Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Missing Explosive

Corrente has explained why the particular explosive that was left unguarded in Iraq is such a big deal, so that I don't have to. In fact the comment that it was left so that it could be used for civilian mining purposes is a bit unlikely. The point that is made is that HMX is a very brissant explosive and very powerful so that it tends to shatter the container and make many dangerous fragments, rather than generating a lot of gas, such as is useful in mining where explosive such as ANFO will move the rock and break it into larger handleable sized pieces.

HMX is not that useful in mining by itself since it is too powerful and produces rock pieces that are too small, but it can be used in relatively small quantities as a booster. It is also much more expensive that most other explosives and thus is not that easy I would have thought to find other than in the military black market. Thus to leave it where it can be easily picked up by terrorists does come close to what might be called criminal negligence, However he did get the velocities wrong, they are in meters/sec not miles. (Not that you would really be able to tell the difference if you were being up close and personal).

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