Italian nuclear weapons program
The Italian nuclear weapons program was an effort by Italy to develop nuclear weapons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After abortive proposals to establish a multilateral program with NATO Allies in the 1950s and 1960s, Italy launched an indigenous nuclear weapons program, including testing a ballistic missile; the program ended in 1975 upon Italy's accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Italy does not produce or possess nuclear weapons but takes part in the NATO nuclear sharing program. At the end of World War II, Italy was quick to realise the geopolitical situation and created a political strategy that relied on multilateralism, principally through a close relationship with the United States, membership of NATO and greater European integration; the Italian Army was keen to acquire nuclear weapons, seeing them in a tactical role. Italy started hosting US nuclear weapons under NATO's nuclear sharing policy; the first nuclear weapons deployed were MGR-1 Honest John and MGM-5 Corporal rockets in 1957. and were followed by the MIM-14 Nike Hercules surface-to-air missile.
However, all these systems were under sole US control and so Italy pursued dialogue with other European nations on a collaborative nuclear programme. Discussions were held with France and Germany about a joint nuclear deterrent, but these were curtailed in 1958 by Charles de Gaulle's desire for an independent French deterrent; the decision by Switzerland on 23 December 1958 to pursue a nuclear weapons programme put an additional impetus on Italy. Pressure was made on the United States to provide additional nuclear weapons. On 26 March 1959, agreement was made that the Italian Air Force would receive 30 PGM-19 Jupiter ballistic missiles to operate from Gioia del Colle Air Base; the first missiles arrived on 1 April 1960. This time the American provided a dual-key system that led the Italian government to believe they had greater control over the deterrent and thus more power in NATO. Explicitly, the new missiles could be used "for the execution of NATO plans and policies in times of peace as well as war".
The missiles were operated by the 36ª Aerobrigata. At the same time as working with the United States, Italy explored working within the NATO Multilateral Force concept to develop a European nuclear force. MLF was a concept promoted by the United States to place all NATO nuclear weapons not operated by their own services under a joint control, with dual-key control by American and European forces. For the United States, the MLF was an attempt to balance the desire from other members to play a role in nuclear deterrence with their interest in bringing all existing and potential Western nuclear arsenals under the umbrella of a more cohesive NATO alliance. Italy had long argued for nuclear cooperation, with Minister of Defence Paolo Emilio Taviani saying on 29 November 1956 that the Italian government was trying to persuade their "Allies to remove the unjustified restrictions regarding the access of NATO countries to new weapons." The policy was pursued by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, formed a fundamental part of the negotiations around the Nassau Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom and the attempted accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community in 1961.
Under MLF, the United States proposed that various NATO countries operate UGM-27 Polaris IRBM on seaborne platforms, principally nuclear submarines. The Italian Navy took the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi out of service and rebuilt the ship between 1957 and 1961 as a guided missile cruiser with launchers for four Polaris missiles. Shortly afterwards, in December 1962, Italian Minister of Defence Giulio Andreotti asked the United States for assistance in developing nuclear propulsion for its fleet; the Italian government saw the growth of the movement to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons as a major challenge to its nuclear programme. At the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament, the Italian government argued that multilateral activity like the MLF as excluded from any agreement on non-proliferation, but found that the Soviet Union required that MLF be terminated as part of their negotiations on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the United States all but killed the agreement on 17 December 1964 with National Security Action Memorandum No. 322.
At the same time, on 5 January 1963, the United States announced that they would withdraw the Jupiter missiles as a consequence of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The decision was approved by the Italian government and the missile brigade was deactivated on 1 April 1963. With the failure of its multilateral efforts, Italy looked again at creating an independent deterrent. Italy had experience with nuclear technology, with a well developed nuclear power industry with BWR, PWR technologies, as well as the 5MW RTS-1'Galileo Galilei' test reactor at CAMEN, it had a large number of nuclear capable aircraft, including the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, was developing the Panavia Tornado with nuclear strike in mind. Since 27 March 1960, when Admiral Pecori Geraldi had argued that a seaborne nuclear force was the most resistant to attack, the navy had looked for an opportunity to take on a nuclear role and had gained experience through the successful test of Polaris missiles from Giuseppe Garibaldi in September 1962.
In 1971, the Italian Navy began an ingenious program to develop ballistic missiles called Alfa. The project was termed as a development effort for a study on efficient solid-propellant rockets for civil and military applications, it was planned as a two-stage rocket and could be carried on submarines or ships
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from small amounts of matter; the first test of a fission bomb released an amount of energy equal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released energy equal to 10 million tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in war, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, the U. S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the Japanese city of Nagasaki; these bombings caused injuries that resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians and military personnel. The ethics of these bombings and their role in Japan's surrender are subjects of debate. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over two thousand times for testing and demonstration. Only a few nations are suspected of seeking them; the only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and acknowledge possessing them—are the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though, in a policy of deliberate ambiguity, it does not acknowledge having them. Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands are nuclear weapons sharing states. South Africa is the only country to have independently developed and renounced and dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, but its effectiveness has been questioned, political tensions remained high in the 1970s and 1980s. Modernisation of weapons continues to this day. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. All existing nuclear weapons derive some of their explosive energy from nuclear fission reactions. Weapons whose explosive output is from fission reactions are referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs; this has long been noted as something of a misnomer, as their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material is forced into supercriticality—allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another or by compression of a sub-critical sphere or cylinder of fissile material using chemically-fueled explosive lenses.
The latter approach, the "implosion" method, is more sophisticated than the former. A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself; the amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT. All fission reactions generate the remains of the split atomic nuclei. Many fission products are either radioactive or moderately radioactive, as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout. Another source of radioactivity is the burst of free neutrons produced by the weapon; when they collide with other nuclei in surrounding material, the neutrons transmute those nuclei into other isotopes, altering their stability and making them radioactive. The most used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239.
Less used has been uranium-233. Neptunium-237 and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has been implemented, their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute; the other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs, as they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen. All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions. Only six countries—United States, United Kingdom, China and India—have conducted thermonuclear weapon tests. North Korea claims to have tested a fusion weapon as of January 2016. Thermonuclear weapons a
A biopharmaceutical known as a biologic medical product, or biologic, is any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured in, extracted from, or semisynthesized from biological sources. Different from synthesized pharmaceuticals, they include vaccines, blood components, somatic cells, gene therapies, recombinant therapeutic protein, living cells used in cell therapy. Biologics can be composed of sugars, proteins, or nucleic acids or complex combinations of these substances, or may be living cells or tissues, they are isolated from living sources—human, plant, fungal, or microbial. Terminology surrounding biopharmaceuticals varies between groups and entities, with different terms referring to different subsets of therapeutics within the general biopharmaceutical category; some regulatory agencies use the terms biological medicinal products or therapeutic biological product to refer to engineered macromolecular products like protein- and nucleic acid-based drugs, distinguishing them from products like blood, blood components, or vaccines, which are extracted directly from a biological source.
Specialty drugs, a recent classification of pharmaceuticals, are high-cost drugs that are biologics. The European Medicines Agency uses the term advanced therapy medicinal products for medicines for human use that are "based on genes, cells, or tissue engineering", including gene therapy medicines, somatic-cell therapy medicines, tissue-engineered medicines, combinations thereof. Within EMA contexts, the term advanced therapies refers to ATMPs, although that term is rather nonspecific outside those contexts. Gene-based and cellular biologics, for example are at the forefront of biomedical research, may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions for which no other treatments are available. In some jurisdictions, biologics are regulated via different pathways than other small molecule drugs and medical devices; the term biopharmacology is sometimes used to describe the branch of pharmacology that studies biopharmaceuticals. Some of the oldest forms of biologics are extracted from the bodies of animals, other humans especially.
Important biologics include: Whole blood and other blood components Organs and tissue transplants Stem cell therapy Antibodies for passive immunization Human breast milk Fecal microbiota Human reproductive cellsSome biologics that were extracted from animals, such as insulin, are now more produced by recombinant DNA. As indicated the term "biologics" can be used to refer to a wide range of biological products in medicine. However, in most cases, the term "biologics" is used more restrictively for a class of therapeutics that are produced by means of biological processes involving recombinant DNA technology; these medications are one of three types: Substances that are identical to the body's own key signalling proteins. Examples are the blood-production stimulating protein erythropoetin, or the growth-stimulating hormone named "growth hormone" or biosynthetic human insulin and its analogues. Monoclonal antibodies; these are similar to the antibodies that the human immune system uses to fight off bacteria and viruses, but they are "custom-designed" and can therefore be made to counteract or block any given substance in the body, or to target any specific cell type.
