Project Cobalt was a military chemical and weapons program, as well as John-Caleb Bradberton's personal scheme to acquire top secret governmental research, specifically the military's LEAP-X (Life Extension And Prolongation) program.
The Beverageers employed by John-Caleb Bradberton at Nuka-World were among the top organic chemists in the world; while they expected to use their education to create and perfect flavors of sodas for the soft drink giant, the United States Armed Forces had a different idea. The United States and China were in an arms race to create the most powerful chemical and biological weapons; there would be no second place in this race, so the American military had little choice to negotiate with Bradberton. In order for him to turn his team and security force over to the Army Research Laboratory's Weapon and Material division under the supervision of General Braxton, Bradberton demanded to be a participant in the military's LEAP-X program.
After Braxton agreed to the Bradberton's proposal, Bradberton immediately signed the team over to the military, leading to a separate chain of problems: pulling Nuka-World security personnel to watch over the team, as well as maintenance workers to make sure equipment was constantly functional left the rest of the park critically understaffed and underfunded.
Research and weaponization
As head of the Beverageers, Rex Meacham headed the research and development of Project Cobalt, and put his entire team on the project regardless of their wishes. His team was successful in finding a custom isotope potentially fit for the military's needs after only seven months. The custom isotope, codenamed "Quantum," was based on strontium-90, and could be used to weaponize nearly anything in the military's arsenal, and even enhanced a suit of X-01 power armor using the compound as a proof of concept.
More specifically, the glowing blue compound could store incoming energy on armor as well as amplify the default energy of munitions. The team even went so far as to make a prototype Quantum derivative of the mini nuke launched from a specialized catapult.
It was not until shortly after the Great War that Meacham finally completed a perfectly stable weaponization of Quantum. However, this was at the loss of all of his colleagues; due to delusions of grandeur, the stress of being locked in a bunker for an indeterminate amount of time, and what Meacham saw as "treason" for refusing to continue the project, the other Beverageers either committed suicide or were murdered by Meacham. In the end, the project was completely irrelevant.
Ironically, Meacham also suggested that the compound could be used in a new line of soft drinks; Nuka-Cola Quantum was the result, and would actually luminesce longer than the previously released Nuka-Cola Quartz and Victory. Of course, there were dangers to using a radioactive isotope in a soft drink, even with Meacham's distillation process; the soft drink remained radioactive, but complaints from Beverageer Kate Leavitt were disregarded and production of Nuka-Cola Quantum began.
The Nuka-Cola bottling facility in Arlington, Virginia provided the Beverageers with live subjects to test the soft drink; the first few trials of the soft drinks were ultimately fatal, but isotope CE774 only resulted in some dizziness and other mild side effects, and a new flavor was born. All Bradberton had to do was have taste-testers sign a health damage waver and send them a Nuka Condolences fruit and cheese basket afterwards to avoid any litigation, and then wait for the profits to roll in.
Even before the completion of the development phase however, the bottling plant at Nuka-World geared up in anticipation to begin mass production of Nuka-Cola Quantum. They even went as far as to both dye the river ride in the World of Refreshment a fluorescent blue and even promote it as a safe beverage to the actors manning the ride. The Beverageers themselves even went so far as to tell the actors that if they were feeling a little low on energy, that they could drink the Quantum right out of the river, and that this new Nuka-Cola is so packed full of energy that it kills any bacteria it touches.
Several pieces of enhanced weapons and armor were created during the course of Project Cobalt, displaying the various uses of Nuka-Cola's strontium-90 isotope:
- Nuka-Nuke Launcher
- Nuka Quantum grenade
- Weaponized Thirst Zapper
- Weaponized Nuka-Cola, Cherry, and Quantum ammo.
- Quantum X-01 power armor
- General Braxton's visit
- Bradberton's office terminals; Bradberton's Project Terminal, 03-17-2076 JCB
- Bradberton's office terminals; Bradberton's Terminal, Incoming Mail LBS448NWC
- Starport Nuka terminals; Manager's Terminal, Outbound Communication GH700243
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987113
- Meacham recording AB27
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Compound Q4N7-UM
- Bradberton's office terminals; Bradberton's Project Terminal, 10-20-2076 JCB
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Compound Q4N7-UM - 0.245
- Action point regeneration effect of Quantum X-01 power armor
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987115
- Nuka-Nuke launcher and Nuka-nukes
- Project Cobalt complete
- Meacham recording AB42
- Bradberton's office terminals; Bradberton's Terminal, Incoming Mail KL332NWC
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Beverageer's Terminal, Meacham RMNC-0987120
- Bradberton's office terminals; Bradberton's Terminal, Outgoing Mail JCB800NWC
- Nuka-World loading screen hints: "Just before Nuka-Cola Quantum was released, the World of Refreshment's water was tinted a glowing blue color to simulate the look of the beverage for promotional purposes."
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant terminals; Bottling Plant Staff Terminal, Grand Reopening