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How to Build an H-Bomb

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How to Build an H-Bomb



Making and owning an H-bomb is the kind of challenge

real Americans seek. Who wants to be a passive victim

of nuclear war when, with a little effort, you can be

an active participant? Bomb shelters are for losers.

Who wants to huddle together underground eating canned

Spam? Winners want to push the button themselves.

Making your own H-bomb is a big step in nuclear

assertiveness training -- it's called Taking Charge.

We're sure you'll enjoy the risks and the heady thrill

of playing nuclear chicken.




When the Feds clamped down on The Progressive magazine

for attempting to publish an article on the manufacture

of the hydrogen bomb, it piqued our curiosity. Was it

really true that atomic and hydrogen bomb technology

was so simple you could build an H-bomb in your own

kitchen? Seven Days decided to find out. Food editor

Barbara Ehrenreich, investigative reporter Peter

Biskind, Photographer Jane Melnick and nuclear

scientist Michio Kaku were given three days to cook up

a workable H-bomb. They did and we have decided to

share their culinary secrets with you.








Part 1: Making Your Bomb



Step 1: Getting the Ingredients


Uranium is the basic ingredient of the A-bomb. When a

uranium atom's nucleus splits apart, it releases a

tremendous amount of energy (for its size), and it

emits neutrons which go on to split other nearby

uranium nuclei, releasing more energy, in what is

called a 'chain reaction'. (When atoms split, matter is

converted into energy according to Einstein's equation

E=MC2. What better way to mark his birthday than with

your own atomic fireworks?)


There are two kinds (isotopes) of uranium: the rare

U-235, used in bombs, and the more common, heavier, but

useless U-238. Natural uranium contains less than 1

percent U-235 and in order to be usable in bombs it has

to be "enriched" to 90 percent U-235 and only 10

percent U-238. Plutonium-239 can also be used in bombs

as a substitute for U-235. Ten pounds of U-235 (or

slightly less plutonium) is all that is necessary for a

bomb. Less than ten pounds won't give you a critical

mass. So purifying or enriching naturally occurring

uranium is likely to be your first big hurdle. It is

infinitely easy to steal ready-to-use enriched uranium

or plutonium than to enrich some yourself. And stealing

uranium is not as hard as it sounds.


There are at least three sources of enriched uranium or



Enriched uranium is manufactured at a gaseous diffusion

plant in Portsmouth, Ohio. From there it is shipped in

10 liter bottles by airplane and trucks to conversion

plants that turn it into uranium oxide or uranium

metal. Each 10 liter bottle contains 7 kilograms of

U-235, and there are 20 bottles to a typical shipment.

Conversion facilities exist at Hematite, Missouri;

Apollo, Pennsylvania; and Erwin, Tennessee. The

Kerr-McGee plant at Crescent Oklahoma -- where Karen

Silkwood worked -- was a conversion plant that "lost"

40 lbs of plutonium. Enriched uranium can be stolen

from these plants or from fuel-fabricating plants like

those in New Haven, San Diego; or Lynchburg, Virginia.

(A former Kerr-McGee supervisor, James V. Smith, when

asked at the Silkwood trial if there were any security

precautions at the plant to prevent theft, testified

that 'There were none of any kind, no guards, no

fences, no nothing.')


Plutonium can be obtained from places like United

Nuclear in Pawling, New York; Nuclear Fuel Services in

Erwin, Tennessee; General Electric in Pleasanton,

California; Westinghouse in Cheswick, Pennsylvania;

Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) in

Leechburg, Pennsylvania; and plants in Hanfford,

Washington and Morris, Illinois. According to Rolling

Stone magazine the Israelis were involved in the theft

of plutonium from NUMEC.


Finally you can steal enriched uranium or plutonium

while it's en-route from conversion plants to fuel

fabricating plants. It is usually transported (by air

or truck) in the form of uranium oxide, a brownish

powder resembling instant coffee, or as a metal, coming

in small chunks called "broken buttons." Both forms are

shipped in small cans stacked in 5-inch cylinders

braced with welded struts in the center of ordinary 55

gallon steel drums. The drums weigh about 100 pounds

and are clearly marked "Fissible Material" or "Danger,

Plutonium." A typical shipment might go from the

enrichment plant at Portsmouth, Ohio to the conversion

plant in Hematite Missouri then to Kansas City by truck

where it would be flown to Los Angeles and then trucked

down to the General Atomic plant in San Diego. The

plans for the General Atomic plant are on file at the

Nuclear Regulatory Commission's reading room at 1717 H

Street NW Washington. A Xerox machine is provided for

the convenience of the public.


