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Cheap and Dirty Bombs

Cheap and Dirty Bombs


Throughout the 1950s, the Soviet Union developed its own radiological weaponry -- two radiological warheads for the R-2 missile, named Geran (Geranium) and Generator, which contained a radioactive liquid that would be aerosolized by an explosion, drenching enemy units in radioactive fallout. They tested the warheads from 1953 to 1956, until small nuclear weapons for the R-2 became available. It is unclear if the test program ever used actual radiological materials or merely simulants. In an amusing story, one of the warheads sprung a leak, sending the test personnel for cover. The senior scientist responsible for the test climbed to the top of the rocket, ran his finger through the trickle of brown liquid, and then tasted it. "Guys, let's get to work," he said. "It tastes like crap, but it's harmless." The liquid was not radioactive, but intended only to simulate the atomization process. (Nevertheless, the scientist allowed himself an extra shot of vodka at dinner to "neutralize the substance and to allay the terror.") The Soviets lost interest in radiological weapons by the late 1960s. 

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I'm sure vodka could be an antidote for radioactivity. 

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