What is Nuclear Weapons Production?
Nuclear weapons production is a process that involves preparing and refining uranium for use in nuclear fission chain reactions. This process can be done in many different ways, but the most common method is called “the nuclear fuel cycle.” The entire process begins with mining uranium ore from the ground. After mining, it goes through conversion to gaseous form where it is then enriched into high-purity uranium dioxide (UO2). Next, UO2 powder is pressed and formed into pellets which are then made into rods and inserted into a reactor core to start up the nuclear reaction. Once this reaction has been started, energy can be harnessed for electricity or used as an explosive device.
Nuclear weapons are destructive devices that use nuclear reactions to create an explosive blast. The process for nuclear weapon production began in the early 1940s, with the Manhattan Project. Nuclear weapons have their origins in World War II and were developed by both Germany and Japan during this time period. Today, there are nine countries that have active programs to develop their own nuclear arsenal: China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia (formerly USSR), the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America. Nuclear armaments are typically classified as either tactical or strategic-tactical weapons based on how they are deployed. They can be launched from a ship or submarine at sea using cruise missiles or ballistic missiles; fired from aircraft at high speed.