The Nuclear Bomb, or Neutron Bomb, was a weapon of mass destruction in The Dark Knight Rises. It began as a Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor meant to supply Gotham City with a source of clean energy. The reactor was weaponised when Talia al Ghul (Miranda Tate) and the League of Shadow planned to hold the city hostage before destroying it. Bane and the League men kidnapped Dr. Leonid Pavel to have him turn the reactor into a bomb and it became a time bomb when the core was removed from the reactor. The remote trigger to detonate the bomb was in the possession of Talia and the League men drove the bomb around the city in armored trucks until their ultimate defeat by Batman.
The Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor project was personally heavily invested in by both Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate while Lucius Fox ran the company. Wayne Enterprises entire R&D budget was used in its creation. The reactor was the first of its kind, according to Lucius. When Russian nuclear scientist Dr. Leonid Pavel published his research about weaponized fusion reactions, Bruce pulled the plug on the project under the guise of it having problems and the reactor secretly sat in a bunker under the Gotham River for three years. It remained on the books of the company that Lucius maintained, unlike the armory of the Applied Sciences division.
The Dark Knight RisesEdit
Meeting with Bruce Wayne Edit
"l thought you might like to see what your investment built. No fossil fuels. Free clean energy for an entire city. Three years ago, a Russian scientist published a paper......on weaponized fusion reactions. One week later, your reactor started developing problems. l think this machine works."
"Miranda, if it were operational, the danger to Gotham would be too great."
"Would it make you feel better to know that the Russian scientist... ...died in a plane crash six months ago?"
"Someone will work out what Dr. Pavel did. Someone will figure out a way to make this power source into a nuclear weapon. l need you to take control of Wayne Enterprises......and this reactor."
"To do what with it?"
"Nothing. Until we can guarantee its safety."
"And if we can't?"
"Decommission it. Flood it."
"Destroy the world's best chance for a sustainable future?"
"lf the world's not ready, yes."
"Bruce, if you want to save the world, you have to start trusting it."
"l'm trusting you."
"Doesn't count. You have no choice."
"l could have flooded this chamber at any time. l'm choosing to trust you. Please."
-Miranda Tate and Bruce Wayne protest over the reactor's usage.
Miranda persistently tried to meet with Bruce to discuss the fusion reactor project, but was ignored as Bruce was reclusive. With the loss of his fortune and seat on the Wayne Enterprises board of directors, Bruce turned to Miranda and showed her the reactor. He feared it coming under the control of John Daggett. He told her he needed her to take control of the company and the reactor, which she then did at their next board meeting.
Weaponising the weapon Edit
"ldentify yourself to the world."
"Dr. Leonid Pavel, nuclear physicist."
"And what...? What is this?"
"lt's a fully primed neutron bomb......with a blast radius of six miles."
"And who is capable of disarming such a device?"
"Only you. Thank you, good doctor! Now, this bomb is armed! And this bomb is mobile! And the identity of the triggerman is a mystery. For one of you holds the detonator! Now, we come here not as conquerors......but as liberators, to return control of this city to the people. And at the first sign of interference from the outside world......or from those people attempting to flee......this anonymous Gothamite......this unsung hero, will trigger the bomb. For now, martial law is in effect. Return to your homes, hold your families close......and wait. Tomorrow, you claim what is rightfully yours."
-Bane and Dr. Leonid Pavel explain the weapon
Bane had kidnapped Dr. Pavel six months prior and brought him to Gotham where he turned the reactor into a "neutron bomb" with a four-kiloton yield after authorization from Miranda and coerced authorization from Lucius. By removing the core from the reactor, it also became a time bomb with five months left as its fuel cells deteriorated and then became unstable until the point of detonation. It was shown off to the city and the world at Gotham City Stadium and there Bane told everyone the trigger to the detonator was in the possession of an anonymous Gotham citizen and it would be detonated if there was interference from outside the city or if anyone attempted to flee the city. Under duress, Pavel here described the weapon as a fully primed "neutron bomb" with a blast radius of 6 miles (9.6 km). Bane then killed Pavel after Pavel identified himself as the only person who could disarm it.
Tracking the bomb Edit
"What about the bomb?"
"Satellite can't pick up radiation hot spots. They keep it on a truck. lt must have a lead-lined roof. They move it constantly."
"Good. So you know the truck?"
"Well, it's one of three. We've been tracking it. Decoy."
-Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox discuss the bomb's location
The neutron bomb was made mobile as three armored tactical trucks patrolled the city, one containing the bomb. The roofs of the intermodal containers on the rear sections of the trucks were lined with lead to prevent the radioactivity from being detected by satellites. Miranda volunteered her assistance to Jim Gordon and a rag tag group of cops in finding and tracking the bomb truck. Unknown to them at the time, she deliberately misled them into tracking a decoy.
Blocking the signal Edit
"Any move l make on Bane or the bomb......the triggerman sets it off."
"Well, they won't use radio or cell. Too much interference. lnfrared doesn't have the range. lt'll have to be a microburst. Longwave. Could you block it?"
"Yes. But l'll need the EMP cannon guidance mount from the Bat."
-Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox discuss the bomb's detonation
After Bruce returned to the city after his defeat by Bane, Lucius gave him a way to block the signal to the trigger using EMP technology from the Bat. Batman gave this device to Gordon. After the delay of stopping a decoy bomb truck, Gordon found and climbed on board the true bomb truck and blocked the signal before Talia hit the trigger to detonate the bomb during her confrontation with Batman. She gloated that Gordon had only bought Gotham eleven more minutes and ordered for a convoy of Tumblers to protect the bomb truck and left Gotham City Hall to be escorted to the truck.
Detonating the device Edit
"Fox showed me how to override the reactor. lncluding the emergency flood. There's no way......this bomb......will be stopped."
-Talia reveals the truth that the bomb cannot be stopped
After the convoy was dismantled by Batman and Selina Kyle and the bomb truck fell off the high road, Talia explained that Lucius showed her about the emergency flood and it was triggered so that reconnecting the core to the reactor to stabilize it in the bunker was no longer an option. Batman hooked the bomb up to the Bat and flew it over the Gotham Bay with the use of autopilot, where the bomb exploded away from the city.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The bomb trucks in The Dark Knight Rises are Logistics Vehicle Systems Replacement (LVSR) trucks made by Oshkosh Corporation.