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TSAR BOMBA – Most Horrific Man-made Explosion in History

Sakharov become an ardent supporter of the 1963 Partial Test Ban, and an outspoken critic of nuclear proliferation and, in the late 1960s, anti-missile defences that he feared would spur another nuclear arms race. He became increasingly ostracised by the state, a dissident against oppression who would in 1975 be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and referred to as “the conscience of mankind”, says von Hippel.

The monster atomic bomb that was too big to use
In 1961, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear bomb so powerful that it would have been too big to use in war. And it had far-reaching effects of a very different kind. By Stephen Dowling, BBC, 16 August 2017, On the morning of 30 October 1961, a Soviet Tu-95 bomber took off from Olenya airfield in the Kola Peninsula in the far north of Russia……

nothing the Soviet Union had tested would compare to this.

TSAR BOMBA – Most Horrific Man-made Explosion in History – USSR Hydrogen Bomb

The Tu-95 carried an enormous bomb underneath it, a device too large to fit inside the aircraft’s internal bomb-bay, where such munitions would usually be carried. The bomb was 8m long (26ft), had a diameter of nearly 2.6m (7ft) and weighed more than 27 tonnes. It was, physically, very similar in shape to the ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ bombs which had devastated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a decade-and-a-half earlier. The bomb had become known by a myriad of neutral technical designations – Project 27000, Product Code 202, RDS-220, and Kuzinka Mat (Kuzka’s Mother). Now it is better known as Tsar Bomba – the ‘Tsar’s bomb’……

It was more than a metal monstrosity too big to fit inside even the largest aircraft – it was a city destroyer, a weapon of last resort…… In order to give the two planes a chance to survive – and this was calculated as no more than a 50% chance – Tsar Bomba was deployed by a giant parachute weighing nearly a tonne. The bomb would slowly drift down to a predetermined height – 13,000ft (3,940m) – and then detonate. By then, the two bombers would be nearly 50km (30 miles) away. It should be far enough away for them to survive.

Tsar Bomba detonated at 11:32, Moscow time. In a flash, the bomb created a fireball five miles wide. The fireball pulsed upwards from the force of its own shockwave. The flash could be seen from 1,000km (630 miles) away.

The bomb’s mushroom cloud soared to 64km (40 miles) high, with its cap spreading outwards until it stretched nearly 100km (63 miles) from end to end. It must have been, from a very far distance perhaps, an awe-inspiring sight.

On Novaya Zemlya, the effects were catastrophic. In the village of Severny, some 55km (34 miles) from Ground Zero, all houses were completely destroyed (this is the equivalent to Gatwick airport being destroyed by a bomb that had fallen on Central London). In Soviet districts hundreds of miles from the blast zone, damage of all kinds – houses collapsing, roofs falling in, damage to doors, windows shattering – were reported. Radio communications were disrupted for more than an hour.……

Tsar Bomba unleashed almost unbelievable energy – now widely agreed to be in the order of 57 megatons, or 57 million tons of TNT. That is more than 1,500 times that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined, and 10 times more powerful than all the munitions expended during World War Two. Sensors registered the bomb’s blast wave orbiting the Earth not once, not twice, but three times……

One of the architects of this formidable device was a Soviet physicist called Andrei Sakharov – a man who would later become world famous for his attempts to rid the world of the very weapons he had helped create. He was a veteran of the Soviet atomic bomb programme from the very beginning, and had been part of the team that had built some of the USSR’s earliest atom bombs…….

With such immense power, there would be no guarantee that the giant bomb wouldn’t swamp the north of the USSR with a vast cloud of radioactive fallout.

That was of particular concern to Sakharov, says Frank von Hippel, a physicist and head of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

“He was really apprehensive about the amount of radioactivity it would create,” he says, “and the genetic effects that could have on future generations

“It was the beginning of his journey from being a bomb designer to becoming a dissident.”…….

The Soviets had built a weapon so powerful that they were unwilling to even test it at its full capacity. And that was only one of the problems with this devastating device.

The Tu-95 bombers built to carry the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons were designed to carry much lighter weapons. The Tsar Bomba was so big that it couldn’t be placed on a missile, and so heavy that the planes designed to carry it wouldn’t have been able to take them all the way to their targets with enough fuel. And, if the bomb was as powerful as intended, the aircraft would have been on a one-way mission anyway…..

Tsar Bomba had other effects. Such was the concern over the test – which was 20% of the size of every atmospheric test combined before it, von Hippel says – that it hastened the end of atmospheric testing in 1963. Von Hippel says that Sakharov was particularly worried by the amount of radioactive carbon 14 that was being emitted into the atmosphere – an isotope with a particularly long half-life. “This has been partly mitigated by all the fossil fuel carbon in the atmosphere which has diluted it,” he says.

Sakharov worried that a bomb bigger than the one tested would not be repelled by its own blastwave – like Tsar Bomba had been – and would cause global fallout, spreading toxic dirt across the planet.

Sakharov become an ardent supporter of the 1963 Partial Test Ban, and an outspoken critic of nuclear proliferation and, in the late 1960s, anti-missile defences that he feared would spur another nuclear arms race. He became increasingly ostracised by the state, a dissident against oppression who would in 1975 be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and referred to as “the conscience of mankind”, says von Hippel.

Tsar Bomba, it seems, may have had fallout of a very different kind.  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170816-the-monster-atomic-bomb-that-was-too-big-to-use

August 18, 2017 Posted by | history, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear power industry is not sustainable, and critics have known this for a long time

What Is the Future of US Nuclear Power Industry?  VOA 15, Aug 17  As America’s nuclear power industry continues to suffer major economic difficulties, some are questioning whether it can – or should – survive.

The latest setback came July 31, when state power companies in South Carolina halted construction of two reactors. After spending about $9 billion, the companies decided that increasing costs and repeated building delays did not make the project worth finishing…..

Industry groups had hoped the South Carolina reactors would mark a new beginning for U.S. nuclear power and show the benefits of the latest technology….o…nly two new nuclear reactors are currently being built in the United States – both of them in Georgia. The reactors were the first large nuclear plants to be started in the United States in more than 30 years. And the future of those reactors is uncertain.

The project – currently about half-finished – has also suffered major cost overruns and delays. For now, the company’s parent, Japan-based Toshiba, has promised to provide at least $3.7 billion to finish the project……

opponents say they’ve been hearing the same arguments in support of nuclear power for decades.

Paul Gunter is a longtime anti-nuclear activist. He co-founded the Clamshell Alliancein 1976. The group was formed to oppose the Seabrook Station nuclear plant in New Hampshire. He and hundreds of other protesters were arrested during non-violent demonstrations against the project. Gunter says his main opposition was that the licensing approval process was corrupt.

“For example, you couldn’t raise the issue of, what are you going to do with all the nuclear waste from Seabrook? And that question was not allowed in the licensing proceeding.”

Seabrook Station was eventually completed at a cost of about $7 billion and began operations in 1990. The Clamshell Alliance helped shape America’s anti-nuclear movement for many years to come.

Another defining moment came after the Three Mile Island plant accident in Pennsylvania in 1979 – the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history. A series of mechanical and human mistakes sent one of the reactors into a partial meltdown, sending large amounts of radiation into the surrounding area.

Gunter says even before that accident, there were clear signs the nuclear industry would not be economically sustainable. Today, he says neither state utility providers nor large energy companies are willing to put up money for risky nuclear projects.

“So the only way that you can revive nuclear power is going to be through socializing its financing through the rate payer and the taxpayer. But at this point, we’re seeing the rate payer become the irate payer – when you waste billions and billions of dollars and decades on a predictable outcome.”…

August 16, 2017 Posted by | history, opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Haunting photographs of 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki

If you’re against war, get this book: The photos will haunt you http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708100035.html By SONOKO MIYAZAKI/ Staff Writer August 10, 2017 A boy standing at rigid attention with the dead body of his infant brother strapped to his back at a crematorium in Nagasaki is one of searing images of the city’s destruction after the U.S. atomic bombing in 1945.

In a book published Aug. 9, Kimiko Sakai, the widow of Joe O’Donnell, the photographer who snapped the image, tells the story of her husband’s life work through photographs he shot in Japan in the immediate aftermath of the war.

Aug. 9 marked the 72nd anniversary of the bombing as well as the 10th anniversary of O’Donnell’s death at the age of 85.

The 192-page book, titled “Kamisama no Finder: Moto-Beijugun Cameraman no Isan” (God’s finder: the legacy of a former war photographer), was published by the Tokyo-based Word of Life Press Ministries.

After Japan’s surrender, O’Donnell, who was attached to the U.S. Marine Corps, traveled to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other Japanese cities to document the wartime devastation. He stayed in Japan from September 1945 to March 1946.

He took 300 or so photographs for his private use.

He believed it was wrong to drop the atomic bombs after witnessing the sufferings of the victims.

