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Danny Stillman’s 10 trips to China all started with a conversation about a prompt burst reactor.
He explained he ran the intelligence division at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 13-and-a-half years. During this time, Stillman made it a point to interact with his counterparts.
During a conversation with a scientist from China, Stillman asked him about prompt burst reactors. This particular reactor, Stillman said, simulates neutrons and gamma rays from a nuclear device that is going off.
That topic, he said, was his opening to travel to China.
Between April 1990 and May 2001, Stillman toured several nuclear facilities in China. These facilities were located in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, a nuclear test site in northwest China and Mian Yang.
These visits are pretty invaluable because Stillman pointed out, there is no place where people can read about China’s nuclear weapons program.
Additionally, he believes it’s important to show just how advanced the nuclear weapons program is in China.
“I think they are pretty damn smart,” Stillman said.
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