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Old 04-28-2016, 10:24 AM
bump bump is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 15,130
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
How about the first atomic bombs? I was just reading a site that said the Manhattan Project cost the equivalent of thirty billion dollars if you adjusted for inflation. We got two bombs out of it, so call it fifteen billion dollars for each. Not quite the International Space Station but that's a lot of money for something you only use once.
Even there, I suspect that you could legitimately argue that you could spread a lot of the costs of the bedrock scientific research into fission across all subsequent nuclear weapon programs AND any government funded research into civilian nuclear applications.

That's the catch here; some of these programs are huge, but that's not really the cost of the items themselves.

I suspect that absent the actual scientific development costs (i.e. figuring out how and if a fission bomb was feasible), the real costs to making the bombs themselves were in the uranium separation for Little Boy, and the plutonium generation for Fat Man/Trinity.

Last edited by bump; 04-28-2016 at 10:25 AM.