But O’Donnell didn’t exhibit these pictures for decades because of prevailing U.S. sentiment that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki hastened the end of World War and saved many American lives.

O’Donnell later decided to exhibit the photographs in the hope they would help advance the anti-war movement.

The catalyst for this was when he gazed on a sculpture evoking Jesus on the cross and engulfed by flames at a church in Kentucky in 1989. The life-size work, titled “Once,” was created for the repose of the tens of thousands of people killed in that atomic bombings, with photos of victims pasted all over the body. O’Donnell was stunned.

After that, O’Donnell until his death held exhibitions of his photos in the United States and Japan to convey the horrors of nuclear war.

The image of the boy at the crematorium stayed with him. O’Donnell recalled that the boy stared motionless as bodies were being burned and he awaited his turn. He also noticed that the boy’s lips were caked with blood because he was biting them so hard, although no blood spilled.

Sakai agreed to a proposal to publish the book after she was contacted by the publisher two years or so ago. Sakai, who lives in Tennessee, said she accepted out of respect for her husband’s commitment to the anti-war cause.

“My husband photographed his subjects as fellow human beings, not as an occupier,” she said in a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun.

Asked if she had a message for those working to rid the world of nuclear arsenals, she said, “Just ‘not to forget,’ which is important.”

August 11, 2017 Posted by | history, Japan, Reference, resources - print, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Dispelling the myths about U.S. President Harry Truman’s decision to nuclear bomb Japanese cities

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime worse than any that Japanese generals were executed for in Tokyo and Manila. If Harry Truman was not a war criminal, then no one ever was. 

Mises Institute 10 Aug 17  [Excerpted from “Harry S. Truman: Advancing the Revolution,” in Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom, John Denson, ed.]

The most spectacular episode of Harry Truman’s presidency will never be forgotten but will be forever linked to his name: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and of Nagasaki three days later. Probably around two hundred thousand persons were killed in the attacks and through radiation poisoning; the vast majority were civilians, including several thousand Korean workers. Twelve US Navy fliers incarcerated in a Hiroshima jail were also among the dead.1

Great controversy has always surrounded the bombings. …….

the rationale for the atomic bombings has come to rest on a single colossal fabrication, which has gained surprising currency — that they were necessary in order to save a half-million or more American lives. These, supposedly, are the lives that would have been lost in the planned invasion of Kyushu in December, then in the all-out invasion of Honshu the next year, if that had been needed. But the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost.7 The ridiculously inflated figure of a half-million for the potential death toll — nearly twice the total of US dead in all theaters in the Second World War — is now routinely repeated in high-school and college textbooks and bandied about by ignorant commentators. Unsurprisingly the prize for sheer fatuousness on this score goes to President George H.W. Bush, who claimed in 1991 that dropping the bomb “spared millions of American lives.”8

“The rationale for the atomic bombings has come to rest on a single colossal fabrication — that they were necessary in order to save a half-million or more American lives.”

Still, Truman’s multiple deceptions and self-deceptions are understandable, considering the horror he unleashed. It is equally understandable that the US occupation authorities censored reports from the shattered cities and did not permit films and photographs of the thousands of corpses and the frightfully mutilated survivors to reach the public.9 Otherwise, Americans — and the rest of the world — might have drawn disturbing comparisons to scenes then coming to light from the Nazi concentration camps.

The bombings were condemned as barbaric and unnecessary by high American military officers, including Eisenhower and MacArthur.10 The view of Admiral William D. Leahy, Truman’s own chief of staff, was typical:

the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. … My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.11

The political elite implicated in the atomic bombings feared a backlash that would aid and abet the rebirth of horrid prewar “isolationism.” Apologias were rushed into print, lest public disgust at the sickening war crime result in erosion of enthusiasm for the globalist project.12 No need to worry. A sea change had taken place in the attitudes of the American people. Then and ever after, all surveys have shown that the great majority supported Truman, believing that the bombs were required to end the war and save hundreds of thousands of American lives, or, more likely, not really caring one way or the other.

Those who may still be troubled by such a grisly exercise in cost-benefit analysis — innocent Japanese lives balanced against the lives of Allied servicemen — might reflect on the judgment of the Catholic philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe, who insisted on the supremacy of moral rules.13 When, in June 1956, Truman was awarded an honorary degree by her university, Oxford, Anscombe protested.14 Truman was a war criminal, she contended, for what is the difference between the US government massacring civilians from the air, as at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Nazis wiping out the inhabitants of some Czech or Polish village?……

While the mass media parroted the government line in praising the atomic incinerations, prominent conservatives denounced them as unspeakable war crimes. Felix Morley, constitutional scholar and one of the founders of Human Events, drew attention to the horror of Hiroshima, including the “thousands of children trapped in the thirty-three schools that were destroyed.” He called on his compatriots to atone for what had been done in their name, and proposed that groups of Americans be sent to Hiroshima, as Germans were sent to witness what had been done in the Nazi camps.

