May 17, 2003
Neutrino Weapon Could Neutralize Nuclear Weapons

A neutrino emitting weapon could neutralize nuclear bombs anywhere on the planet.

But the "muon storage ring" generator needed to propose the neutrino beam would need to be 1000 kilometres wide. It would also require 50 gigaWatts of power to operate - the same as used by the entire UK - and would cost an estimated $100 billion to construct.

The development of such a device would take many years.

However, the researchers stress that the method is well beyond the capabilities of current particle accelerators and would require substantial R&D and financial investment by many nations

Such a weapon as a defense against nukes runs up against some major problems. It has to be aimed at within a few meters of a nuke to disable it. So it is useless against a well hidden nuke. The biggest nuclear threat the United States faces in the future is probably from nukes smuggled in by terrorists. Therefore the value of this as a defense against the primary threat is questionable. Also, it would cause serious and probably fatal damage to any human hit by the beam.

Some comments in the full text of the paper draw attention to other problems with this approach: the nuke will still explode at a lower level and it will take a few minutes to make that happen.

We have shown that it is possible to eliminate the nuclear bombs from the surface of the earth utilizing the extremely high energy neutrino beam. When the neutrino beam hits a bomb, it will cause the fizzle explosion with 3% of the full strength. It seems that it is not possible to decrease the magnitude of the explosion smaller than this number at this stage. It is important to decrease this number to destroy bombs safely. We are not sure what this means when the plutonium or uranium is used to ignite the hydrogen bomb. We may just break the bomb or may lead to a full explosion. The whole process takes a matter of a few minutes in the case considered in this paper although, of course, it depends on the intensity of the neutrino beam. When the bombs are stored in the form of plutonium ball separated from the explosives, what we can do is to melt them down or vapor them away. It takes substantially longer time for this process to occur.

If it takes a few minutes to knock out a nuke then the beam device can not knock out a large number of nukes rapidly. If it can do one nuke in 3 minutes then at most it can knock out 20 nukes in an hour. Therefore it could not stop a large scale attack of ICBMs even if the beam could somehow be directed accurately to fast moving targets. Also, the nukes will still emit a small fraction of the amount of energy they would emit if they exploded normally. A particle beam designed to simply make an ICBM malfunction and explode during boost stage seems a more reasonable approach than to attempt to knock out a nuke on a travelling ICBM.

Because of the large surface area needed for the device the Moon becomes a candidate worth considering for the site of construction. Though the costs of hauling materials to the Moon to construct it would be very high it could be reduced if most of the needed materials could be mined and processed on the Moon.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 May 17 10:42 AM  Dangers Tech General

John Barrett said at July 21, 2003 12:49 PM:

This may ultimately help the cause of peace and human survival. Research should be supported.

John Barrett Forks WA USA

shvaidak said at April 5, 2004 11:52 PM:

It can be made easier

Mark said at September 21, 2005 5:52 PM:

What i am trying to figure out is that, their is an equal and opposite reaction to everything. Could the processs that takes place when a nuclear bomb goes off, be reversed. Has to say another explosion that would absorbe the nuclear explosion to cancel it out?

Steven said at October 30, 2006 3:10 PM:


Those were my exact thoughts which lead me here from a Google search. It seems that if an explosion occurs that there should be a way to cancel the chain reaction by feeding the explosion faster that it can consume. Maybe it could be possible to blanket an area with something capable of disrupting the chain reaction- to isolate and contain the event. There must be some way to counter an event like this. Furthermore, it could also be used to clean up after an accident or explosion. Just my thoughts.

Zero said at August 24, 2008 9:34 AM:

No one has yet realized that neutrinos almost never interact with matter; if a beam of sufficient density is fired that enough of it interacts with material inside a nuclear device, it will also melt a hole in the planet.

R.K. Yukibara said at June 29, 2009 2:47 PM:

So, if neutrinos rarely interact with matter, how exactly would a neutrino beam melt a hole through the planet?

Is there any chance that instead of using a beam of neutrinos, neutrinos could be utilized through something akin to an omnidirectional neutrino wave emitter? I'm aware that, as of yet, neutrinos are difficult to isolate from other subatomic particles. The idea of a device to render nuclear fission reactions impossible is popularized by a fictional device called an Neutron Jammer, which acts through controlling the free movement of neutrons with electro-magnetic waves. Conversely, if there were a way to contain neutrino emission within a certain radius, i.e. through some sort of magnetic containment field, a dense neutrino field could efficiently destroy nuclear weaponry within that area. Fizzle damage, as well as the power requirements for such a device, would still pose a significant obstacle for this concept, yet I'm uncertain of the practicality of such a device.

Babyfacemagee said at May 20, 2010 11:15 PM:

I'm a firm believer that while we might not have the technology today, it is possible to reverse or neutralize an atomic explosion. I can foresee a satellite based system that could detect the initial signature of an atomic blast and immediately neutralize it within microseconds, limiting the damage to perhaps a few hundred yards rather than the miles of devastation if it proceeded normally. A network of defensive satellites around the world could one day make nuclear weapons no more a threat than a large bunker buster type bomb of today. Of course this would require a great leap in today's technology and probably hundreds of billions in research and deployment. Still, while many years away, it is feasible.

arkansascajun said at August 22, 2010 7:54 AM:

what if it was a naturally occuring beam from deep space? wouldn't that be a TRIP if that happened and deutralised all the nuclear devices on the planet. INSTANT GLOBAL WAR if the restraints of mutual assured destruction were removed.maybe thats whats going to hit us from the galactic center in 2012.

peter zurich said at May 6, 2011 9:44 AM:


Rather than use particle beam techniques it would be better to consider the owrk of people like Joseph Weber at Baltimore University and his co-workers. They found reliable means of harnessing and directing neutrino radiation and made a type of laser. Improvements on this laser design would yield a weapon with exponential power and capable of being focused onto a target with accuracy.

Odundo Duncan Otieno said at July 13, 2012 4:37 AM:

I strongly recommend that the United states Of America work round the clock to come up with effective Neutrino weapon which would effectively neutralize any nuclear Bomb before it could even explode. or a neutrino weapon capable of neutralizing a nuclear bomb within seconds. the cost might be high but its worth is an everlasting peaceful universe.

Odundo Duncan Otieno said at July 13, 2012 5:31 AM:

peace is of paramount importance than the cost incurred in the per suite thereof. if it means having' the neutrino weapon stationed in the moon then so be it. but we must wake up before it's too late, U.S.A must work to beat the clock, it would have been much more effective if there was a way of dismantling any nuclear bomb by use of a Super laser weapon. or perchance the U.S.A might want to consider building' A super weapon which I call A Giant Concave lens weapon capable of melting a nuclear war head of any kind By concentrating the sun's rays with a magnifying glass. The sun's rays, concentrated on a single point by A Giant Concave lens.... consider this "The Sun's rays (on a bright sunny day) give off 1000 watts of energy per square metre of the Earth's surface.... If one were to use a lens to focus one square metre of the Sun's rays into a tight focal point it is capable of melting granite.

I recommend the U.S.A developing' such a weapon and stationing' it on the moon.

With Regards.

Just concerned said at October 1, 2016 5:07 AM:

You should start by destroying your own CNBMs first; after all, the US is the only country to detonate TWO of them.

Ray said at June 8, 2017 1:59 PM:

Considering the money spent on destructive weaponry and ammunition so far, I find it absurd even on economic grounds to say that a true defense system, versus offensive systems is too costly in any terms. The only people to think that is true are people with closed minds incapable of understanding actual solutions.

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