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Encyclopedia > Variable yield

Variable yield, or Dial-a-yield, an option available on most modern nuclear bombs, allows the operator to specify a bomb's yield, or explosive power, allowing a single design to be used in different situations. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ...

In some bombs, the yield is adjusted on the ground, with the addition or removal of tampers that control the rate of fission or fusion. For example, the Tsar Bomba's yield was halved when its uranium fusion tamper was replaced with a lead one. Tsar Bomba casing on display at Arzamas-16 Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба, meaning literally Emperor Bomb), developed by the Soviet Union, was the largest nuclear explosive device in history. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block ?, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic Atomic mass 238. ... General Name, Symbol, Number lead, Pb, 82 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 6, p Appearance bluish white Atomic mass 207. ...

Dial-a-yield can also be achieved with fusion neutron boosting. This can be accomplished by injecting a a few milliliters of tritium gas into the vacuum of a hollow core pit inside of a fission-type nuclear weapon. When the dial is turned it may open a valve that will inject a little bit of tritium into the core of the device. Then the atomic core is plugged, and the high-explosive trigger is assembled. Fusion may refer to: the merging of two or more entities into a single one The grammatical process of combining morphemes into molecules via sandhi, deletion, etc. ... Properties In physics, the neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass of 939. ... Tritium (symbol T or 3H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... Gas (actually, as), the GNU assembler, is the default GCC back-end. ... This article is about absence of matter. ... Sketch of induced nuclear fission, a neutron (n) strikes a uranium nucleus which splits into similar products (F. P.), and releases more neutrons to continue the process, and energy in the form of gamma and other radiation. ...

One weapon that may use this approach is the W-88 warhead that is currently used on American SLBMs. The W-88 with fresh tritium inside its pit may explode with a yield of 100 kilotons, but with no tritium inside the core it might explode with the force of just 20 kilotons. See the nuclear weapons archive[[1]] to obtain more detailed information on fusion neutron boosting. A megaton or megatonne is a unit of mass equal to 1,000,000 metric tons, i. ...

If the tritium has been in the pit for several years , half or more of it may have undergone radioactive decay. This might reduce the yield of a device such as a W-88 nuclear warhead, for example, 40 kilotons.

Most modern nuclear weaponeers now realize that any dependency on fusion neutron boosting is a nuclear weapon design flaw because of the extreme undersupply of tritium gas since about 1990. There are also some warheads that cannot achieve a supercritical mass without using tritium gas to achieve the fusion neutron boosting. Tritium has to be bred in nuclear fission reactors and its half life is 11 years. A warhead is an explosive device used in military conflicts, used to destroy enemy vehicles or buildings. ... In general fission is a splitting or breaking up into parts. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
The Ultimate Nuclear weapon Dog Breeds Information Guide and Reference (5552 words)
A final variant of the thermonuclear weapons is the enhanced radiation weapon, or neutron bomb, which is a small thermonuclear weapon in which the burst of neutrons generated by the fusion reaction is intentionally not absorbed inside the weapon, but allowed to escape.
This is due principally to neutron capture by various elements, such as sodium, manganese, aluminum and silicon in the soil.
The explosive yield of a nuclear weapon is expressed in the equivalent mass of trinitrotoluene (TNT), either in kilotons (thousands of tons of TNT) or megatons (million of tons of TNT).
  More results at FactBites »



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