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AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs — a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War. The final components of the B53 bomb will be broken down Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. The completion of the dismantling program is a year ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, and aligns with President Barack Obama's goal of reducing the number of nuclear weapons.
The B53's disassembly ends the era of big megaton bombs, he said. The bombs' size helped compensate for their lack of accuracy. Today's bombs are smaller but more precise, reducing the amount of collateral damage, Kristensen said.
Since the B53 was made using older technology by engineers who have since retired or died, developing a disassembly process took time. Engineers had to develop complex tools and new procedures to ensure safety.
Workers in Texas separated the roughly 300 pounds of high explosives inside from the special nuclear material — uranium — known as the pit. The work was done outside of public view for security reasons, but explosives from a bomb taken apart earlier were detonated as officials and reporters watched from less than a mile away.
Originally posted by TupacShakur
They should have shot it at the moon. It would be cool to watch a nuke slam into the moon and detonate.
The 1.5-kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II killed as many as 140,000 people.
The last of the nation’s biggest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima