World: How the Bomb Works

President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing announced last month that France had tested its own Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW), commonly known as the neutron bomb. Military experts point out that the neutron bomb is not a bomb at all, since it is not designed to be dropped from a plane. It is actually a "clean" nuclear warhead, small enough to fit onto a missile or even into a 155-mm howitzer. A modified hydrogen bomb, the ERW produces minimal heat and blast and virtually no residual radiation and fallout (see chart).

It has been the object of controversy since the announcement in 1977 that President...

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