Receptor constructs based on a occurring receptor linked to the immunoglobulin frame. In this case, the receptor provides the construct with detailed specificity, whereas the immunoglobulin-structure imparts stability and other useful features in terms of pharmacology; some examples are listed in the table below. Biologics as a class of medications in this narrower sense have had a profound impact on many medical fields rheumatology and oncology, but cardiology, gastroenterology and others. In most of these disciplines, biologics have added major therapeutic options for the treatment of many diseases, including some for which no effective therapies were available, others where existing therapies were inadequate. However, the advent of biologic therapeutics has raised complex regulatory issues, significant pharmacoeconomic concerns, because the cost for biologic therapies has been higher than for conventional medications; this factor has been relevant since many biological medications are used for the treatment of chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, or for the treatment of otherwise untreatable cancer during the remainder of life.
The cost of treatment with a typical monoclonal antibody therapy for common indications is in the range of €7,000–14,000 per patient per year. Older patients who receive biologic therapy for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis are at increased risk for life-threatening infection, adverse cardiovascular events, malignancy; the first such substance approved for therapeutic use was biosynthetic "human" insulin made via recombinant DNA. Sometimes referred to as rHI, under the trade name Humulin, was developed by Genentech, but licensed to Eli Lilly and Company, who manufactured and marketed it starting in 1982. Major kinds of biopharmaceuticals include: Blood factors Thrombolytic agents Hormones (insulin, growth hormone, gonadotr
United States and weapons of mass destruction
The United States is known to have possessed three types of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons. The U. S. is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in combat, when it detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. It had secretly developed the earliest form of the atomic weapon during the 1940s under the title "Manhattan Project"; the United States pioneered the development of both hydrogen bombs. It was the world's first and only nuclear power for four years, until the Soviet Union managed to produce its own nuclear weapon; the United States has the second largest number of deployed nuclear weapons in the world, after Russia. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in combat: two nuclear weapons were used by the United States against Japan during World War II in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Altogether, the two bombings killed 105,000 people and injured thousands more while devastating hundreds or thousands of military bases and cottage industries.
The U. S. conducted an extensive nuclear testing program.1054 tests were conducted between 1945 and 1992. The exact number of nuclear devices detonated is unclear because some tests involved multiple devices while a few failed to explode or were designed not to create a nuclear explosion; the last nuclear test by the United States was on September 23, 1992. S. has signed but not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The United States nuclear arsenal is deployed in three areas: Land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. S. Air Force's heavy bomber groupThe United States is one of the five "Nuclear Weapons States" under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which the U. S. ratified in 1968. On October 13, 1999, the U. S. Senate rejected ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, having ratified the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963; the U. S. has not, tested a nuclear weapon since 1992, though it has tested many non-nuclear components and has developed powerful supercomputers in an attempt to duplicate the knowledge gained from testing without conducting the actual tests themselves.
In the early 1990s, the U. S. stopped developing new nuclear weapons and now devotes most of its nuclear efforts into stockpile stewardship and dismantling its now-aging arsenal. The administration of George W. Bush decided in 2003 to engage in research towards a new generation of small nuclear weapons "earth penetrators"; the budget passed by the United States Congress in 2004 eliminated funding for some of this research including the "bunker-busting or earth-penetrating" weapons. The exact number of nuclear weapons possessed by the United States is difficult to determine. Different treaties and organizations have different criteria for reporting nuclear weapons those held in reserve, those being dismantled or rebuilt: In its Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty declaration for 2003, the U. S. listed 5968 deployed warheads. The exact number as of September 30, 2009, was 5,113 warheads, according to a U. S. fact sheet released May 3, 2010. In 2002, the United States and Russia agreed in the SORT treaty to reduce their deployed stockpiles to not more than 2,200 warheads each.
In 2003, the U. S. rejected Russian proposals to further reduce both nation's nuclear stockpiles to 1,500 each. In 2007, for the first time in 15 years, the United States built new warheads; these replaced some older warheads as part of the Minuteman III upgrade program. 2007 saw the first Minuteman III missiles removed from service as part of the drawdown. Overall and deployment systems continue to decline in number under the terms of the New START treaty. In 2014, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists released a report, stating that there are a total of 2,530 warheads kept in reserve, 2,120 deployed. Of the warheads deployed, the number of strategic warheads rests at 1,920; the amount of warheads being disabled rests at about 2,700 warheads, which brings the total United States inventory to about 7,400 warheads. The U. S. Air Force operates 400 Minuteman III ICBMs, located in the northern Rocky Mountain states and the Dakotas. Peacekeeper missiles were phased out of the Air Force inventory in 2005.
