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Ignoring the practicality of doing something like this, would it be possible to make a large scale shaped charge using nuclear weapons, or is there some limitation that makes this only possible with small scale explosions?

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Yes, a nuclear "shaped charge" is possible. You can think of a conventional shaped charge as a set of small explosive charges in a particular 3D arrangement(e.g., a conical shell). It is the arrangement of the charges and the relative timing with which they are triggered that determines the shape of the emerging shock front. An array of small nuclear bombs, triggered with specific relative timing, can produce a non-spherical shock front just as a shaped charge does.

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  • $\begingroup$ there was an article in Scientific American about 35 years ago that dealt with this topic, which the author called "directed energy atomic explosions". $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Nov 22 '19 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ Can you find the Scientific American issue? Where I've run into "directed energy" in combination with nuclear explosions is in the attempts back in the Reagan era to develop an X-ray or gamma-ray laser driven by an nuclear explosion. $\endgroup$ – S. McGrew Nov 23 '19 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ yes, the SciAm article was back from that time so digging it out may be difficult. I will try... -NN $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Nov 23 '19 at 1:56

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