26 Oct 2011

Cold War bomb dismantled

3:03 pm on 26 October 2011

The last of America's most powerful Cold War-era nuclear bombs - the B53 - has been dismantled in Texas.

The BBC reports about 136kg of high explosives have been separated from the bomb's uranium "pit".

Weighing abut 4500kg, the B53 was the size of a minivan and said to be 600 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945.

It was first put into service at the height of the Cold War in 1962, the year of the Cuban missile crisis, and remained in the US arsenal until 1997.

The bomb was designed to hit targets deep underground.

According to figures issued by the US State Department in May 2011, the United States has 5113 nuclear warheads in its current stockpile, down from 31,255 in 1967.