The Paulist priest, Father James Gillis, editor of The Catholic World and another stalwart of the Old Right, castigated the bombings as “the most powerful blow ever delivered against Christian civilization and the moral law.” David Lawrence, conservative owner of US News and World Report, continued to denounce them for years.21 The distinguished conservative philosopher Richard Weaver was revolted by

the spectacle of young boys fresh out of Kansas and Texas turning nonmilitary Dresden into a holocaust … pulverizing ancient shrines like Monte Cassino and Nuremberg, and bringing atomic annihilation to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Weaver considered such atrocities as deeply “inimical to the foundations on which civilization is built.”22

Today, self-styled conservatives slander as “anti-American” anyone who is in the least troubled by Truman’s massacre of so many tens of thousands of Japanese innocents from the air. This shows as well as anything the difference between today’s “conservatives” and those who once deserved the name.

Leo Szilard was the world-renowned physicist who drafted the original letter to Roosevelt that Einstein signed, instigating the Manhattan Project. In 1960, shortly before his death, Szilard stated another obvious truth:

If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us, we would have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them.23

The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime worse than any that Japanese generals were executed for in Tokyo and Manila. If Harry Truman was not a war criminal, then no one ever was. https://mises.org/blog/harry-truman-and-atomic-bomb

August 11, 2017 Posted by | history, Reference, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons treaty offers hope this Hiroshima Day

The Baltimore Sun ,Gwen L. DuBois, 5 Aug 17 

Hiroshima: Dropping The Bomb – Hiroshima – BBC

 

(I apologise for the ads at the beginning of this video. Ads are part of the price of running this website with no funding whatsoever)

This Hiroshima Day anniversary, 72 years after we dropped the first atomic bomb as a weapon of war, will be different.

Just ask Setsuko Thurlow, who was in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. She was also present at the United Nations a month ago when Costa Rica ambassador, Elayne Whyte, announced that the treaty to ban nuclear weapons had been adopted.

“I have been waiting for this day for seven decades and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived,” she said that day. “This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.”

Ms. Setsuko was 13 years old when she saw the flash of the bomb. Bodies were thrown up in the air around her. The wooden building she was in collapsed, and she could hear the cries from her classmates in the darkness. She managed to extricate herself and escape to the hills, witness to grotesquely injured people trying to move away from the city in silence for lack of physical and emotional strength — whispering only for water. She remembers her 4-year-old nephew, a “blackened, scorched chunk of flesh wailing in a faint voice until his death released him from agony.”

On July 7th, 2017, the day Ms. Setsuko spoke before the U.N., 122 non-nuclear nations endorsed the treaty that, when ratified, binds signatories never to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. Nations that have hosted these massively lethal bombs pledge not to station, install or deploy them. It establishes humanitarian and human rights for those that have been victims of nuclear weapons or weapons testing, including the right to live in an environment that has been remediated from the damage done by them. It notes that women and children are disproportionately harmed by radiation. The treaty is open for signatures through Sept. 20, and once 50 nations have signed and ratified, it becomes law 90 days later.

“These obligations (of this treaty) break new ground. The prohibition on threatening to use nuclear weapons, for example, sets up a fundamental challenge to all policies based on nuclear deterrence. From now on, deterrence advocates are on the wrong side of the law, as understood and accepted by the majority of countries in the world,” Zia Mian, a Princeton University professor, wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist……..

Because of this treaty, there is hope.

Soon nuclear weapons will not only be immoral but also illegal. Citizens of the world take notice.

Dr. Gwen L. DuBois (gdubois@jhsph.edu) is president of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. She was also a citizen lobbyist in June at the United Nations Draft Conference to Ban Nuclear Weapons. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0806-weapons-treaty-20170802-story.html

August 4, 2017 Posted by | history, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard

Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard presents the aftermath of the first atomic bomb through the remarkable drawings and stories of surviving Japanese school children who were part of an extraordinary, compassionate exchange with their American counterparts after the war.

In 1995, a parishioner of the All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., discovered a long-forgotten box containing dozens of colorful drawings made by Japanese children from the Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima just two years after their city was destroyed. The surprisingly hopeful drawings were created and sent to the church nearly 50 years earlier in appreciation for much-needed school supplies received as part of the church’s post-war humanitarian efforts.

