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GaliWalker
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Have camera will use
PostTue May 14, 2019 11:15 am 
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Cool article (from 2007)!
https://rockandice.com/snowball/the-secret-of-nanda-devi/

Quote:
Tucker’s story went like this: Elite climbers were trained by the CIA and paid huge sums of money to carry an atomic-powered spy gadget to the top of an undisclosed peak. The stage for the 007-esque drama was the Himalayas. Somehow this plutonium-powered device was lost or stolen, now either providing the fissile juice to a secret Pakistani nuke or threatening every man, woman and child in India with deadly radiation in the form of contaminated run-off into the Ganges River.
...
“I saw the Sherpas fighting over who got to carry [the SNAP],” adding, “They had no idea of what it was. They’d put the thing in the middle of their tent and huddle around it ...”


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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue May 14, 2019 3:05 pm 
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Plutonium used as a power source is Pu 240 which is non fissile useless for bombs it is a very active beta emitter which makes it useful as a high voltage battery. Pu 239 is the isotope useful for bombs as it is relatively stable and has a reasonable critical mass.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Pyrites
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PostTue May 14, 2019 7:42 pm 
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Reported in an outdoor magazine as far back as mid-70’s.



Best.

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drm
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PostWed May 15, 2019 9:36 am 
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Carried an atomic powered spy gadget to 25,643 feet, where climbers wouldn't likely find it some day? Are spy gadgets ever atomic powered? What would they weigh if they existed? Maybe Yeti would be strong enough to carry it up, but I'm not sure of it's political beliefs.

There were well-documented CIA activities on the Nepal-Tibet border after WWII. Thomas Laird wrote a fascinating book about CIA agents who were killed by erstwhile Tibetan allies due to mistaken identities.

But an atomic powered spying device on Nanda Devi . . .
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MtnGoat
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PostWed May 15, 2019 10:02 am 
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Radiothermal generators were already well known and need not be large. Such a device is well within engineering capabilities of the 70s, probably by the late 50's in fact. These are not reactors which are much more complex. They're merely rather inefficient thermocouple devices using heat to directly move electrons, using radioactive decay as the heat source.

This would make a great movie. Or a cool documentary

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



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PostWed May 15, 2019 11:50 am 
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Voyager 1, launched in 1977, was powered by such a device. It’s currently chugging its way through interstellar space, now officially out of our solar system.

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
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Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/albums
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drm
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PostWed May 15, 2019 3:11 pm 
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I must retract. From the Wikipedia Nanda Devi entry (if wikipedia says so, it must be true!):

Quote:
From 1965 to 1968, attempts were made by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in co-operation with the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB), to place a nuclear-powered telemetry relay listening device on the summit of Nanda Devi. This device was designed to intercept telemetry signals from missile test launches conducted in the Xinjiang Province, at a time of relative infancy in China's missile program.[6] The expedition retreated due to dangerous weather conditions, leaving the device near the summit of Nanda Devi. They returned the next spring to search for the device, which ended without success. As a result of this activity by the CIA, the Sanctuary was closed to foreign expeditions throughout much of the 1960s. In 1974 the Sanctuary re-opened.

And all those years, I thought the ND area was closed due to internal political reasons!
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