Go to Home Page

Key Issues Nuclear Weapons The Basics Cobalt Bombs

Cobalt Bombs

Leo Szilard originated the idea of the use of Cobalt 59 in nuclear weapons in February 1950 to demonstrate that in theory it would be possible to build a weapon with the capability of killing everyone on earth. Cobalt 60 is an ideal radioactive isotope because it could be dispersed worldwide before decaying and its half-life would make this possible. To public knowledge, no such bomb has actually ever been atmospherically tested or built. However, the UK tested a bomb which incorporated cobalt as an experimental radiochemical tracer on 14 September 1957 at its test site in Maralinga, Australia.

Printer Friendly

More on the Web
Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues