What if usa not broke any japanese codes during world war 2 page 2 alternate history discussion gas utility austin


Click to expand…Though of course as the Soviets were skipping the R&D work and had plans to work off they wouldn’t have needed anywhere near as much electricity as the Manhattan Project used. Being able to jump straight to gas diffusion without having to run calutrons, etc in parallel should save you a massive amount of electricity compared to Manhattan.

I’m not making a comment either way on actual electricity production, just saying there is no need for any alt-nuke project to use as much electricity as OTL. Manhattan went for it’s broad spectrum approach for good reasons and likely the project would have been delayed had it relied solely on gas diffusion, but the OTL power needs weren’t compulsory – it could have been done with a lot less.

Start earlier (or accept a later date for the bomb) and focus just on one method and you can do it cheaper. Of course it’s then possible your more ‘focused’ cheaper programme then loses out to a better resourced all aspects effort, but that’s a different problem.

I agree, the Japanese had great difficulties in particular in getting high-performance engines to work, due to to many projects at the same time, lack of co-operation between army and navy projects and lack of high-quality materials for engines.

But as I said, the war in the pacific would have to be radically different in order for the Japanese to pursue such an aeroplane. In fact I agree that in any pacific war even close to OTL the G10N (and to lesser extents the G5N and G8N) would have been a ridiculous waste of resources and personnel.

However I do acknowledge that my analogy of the USSR was wrong. Particular after realizing a mistake I made in reading the table of the USSR, the numbers I took was from 1936 in regards to the USSR, the electricity production of 1937 was roughly 36,000,000,000 KwH. I apologize for that mistake.

But while on this subject, I wonder why you never have denounced any successful ‘tube-alloy projects’ that are used from time to time in timelines on this board, on the same reasons that you denounce German and Japanese atomic bomb projects?

But, the figures I gave was for Germany only. Not added Austria, Bohemia&Moravia, Poland, Norway&Denmark, BeNeLux, Yugoslavia, Greece or France, whose electricity production would also have been available for Germany to use which would add about ~47,300,000,000 KwH. Which together with the German would mean an total electricity production of ~96,200,000,000 KwH or about 80% of the total USA production.

To date I have not been able to turn up the U.S. generating capacity in 1940, which is actually a much more germane number. My Google-fu is failing me in this regard. I have also not found the book where I found the TVA and overall electrical usage figures (did have a couple good coughing fits from the dust stirred in the effort however).

I have noted in dicussions regarding the production of the Bomb that it was quite impossible for the UK to have managed it, although I have mainly looked at the sheer dollar (or pound) cost of the program. One of the more interesting things that I read in looking for the Manhattan data is that between the initial S-1 discussions in mid-1941 and the Quebec Agreement in later summer of 1943 the U.S. had managed to put $1 billion (1943 dollars) into Manhattan while the British had spent $500K on Tube Alloys. One of the main drivers for the Quebec Agreement was that the British saw that they were going to be flat out left standing in the station if they didn’t get on board Manhattan before their input became, at best, marginal (BTW: I think that was a rather pessimistic assessment since the UK contributed considerably to the Project). The same is also true for the Reich or Imperial Japan. The Bomb project cost better than $20 billion (2005 dollars) and the B-29 project was virtually the same cost. (BTW: this is another mark against the Japanese super heavy project, although not the biggest one since the B-29 was possibly more plane than was needed for the mission, lack of funding).

I will state categorically that no nation on Earth could have afforded the overall research and production costs of Manhattan, while also producing everything else needed to actually fight the war except the United States. This includes the availability of excess electrical generation (and here even the U.S. was absorbing a fair share of Canada’s Generation, especially from Quebec and BC). This is perhaps best illustrated that it took the USSR, even with much of the research available to them, including designs for the various separation methods, four years of a peacetime Hero Project to duplicate just the Bomb and a few substandard copies of the B-29.

Okay, I’m really confused here. Are you talking about processing the ore or enriching the uranium? By which I mean, the process of taking ore and separating out elements other than uranium to produce uranium metal, or the process of then taking that uranium metal and removing the U-238 isotope to produce material with a higher percentage of U-235?

I am not an expert on this, but my understanding is that the initial ore processing is primarily chemical, and does not require vast amounts of electricity (at least compared to any other metallurgical process). The enrichment, however, does require titanic quantities of electricity – but you don’t need enrichment if you’re planning to use the plutonium implosion approach, since you can use unenriched uranium in a graphite- or heavy water-moderated reactor.

Grades of uranium ore differ widely, but according to the IAEA (warning: pdf), as of 1979, uranium mills were consuming 65,000,000 tons of feedstock to produce 38,000 tons of metallic uranium. That gives an average concentration of 0.058%. About 0.7% of natural uranium is U-235. Therefore, to produce 1 kg of pure U-235 would require 244,360 kg = 244 tons of feedstock. Little Boy contained 140 lbs. = 64 kg of highly-enriched uranium, which works out to about 15,616 tons of feedstock.

I don’t understand what you mean here. You don’t use a reactor to enrich uranium, you use a reactor to convert U-238 into plutonium. The US pursued uranium enrichment from the start, as well as reactors, but either one is good enough for a bomb.