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Nuclear weapons are among the most destructive devices ever created by humanity and continue to represent a significant threat to human security. Nuclear weapons are also occasionally referred to as thermonuclear weapons or atomic weapons, although all function in approximately the same way. Fission weapons are based on the principle that a sufficient mass of appropriately treated uranium or plutonium will, once it has reached a critical mass, spontaneously explode. Consequently, two masses of the appropriate metal are, to trigger the detonation, forced together by some means. Fusion weapons aim to create conditions in which a thermonuclear fuel such as deuterium will be ignited, through using a fission-based triggering detonation, in a similar process to that which takes place in stars (these are known as ...

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