Two Things That Go Together

“This post”:http://nuclearsecrecy.com/blog/2012/06/13/weekly-document-ivy-mike-leak-1952/ from A Wellerstein, whose blog is always amazing, has a great account of Shot MIKE of Operation Ivy – AKA, the world’s first H-Bomb test. His account of the associated press leaks is fascinating, but I was also struck by the fact that MIKE wasn’t so much a “weapon” as a “device”:

bq. There was no “operational” reason for keeping the MIKE test a secret, except for the fact that, well, it wasn’t actually really ready for prime-time, as far as weapons went. MIKE was a big, clunky cryogenic test apparatus that weighed over 50 tons. *It had been designed (by Dick Garwin) to prove a point,* not to fit on an airplane.

That portion jumped out at the when I recently re-read “this 1975 memo to holders”:http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb333/doc01.pdf of a 1974 NIE. The memo discusses the prospect of a state developing an un-weaponized nuclear explosive device for a variety of political and military purposes. Take a look.

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