They had to be fully autonomous, because they were situated hundreds and hundreds miles aways from any populated areas. After reviewing different ideas on how to make them work for a years without service and any external power supply, Soviet engineers decided to implement atomic energy to power up those structures. So, special lightweight small atomic reactors were produced in limited series to be delivered to the Polar Circle lands and to be installed on the lighthouses.
The nuclear-disarmament group Global Zero just released a report proposing a ten-year plan for the United States and Russia to reduce their arsenals below 900 warheads each, well below the New START treaty limits of 1,550 deployed warheads each by 2018. Implementation is unlikely in an election year. [more inside]
The Rusty Technoporn Of Nuclear Russia - The Base Of Human Exterminators , The Place That Stalkers Would Love To Visit, from English Russia via Warren Ellis
Russian strategic nuclear forces - an online watchdog of the movements of Russia's nuclear forces. [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.
You may owe your life to this man If it weren't for Stanislav Petrov, many or even most of us reading this might be dead now - or never born, for the teens among us. At least according to this article, and the other links above.
"Weapons of Mass Destruction", you say? Question: If Iraq is the vicious rat and North Korea the furious pygmy of WMD threats, where is the 800 pound gorilla? Answer - "...law enforcement officials worldwide have seized 40 kilograms of Russian-origin uranium and plutonium since 1991. Stanford researchers have also estimated that only 30 to 40 percent of the nuclear material stolen from facilities in Russia and other territories in the former Soviet Union are ever recovered by authorities." the collapse of the Soviet Union left vast stores of Nuclear weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium, and stocks of chemical and biological warfare agents lying about at dangerously underfunded facillities scattered through the vast expanse of the ex-Soviet realm. "Russian stockpiles of weapons and materials are the most likely source for terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction", said US Senator Richard Lugar, Republican chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. An international effort to destroy these stores of ex-Soviet WMD's is currently funded at a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of a possible US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (more inside)
In the midst of all the talk of possible terrorist deployments of Weapons of Mass-Destruction, this seems like a somewhat dramatic, if effective, approach to pre-empting the threat of blackmarket nuclear proliferation. The co-operative approach adopted by the U.S and Russia - and presumably the Yugoslav Government itself - also seems encouraging. Should this 'surprise-attack' approach now be used to negate the threat posed as nuclear facilities are decommissioned worldwide??
More than one way to get your hands on nuclear material. You probably know that Russia's ability to keep track of nuclear material is something that keeps a lot of people in the US military up at night....but is it possible that the problems are worse than we thought? (more inside...)