All USAF Minuteman II missiles were destroyed in accordance with the START treaty and their launch silos imploded and buried sold to the public under the START II. The U. S. goal under the SORT treaty was to reduce from 1,600 warheads deployed on over 500 missiles in 2003 to 500 warheads on 450 missiles in 2012. The first Minuteman III were removed under this plan in 2007 while, at the same time, the warheads deployed on Minuteman IIIs began to be upgraded from smaller W62s to larger W87s from decommissioned Peacekeeper missiles; the U. S. Air Force operates a strategic nuclear bomber fleet; the bomber force consists of 36 nuclear-armed B-52 Stratofortresses, 20 B-2 Spirits. All 64 B-1s were retrofitted to operate in a conventional mode by 2007 and thus don't count as nuclear platforms. In addition to this, the U. S. military can deploy smaller tactical nuclear weapons either through cruise missiles or with conventional fighter-bombers. The U. S. maintains about 400 nuclear gravity bombs capable of use by F-15, F-16, F-35.
Some 350 of these bombs are deployed at seven airbases in six European NATO countries.
Biological warfare —also known as germ warfare—is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons are living organisms or replicating entities that reproduce or replicate within their host victims. Entomological warfare is considered a type of biological weapon; this type of warfare is distinct from nuclear warfare and chemical warfare, which together with biological warfare make up NBC, the military initialism for nuclear and chemical warfare using weapons of mass destruction. None of these are considered conventional weapons, which are deployed for their explosive, kinetic, or incendiary potential. Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over the enemy, either by threats or by actual deployments. Like some chemical weapons, biological weapons may be useful as area denial weapons; these agents may be lethal or non-lethal, may be targeted against a single individual, a group of people, or an entire population.
They may be developed, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups. In the latter case, or if a nation-state uses it clandestinely, it may be considered bioterrorism. Biological warfare and chemical warfare overlap to an extent, as the use of toxins produced by some living organisms is considered under the provisions of both the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Toxins and psychochemical weapons are referred to as midspectrum agents. Unlike bioweapons, these midspectrum agents do not reproduce in their host and are characterized by shorter incubation periods; the use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law, as well as a variety of international treaties. The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime. Offensive biological warfare, including mass production and use of biological weapons, was outlawed by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; the rationale behind this treaty, ratified or acceded to by 170 countries as of April 2013, is to prevent a biological attack which could conceivably result in large numbers of civilian casualties and cause severe disruption to economic and societal infrastructure.
Many countries, including signatories of the BWC pursue research into the defense or protection against BW, not prohibited by the BWC. A nation or group that can pose a credible threat omass casualty has the ability to alter the terms on which other nations or groups interact with it. Biological weapons allow for the potential to create a level of destruction and loss of life far in excess of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, relative to their mass and cost of development and storage. Therefore, biological agents may be useful as strategic deterrents in addition to their utility as offensive weapons on the battlefield; as a tactical weapon for military use, a significant problem with a BW attack is that it would take days to be effective, therefore might not stop an opposing force. Some biological agents (smallpox, have the capability of person-to-person transmission via aerosolized respiratory droplets; this feature can be undesirable, as the agent may be transmitted by this mechanism to unintended populations, including neutral or friendly forces.
While containment of BW is less of a concern for certain criminal or terrorist organizations, it remains a significant concern for the military and civilian populations of all nations. Rudimentary forms of biological warfare have been practiced since antiquity; the earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 1500–1200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic. Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed. In 1346, the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague were thrown over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Specialists disagree over whether this operation may have been responsible for the spread of the Black Death into Europe, Near East and North Africa, resulting in the killing of 25 million Europeans.
The British Army commanders approved the use of smallpox as a biological weapon in the French and Indian War to target Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763. Correspondence between General Jeffrey Amherst and Colonel Henry Bouquet provides further evidence that the English army planned for the use of biological weapons to kill Native Americans, as detailed in Native American disease and epidemics. A smallpox outbreak was reported in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area through 1763 and 1764; the spread of smallpox weakened the French and Native American resistance to the British troops led by Bouquet. The smallpox outbreak was considered a direct result of two blankets and a scarf taken from a Small Pox Hospital gifted by William Trent and others English army representatives to leader Maumaultee and warrior Turtle Heart of the Delaware people during their visit to Ft Pitt. Amherst and Bouquet discussed other biological weapon deployments as a result. Apologists pose questions as to whether the outbreak was the result of the Fort Pitt incident or the virus was present among the Delaware people.
