fission bomb


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Related to fission bomb: fusion bomb

fission bomb

[′fish·ən ‚bäm]
(ordnance)
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Uranium-235 represents about 0.7% of naturally occurring uranium and can be separated for use in fission bombs. Plutonium-239 can also be used in fission bombs and is produced in nuclear power reactors from natural uranium.
A fission bomb, which eventually would prove to be limited to a yield of half a megaton, was the scientists' assigned goal, but Teller attempted to focus deliberations on the more challenging fusion bomb, with its prospect of virtually unlimited yield.
In a post 9/11 insecure world, the single most important aspect of radioactive waste storage is how is it to be secured against determined adversaries who may want to steal such nuclear material for a dirty bomb; or, if spent fuel is stolen, a crude fission bomb.
Former scientific advisor to the Prime Minister Ashok Parthasarthy, who was also present at the press conference, said: " In 1974, when it was a fission bomb of much less yield, there was a large crater.
There, technicians trained in handling nuclear materials would add the tritium or deuterium composites that turn a plain old fission bomb into a massive thermonuclear fusion bomb.
It has been almost 60 years since the United States, having learned that Nazi Germany was working on a devastating fission bomb, rushed to by the first nation to develop the technology to split the atom, and use it as a weapon of mass destruction.
To quote Rhodes again: "The theoretical complexity of what came to be known as the Super challenged Teller as the fission bomb had not." Its creation became an obsession with him.
Even then Teller was fixated on building a hydrogen bomb and would not do the work of the laboratory that Oppenheimer was directing, which was trying to build a fission bomb. Teller was a witness--a hostile witness--and his testimony was devastating.
He was also elected chairman of the General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission, where a major debate raged over building the so-called Super Bomb, later known as the hydrogen bomb, a weapon based on nuclear fusion that would be far more powerful than the fission bomb.
Taylor later published a book of his own, in which he further elaborated on the simplicity of the task: "a few persons, possibly even one person working alone, who possesses about 10 kilograms of plutonium and a substantial amount of chemical high explosive could, within several weeks, design and build a crude fission bomb" (qtd in Cohen 242).
It would be a thousand times more powerful than the fission bomb. Rickover also was encouraged by Ernest Lawrence, whose 1929 invention of the cyclotron allowed charged particles to penetrate the nucleus, to reveal a new understanding of its structure.
Teller's interest in the possibility of a fusion bomb was first piqued by Enrico Fermi, who suggested, in the fall of 1941 that the heat from a fission bomb might produce a fusion reaction in deuterium.