PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PSAILA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Decommissioning nuclear missile. Technicians drain the fuel from an S3D intermediate-range ballistic missile. France's 18 S3Ds were deactivated in September 1996 as the French nuclear force was modernised. The S3D was designed to deliver a TN 61 thermonuclear warhead that produces an explosive force of one megatonne (the equivalent of the explosion of one million tonnes of TNT). It had a range of 3000 kilometres. A modification of the earlier S3 missile, it was designed to resist the electromagnetic pulse effect of nuclear explosions. Photographed during the decommissioning of the Plateau d'Albion nuclear base, France, which was completed in 1998.
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