Nuclear Yield/Weight Ratios (Updated 25 December 2011) |
US Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History by Chuck Hansen
Cary Sublette's Nuclear Weapons Archive
Fissionable Fuels |
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Name |
Oralloy
(Oak Ridge Alloy) |
Plutonium 239 |
Cost |
$53/gram (1996) |
$4.65/milligram (1998; 99%+) |
Energy Release from 100% Efficient Reaction |
17 kt/kg |
20 kt/kg |
Minimum Critical Mass |
14.1 to 13.5 kg |
4.4 kg |
Density |
18.8 g/cm3 |
19.7 g/cm3 |
Description |
Silvery-Gray Metal. |
Silvery-White Metal. Produces 2.4 W/kg of heat from radioactive decay, so special precautions must be taken in design of devices to avoid self-generated heat from ruining them. |
Fusionable Fuels |
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Name |
Liquid Deuterium |
Lithium-6 |
Lithium-7 |
Cost |
$500/kg |
$1.30/gram (1997; 95-96%) |
$6.70/gram (1997; 99%) |
Energy Release from 100% Efficient Reaction |
82.2 kt/kg |
64 kt/kg |
40.3 kt/kg |
Density |
0.169 g/cm3 |
0.534 g/cm3 |
0.534 g/cm3 |
Description |
Cryogenic Fuel. |
Whitish, slightly blue powdery light salt. Is pressed into a ceramic and then machined into shapes as necessary for devices. |
Mark One (Little Boy) – A plug consisting of 25.2 kilograms (42% of the critical mass) was fired into a series of concentric rings containing the remaining 58% (34.8 kilograms) of the critical mass. About 700 grams completely fissioned out of a total of 60 kilograms of Uranium-235, for a efficiency of 1.2% and a yield/weight ratio of 0.23 kt/kg.
Model 1561 (Fat Man) – A sub-critical mass of 6.2 kilograms of Plutonium was “squeezed” by a complex series of explosive detonations into a critical mass. Of 6.2 kilograms of Plutonium, about 1.3 kilograms fissioned completely, for an efficiency of 21% and a yield/weight ratio of 2.8 kt/kg.
W76 (Trident I/II): 100 kT in 362 lbs
W80 (ALCM/ACM): 5 to 150 kT in 290 lbs
W84 (BGM-109G): 0.2 to 150 kT in 388 lbs
W85 (Pershing II): 5 to 80 kT in 880 lbs
W87 (MX): 300 kT in 440-660 lbs
W89 (SRAM II): 200 kT in 324 lbs
Notes: Based on the yields/weights given above (excluding the W85); do not use this equation for anything below about 75 kilotons to be on the safe side.
Weight = 46.308 * Yield^{0.406}
Where:
Weight is in Pounds
Yield is in Kilotons