Conception of the neutron bomb is generally credited to Samuel T. Cohen of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who developed the concept in 1958. [73], Hypothetical effects of a pure fusion bomb, UK parliamentary question on whether condemnation was considered by, Warsaw Pact tank strength was over twice that of NATO, Signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning § "Walking Ghost phase", second generation heavy metal Chobham armor, "Sci/Tech Neutron bomb: Why 'clean' is deadly", "Chapter 2 Conventional and Nuclear Weapons - Energy Production and Atomic Physics Section I - General. Upon detonation, a near-ground airburst of a 1 kiloton neutron bomb would produce a large blast wave and a powerful pulse of both thermal radiation and ionizing radiation in the form of fast (14.1 MeV) neutrons. The blast would create pressures of at least 4.6 psi out to a radius of 600 meters, which would severely damage all non-reinforced concrete structures. On Skaro, neutron bombs were used in the neutronic war between the Dals and the Thals. A neutron bomb or enhanced radiation weapon (ERW) is a low-yield nuclear weapon with reduced blast and heat effects. A problem faced by Sprint and similar ABMs was that the blast effects of their warheads change greatly as they climb and the atmosphere thins out. [27], In August 1999, the Indian government disclosed that India was capable of producing a neutron bomb. "1.6 Cobalt Bombs and other Salted Bombs, Nuclear Weapons Archive, Carey Sublette", Strategic Implications of Enhanced Radiation Weapons, Creator of Neutron Bomb Leaves an Explosive Legacy, The Woodrow Wilson Center's Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. However although the author did note that effective neutron absorbers and neutron poisons such as boron carbide can be incorporated into conventional armor and strap-on neutron moderating hydrogenous material (substances containing hydrogen atoms), such as explosive reactive armor, can both increase the protection factor, the author holds that in practice combined with neutron scattering, the actual average total tank area protection factor is rarely higher than 15.5 to 35. The burst of neutrons created in the thermonuclear reaction is then free to escape the bomb, outpacing the physical explosion. The intense pulse of high-energy neutrons generated by a neutron bomb is the principal killing mechanism, not the fallout, heat or blast. "[36], Although neutron bombs are commonly believed to "leave the infrastructure intact", with current designs that have explosive yields in the low kiloton range,[37] detonation in (or above) a built-up area would still cause a sizable degree of building destruction, through blast and heat effects out to a moderate radius, albeit considerably less destruction, than when compared to a standard nuclear bomb of the exact same total energy release or "yield". France conducted an early test of the technology in 1967[25] and tested an "actual" neutron bomb in 1980. [11][12] The last W70 Mod 3 warhead was dismantled in 1996,[13] and the last W79 Mod 0 was dismantled by 2003, when the dismantling of all W79 variants was completed.[14]. The bomber(s, if any) was collateral damage. The W70 Mod 3 warhead was developed for the short-range, tactical Lance missile, and the W79 Mod 0 was developed for artillery shells. N-bomb; Translations [46][47] Even near ground zero, basement sheltering or buildings with similar radiation shielding characteristics would drastically reduce the radiation dose. The neutron bomb was a weapon capable of killing all the living beings within its range while leaving the infrastructure mostly intact. [51][52][53] The Soviet T72 tank, in response to the neutron bomb threat, is cited as having fitted a boronated[54] polyethylene liner, which has had its neutron shielding properties simulated. "[42], Neutron bombs, or more precisely, enhanced [neutron] radiation weapons were also to find use as strategic anti-ballistic missile weapons,[38] and in this role they are believed to remain in active service within Russia's Gazelle missile.[6]. Any weapon that could break up their intended mass tank formation deployments and force them to deploy their tanks in a thinner, more easily dividable manner,[4] would aid ground forces in the task of hunting down solitary tanks and using anti-tank missiles against them,[41] such as the contemporary M47 Dragon and BGM-71 TOW missiles, of which NATO had hundreds of thousands. Neutron bomb. [47][55], However, some tank armor material contains depleted uranium (DU), common in the US's M1A1 Abrams tank, which incorporates steel-encased depleted uranium armor,[56] a substance that will fast fission when it captures a fast, fusion-generated neutron, and thus on fissioning will produce fission neutrons and fission products embedded within the armor, products which emit among other things, penetrating gamma rays. Therefore for an ER weapon to incapacitate a modern tank crew through irradiation, the weapon must now be detonated at such a close proximity to the tank that the nuclear explosion's blast would now be equally effective at incapacitating it and its crew. Besides the United States and Soviet Union, France and China are understood to have tested neutron or enhanced radiation bombs in the past, with France apparently leading the field with an early test of the technology in 1967[15] and an "actual" neutron bomb in 1980. At higher altitudes, starting around 60,000 feet (18,000 m) and above, the blast effects begin to drop off rapidly as the air density becomes very low. Designs of a "weaponized" version were carried out in 1963. Instead of being the type of weapon that, in the popular mind, "kills people and spares buildings" it is one that both kills and physically destroys on a massive scale. During Neutron transport Iron is effective in slowing down/scattering high-energy neutrons in the 14-MeV energy range and attenuating gamma rays, while the hydrogen in polyethylene is effective in slowing down these now slower fast neutrons in the few MeV range, and boron 10 has a high absorption cross section for thermal neutrons and a low production yield of gamma rays when it absorbs a neutron. The system is designed to destroy incoming endoatmospheric nuclear warheads aimed at Moscow and other targets and is the lower-tier/last umbrella of the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system (NATO reporting name: ABM-3). [29], Considerable controversy arose in the US and Western Europe following a June 1977 Washington Post exposé describing US government plans to equip US Armed Forces with neutron bombs. Grace, a member of the Royal Military College of Science,[49] as neutron radiation from a 1 kiloton neutron bomb would incapacitate the crew of a tank with a protection factor of 35 out to a range of 280 meters, but the incapacitating blast range, depending on the exact weight of the tank, is much less, from 70 to 130 meters. In a fission bomb, the radiation pulse energy is approximately 5% of the entire energy released; in the neutron bomb it would be closer to 50%. President Ronald Reagan bowed to pressure and the built examples of the W70-3 remained stockpiled in the US until they were retired in 1992. In much the same fashion as the area denial effect resulting from fission product (the substances that make up most fallout) contamination in an area following a conventional surface burst nuclear explosion, as considered in the Korean War by Douglas MacArthur, it would thus be a form of radiological warfare—with the difference that neutron bombs produce half, or less, of the quantity of fission products relative to the same-yield pure fission bomb. Compared to a fission bomb with the identical explosive yield, a neutron bomb would emit about ten times[5] the amount of neutron radiation. Since the neutrons disappear from the environment rapidly, such a burst over an enemy column would kill the crews and leave the area able to be quickly reoccupied. It was seen as a "cleaner" bomb for use against massed Soviet armored divisions.