If you can't get hold of any enriched uranium you'll

have to settle for commercial grade (20 percent U-235).

This can be stolen from university reactors of a type

called TRIGA Mark II, where security is even more

casual than at commercial plants.


If stealing uranium seems too tacky you can buy it.

Unenriched uranium is available at any chemical supply

house for $23 a pound. Commercial grade (3 to 20

percent enriched) is available for $40 a pound from

Gulf Atomic. You'll have to enrich it further yourself.

Quite frankly this can be something of a pain in the

ass. You'll need to start with a little more than 50

pounds of commercial-grade uranium. (It's only 20

percent U-235 at best, and you need 10 pounds of U-235

so... ) But with a little kitchen-table chemistry

you'll be able to convert the solid uranium oxide

you've purchased into a liquid form. Once you've done

that, you'll be able to separate the U-235 that you'll

need from the U-238.


First pour a few gallons of concentrated hydrofluoric

acid into your uranium oxide, converting it to uranium

tetrafluoride. (Safety note: Concentrated hydrofluoric

acid is so corrosive that it will eat its way through

glass, so store it only in plastic. Used 1-gallon

plastic milk containers will do.) Now you have to

convert your uranium tetrafluoride to uranium

hexafluoride, the gaseous form of uranium, which is

convenient for separating out the isotope U-235 from



To get the hexafluoride form, bubble fluorine gas into

your container of uranium tetrafluoride. Fluorine is

available in pressurized tanks from chemical-supply

firms. Be careful how you use it though because

fluorine is several times more deadly than chlorine,

the classic World War I poison gas. Chemists recommend

that you carry out this step under a stove hood (the

kind used to remove unpleasant cooking odors).


If you've done your chemistry right you should now have

a generous supply of uranium hexafluoride ready for

enriching. In the old horse-and-buggy days of A-bomb

manufacture the enrichment was carried out by passing

the uranium hexafluoride through hundreds of miles of

pipes, tubes, and membranes, until the U-235 was

eventually separated from the U-238. This

gaseous-diffusion process, as it was called is

difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

Gaseous-diffusion plants cover hundreds of acres and

cost in the neighborhood of $2-billion each. So forget

it. There are easier, and cheaper, ways to enrich your



First transform the gas into a liquid by subjecting it

to pressure. You can use a bicycle pump for this. Then

make a simple home centrifuge. Fill a standard-size

bucket one-quarter full of liquid uranium hexafluoride.

Attach a six-foot rope to the bucket handle. Now swing

the rope (and attached bucket) around your head as fast

as possible. Keep this up for about 45 minutes. Slow

down gradually, and very gently put the bucket on the

floor. The U-235, which is lighter, will have risen to

the top, where it can be skimmed off like cream. Repeat

this step until you have the required 10 pounds of

uranium. (Safety note: Don't put all your enriched

uranium hexafluoride in one bucket. Use at least two or

three buckets and keep them in separate corners of the

room. This will prevent the premature build-up of a

critical mass.)


Now it's time to convert your enriched uranium back to

metal form. This is easily enough accomplished by

spooning several ladlefuls of calcium (available in

tablet form from your drugstore) into each bucket of

uranium. The calcium will react with the uranium

hexafluoride to produce calcium fluoride, a colorless

salt which can be easily be separated from your pure

enriched uranium metal.



A few precautions:

* While uranium is not dangerously radioactive in

the amounts you'll be handling, if you plan to

make more than one bomb it might be wise to wear

gloves and a lead apron, the kind you can buy in

dental supply stores.


* Plutonium is one of the most toxic substances

known. If inhaled, a thousandth of a gram can

cause massive fibrosis of the lungs, a painful way

to go. Even a millionth of a gram in the lungs

will cause cancer. If eaten plutonium is

metabolized like calcium. It goes straight to the

bones where it gives out alpha particles

preventing bone marrow from manufacturing red

blood cells. The best way to avoid inhaling

plutonium is to hold your breath while handling

it. If this is too difficult wear a mask. To avoid

ingesting plutonium orally follow this simple

rule: never make an A-bomb on an empty stomach.


* If you find yourself dozing off while you're

working, or if you begin to glow in the dark, it

might be wise to take a blood count. Prick your

finger with a sterile pin, place a drop of blood

on a microscope slide, cover it with a cover slip,

and examine under a microscope. (Best results are

obtained in the early morning.) When you get

leukemia, immature cells are released into the

bloodstream, and usually the number of white cells

increases (though this increase might take almost

2 weeks). Red blood cells look kind of like donuts

(without the hole), and are slightly smaller than

the white cells, each of which has a nucleus.

