US Dismantles Last Remaining Cold War ‘Mega Bomb’

Posted October 25th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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The United States on Tuesday will dismantle the last of its Cold War-era B53 nuclear bombs, bringing an end to the single most powerful weapon in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Roughly the size of a minivan, the 4500 kilogram B53 was designed to destroy underground facilities by sending shockwaves deep beneath the surface of the Earth.

The American Federation of Scientists estimates the B53 was 600 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War Two.

The U.S. first commissioned the B53 in 1962. Officials began disassembling the bombs in the 1980s before officially decommissioning the B53 in 1997.

Tuesday's dismantling ceremony in Amarillo, Texas is part of President Barack Obama's goal to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons in America's arsenal.

The National Nuclear Security Administration says the elimination of the B53 is a “significant step” that ensures the “Cold War system” will never again be part of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

Analysts say the dismantling of the B53 marks the end of the era of “super weapons” that boasted massive destructive capabilities, but had relatively poor precision.