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United States nuclear weapons/Related Articles

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A list of Citizendium articles, and planned articles, about United States nuclear weapons.
See also changes related to United States nuclear weapons, or pages that link to United States nuclear weapons or to this page or whose text contains "United States nuclear weapons".

Parent topics

Subtopics

Nuclear weapons

Operational

Recently retired or stockpiled

  • B53 high-yield bomb [r]: 9MT bomb, highest yield in recent years (replaced the highest-yield B41 bomb); same "physics package" as W53 warhead for the Titan II [e]

Cancelled in development

Obviated by arms control

Historic

Safety features in U.S. nuclear weapons

See also: United States nuclear surety
  • Enhanced nuclear detonation safety [r]: Isolating nuclear weapon components essential to weapon detonation from significant electrical energy. This involves the enclosure of detonation-critical components in a barrier to prevent unintended energy sources from powering or operating the weapon’s functions. Penetrations through this barrier are the "strong links" of the weak link-strong link safeguard technology; fail-safe response of components inside it to abnormal events are the "weak links" [e]
  • Environmental Sensing Device (military) [r]: Weapon safety devices that prevent detonation until they detect external conditions consistent with the known mode of delivery, such as changing barometric pressure and radar altitude of a dropped bomb, or the launch acceleration, conditions in space, and reentry of a ballistic missile trajectory; a key safeguard for nuclear weapons [e]
  • Fire-resistant pit [r]: A fire-resistant shell around the plutonium "pit" of a fission device, which will resist prolonged exposure to a jet fuel fire (at 1000 °C) without melting or being eaten through by the corrosive action of molten plutonium; the plutonium will not contaminate the area unless the shell is disrupted; on the B83 strategic bomb and W87 ICBM warhead [e]
  • Insensitive high explosives [r]: Explosives, principally for military use, which have an extremely low probability of detonating accidentally or other than as intended in a specific application; not easily converted to improvised explosive devices, will not detonate when engulfed in fire, and, when used in the high explosive initator of a nuclear weapon, unable to trigger fission unless precisely triggered [e]
  • One-point safe criterion [r]: A design goal for nuclear weapons, to ensure that a single built-in detonator firing, or an external explosive charge fired next to the weapon, could not result in a nuclear yield greater than two kilograms TNT equivalent [e]
  • Permissive Action Link [r]: Built into a nuclear weapon, a component that requires an external code, not known to the crew but provided through the chain of command, to enable detonation in combination with other safety features [e]
  • Weak link-strong link [r]: An architecture for isolating the detonation system of a nuclear weapon inside a electrically and physically rugged barrier; engineered penetrations through this barrier are the "strong links"; fail-safe response of components inside it to abnormal events are the "weak links" [e]

Explosives in U.S. nuclear weapons

Other related topics