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British Military planned chicken-powered nuke 05 April 2004A once secret plan to build a nuclear landmine 'run' by live chickens has gone on public display for the first time at The National Archives, Kew, as part of the acclaimed Secret State Exhibition.Conceived during the Cold War, the seven tonne device was the size of small truck and was designed to be buried or submerged by a British Army retreating from Soviet forces. The landmine had a plutonium core surrounded by high explosive and would have been detonated by remote control or timer, causing mass destruction and contamination over a wide area to prevent subsequent enemy occupation.Scientists working on the project realised that the bomb could fail in winter if vital components become too cold, so they explored ways of keeping the inner workings warm. One proposal put forward consisted of filling the casing of the nuke with live chickens, who would give off sufficient heat, prior to suffocating or starving to death, to keep the delicate explosive mechanism from freezing. Despite the potential importance of chickens to the project, the mine was codenamed 'Blue Peacock'."As it turns out chickens aren't as chicken as we thought," said Tom O'Leary, Head of Exhibitions at The National Archives in Kew. "They knew about the foul-play and were hatching a plan to save Britain all along."