How to Make an Atomic Bomb in 10 Easy Steps

DAYTON, Ohio -- "Little Boy" atomic bomb at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)


Worldwide controversy has been generated recently from several court
decisions in the United States which have restricted popular magazines from
printing articles which describe how to make an atomic bomb. The reason
usually given by the courts is that national security would be compromised
if such information were generally available. But, since it is commonly known
that all of the information is publicly available in most major metropolitan
libraries, obviously the court’s officially stated position is covering up a
more important factor; namely, that such atomic devices would prove too
difficult for the average citizen to construct. The United States courts
cannot afford to insult the vast majorities by insinuating that they do not
have the intelligence of a cabbage, and thus the “official” press releases
claim national security as a blanket restriction.

The rumors that have unfortunately occurred as a result of widespread
misinformation can (and must) be cleared up now, for the construction project
this month is the construction of a thermonuclear device, which will hopefully
clear up any misconceptions you might have about such a project. We will see
how easy it is to make a device of your very own in ten easy steps, to have and
hold as you see fit, without annoying interference from the government or the

The project will cost between $5,000 and $30,000 dollars, depending on how
fancyyou want the final product to be. Since last week’s column, “Let’s Make
a TimeMachine”, was received so well in the new step-by-step format, this
month’s column will follow the same format.


1. First, obtain about 50 pounds (110 kg) of weapons grade Plutonium at your
local supplier (see NOTE 1). A nuclear power plant is not recommended, as
large quantities of missing Plutonium tends to make plant engineers unhappy.
We suggest that you contact your local terrorist organization, or perhaps the
Junior Achievement in your neighborhood.

2. Please remember that Plutonium, especially pure, refined Plutonium, is
somewhat dangarous. Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling
the material, and don’t allow your children or pets to play in it or eat it.
Any left over Plutonium dust is excellent as an insect repellant. You may wish
to keep the substance in a lead box if you can find one in your local junk
yard, but an old coffee can will do nIcely.

3. Fashion together a metal enclosure to house the device. Most common
varieties of sheet metal can be bent to disguise this enclosure as, for
example, a briefcase, alunch pail, or a Buick. Do not use tinfoil.

4. Arrange the Plutonium into two hemispheral shapes, separated by about 4
cm. Use rubber cement to hold thePlutonium dust together. Gelignite is much
better,but messier to work with. Your helpful hardware man will be happy to
provide you withthis item.

6. Pack the TNT around the hemisphere arrangement constructed in step 4. If
you cannot find Gelignite, feel free to use TNT packed in with Playdo or any
modeling clay. Colored clay is acceptable, but there is no need to get fancy
at this point.

7. Enclose the structure from step 6 into the enclosure made in step 3. Use
a strong glue such as “Crazy Glue” to bind the hemisphere arrangement against
the enclosure to prevent accidental detonation which might result from
vibration or mishandling.

8. To detonate the device, obtain a radio controlled (RC) servo mechanism, as
found in RC model airplanes and cars. With a minimum of effort, a remote
plunger can be made that will strike a detonator cap to effect a small
explosion. These detonator caps can be found in the electrical supply section
of your local supermarket. We recommend the “Blast-O-Mactic” brand because
they are no deposit-no return.

9. Now hide the completed device from the neighbors and children. The garage
is not recommended because of high humidity and the extreme range of
temperatures experienced there. Nuclear devices have been known to
spontaneousLy detonate in these unstable conditions. The hall closet or under
the kitchen sink will be perfectly suitable.

10. Now you are the proud owner of a working thermonuclear device! It is a
great ice-breaker at parties, and in a pinch, can be used for national defense.

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