he Manhattan project is considered to be one of the most secretive projects in history and for good reasons. We think we know everything about the project, but as time goes on, more files emerge from forgotten archives to show something new. Los Alamos was one research facility that was linked to the Manhattan Project. This is also where most of the laboratories were located, which focused on finding the right recipe for disaster.
Nuclear bombs or as they were better known at the time atomic bombs have changed the course of history and evolved humanity by introducing a new aspect, psychological warfare. When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima during World War II, it frightened the whole world. Seeing such a devastating weapon created by humanity and with such ease to use made classical military combat obsolete.
This is why the cold war remained cold for the most part. It was about intimidating the opponent with a larger stash of atomic bombs. But with such huge power also comes a bigger responsibility, something that the scientists from the Los Alamos laboratory were well aware of. That is why they have done some of their own research in secret to find out just how powerful atomic bombs are, as well as the damage they can cause to this world.
Declassified and Forgotten Secrets
A file entitled “Manhattan District History/ Los Almos Project (Y) — Book VIII Volume 2 Technical” has appeared recently. It is dated to be from 1947 and it contains pretty much all the technical aspects behind the Manhattan project. The file contains 500 pages of fine details about the project, even showing a map of where every atomic bomb prototype has been dropped on the testing site and the amount of nuclear material that has been used.
The file is filled with dates and stamps of past reviews for declassification, it seems that the government was really keen on keeping everything secret. The file was refused classification many times and after reading some of it I can see why. What surprised me is that it even went for review in 1979, still during the cold war. As you would expect, many parts from the file have been removed to protect certain sensitive information, but some parts have been deleted from the original file before being declassified.
The Manhatten project is actually formed by many smaller projects that looked into the impact of nuclear weapons. One of these projects was project Y or the Los Alamos project. This project had been run by a group of organizations known collectively as the Development of Substitute Materials Project which was devoted to the wartime development of the atomic bomb. This specific branch was created in early 1943. Their main activity was the development of the atomic bomb.
100 Atomic bombs to Extinction
One of the aspects that have been hidden in small research done by the team to identify the power that they were dealing with. Seeing how unstable nuclear materials can get, the question in their minds was how many bombs would it actually take to end this world? Taking into consideration the power of an atomic bomb and doing some calculations, the scientists came up with an answer, certification dumps. They said that it would take no more than 100 atomic bombs to end humanity.
The answer may come as a bit unclear, especially when taking it from a declassified file and it being from 1945. This is why another study had been conducted in 2018 testing a similar scenario that also concluded that it would take 100 nuclear bombs to end this world.
“The results found that 100 nuclear warheads is adequate for nuclear deterrence in the worst-case scenario for humanity”
What is scarier is that within this world there are 13,080 ready-to-use nuclear warheads and yet it takes such a small amount. Now to think on a more specific note, the reliability of this study and the result is very questionable. The study also looked at the scenario of starting an apocalyptic scene where the population would keep going down until it would become extinct. For those wondering, it would take a lot more nuclear bombs to kill humanity, but the aftermath would potentially be an end for humanity.