Immature red cells look similar to white cells

(i.e.. slightly larger and have a nucleus). If you

have more than about 1 white cell (including

immature ones) to 400 red cells then start to

worry. But, depending upon your plans for the

eventual use of the bomb, a short life expectancy

might not be a problem.







Step 2: Assembling the A-Bomb


Now that you've acquired the enriched uranium, all

that's left is to assemble your A-bomb. Go find a

couple of stainless steel salad bowls. You also want to

separate your 10 pounds of U-235 into two hunks. (Keep

them apart!) The idea is to push each half your uranium

into the inside of a bowl.


Take one hunk of your uranium and beat it into the

inside of the first bowl. Uranium is malleable, like

gold, so you should have no trouble hammering it into

the bowl to get a good fit. Take another five-pound

hunk of uranium and fit it into a second stainless

steel bowl. These two bowls of U-235 are the

"subcritical masses" which, when brought together

forcefully, will provide the critical mass that makes

your A-bomb go. Keep them a respectful distance apart

while working because you don't want them to "go

critical" on you... At least not yet.


Now hollow out the body of an old vacuum cleaner and

place your two hemispherical bowls inside, open ends

facing each other, no less than seven inches apart,

using masking tape to set them up in position. The

reason for the steel bowls and the vacuum cleaner, in

case you're wondering, is that these help reflect the

neutrons back into the uranium for a more efficient

explosion. "A loose neutron is a useless neutron" as

the A-bomb pioneers used to say.


As far as the A-bomb goes, you're almost done. The

final problem is to figure out how to get the two U-235

hemispheres to smash into each other with sufficient

force to set off a truly effective fission reaction.

Almost any type of explosive can be used to drive them

together. Gunpowder, for example, is easily made at

home from potassium nitrate, sulfur, and carbon. Or,

you can get some blasting caps or TNT. (Buy them or

steal them from a construction site.) Best of all is C4

plastic explosive. You can mold it around your bowls,

and it's fairly safe to work with. (But, it might be

wise to shape it around an extra salad bowl in another

room, and THEN fit it to your uranium-packed bowls.

This is particularly true in winter, when a stray

static electrical charge might induce ignition in the

C4. A responsible bomb maker considers it impolite to

accidentally destroy more of the neighborhood than

absolutely necessary.)


Once the explosives are in place all you need to do is

hook up a simple detonation device with a few

batteries, a switch, and some wire. Remember though

that it is essential that the two charges -- one on

each side of the casing -- go off simultaneously.


Now put the whole thing in the casing of an old Hoover

vacuum cleaner and you're finished with this part of

the process.


The rest is easy.




Step 3: Make More A-Bombs Following the Directions







A Word to the Wise About Wastes



After your A-bomb is completed you'll have a pile of

moderately fatal radioactive wastes like U-238. These

are not dangerous, but you do have to get rid of them.

You can flush leftovers down the toilet. (Don't worry

about polluting the ocean, there is already so much

radioactive waste there, a few more bucketfuls won't

make any waves whatsoever.) If you're the fastidious

type -- the kind who never leaves gum under their seat

at the movies -- you can seal the nasty stuff in coffee

cans and bury it in the backyard, just like Uncle Sam

does. If the neighbor kids have a habit of trampling

the lawn, tell them to play over by the waste. You'll

soon find that they're spending most of their time in








Going First Class

If you're like us, you're feeling the economic pinch,

and you'll want to make your bomb as inexpensively as

possible, consonant of course with reasonable yield.

The recipe we've given is for a budget-pleasing H-bomb,

no frills, no flourishes; it's just a simple 5-megaton

bomb, capable of wiping out the New York metropolitan

area, the San Francisco Bay area, or Boston. But don't

forget, your H-bomb will only be as good as the A-bombs

in it.


If you want to spend a little more money you can

punch-up your A-bomb considerably. Instead of

centrifuging your uranium by hand, you can buy a

commercial centrifuge. (Fisher Scientific sells one for

about $1000.) You also might want to be fussier about

your design. The Hiroshima bomb, a relatively crude

one, only fissioned 1 percent of it's uranium and

yielded only 13 kilotons. In order to fission more of

the uranium, the force of your explosive "trigger"

needs to be evenly diffused around the sphere; the same

pressure has to be exerted on every point of the sphere

simultaneously. (It was a technique for producing this

sort of simultaneous detonation by fashioning the

explosives into lenses that the government accused

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of trying to steal).








