Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama Gave Go-Ahead for New Nuclear Bomb with Triple the Power of the Hiroshima Bomb

Thursday, July 16, 2015
B61-12 nuclear bomb at Sandia research lab (photo: National Nuclear Security Administration)

The Department of Energy (DOE) under President Barack Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is developing a new kind of nuclear weapon far more powerful than what was used on Hiroshima 70 years ago.


The weapon, labeled B61-12 by DOE, will be capable of exploding with a force equivalent to 50,000 tons of TNT, more than three times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb that killed 130,000 people on August 6, 1945.


The B61-12, developed by engineers at the government’s two leading nuclear research labs, Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, will have an adjustable yield function that will allow technicians to choose how powerful the yield is. It also has something else that makes it different: Its tail section allows the bomb to be guided to its target.


Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the nonpartisan Federation of American Scientists, told Reveal that the bomb violates a 2010 Obama administration pledge not to produce nuclear weapons with new military capabilities. “We do not have a nuclear guided bomb in our arsenal today,” Kristensen said. “It is a new weapon.”


Kristensen says this capability will make the bomb more useable in future conflicts.


Nor will it be cheap to produce. DOE plans to build 400 B61-12 bombs at a cost of $11 billion, making it the most expensive nuclear bomb in U.S. history. The bomb is designed to be used on the much-troubled F-35 fighter plane. Having a stealthy plane like the F-35 rigged to carry nuclear weapons could make potential enemies concerned about U.S. intentions.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Obama Pledged To Reduce Nuclear Arsenal, Then Came This Weapon (by Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard, Reveal)

Lockheed Used Taxpayer Money to Lobby for more Taxpayer Money (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Former Congresswoman Sets Revolving Door Speed Record (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Steve 8 years ago
Umm ... by nuclear warhead standards, the Hiroshima bomb was a firecracker. Maybe even a squib. President Obama has responsibilities which transcend his accomplishments in any given area. Coupling his Nobel prize to his duties as commander-in-chief is naive at best. The FAS spokesman's bleat is disingenuous: a major goal of weapons research has been precise targeting. It is hard to see how the extension of steerable vanes (or however this is done) makes this a "new weapon." And given the changes in the world political dynamic in the past 5 years, one can hardly fault Mr. Obama. Is the US the only nation that is to drop its drawers and invite potential adverseries to "kick me"?
T.M. 8 years ago
The B-61 always had an adjustable yield! We called it "dial a yield" when I handled them..

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