How do you make an atomic bomb? -Submitted
by Erin, answered by Jared
The Odyssey Scoop in no way promotes or endorses those who decide to
create atomic bombs. This is one of those "Don't try this at home"
FAQ answers, and Jacob Isom in no way would like any of his visitors to
attempt such a stupid act. Jared Walczak's answer is very descriptive and
detailed, and you may find your mind blown away. Please do not use these
instructions as a means of blowing yourself up. The question was brought up
by a curious Odyssey fan (bless her heart),
and the AIO FAQ had to create an answer, one of which is very graphic, not
to mention a good laugh.
was a time, long ago, days innumerable, when The Odyssey Scoop had at least
some semblance of being an Adventures in Odyssey Fan Site. Thankfully, those days are now long past.
was also a time, only slightly more recent, when the questions submitted for
the answering of the great Scoop webmaster had Odyssey as the topic. Questions like
"When will Eugene and Katrina return?" or "What color was Mr. Whittakerís
hair before it turned white?" Else
"Why is a target age set for Odyssey?" or "Who in the
world would name their kid 'Whití?"
days are also only a distant memory. And
indeed, a question submitted by Erin is helping us run laps around those
boring, old questions. Unfortunately,
Jacob Isom, apparently lacking a well-rounded education, decided to pass the
question on to an expert. One
not being immediately available, I ended up with it.
question, in its entirety: "How do you make an atomic bomb?"
how I personally make my atomic bombs is probably of little interest
to you Ė and if I have actually done so, itís a great surprise to me Ė
so Iíll focus on how one might do so if one so chose.
heard it said, perhaps, that one could develop a nuclear warhead in oneís
garage. And this would be true,
providing that you have large stores of uranium stored with the screws,
nails, nuts, washers and bolts.
better yet, plutonium. I mean,
if you plan to blow something up, you might as well do it right. You want that mushroom cloud to have some size, not be just your
average pinkie or white button mushroom cloud. Now, Porta Bella, maybe, but thatís just too European sounding. So, in conclusion, for best results, letís go with plutonium.
being personally proficient in the construction of nuclear arms, I naturally
went to the source: the internet. And
you thought Americaís top German scientists behind the Manhattan Project
actually did research and came up with amazing new concepts and principles? How naÔve. They found
the information in "The Anarchistís Cookbook," available from spammers
as to that plutonium, youíll need about fifty pounds of it to get a decent
nuclear yield, and as we know (or at least, as the more educated among us
know), uranium doesnít grow on trees.
So precisely how does one obtain it?
way of procuring such would be to contact your local friendly terrorist
organization, which may be willing to donate some of their supply if they
deem your cause worthy. Other
potential sources include gaining unauthorized access to U.S. Army nuclear
storage facilities or conveniently "losing the group" during a tour of a
nuclear power plant, although the latter will, at best, only net you
might be a good time for a few words of warning. One being that if you inhale one thousandth of a gram of plutonium,
you will experience massive fibrosis of the lungs. To put it bluntly, thatís the last thing youíll ever
experience. Even one millionth
part of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled, is rather dangerous, almost certain
to cause cancer. To help
decrease the chance of these occurrences, leading scientific experts advise
all home bomb makers to, in the words of one physicist, "avoid breathing
while working with the stuff."
if youíre not on a tight budget, buy a mask.
also warn against ingesting plutonium, leading to the oft-quoted atomic
scientistsí proverb: "Never make plutonium bombs on an empty stomach."
one of my web sources observed in an article, if the individual constructing
an A-bomb suddenly feels light-headed, they should take two aspirin and go to
bed. No, actually, they should
prick themselves with a sterile needle (please note: use one that has not
been dipped in plutonium!), place a drop of blood (their own; taking a
sample of someone elseís blood generally proves useless) on a slide and
put it under microscope. If you
count more than a one to four hundred ratio of white to red blood cells,
then youíd better hurry. You
are well on your way to completing both parts of that promise to friends and
neighbors: "Iím going to make an atomic bombÖ if itís the last thing I do!"
your uranium in hand, youíre well on your way to two things:
a crude nuclear bomb.
course, depending on your location at the time when you try out your new
device, the latter may be of relative insignificance.
know, I really hope youíre not one of those readers who reads a ways,
completes those steps, reads a little farther, does what it says and so on.
