A Third Generation of Nukes

From fission and fusion to enhanced X rays and microwaves

The Hazebrook nuclear device that was detonated some 700 ft. below the Nevada desert last Feb. 3 was puny by most measures. Equal to about 40 tons of TNT, a mere .2% as strong as the Hiroshima blast, it would be feeble in a missile warhead. But in space, packed into the closed end of a stubby barrel and tamped down with hundreds of thousands of metal pellets, the low-yield weapon could wreak havoc. Unlike a standard nuclear explosion, which would vaporize the pellets and barrel, this one would spray the pellets through space at speeds up to 100 times that...

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