Unlike other nuclear weapons that utilize fission, the purified hydrogen bomb caused nuclear fusion of heavy hydrogen through heat-insulated compression using lasers and magnetism. Its detonation would not generate radioactive fallout and residual radioactivity would be significantly decreased when compared with fission weapons.
There were two theories to developing purified hydrogen bombs, with America choosing the Laser-Inertial Compression theory. Theoretically, the same as laser nuclear fusion, the pellets evaporate by solidifying deuterium and tritium at an extremely low temperature to create pellets, which are then bombarded with a high-output laser, resulting in the inward compression of the pellets. The pellets central portion, after this, would reach the extreme temperature and pressure conditions needed to confine nuclear fusion, and thus cause a nuclear reaction. The research continued into the 1990s, but it was put on hold due to the difficulty in creating a miniature laser with the necessary ultrahigh output.
By 2009, the U.S. Government managed to alleviate the problem with the miniature laser. The device was still in an experimental stage and was allegedly housed onboard Arsenal Gear and would become launch-capable upon the warship's activation.
After President Johnson's death during the terrorist takeover of the Big Shell offshore plant, the nuclear football was no longer a viable option for launching a strike into America. Dead Cell, a faction within the Sons of Liberty, had been led to believe a purified hydrogen bomb was aboard Arsenal Gear (the existence of which terrorist leader Solidus Snake was initially unaware). Dead Cell intended to launch the bomb directly into Manhattan itself, devastating the city and its population, rather than carry out Solidus's supposed plan of a high-altitude detonation.
The terrorists, however, were defeated before they could use the weapon, due to the actions of special forces operative Raiden, and the machinations of the Patriots. It was later revealed that the purified hydrogen bomb had been one of many "stories" used to manipulate Dead Cell into participating in the S3 Plan.
Behind the scenes
In the script for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Vamp was to have had additional lines of dialogue in his speech to Raiden, prior to their battle in the Big Shell's filtration chamber. During this, Vamp explicitly states Dead Cell's intentions to launch the purified hydrogen bomb directly into Manhattan, in order to exact their revenge on the Patriots. The dialogue was ultimately cut from the final version, presumably for the same reasons as Arsenal Gear's crash into the city, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks shortly before the game's release. The dialogue itself, however, was kept in the novelization released in 2009.
- Pure fusion weapon on Wikipedia
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
Revolver Ocelot: We’ve [the Patriots have] gone to a lot of trouble to set you [Dead Cell] up against the boy [Raiden]. That story about purified hydrogen bombs is just the tip of the iceberg.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (script), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
Raiden: Then Wall Street could still... // Vamp: That was Solidus’ intent, not ours [Dead Cell's]. // Raiden: Then what re [sic] you... ? // Vamp: We’re not going to let Solidus have the bomb – he’s a fool to believe that an electromagnetic pulse over Wall Street is going to faze the Patriots... // Vamp: To destroy them, the city that they control [New York City] must be reduced to rubble. Only that would bring them out in the open where they can be destroyed. // Raiden: Nuke the city?