Do It Yourself! How to make your own Atom Bomb

To-day almost everyone does it himself. A large trade has grown up in kits of parts which you buy in a carton and stick together. Tables and chairs, of course, wireless and television sets, garages and garden-sheds, clothing and rugs, electric fittings and all-night-burning stoves; we all buy the bits and “do it ourselves.” “Save pounds” says the advertisement. Even the Book of Instructions issued by one group in this line is published in separate parts. After studying the section on “Bookbinding” you buy the materials and “bind it yourself.”

It is not unusual on Friday evenings to see a “City gent” (i.e. office-worker) staggering to the terminus, bowler hat and umbrella in one hand, so that the other may cope successfully with a bundle of wall paper.

This idea permits of some extension. No firm has yet put out kits of parts to build your own car or even bicycle, though “knock-downs” (cars in bits in boxes) have been exported for years.

It will probably come. So far nobody has issued instructions on how to make an Atomic Bomb which, though of moderate proportions suitable for the “little man” is still quite effective. Yet as our diagram shows the actual construction is fairly simple. The “secret” of the whole business is apparently in the “critical weight” of the two separate pieces of uranium. According to our information about 3lbs. of refined uranium should be sufficient. It should be clearly understood that we are not supplying kits of parts, neither can we give addresses of firms supplying materials. Nor can we accept responsibility for accidents. Our information is culled from Achievements of Modern Science, by A. D. Merriman, Gregg Publishing Co., 1949.

We would emphasise that although the atom bomb is the trigger for the modern hydrogen bomb, the latter is quite beyond the capacity of the ordinary home constructor, however enthusiastic.

According to the statement published by Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, and other scientists, while the atom bomb “only” obliterated Hiroshima “no one knows how widely such radio-active particles might be diffused, but the best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with H-bombs might quite possibly put an end to the human race” (Evening Standard, July 9, 1955).

Therefore we do not see that any objection can be raised to a small weapon of the type we have mentioned. Those numerous “Pacifists” who are not against wars fought with old-fashioned weapons but only against large atomic missiles; all the supporters of the Russian disarmament schemes which propound the limitation of only those arms in which Russia is deficient; cannot logically object to a small home-constructor’s effort, which, compared to the tests now opening craters in the sea-bed, is only kid-stuff.

Neither can we see how people who support “Peacetime” Capitalism with its fantastic road casualties alone, which regularly exceeds one million a year in one country, the U.S.A., can really care whether people make their own bombs or not. These could never compete with the most lethal weapon of modern times, the motor-car in the hands of a harassed and worried driver.

In the first flush of the Socialist Movement the idea of the “Citizens Militia” was popular. It was a hang over from the days of the National Guard in France when workers could buy cannon and maintain them at their own expense. The scheme was that each citizen kept his own weapon in readiness at home. Perhaps the next Labour Government could revert to this; instructing each “Z” class man to report with his birth certificate and home-made atomic bomb all ready, thus making considerable economies in Defence Expenditure. We make no charge for this suggestion. The Labour Party badly needs some.

Finally may we urge those desirous of undertaking private research in nuclear physics in the garden shed (after all, the Curies discovered radium in a derelict shed) to see that their personal papers are in order. Bequests donating money or property to the Socialist Party of Great Britain should be drawn up by a qualified solicitor, who will also supply the necessary Government stamp.

On the other hand, perhaps it might be better to send a smaller donation, and remain alive to advocate Socialism. Work of that sort will eventually produce a Socialist Society where atoms will be controlled by intelligence.


Leave a Reply