Part 2: Putting Your H-Bomb Together


The heart of the H-bomb is the fusion process. Several

A-bombs are detonated in such a way as to create the

extremely high temperature (100 million degrees C)

necessary to fuse lithium deuteride (LiD) into helium.

When the lithium nucleus slams into the deuterium

nucleus, two helium nuclei are created, and if this

happens to enough deuterium nuclei rapidly enough, the

result is an enormous amount of energy: the energy of

the H-bomb. You don't have to worry about stealing

lithium deuteride, it can be purchased from any

chemical-supply house. It costs $1000 a pound. If your

budget won't allow it you can substitute lithium

hydride at $40 a pound. You will need at least 100

pounds. It's a corrosive and toxic powder so be



Place the lithium deuteride or hydride in glass jars

and surround it with four A-bombs in their casings.

Attach them to the same detonator so that they will go

off simultaneously. The container for the whole thing

is no problem. They can be placed anywhere: Inside an

old stereo console, a discarded refrigerator, etc...


When the detonator sets off the four A-bombs all eight

hemispheres of fissionable material will slam into each

other at the same time creating four critical masses

and four detonations. This will raise the temperature

of the lithium deuteride to 100 million degrees C fast

enough (a few billionths of a second) so that the

lithium will not be blown all over the neighborhood

before the nuclei have time to fuse. The result, at

least 1000 times the punch of the puny A-bomb that

leveled Hiroshima (20 million tons of TNT vs. 20

thousand tons.)






Part 3: What to do With Your Bomb

Now that you have a fully assembled H-bomb housed in an

attractive console of your choice you may be wondering,

"What should I do with it?" Every family will have to

answer this question according to its own tastes and

preferences, but you may want to explore some

possibilities which have been successfully pioneered by

the American government.


1. Sell Your Bomb and Make a Pile of Money


In these days of rising inflation, increasing

unemployment, and an uncertain economic outlook,

few businesses make as much sense as weapons

production. If your career forecast is cloudy,

bomb sales may be the only sure way to avoid the

humiliation of receiving welfare, or unemployment.

Regardless of your present income level, a home

H-bomb business can be an invaluable income

supplement, and certainly a profitable alternative

to selling Tupperware or pirated Girl Scout



Unfortunately for the family bomb business, big

government has already cornered a large part of

the world market. But this does not mean that

there is a shortage of potential customers. The

raid on Entebee was the Waterloo of hijacking, and

many nationalist groups are now on the alert for

new means to get their message across. They'd jump

at the chance to get hold of an H-bomb. Emerging

nations which can't ante up enough rice or sugar

to buy themselves a reactor from G.E. or

Westinghouse are also shopping around.


You may wonder about the ethics of selling to

nations, or groups, whose goals you may disapprove

of. But here again, take a tip from our

government: forget ideology -- it's cash that

counts. And remember, H-bomb sales have a way of

escalating, almost like a chain reaction. Suppose

you make a sale to South Yemen which you believe

to be a Soviet puppet. Well within a few days some

discrete inquiries from North Yemen and possibly

the Saudis, the Egyptians and the Ethiopians as

well can be expected. Similarly, a sale to the IRA

will generate a sale to the Ulster government; and

a sale to the Tanzanians will bring the Ugandans

running, and so forth.


It doesn't matter WHICH side you're on, only how

many sides there are. Don't forget about the

possibility of repeat sales to the same customer.

As the experience of both the U.S. and the

U.S.S.R. has shown, each individual nation has a

potentially infinite need for H-bombs. No customer

-- no matter how small -- can ever have too many.



2. Use Your Bomb at Home



Many families are attracted to the H-bomb simply

as a "deterrent." A discrete sticker on the door

or on the living room window saying "This Home

Protected by H-bomb" will discourage IRS

investigators, census takers, and Jehovah's

Witnesses. You'll be surprised how fast the crime

rate will go down and property values will go up.

And once the news gets out that you are a home

H-bomb owner you'll find that you have unexpected

leverage in neighborhood disputes over everything

from parking places and stereo noise levels to

school tax rates. So relax and enjoy the pride and

excitement of home H-bomb ownership!






Is It For You?


Let's be honest. The H-bomb isn't for everyone. Frankly

there are people who can't handle it. They break out in

hives at the very mention of mega-death, fallout, or

radiation sickness.


