The Full Wiki

More info on The Power of the Atom

The Power of the Atom: Misc



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From The Vault

The Power of the Atom

location: Megaton
given by: Lucas Simms
reward: Depending on solution:
300 XP
100 to 500 caps
Megaton House
Contract for Extermination
300 XP
200 Karma
Megaton House
Contract for Extermination
300 xp
500 to 1000 caps
-1000 Karma
Tenpenny Tower Suite
Bounty Notice
related: Tenpenny Tower
base id: 00014E9E
The Power of the Atom

requirements: Complete The Power of the Atom
gamerscore: 20
trophy type: Bronze

The Power of the Atom is a Fallout 3 quest. It is also a PS3 trophy, and an Xbox 360 and PC achievement.


Objectives and Walkthrough

This quest is given to you by:

Detonate Megaton's atomic bomb

Rig Megaton's atomic bomb to explode

To do it, you have to put a Fusion Pulse Charge, given to you by Burke, inside the bomb. Your Explosives skill must be 25 or higher for you to attempt it; Mentats can be used to boost your statistic.

In the Japanese version of Fallout 3, Mr. Burke does not appear and the player cannot get the Fusion Pulse Charge. The only options are to disarm the nuke or ignore it.

Report to Mister Burke in Tenpenny Tower!

After rigging the bomb, meet Burke at Tenpenny Tower, which is southwest of Megaton. There you can observe the explosion from a safe distance together with Burke and Tenpenny.

Mr. Burke will give player the privilege to push the button to detonate the bomb. Doing so instantly gives the player a Karma of -1000. If your karma before was 0 or negative, -1000 karma will instantly lead to the lowest possible karma in the game.

If you help Roy Phillips take over Tenpenny Tower in the quest Tenpenny Tower prior to completing Power of the Atom, you may still complete Power of the Atom. When you return to the top floor penthouse, you will stumble onto Roy Phillips and Mr. Burke having a conversation. Roy is intimidated by Mr. Burke and the fact that he made his way to the top floor. Roy agrees with Burke on the matter of blowing up Megaton and also states that he could use a man like Burke, thus Burke begins a new partnership with Roy Phillips.

Disarm Megaton's atomic bomb

Lucas Simms wants you to disarm Megaton's bomb. Your Explosives skill must be at least 25 to attempt this. Take some mentats if it is lower. If you are successful you get a cash reward and the keys to your own Megaton House. The cash reward is usually 100 caps, but with a successful use of your speech skill on Lucas (before you actually disarm the bomb) you can talk him into 500 caps instead.

Mr. Burke will leave Megaton after you defuse the bomb. As a result of disarming the bomb, Talon Company mercenaries hired by Mr. Burke will randomly appear in an attempt to kill you.

Optional: Deal with Mr. Burke

This section of the quest is entirely optional. You can kill Burke after speaking to him, without talking to Simms first, killing him will result in good karma and you can avoid risking Simms. You can also accept the quest to blow up Megaton, and then kill Mr. Burke, without penalty.

Report Mr. Burke to Lucas Simms

After speaking to Burke, a new dialogue option will become available when speaking with Lucas Simms, which can result in him confronting Burke about the plot to destroy Megaton, as long as your Karma is low enough. Take care not to "cry wolf," so to speak, because he will not believe you if you rescind your initial warning. Lucas Simms will tell you to follow after informing you that you're about to see Wasteland justice first hand. Simms will attempt to arrest him. Burke will deny the allegations, but will eventually agree to be detained and suggest that Lucas "Lead the way." As Simms turns to lead Burke to jail, Burke pulls a silenced 10mm Pistol on him and kills him. (It seems that, if Simms manages to exit the room before Burke takes the shot, the latter will just shoot at nothing in particular. Lucas Simms can then be found dead, outside the saloon.) However, if you are quick enough, you can kill Burke as soon as he pulls out his gun. To do this, have a high powered gun (Scoped .44 Magnum, Sniper Rifle, Combat Shotgun or possibly even a Police Baton) drawn and ready while the two are having their conversation, and as soon as Mr. Burke draws his gun, blast him (preferably a headshot to ensure a kill) manually or with V.A.T.S.. If it takes more than 1 shot to kill him, Mr. Burke may still kill Simms. You can try to shoot the silenced 10mm out of Burke's hand instead of killing him. This will give the sheriff time to respond and give you more wiggle room in dealing with Burke. If you kill Burke before he kills Lucas, the sheriff will thank you afterward.

