Unlike other nuclear weapons that utilize fission, the purified hydrogen bomb causes nuclear fusion of heavy hydrogen through heat-insulated compression using lasers and magnetism. Its detonation would not generate radioactive fallout and residual radioactivity would be significantly decreased when compared with fission weapons.
There were two theories to developing purified hydrogen bombs, with America choosing the Laser-Inertial Compression theory. Theoretically the same as laser nuclear fusion, the pellets evaporate by solidifying deuterium and tritium at an extremely low temperature to create pellets, which are then bombarded with a high-output laser, resulting in the inward compression of the pellets. The pellets central portion, after this, would reach the extreme temperature and pressure conditions needed to confine nuclear fusion, and thus cause a nuclear reaction. The research continued into the 1990s, but it was put on hold due to the difficulty in creating a miniature laser with the necessary ultrahigh output.
By 2009, the U.S. Government managed to alleviate the problem with the miniature laser. The device was still in an experimental stage and would only become launch-capable upon the activation of Arsenal Gear. After President Johnson's death during the terrorist takeover of the Big Shell offshore plant, the nuclear football was no longer a viable option for launching a strike into America. Dead Cell, a faction within the Sons of Liberty, intended to use the pure hydrogen bomb aboard Arsenal instead, the existence of which terrorist leader Solidus Snake was initially unaware. Dead Cell intended to launch the bomb directly into Manhattan itself, devastating the city and its population, rather than carry out Solidus's supposed plan of a high-altitude detonation. The terrorists, however, were defeated before they could use the weapon, due to the actions of special forces operative Raiden, and the machinations of the Patriots.
Behind the scenesEdit
In the script for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Vamp was to have had additional lines of dialogue in his speech to Raiden, prior to their battle in the Big Shell's filtration chamber. During this, Vamp explicitly states Dead Cell's intentions to launch the purified hydrogen bomb directly into Manhattan, in order to exact their revenge on the Patriots. The dialogue was ultimately cut from the final version, presumably for the same reasons as Arsenal Gear's crash into the city, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks shortly before the game's release. The dialogue itself, however, was kept in the novelization released in 2009.
- Pure fusion weapon on Wikipedia