- Explosives combined with radioactive materials
- Detonation vaporizes or aerosolizes radioactive material and propels it into the air
- Not a nuclear detonation
Fission bomb: one example
- Caused by an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction with uranium-235 or plutonium-239
- This example has pyramids of plutonium with surrounding explosives
- Initial explosion produces imploding shock wave that drives plutonium pieces inward into central sphere containing pellet of berylliu/polonium, creating "critical mass"
- Resulting fission reaction causes bomb to explosde with tremendous force: nuclear detonation