Construction Project: ATOM BOMB

1. INTRODUCTION.

Worldwide controversy has been generated recently from several court decisions in the United States which have restricted popular magazines from printing articles which describe how to make an ATOMIC BOMB. The reason usually given by the courts is that National Security would be compromised if such information were generally available. But, since it is commonly known that all of the information is publicly available in most major Metropolitan Libraries, obviously the court's officially stated position is covering up a more important factor; namely, that such atomic devices would prove too difficult for the average citizen to construct. The United States cannot insult the vast majorities by insinuating that they do not have the intelligence of a cabbage, and thus the "official" press releases claim National Security as a blanket restriction.

The rumours that have unfortunately occured as a result of widespread mis-information can (and must) be cleared up now, for the construction project this month is the construction of a thermonuclear device. Which will hopefully clear up any misconceptions you might have had about such a project. We will see how easy it is to make a device of your very own in ten easy steps, to have and to hold as you see fit, without annoying interference from the government of courts.

The project will cost between $5,000 and $30,000 depending on how fancy you want the final product to be. Since last weeks column, "Let's make a time machine", was received so well in the new step-by-step format, this weeks column will follow in the same format.

2. CONSTRUCTION METHOD.

  1. First, obtain about 50 pounds (110Kg) of weapons grade Plutonium at your local supplier (see note 1). A Nuclear Power Plant is not recommended, as large quantities of missing Plutonium tends to make the Plant Engineers unhappy. We suggest that you contact your local Terrorist Organisation or perhaps the Scouts in your neighbourhood.
  2. Please remember that Plutonium, especially pure, refined Plutonium, is somewhat dangerous. Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling the material, and don't allow your children or pets to play on it, or eat it. Any left over Plutonium dust is excellent as an insect repellant. You may wish to keep the substance in a lead box if you can find one in your local junk yard, but an old coffee can will do nicely.
  3. Fashion together a metal enclosure to house the device. Most common varieties of sheet metal can be bent to disguise this enclosure as, for example, a briefcase, a lunch pail, or a Ford Cortina. Do not however use Tin-foil.
  4. Arrange the Plutonium into two hemi-spherical shapes, separated by about 4 cm. Use rubber cement to hold the Plutonium dust together. Gelignite is much better but messier to work with. Your helpful hardware man will be happy to provide you with this item.
  5. Pack the TNT around the hemisphere arrangement constructed in step 4. If you cannot find Gelignite, feel free to use TNT packed in play-do or any modelling clay. Coloured clay is acceptable, but there is no need to get fancy at this point.
  6. Enclose the structure from step 5 into the enclosure made in step 3. Use a strong glue such as "super glue" to bind the hemi-sphere arrangement against the enclosure to prevent accidental detonation which might result from vibration or mishandling.
  7. To detonate the device, obtain a radio controlled servo mechanism, as found in model planes and cars. With a minimum of effort, a remote plunger can be made that will strike a detonator cap to effect a small explosion. These detonator caps can be found in the electrical supply section of your local supermarket. We recommend the "Blast-O-Matic" brand since they are no deposit-no return.
  8. Now hide the completed device from the neighbours and children. The garage is not recommended because of high humidity and the extreme range of temperatures experienced there. Nuclear devices have been known to spontaneously detonate in these unstable conditions. The hall closet or under the kitchen sink will be perfectly suitable.
  9. Now you are the proud owner of a working Thermonuclear device!! It's a great ice-breaker at parties, and in a pinch could be used for national defence.

3. THEORY OF OPERATION.

The device basically works when the detonated TNT compresses the Plutonium into a critical mass. The critical mass then produces a nuclear chain reaction similar to the domino chain reaction. The chain reaction then promptly produces a big thermonuclear reaction, and there you have it, a 10 megaton explosion!!

4. NEXT MONTHS COLUMN.

In next months column, we will learn how to clone your neighbour's wife in six easy steps. This project promises to be an exciting weekend full of fun and profit. Common kitchen utensils will be all you need. See you next month!!

5. NOTES.

1) Plutonium (PU), Atomic number 94, is a radioactive metallic element formed by the decay of Neptunium and is similar in chemical structure to Uranium, Saturium, Jupiternium and Marsium.

6. PREVIOUS MONTHS COLUMNS.

* No longer in print.

Reader Comments

Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 13:19:57 +0200
From: Emiel Suilen <fam.suilen@planet.nl>
To: pete@petebevin.com
Subject: Construction Project: ATOM BOMB page

I saw your page concerning building a Nuclear weapon, and there are some
serious errors in it.

First of all: you can never get a 10 Megaton explosion with a pure fission
weapon.
Such an explosion can only be achieved if you use a fission-fusion-fission
device. (The Tellar-Ulam device is the one generally used)

Also, your device isn't a thermonuclear weapon, since it only "splits" the
atoms of the Plutonium.
Weaponsgrade Plutonium is Pu-239, and you can order it at the ORNL isotopes
divison for $4.64/mg, with a purity higher than 99.99%.

Your method of handling the Plutonium is crazy at least, because it has the
strange chemical quality if shrinking when it's tempeture rises.
This may cause a nuclear reaction, if it's critical mass is reached.
A explosion won't occur, but the immediate area will be bombarded with
neutrons, killing all the biological life within 2 days.
To avoid this, it is advisable to mix the Plutnium with Gallium.

If you need more information concerning the construction of nuclear weapons, I
advise you to look at the Nuclear Section of www.fas.org

With regards,

Emiel Suilen

Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 20:09:01 -0800 (PST)
From: chris J <knightmare382@yahoo.com>
To: pete@petebevin.com

I don't much concern about your joke site, but your
how to build a nuke isn't probably the smartest thing
to have on right now. To many people want to nuke us
who if could, would. I personally don't want to see a
nuclear war break out, and it's your site, I just
wanted to say if thats real you shouldn't have it on.

(Nov 17, 2001) I hadn't realised where this was from until it showed up in a Taliban hideout in November 2001: http://www.dailyrotten.com/archive/159929.html for the full story :)


Back to the humour page


Pete Bevin, pete@petebevin.com