Because if thatís the case, youíre in a little bit of trouble. You see, fifty pounds of weapons-grade plutonium (you did
specify weapons-grade to your local plutonium dealer, did you not?) is what
they call in the business "critical mass." We less scientific types use a different word:
you are in good enough condition to read to this point, I will assume that
you have not yet picked up your plutonium. When you do, please be kind enough to store it in two separate
containers Ė coffee tins might do - and to never allow them to come in
contact with each other.
this point, I should probably pass along a useful tip: if there are young
children in the household, carefully store your excess plutonium. Despite some similarities, Play-doh and fissionable plutonium are two
different things entirely.
need some sort of metal casing to hold your device and different eminent
scholars have varying ideas, so Iíll go with what sounds good to me: get
some scrap metal (potential sources: local junk yard, various factories or
your dadís new 2003 convertible) and with it (the metal must be
malleable), construct a casing. It
doesnít have to be that great. You
arenít the United States Government, you know, and you donít have to
meet their standards of no radioactive leakage en route.
your two containers of uranium in your casing, keeping them at least two
inches apart. We donít want
this whole thing to go critical prematurely.
youíll need to find some way of transporting your device, as carrying a
bent piece of sheet metal with explosives wrapped around will cause undue
attention to be focused on you. We
still have a ways to go with the construction of our weapon, but most
leading experts in the field of garage nukes say that one should construct
the casing at this time.
not a connoisseur of movies myself, I am told by reliable sources that
sure-of-themselves spies who for some unknown reason tote portable nukes
with them everywhere they go often use the briefcase method, so, in the
interest of keeping up with popular culture, weíll do likewise.
Find a large, inexplicable briefcase and pack your
plutonium-containing piece of bent sheet metal carefully inside, exercising
care not to spill too much plutonium on the floor, where your dog will
likely find and, as dogs are apt to do, consume it.
Unless, of course, youíve always desired a glow-in-the-dark dog.
next step is to obtain one hundred pounds of trinitrotoluene (TNT) from a
lab product wholesaler. Be
willing to settle for "average" stuff, as pure trinitrotoluene can cost
as much as $900 per kilogram, which is out of your price range unless
youíre Bill Gates. In which
case, obtaining a nuclear weapon is extraordinarily simple: make an offer to
Kim Jung Il, the "dear leader" of North Korea.
find somewhere that boring through a hillside is being done and pilfer some
trinitrotoluene. Not that we
advocate theft, but then again, whatís a little larceny when youíre
planning to detonate a nuclear bomb?
need to string the explosive inside the briefcase, around the casing you
created. One enterprising bomb
guide writer suggested using modeling clay to hold the TNT on. Since the suggested use for modeling clay is dull, boring and
altogether useless, itís not a bad idea.
is also suggested that some sort of glue other strong adhesive be used to
hold your two containers firmly in place so that their contents do not
mingle prematurely due to jostling. The
surgeon general has issued a warning stating that holding a nuclear device
during detonation is hazardous to your health.
until the personal injury lawyers find out about this one and starting going
after "Big Bomb" as soon as the tobacco money dries up.
now nearing the end of our little project and we come to another dilemma:
unless you plan to set the bomb off by hand, which, as mentioned previously,
is generally unadvisable, you will need some method of remote detonation.
Since this device is meant to be a low-tech, do it yourself kind of
job, I would suggest removing the plunger mechanism found in a remote
control car that responds to commands from the remote unit.
placing this device and the other attached parts, including the battery
pack, from said car into your specially rigged briefcase and setting the
plunger immediately adjacent to a detonator cap (been on eBay recently?),
youíll be ready to go. Close
up the briefcase, grab your remote control transmitter and an extra nine
volt battery (youíd be amazed at how many nuclear attacks have been
averted because of a drained nine volt in the RC car controller) and
youíre on your way with a fully functional nuclear device.
you press any button on your remote control, the plunger in the briefcase
will strike the detonator cap, igniting the trinitrotoluene, which, in
exploding, will join the plutonium together to critical mass and cause a
chain nuclear reaction.
laymenís terms, "boom!"
how are you going to use this bomb, anyway? Iíve heard itís a great home protector, with would-be-burglars
generally avoiding homes with a sticker proclaiming, "This home protected
by a thermonuclear device" attached to the door, but that seems an immense
waste of effort.
you have a more aggressive plan, well, please ascertain that I am not in
town during your device test. Please?
quite obviously, I do not approve of the creation and use of nuclear weapons
by private individuals. The above data is all public domain knowledge.
While all accurate, it's not going to do anyone much good without huge
supplies of fissionable material. Still, I feel obliged to say it:
don't try this at home. Or anywhere, actually.