The following quiz will help you find out whether you

have what it takes for home H-bomb ownership. If you

can answer "yes" to six or more of these questions,

then you're emotionally eligible to join the nuclear

club. If not, a more conventional weapon may be more

your cup of tea, try botulism-toxin, laser rays, or

nerve gas.


1. I ignore the demands of others.


2. I subscribe to one or more of the following: Soldier

of Fortune, Hustler, Popular Mechanics, Self.


3. Though I have many interesting acquaintances, I am

my own best friend.


4. I know what to say after you say "Hello," but I am

seldom interested in pursuing the conversation.


5. I have seen the movie "The Deer Hunter" more than



6. I know that everyone can be a winner if they want

to, and I resent whiners.


7. I own one or more of the following: handgun, video

game, trash compactor, snowmobile.


8. I am convinced that leukemia is psychosomatic.


9. I am aware that most vegetarians are sexually



10. I have read evidence that solar energy is a

Communist conspiracy.







Myths About Nuclear War


Ever since the first mushroom cloud over Hiroshima

ushered in the atomic age, a small group of nay-sayers

and doom-mongers has lobbied, campaigned and

demonstrated to convince Americans that H-bomb

ownership, along with nuclear power, is dangerous and

unhealthy. Using their virtual stranglehold over the

media, these people have tried to discredit everything

nuclear from energy to war. They have vastly overrated

the risks of nuclear bombs and left many Americans

feeling demoralized and indecisive; not sure where the

truth lies. Well, here are the myths, and here are the




Myth: After a nuclear exchange the earth will no longer

be suitable for human habitation.


Fact: This is completely false. According to one

scientist (quoted in John McPee's The Curve of Binding

Energy) "The largest bomb that has ever been exploded

anywhere was 60 megatons, and that is one-thousandth

the force of an earthquake, one-thousandth the force of

a hurricane. We have lived with earthquakes and

hurricanes for a long time." Another scientist adds,

"It is often assumed that a full blown nuclear war

would be the end of life on earth. That is far from the

truth. To end life on earth would take at least a

thousand times the total yield of all the nuclear

explosives existing in the world, and probably a lot

more." Even if humans succumbed, many forms of life

would survive a nuclear free-for-all, cockroaches,

certain forms of bacteria, and lichens, for instance.



Myth: Radiation is bad for you.


Fact: Everything is bad for you if you have too much of

it. If you eat too many bananas you'll get a

stomach-ache. If you get too much sun you can get

sunburned (or even skin cancer). Same thing with

radiation. Too much may make you feel under the

weather, but nuclear industry officials insist that

there is no evidence that low-level radiation has any

really serious adverse effects. And, high-level

radiation may bring unexpected benefits. It speeds up

evolution by weeding out unwanted genetic types and

creating new ones. (Remember the old saying, "Two heads

are better than one.") Nearer to home, it's plain that

radiation will get rid of pesky crab grass and weeds,

and teenagers will find that brief exposure to a

nuclear burst vaporizes acne and other skin blemishes.

(Many survivors of the Hiroshima bomb found that they

were free from skin and it's attendant problems




We hope this clears up any misconceptions you may have

had. Enjoy your H-Bomb!

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[Zombie Voice] I need an H-bomb or A-bomb [/Zombie Voice]

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Has anyone tried this? any design suggestion for the 'this home is protected by H-Bomb' sign? Now I must find another tutorial like '[How-To] ballistic missile' or 'Laser guidance for noobs'

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Yeah, i did this in my younger days, (when i had skin), laser guidance is apin, just get a cheapo gps system and connect some servo's to it, make a rockt (empty barrel with propane gas can at the bottom and voila a rocket :D.


Nice tutorial lol

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Ahm, I will make an installer for this (for easy use!)

You can then order it on my website!

;) hahaha lol

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aww.... someone moved it out of tutorials.


I thought that this is the best way to get yourself a copy of mac os X that runs on anything.


1)make one of these puppies

2)pop up (down) to Cupertino for quick chat with Stevo.

3)upload to your favourite tracker.


Seems so much simpler than editing plists for the next ten years...

Damn it, why do I have to live in a nuclear free country. :pirate2:

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I liked the part where it said to swirl a bucket of U-238 over your head to seperate the U-235 from it like a centrifuge. Lol. I can see some guy in Alabama trying this and killing himself.


The scary part is, most of this stuff sounds like it was written by somebody who has a very good understanding of chemistry. The basic process is correct, but the tools used are really implausible. A vaccuum isn't much of a housing for sub-critical masses. :(

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