Mark 14 nuclear bomb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mark 14 nuclear bomb.
The Castle Union test of the Mark 14 design.

For the Sinclair Research Ltd. SC/MP based computer system see MK14. For the torpedo see Mark 14 torpedo.

The Mark 14 nuclear bomb was a 1950s American thermonuclear bomb, the first solid-fuel staged hydrogen bomb. It was an experimental design, and only five units were produced in early 1954. It was tested in April 1954 during the Castle Union nuclear test and had a yield of 6.9 Mt. The bomb is often listed as the TX-14 (for "experimental") or EC-14 (for "Emergency Capability"). It has also been referred to as the "Alarm Clock" device though it has nothing to do with the design by the same name proposed earlier by Edward Teller and known as the Sloika in the Soviet Union.

The fusion fuel used by the bomb was 95% enriched Lithium isotope 6 lithium deuteride, which at the time was a scarce resource and chiefly responsible for its limited deployment. The Castle Bravo (shrimp device) showed that unenriched Lithium isotope 7 functioned as well for thermonuclear reactions as isotope 6. The Mk-14 bomb had a diameter of 61.4 inches (1.56 m) and a length of 222 inches (5.64 m). They weighed between 28,950 and 31,000 pounds (13,100 and 14,100 kg), and used a 64 feet (20 m) parachute.[1]

The version tested at Castle Union used a RACER IV primary, and had 5 Mt of its total yield due to fission, making it a very "dirty" weapon.[2]

By 1956, the components of all of the five produced Mk-14 bombs had been recycled into Mark 17s.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ List of All U.S. Nuclear Weapons at NuclearWeaponArchive.org
  2. ^ *Operation Castle at NuclearWeaponArchive.org

References[edit]

  • Hansen, Chuck, "Swords of Armageddon," Sunnyvale, CA, Chucklea Publications, 1995.

See also[edit]