The Cold War gift that keeps on giving. Just testing the the Davy Crockett may have contaminated 12,000 acres around Fort Carson with uranium and depleted uranium residue. “In the general mindset of the era, it was deemed a requirement for more covert, squad level nuclear weaponry…called the ‘Davy Crockett,’ it was a 155mm caliber tactical nuclear recoilless gun” With an explosive yield of .01-.02 kilotons, or the equivalent of 10 to 20 tons of TNT the Davy Crockett was developed for covert units to destroy Soviet infrastructure, engage tank formations or repel larger units. As the largest conventional ordinance has a blast yield of 11 tons of TNT and was short ranged, very inaccurate and likely to expose users to radioactive fallout and contaminate large areas for years, the weapon was wisely discontinued. Previously [more inside]
Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy And Doom is a new book by Elaine Scarry, author of The Body In Pain (NYRB, LRB), in which she contends that the existence of nuclear weapons creates an unaccountable monarchy. [more inside]
The Littlest Boy - Twenty years after Hiroshima, elite American troops trained to stop a Soviet invasion -- with nuclear weapons strapped to their backs. [more inside]
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]
Overthinking It!: The Nuclear Option: Batman, Iron Man, and Attitudes Toward Power [more inside]
In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything. - Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy
On June 6th, Shahram Amiri - an Iranian nuclear scientist -- appeared on a YouTube video claiming he was abducted by US and Saudi authorities in Medina, drugged and flown to the US. On June 7th, a second video on Youtube appeared where he, or someone claiming to be him, said he was fine, studying in the US. (The U.S. government has no official comment but cited him as a source on Iran's nuclear program.) A 3rd video backed the first. Now Pakistan says Amiri is in hiding in its Washington embassy's Iranian interests section under asylum and making arrangements to get back to Iran. How he got there, and why, is a mystery. [more inside]
BOOM! High resolution pictures of US atomic bomb tests. More photos. Nuclear wallpapers. Some history and movies. Rapatronic (a very fast camera) images (and more, from an old mefi post). For more information about these and other weapons of mass destruction visit the Trinity Atomic Web Site (don't miss the High Energy Weapons Archive hosted there) and the Federation of American Scientists' WMD resources page.
How to build a bomb isn't all there is to the Internet as press would have you think. Anyway it's harder than just getting some plans, as this guy found out. So why not build a bomb shelter instead? Or build your own train, hovercraft, speedboat, car or plane - can't fly - don't worry build a flight simulator! Toast your success with DIY firewater cooked with your solar furnace. Enjoy your CB radio, listen to MP3s or toy with your sextant. And with all the kinky clothes and loads of pervy toys to make who has time to build bombs? I can see the bumper stickers now "Make leg spreaders, not war!"
China, North Korea, and Iran will have nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States by 2015, says the CIA. Other delivery methods are mentioned as well, but this news certainly does make missile defense sound like a good idea.