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"Bureaucracies hide their mistakes, because people's careers are tied to those mistakes. Therefore, bureaucracies are a perfect mechanism for perpetuating mistakes."
- Frank Herbert

Planet-Busting Bomb  
  A munition with sufficient power to destroy an entire planet.  

This is a very early (maybe the first) fictional reference.

Somebody had slipped when Marshall Wellington Smith selected Rigel IV for his planet-busting test.
From Testing, by J.J. Ferrat.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

In Frank Herbert's 1972 novel The Godmakers, Lewis Orne was sent to the planet Gienah to see if it was a safe planet for further development.

This one calls for one planet-buster bomb, buster. In five days. Unless you give them a white bill in the meantime. High Commissioner Bullone will have word of this planet by then. If Gienah still exists in five days, can you imagine the fun the politicians'll have with it? Oh Mamma! Orne, we want this planet cleared for contact or dead before then.

The term is not original with Ferrat; it was discussed briefly in "sf fact" articles as early as 1950.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Testing
  More Ideas and Technology by J.J. Ferrat
  Tech news articles related to Testing
  Tech news articles related to works by J.J. Ferrat

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