How I Dismantled the World’s Deadliest Weapon via Discover magazine

Phil Hoover is in the bomb business. But these days he’s a bomb unbuilder, eliminating nukes to comply with arms treaties.

by Phil Hoover, as told to Michael Rosenwald; 
illustration by Zina SaundersFrom the March 2012 issue; published online February 20, 2012

n October Sandia National Laboratories engineer Phil Hoover dismantled the U.S. arsenal’s last B53, a 9-megaton bomb 600 times as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima. Hoover talked to DISCOVER about taking apart America’s most powerful weapon.

The B53 was big and heavy, about the size of a minivan and 10,000 pounds. We needed 130 engineers and scientists from across the nuclear weapons enterprise to take it apart. Even though the B53 was designed to be rather easily disassembled, it still took us about two weeks per bomb.

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