The underestimate of the Castle Bravo yield was not due to a math error. As you noted in the next sentence, it was due to a failure to calculate possible fusion reactions involving 7Li (or, to be more precise, reactions with what results when 7Li is in a large flux of neutrons from the other thermonuclear reactions taking place). From an engineering point of view, if they had allowed a typical safety factor of 3 above their original yield estimate, they would have had a more appropriate exclusion zone.

Nice work, but one nitpick.

The underestimate of the Castle Bravo yield was not due to a math error. As you noted in the next sentence, it was due to a failure to calculate possible fusion reactions involving 7Li (or, to be more precise, reactions with what results when 7Li is in a large flux of neutrons from the other thermonuclear reactions taking place). From an engineering point of view, if they had allowed a typical safety factor of 3 above their original yield estimate, they would have had a more appropriate exclusion zone.

In contrast, the initia... (read more)