It is that the British Marines used smallpox in New S
South Africa and weapons of mass destruction
From the 1960s to the 1980s, South Africa pursued research into weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical weapons. Six nuclear weapons were assembled. Before the anticipated changeover to a majority-elected African National Congress-led government in the 1990s, the South African government dismantled all of its nuclear weapons, the first state in the world which voluntarily gave up all nuclear arms it had developed itself; the country has been a signatory of the Biological Weapons Convention since 1975, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since 1991, the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1995. In February 2019, South Africa ratified the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, becoming the first country to have had nuclear weapons, disarmed them and gone on to sign the treaty; the Republic of South Africa's ambitions to develop nuclear weapons began in 1948 after giving commission to South African Atomic Energy Corporation, the forerunner corporation to oversee nation's uranium mining and industrial trade.
In 1957, South Africa reached an understanding with the United States after signing a 50-year collaboration under the U. S.-sanctioned programme, Atoms for Peace. The treaty concluded the South African acquisition of a single nuclear research reactor and an accompanying supply of enriched uranium fuel, located in Pelindaba. In 1965, the U. S. subsidiary, the Allis-Chalmers Corporation, delivered the 20MW research nuclear reactor, SAFARI-1, along with ~90% HEU fuel to South African nuclear authority. In 1967, South Africa decided to pursue plutonium capability and constructed its own reactor, SAFARI-2 reactor at Pelindaba, that went critical using 606 kg of 2% enriched uranium fuel, 5.4 tonnes of heavy water, both supplied by the United States. The SAFARI-2 reactor was intended to be moderated by heavy water, fuelled by natural uranium while the reactor's cooling system used molten sodium. In 1969, the project was abandoned by the South African government because the reactor was draining resources from the uranium enrichment program that had begun in 1967.
South Africa began to focus on the success of its uranium enrichment programme, seen by its scientists as easier compared to plutonium. South Africa was able to mine uranium ore domestically, used aerodynamic nozzle enrichment techniques to produce weapons-grade material. In 1969, a pair of senior South African scientists met with Sültan Mahmoud, a nuclear engineer from Pakistan based at the University of Birmingham, to conduct studies and independent experiments on uranium enrichment; the South African and Pakistani scientists studied the use of aerodynamic-jet nozzle process to enrich the fuel at the University of Birmingham building their national programs in the 1970s. It is not clear to what extent they cooperated. South Africa gained sufficient experience with nuclear technology to capitalise on the promotion of the U. S. government's Peaceful Nuclear Explosions program. In 1971, South African minister of mines Carl de Wet gave approval of the country's own PNE programme with the publicly stated objective of using PNEs in the mining industry.
The date when the South African PNE programme transformed into a weapons program is a matter of some dispute. The possibility of South Africa collaborating with France and Israel in the development of nuclear weapons was the subject of speculation during the 1970s. South Africa developed a small finite deterrence arsenal of gun-type fission weapons in the 1980s. Six were constructed and another was under construction at the time the program ended. South Africa only produced an operational weapon. In 1982, Armscor built the first operational weapon, code-named Hobo and called Cabot; this device had a yield of 6 kilotons of TNT. It was disassembled and the warhead reused in a production model bomb. Armscor built a series of pre-production and production models under the code-name Hamerkop after a bird. While Hobo/Cabot were not functional, the Hamerkop series were smart television-guided glide bombs; the South African Atomic Energy Board selected a test site in the Kalahari Desert at the Vastrap weapons range north of Upington.
Two test shafts were completed in 1976 and 1977. One shaft was 385 metres deep, the other, 216 metres. In 1977, the AEB established its own high-security weapons research and development facilities at Pelindaba, during that year the program was transferred from Somchem to Pelindaba. In mid-1977, the AEB produced a gun-type device—without a enriched uranium core. Although the Y-Plant was operating, it had not yet produced enough weapons-grade uranium for a device; as has happened in programmes in other nations, the development of the devices had outpaced the production of the fissile material. Atomic Energy Commission officials say that a "cold test" was planned for August 1977. An Armscor official, not involved at the time said that the test would have been a instrumented underground test, with a dummy core, its major purpose was to test the logistical plans for an actual detonation. How that test was cancelled has been well publicised. Soviet intelligence in early August alerted the United States.
