From 1949 onwards, the closed city of Semipalatinsk (now Semey, Kazakhstan) was the test site for 456 nuclear devices. The test site was known as "The Polygon." Testing was stopped in 1989, but the long term effects remained. [more inside]
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
Actor Ralph Meeker portrayed hardboiled private dick Mike Hammer in the Robert Aldrich film "Kiss Me Deadly", a celluloid masterpiece of brutal cold-war paranoia that introduced the filmgoing public to the concept of suitcase nukes back in 1955. For some reason, I find the thought of Conway Twitty films far more disturbing.
The cold war is over so we can just relax. The russians don't lose track of nuclear material because they still use archaic manual methods rather than buggy software the United States gave them. [via comp.risks]
Remember the movie "The Day After?" Back in the Cold War days, we were all worried about someday being vaporized by a nuclear blast. Well now, in this post-Cold War era you can relive those wonderful memories with PBS' Nuclear Blast Mapper. I popped in the coordinates for MetaFilter's server location, set the bomb to a 25 megaton blast and this is the result. Think about that the next time you hear a country gets their first nuclear weapons.