PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Decommissioning nuclear missile. After the removal of the warhead, technicians check the body of a missile for radioactive contamination. This is a French S3D intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). The S3D was designed to deliver a TN 61 thermonuclear warhead, producing an explosive force of one megatonne (equivalent to the explosion of one million tonnes of TNT). It had a range of 3000 kilometres. France's S3D missiles were deactivated in September 1996 as part of the modernisation of the French nuclear arsenal. Photograph taken during the decommissioning of the base at Plateau d'Albion, France, which was completed in 1998.
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