without the success, they become a lower priority. The Entente might actually want the engineers there who have done the advanced wind tunnel design as much or more.

Rocketry is going to take a very different path iTTL

My joke was that with what Lyman Briggs to hold up American progress in Uranium development when the British were willing to share, that demonstrating what the americans could contribute could be done with the bonus of leaving Briggs in orbit.
 
I wonder how Soviet technology development will be affected. On the one hand, they don't get the benefits of lend-lease, such as radar sets or the technology obtained from a defeated Reich. On the other (and I think probably bigger hand), they did not spend four years fighting a war for survival, so there are definitely going to be enormous resources available to them that would not be IOTL. Unfortunately, I am not at all qualified to say what's more conducive to progress, higher investment or short cuts through others.

And of course no Rolls-Royce engines for MiGs, or a B-29 to copy.
 
I wonder how Soviet technology development will be affected. On the one hand, they don't get the benefits of lend-lease, such as radar sets or the technology obtained from a defeated Reich. On the other (and I think probably bigger hand), they did not spend four years fighting a war for survival, so there are definitely going to be enormous resources available to them that would not be IOTL. Unfortunately, I am not at all qualified to say what's more conducive to progress, higher investment or short cuts through others.

And of course no Rolls-Royce engines for MiGs, or a B-29 to copy.
I think an important part of that answer would be the state of the Soviet equipment, replacement cycle.

Does anybody know where their current equipment as of 1942 is supposed to be in its life cycle. Because I remember that was a large part of what caught Italy out, especially the Italian Airforce. I hope I remember this correctly but I believe I read that Italy they spent a bunch of money in the early 1930's on upgrading their military equipment just before a bunch of new advancements in tech in the late 30's left them with brand new tech they could not afford to get rid of but was now outdated and outclassed.

So depending on where the soviets are, they either could have time to learn or get caught in a massive shift that leaves them outclassed, without the boost of ww2 equipment to force them to build new and better stuff as a matter of survival
 
They were modernizing their equipment but given the differing circumstances I am not sure how far they have gotten.
 

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Donor
They were modernizing their equipment but given the differing circumstances I am not sure how far they have gotten.
Would the Soviets have had official observers of the battlefronts? I'm sure they'd have had some level of active and passive intelligence gathering going on at operational levels, but getting a sanctioned closeup look at equipment and some form of discussion with command leadership is a different thing. (Thinking on the equipment development and doctrine ideas)
 
Th real issues for the Soviets were logistics more then equipment itself. For example If I remember correctly they only had 50% of the spare parts for many of their tank units.
 
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The Empire of Japan says "Hi".
Seriously, Italy are a headache but not dangerous - they can be relied upon to be a pain in the backside, but they're massively outmatched in Europe and without Germany as a potential ally even they know it. The Japanese and Soviets are much more of a risk, and both have nuclear weapons programmes at the time. The Soviet one is proceeding more or less as OTL (start-up is driven by MAUD rather than the Manhattan project, and lower priorities are balanced with far better conditions), and the Japanese while a long way behind were much more competent than the Germans in OTL.


My prediction of the order in which nations will get nuclear weapons:

UK+ France/Entente, since they started first.
USSR since it started second and they do actually have a good science base.
US the fact is its program has been hampered by Briggs but I think its industrial capacity will enable them to beat Japanese.
Japan while it has started already it has a smaller base and I think will be hampered by its defeat in the upcoming Soviet-Japanese War.
Italy since it hasn't started yet but Mussolini would want it for prestige's sake.
China regardless of if it becomes Communist ITTL or not (though I think it won't) I would argue is likely to pursue a nuclear program since two of their neighbours have them and they really don't want Japan to be able to unilaterally launch a strike on them. Plus it may have help from foreign powers depending on the international situation.
India: While there since there's no Pakistan so they won't have the drive of OTL on the other hand I think they would have border disputes with China TTL and building nuclear weapons may been seen as cheaper than building up conventional forces.
Iran: The Pahlavi's have long wanted to project Iran as a 'strong' country and considering there was a program OTL I think there would be one TTL.

I couldn't really guess after this point on other nuclear powers.

I didn't know that. That explains a great deal about the place of the Burmese army in politics that I hadn't previously understood.

While at the end of the day the Tatmadaw are essentially bandits in their looting of Myanmar's wealth, organisation/doctrine wise a fair bit could be extrapolated about how a surviving Imperial Army would have evolved with new technology.
 
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In @ Sweden seriously pursued nuclear weapons, finally giving up in the 60s, probably due to both cost issues and US political pressure. I expect the Finland-Sweden Union would feel a quite strong incentive in TLW-verse. In @ Norway too had interest in nuclear technology and weapons, being the third (I think) country in the world to have an operational nuclear reactor.
 
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