Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Plans to fill a nuclear landmine with chickens to regulate its temperature were seriously considered during the Cold War.

Civil servants at the National Archives say it is a coincidence the secret plan is being revealed on 1 April.

The bomb was designed to stop the Red Army advancing across West Germany during the height of the Cold War.

But nuclear physicists at the Aldermaston nuclear research station in Berkshire were worried about how to keep the landmine at the correct temperature when buried underground.

In a 1957 document they proposed live chickens would generate enough heat to ensure the bomb worked when buried for a week.

The birds would be put inside the casing of the bomb, given seed to keep them alive and stopped from pecking at the wiring.

The landmine would be remotely detonated.

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