If you don't act fast, Simms is killed. Afterward, Mr. Burke gives you a threat and disappears. If you kill Burke before he disappears, he says his friends will avenge him. If you let Burke kill Lucas Simms, then you kill Burke, you can loot both bodies. This will get you a Silenced 10mm Pistol and a Chinese Assault Rifle, plus some caps, ammo, and other assorted items. If Lucas Simms dies you can still complete this quest by talking with his son, Harden Simms, after disarming the bomb.

Neither option will result in a negative reactions from the townspeople, though they may comment "better him than me" if they see it take place. If in any way the player accidentally hits Simms, the town may become hostile and retaliate.

Seducing Mr. Burke

If you play as a female character and have the Black Widow perk you can seduce Burke into getting another person to do the job and taking you out of the city; he will even send you love letters. Another possibility is persuading him to give you 500 more caps upon detonation of the bomb.

Using the Black Widow Perk to seduce Burke still results in him putting a hit out on you.

Destroyed Megaton

See: Megaton


If you disarmed the bomb

If you destroyed Megaton

  • Bottle Caps
    • 1000 - If Speech was successful at start of quest
    • 1000 - If the Black Widow perk was taken and unique dialog is chosen
    • 500 - If Speech failed, or wasn't employed at start of quest
  • My Tenpenny Tower Suite Key
  • Deed: Tenpenny Tower Suite
  • 300 XP
  • Karma [-1,000]: If Megaton is destroyed
    • With a lot of negative karma, the Regulators will start hunting you. You might also be ambushed by angry former Megaton citizens.


  • Blowing up Megaton is considered one of the most evil acts in the game. It causes an extra video to show in the game's ending if the player has low karma. The video shows clips of the destruction of Megaton.
  • If you decide to blow up Megaton, you can encounter Megaton Refugees in the wasteland, who are hostile towards you.
  • A way to make a load more money and other great loot is to agree to blow up Megaton, set the charge, then kill everyone in the city (excluding Mister Burke, obviously). It is best to start with tough characters such as Jericho and/or Lucas Simms (though in the case of Jericho one might want to have him be a follower, avoiding this problem). Billy Creel is also worth a mention, as he has a Scoped .44 Magnum, and occasionally a Megaton Settler will have a Combat Shotgun. Over 1000 caps can be made this way. Don't kill Moira Brown or you will not be able to do the Wasteland Survival Guide Quest.
  • Don't waste your time trying to kill the children of Megaton. (i.e. Harden Simms & Maggie); it is impossible to kill or even injure a child in Fallout 3.
  • If you can, try to raid the Megaton armory for ammo and weapons.
  • If you make a follower wait inside megaton and then blow up the town, your follower will spawn outside the ruins of megaton.
  • Due to an uncommon glitch in all versions of the game, Burke may appear outside of the bar. He may been seen sitting in an invisible chair as well as walking to the bar.
  • The player can go to Burke and decline his request (leaving the option open still), turn him in to Simms, proceed to accept Burke's request (gaining the Fusion Pulse charge without giving it to Simms), and arm the bomb. After entering the bar Simms will either confront Burke as usual if he (Burke) had entered by the time the player arrives, or he will leave immediately to confront Burke outside only to suddenly die, prompting the threat from Burke. After this is done, the player can still gain access to Tenpenny Tower under the invitation of Burke, but will have to steal a nearby key to access Tenpenny's Suite and balcony. The detonator will be available for use with no sign of Burke, and Megaton can be destroyed for only the -1000 karma and no other compensation (a rather pointless endeavor).
  • The player character's father will comment on this quest during The Waters of Life. If you disarm the bomb he will state that he is proud of you. If you detonate it then he will express horror at the murder of the town.
  • The picture that accompanies this achievement is the only one in the game without Vault Boy in it (unless you believe that's his fist in the cloud).
  • Mister Burke will kill Simms very quickly once he draws his weapon. However, you are free to kill Mister Burke at any time once Lucas Simms approaches him inside Moriarty's. Lucas Simms will thank you and give his "I must be getting old" dialogue even if he hasn't said a word to Burke.
  • Destroying Megaton will not disrupt the Wasteland Survival Guide quest. Once Moira Brown relocates to Underworld, you can continue her quest.
  • It is possible to get both the good karma and 100 caps reward for disarming Megaton's bomb, however it must be done the first time you enter Megaton and before Lucas Simms approaches you. Immediately upon entering the town, run up to the undetonated atomic bomb and ignore Simms's dialogue, use some Mentats (If necessary), and disarm the bomb. When it is disarmed, let Lucas Simms approach you and talk to you automatically like he normally would. Being that you disarmed the bomb without ever talking to him, the game treats it as if you didn't want a reward (Since you did it of your own accord.) and you will be rewarded with good karma. When he finally approaches you, he will comment not on your arrival, but of the disarming of the bomb, and will inform you that there was a reward for disarming it. He will then give you the 100 caps and the deed to the Megaton house. In proceeding to solve the quest in this fashion however, the player misses out on the chance to haggle for 500 caps via a speech check.
  • The trade caravans still stop in front of the Megaton ruins, despite it no longer being a logical site of economic importance.
  • Deputy Weld's head may be found in front of the Megaton ruins, speaking his lines in a distorted voice.
  • If you killed Moira before blowing up Megaton, her body will appear outside the ruins.
  • If you seduced Burke, then killed him right afterwards, you will still recieve letters from him. Most likely very long distance.
  • Do not forget to take the strength Bobblehead from Lucas Simms house before detonating the bomb. It is located upstairs in his room on the desk.


  • After disarming the bomb, Lucas Simms will not give you 500 caps if you had a before successful speech attempt sometimes.
  • After disarming the bomb and Burke killing Lucas Simms, there is the possibility of Harden Simms being teleported to an unreachable place outside Megaton, the only way to get your reward is to move (to) Harden using a console command
  • After disarming the bomb, Mr. Burke disappears and then re-appears after unleashing Feral Ghouls in during the Tenpenny Tower mission.
  • If you speed through Vault 101 and try to escape as quickly as possible, you have a shot at an odd bug. Simply put, if you get to Megaton fast enough, Burke will not be in Moriarty's. Instead, he'll be outside, walking up to it. After engaging him in conversation quickly and taking the fusion pulse generator, head quickly to Simms and tell him about Burke's plan. Afterwards, Simms will run to Moriarty', then head back to Burke. He'll talk to him for three seconds or so, then drop dead instantly.
  • The game crashes after blowing up Megaton, if you try to go through the doors. - the karma level can't be dealt at a higher level than 20 - lowering to 20 is a solution: "player.setlevel 20" (Setting your level back to 30 after entering the doors will instantly crash the game unless there is a fix that has not been added)
  • If you kill Mr. Burke before he kills Simms, but still after he stands up to do so, there is a chance he may drop a second, perfect condition silenced 10mm pistol.
  • After Megaton is destroyed and the player finds Moira roaming outside Megaton, she will sometimes talk as if she is in her store, except she won't sell items and she still offers repairs. She won't seem to comment on the explosion of Megaton.
  • To maintain Neutral Karma you have to succeed in the speech challenge with Lucas Simms after disarming the bomb to receive more caps.
  • If you originally rigged the bomb to explode, but did not detonate it and instead killed Burke/Tenpenny, the game will render the bomb as "rigged" and not allow you to disarm it.
  • Just before Mr. Burke shoots Lucas Simms, if the player fires on Burke, Burkee will begin to point back and forth between the player and Simms with his gun, eventually shooting in a random direction until he is killed. Simms will walk to the exit of the building and appear dead on the other side of the door.
  • If you report to Simms about Mr. Burke while Burke is not in the saloon, Simms will go to the saloon and then leave. When he finds Mr. Burke, the conversation will skip and Simms will be killed for no reason.

YouTube Video

The destruction of Megaton [1]

Quests in Fallout 3

This article uses material from the "The Power of the Atom" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address