On 28 August, The Washington Post quoted a US official: "I'd say we were 99 percent certain that the construction was preparation for an atomic test."The Soviet and Western governments were convinced that South Africa was preparing for a full-scale nuclear test. During the next two weeks in August, the Western nations pressed South Africa not to test
Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax—a common disease of livestock and of humans—and the only obligate pathogen within the genus Bacillus. B. anthracis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, with a width of 1.0–1.2 µm and a length of 3–5 µm. It can be grown in an ordinary nutrient medium under anaerobic conditions, it is one of few bacteria known to synthesize a protein capsule. Like Bordetella pertussis, it forms a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase exotoxin known as anthrax edema factor, along with anthrax lethal factor, it bears close genotypical and phenotypical resemblance to Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. All three species share morphology. All form oval spores located centrally in an unswollen sporangium. B. anthracis endospores, in particular, are resilient, surviving extremes of temperature, low-nutrient environments, harsh chemical treatment over decades or centuries. The endospore is a dehydrated cell with thick walls and additional layers that form inside the cell membrane.
It can remain inactive for many years, but if it comes into a favorable environment, it begins to grow again. It develops inside the rod-shaped form. Features such as the location within the rod, the size and shape of the endospore, whether or not it causes the wall of the rod to bulge out are characteristic of particular species of Bacillus. Depending upon the species, the endospores are round, oval, or cylindrical, they are refractile and contain dipicolinic acid. Electron micrograph sections show they have a thin outer endospore coat, a thick spore cortex, an inner spore membrane surrounding the endospore contents; the endospores resist heat and many disinfectants. Because of these attributes, B. anthracis endospores are extraordinarily well-suited to use as biological weapons. Such weaponization has been accomplished in the past by at least five state bioweapons programs—those of the United Kingdom, the United States and Iraq—and has been attempted by several others. French physician Casimir Davaine demonstrated the symptoms of anthrax were invariably accompanied by the microbe B. anthracis.
German physician Aloys Pollender is credited for discovery. B. anthracis was the first bacterium conclusively demonstrated to cause disease, by Robert Koch in 1876. The species name anthracis is from the Greek anthrax, meaning "coal" and referring to the most common form of the disease, cutaneous anthrax, in which large, black skin lesions are formed. Throughout the 19th century, Anthrax was an infection that involved several important medical developments; the first vaccine containing live organisms was Louis Pasteur's veterinary anthrax vaccine. B. anthracis has a single chromosome, a circular, 5,227,293-bp DNA molecule. It has two circular, double-stranded DNA plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. Both the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids are required for full virulence and represent two distinct plasmid families; the pXO1 plasmid contains the genes that encode for the anthrax toxin components: pag and cya. These factors are contained within a 44.8-kb pathogenicity island. The lethal toxin is a combination of PA with LF and the edema toxin is a combination of PA with EF.
The PAI contains genes which encode a transcriptional activator AtxA and the repressor PagR, both of which regulate the expression of the anthrax toxin genes. PXO2 encodes a five-gene operon; this capsule allows B. anthracis to evade the host immune system by protecting itself from phagocytosis. Expression of the capsule operon is activated by the transcriptional regulators AcpA and AcpB, located in the pXO2 pathogenicity island. AcpA and AcpB expression are under the control of AtxA from pXO1; the 89 known strains of B. anthracis include: Sterne strain, used by Max Sterne in his 1930s vaccines Vollum strain weaponized by the US, UK, Iraq. A contributing factor to the reconstruction is B. anthracis being monomorphic, meaning it has low genetic diversity, including the absence of any measurable lateral DNA transfer since its derivation as a species. The lack of diversity is due to a short evolutionary history that has precluded mutational saturation in single nucleotide polymorphisms. A short evolutionary time does not mean a short chronological time.
When DNA is replicated, mistakes occur. The buildup of these mutations over time leads to the evolution of a species. During the B. anthracis lifecycle, it spends a significant amount of time in the soil spore reservoir stage, in which DNA replication does not occur. These prolonged periods of dormancy have reduced the evolutionary rate of the organism. B. anthracis belongs to the B