By Lorna Arnold
This e-book, written with detailed entry to respectable information, tells the key tale of Britain's H-bomb - the medical and strategic historical past, the government's coverage determination, the paintings of the striking males who created the bomb, the 4 weapon trials at a distant Pacific atoll in 1957-58, and the historical consequences.
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Extra resources for Britain and the H-Bomb
At one end was the fission bomb; at the other was suspended the deuterium dewar, surrounded by a heavy uranium-238 tamper. Inside the deuterium dewar was a cylindrical plutonium device, enclosing a chamber into which a few grams of tritium gas could be fed. The huge gadget was expected to have a total yield of 1 to 10 megatons; the most likely being 5 megatons - equal to all the explosives used during World War II. There were some political doubts 66 about carrying out the test only three days before the presidential election, and some people thought that it should be postponed, to seek an agreement with the USSR to end testing.
It was chaired by the omni-competent Sir Norman Brook, the secretary to the Cabinet from 1947 to 1962, an immensely influential figure under four Prime Ministers,19 who was to playa crucial role in the formation of nuclear defence policy. In January 1954 Brook sent Sir Edwin Plowden, chairman-designate of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, the committee's appreciation of a probable atomic attack on Britain assuming that the enemy could drop 200 atomic bombs in the first stage of the war.
However the President, in a broadcast to the nation, told his audience that hydrogen bombs were not a great threat to them. At a press conference next day, asked if the United States planned to build bigger and bigger H-bombs, he replied that he knew no military requirement for a bigger bomb than had already been produced. Whatever the USSR might do there was, he said, no advantage in building bombs beyond a certain yield. 81 Bravo had aroused a world-wide movement 82 of public opinion that, as we shall see, was to have a powerful effect on the nuclear weapons programmes of the superpowers and Britain and would lead eventually to the test moratorium of 1958 and the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963.