back to article More Bull grunt for Blighty's atom-bomb factory

French-centred IT provider Bull has announced an order from the UK's nuclear weapons apparatus for a third bullx supercomputer. The new "Blackthorn" machine will join two existing bullx "Willows" already in use by the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). "The contract with AWE is a clear demonstration of Bull's ability to …

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  1. Steven 23
    Joke

    Yes...

    ...but will it play Crysis on max settings

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes...

      Not sure about that but it would make a great WoW server.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Storage

    What storage?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Storage

      I'm sorry but if I tell you that, I'll have to kill you. :-)

  3. SkippyBing

    Being Dense Here...

    but if you know your Trident warhead will go bang in a satisfyingly city destroying way, what are they actually using these things for? Are we planning on making warheads that can make an even more impressive bang, which would seem to be slightly pointless, or is it all part of an elaborate scam where we pretend to have a nuclear capability but actually don't?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Boffin

      A little from column A...

      ....a little from Column B.

      Wonder how much of the 20Bn from the currently unfunded Trident replacement AWE has just spent?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @SkippyBing

      " and form an idea of how reliable existing stocks will be over time."

      Can't tell the sell-by date just by smelling them !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @SkippyBing

    Actually, they don't know that the nukes will still go boom. And they aren't allowed to test them. So they run simulations to see how they should perform now that they are X years old.

  5. Craig Vaughton
    Thumb Up

    How embarassing...

    Lets face it, come the sad day they should ever be needed, we wouldn't want our buckets of instant sunshine mounted atop Trident to fly a few thousand miles, spoof its way through any defense systems and arrive on its target only to go pop when the detonators go off, rather than obliterate the poor sods underneath it.

    Much like flying manned bombers in there and dropping leaflets; if you've gone that far, finish the job properly.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @SkippyBing

    You also want to design new devices that yield the same-sized bang from a smaller package. After all, if you're sticking it on a missile, payload weight is everything. And when you're talking MIRVs, if you can make them each 10% lighter / smaller, you can toss a couple more onto a missile and go for more targets.

    It's all very precise, this annihilation thingy.

  7. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Given Britains association with the history of the computer...

    it is very sad that some British entity is unable to supply the computing wherewithal for this program.

    Such a sad commentary on Britain's slide into production banality.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More info...

    This appears to be unclassified information.

    http://kn.theiet.org/news/aug10/awe-bull.cfm?SaveToPDF

  9. mhenriday
    Thumb Down

    Perhaps those «atom-bom boffins worldwide»

    could instead devote themselves to dismantling those weapons of mass destruction, so that the species might stand a sporting chance of making it through the next few decades ? When done, that would, of course, force them to seek a slightly different line of work, but people with that level of education and competence should be able to find gainful employment....

    Henri

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