New PDF release: A Short History of Nuclear Folly

Environmental Policy

By Rudolph Herzog

ISBN-10: 1612191738

ISBN-13: 9781612191737

Within the spirit of Dr. Strangelove and The Atomic Café, a blackly sardonic people’s heritage of atomic error and near-misses revealing the hushed-up and forgotten episodes during which the nice powers gambled with catastropheRudolph Herzog, the acclaimed writer of useless humorous, provides a devastating account of history’s such a lot irresponsible makes use of of nuclear know-how. From the rarely-discussed nightmare of “Broken Arrows” (40 nuclear guns misplaced in the course of the chilly warfare) to “Operation Plowshare” (a notion to exploit nuclear bombs for big engineering initiatives, reminiscent of a the development of a moment Panama Canal utilizing three hundred H-Bombs), Herzog focuses in on long-forgotten nuclear tasks that almost resulted in disaster.In an extraordinary people’s heritage, Herzog digs deep into information, interviews nuclear scientists, and collects dozens of infrequent pictures. He explores the “accidental” drop of a Nagasaki-type bomb on a teach conductor’s domestic, the implanting of plutonium into sufferers’ hearts, and the discovery of untamed tactical nukes, together with guns designed to kill enemy astronauts.Told in a riveting narrative voice, Herzog—the son of filmmaker Werner Herzog—also attracts on early life stories of the ultimate period of the chilly struggle in Germany, the rustic as soon as visible because the nuclear battleground for NATO and the Warsaw Pact international locations, and discusses facts that Nazi scientists knew the right way to make atomic weaponry . . . and selected to not.

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Extra info for A Short History of Nuclear Folly

Sample text

In light of what we know today about past and current dangers, it is astonishing how optimistic people once were about the civilian and military potential of atomic fission. This book depicts how, for a period of forty years, belief in human progress and planning for potential wars spurred on nuclear research, sometimes for the presumed benefit of humankind, sometimes for the destruction of enemies. To better illustrate this parallel process, I will focus on some of the more extreme examples of nuclear folly and foolishness, including hydrogen bombs that went missing and were never located, cowboys with radiation poisoning, and plutonium in space.

On holidays, pilgrims would make the journey by ferry from St. Petersburg and be given simple meals made in the monastery kitchen. If you wanted to, you could also fish in the teeming waters of Lake Ladoga. Valaam was a magical place, like a mythical land on the other side of the rainbow. At the same time, the surrounding countryside, especially to the north, was one of the most heavily radioactive regions in all of Russia. This discovery was particularly alarming because Lake Ladoga supplies some of the drinking water for St.

Thanks to a few well-placed spies within the American atomic-weapons program, Kurchatov had succeeded in overcoming the two major barriers to building a plutonium bomb. First of all, producing plutonium was a painstaking process, and the Soviets were forced to master the techniques of running huge reactors. Second, it was far more difficult to detonate a plutonium bomb than a uranium one. The forces working upon the radioactive material had to be absolutely regular in order to achieve an explosive chain reaction.

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A Short History of Nuclear Folly by Rudolph Herzog

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