The Honkawa school was just 1100 feet from ground zero on August 6, 1945. Nearly 400 children died in the schoolyard that fateful morning. Surviving students and teachers describe the horror of that day and reflect on their difficult lives amidst the rubble of their decimated city, as well as the hope they shared through their art.

Classes resumed soon after in the window-less concrete shell of the remaining Honkawa school building to provide some sense of normalcy. The film features recently found archival footage that shows what life was like in the weeks and months after the bomb fell and how Hiroshima gradually recovered.

The rediscovered drawings were restored by members of the All Souls Church, who several years later embarked on an emotional journey to Japan to exhibit the artwork at the Honkawa school and reunite the surviving artists for the first time with the drawings they created as children.

The artists and church members reflect on the lessons that resulted from a compassionate exchange nearly 70 years ago between American and Japanese children following a bitter and devastating World War.

The film is produced by Shizumi Shigeto Manale and written and directed by Bryan Reichhardt. More information here.

July 31, 2017 Posted by | history, Resources -audiovicual, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Memoirs of 1945 photographer of the devastated city of Hiroshima

FULL VERSION OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI FILM THEY DIDN’T WANT US TO SEE 34962,

(this is not the same as the film discussed below)

Memos found from man who shot Hiroshima ‘phantom film’, Asahi Shimbun , By GEN OKAMOTO/ Staff Writer, July 23, 2017 SAGAMIHARA, Kanagawa Prefecture--Memos written by a photographer who documented the damage inflicted on Hiroshima after the atomic bombing and his personal feelings have been discovered by his grandson and will be displayed in Tokyo next month.

Kiyoji Suzuki took the notes with sketches when a documentary team, in which he was a member, roamed the flattened city between September and October 1945.

The documentary, “Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” was undertaken by a Japanese film company to scientifically record the extent of the damage done to both cities, including footage of destroyed cityscapes, injured people and the existence of vegetation.

The shooting of Nagasaki ran into difficulties as the U.S. military meddled in the project. But the crew managed to continue with their work after being commissioned by the U.S. military.

Although the documentary was completed in 1946, the U.S. military confiscated the film and didn’t return it to Japan until 1967. The footage became known as the “phantom film” on the atomic bombings.

Hiroshi Nose, also a photographer who lives in Sagamihara, found his grandfather’s memos at his home in 2013.

Suzuki’s entries began on Sept. 18, 1945, when he was living in Tokyo and assigned to the film project in Hiroshima.

His memos show sketches of a “shadow” of a person or object etched on a nearby building by the bomb’s thermal flash and of a deformed leaf of a plant.

Suzuki also mentioned which lenses he used for filming and the weather that day.

Although many of the memos concern objective data, others appeared to reveal his personal feelings in the midst of the devastation…….

Nose completed a 28-minute documentary film last fall, titled “Hiroshima Bomb, Illusive Photography Memos,” after visiting places in Hiroshima that were associated with Suzuki’s memos.

The documentary compared footage of Hiroshima today and that of the city 72 years ago shot by his grandfather.

The memos will be displayed for the first time to the public at Art Gallery 884 in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward on Aug. 5-9. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201707230019.html

July 24, 2017 Posted by | history, Japan, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Russia and China came close to nuclear war in 1969

Forgotten Fact: Russia and China Almost Started a Nuclear War in 1969, National Interest, Kyle Mizokami, 2 Jul 17, In 1969 the two pillars of the communist bloc, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, nearly went to full-scale war. Years of deteriorating ties between the two countries, once the staunchest of allies, finally led to skirmishing on the long mutual border between the two countries. While tensions were eventually de-escalated, what if the two countries had gone to war?

On March 2, 1969 Soviet troops patrolling Damansky Island (Zhenbao) on the Ussuri River came under fire from Chinese troops. The attack, just 120 miles from the major Soviet city of Khabarovsk, killed fifty Soviet troops and wounded many more. The Moscow believed that the attack was premeditated, with Beijing bringing in a special combat unit to ambush Soviet forces. Alleged atrocities against wounded Soviet troops made the Soviet leadership furious.

 Soviet border guards counterattacked Chinese forces in and around the island on March 15, according to the CIA killing “hundreds” of Chinese troops. Clashes continued through the spring and summer, and by August, CIA director Richard Helms had informed the press that the Soviet leadership had been discreetly inquiring with foreign governments about their opinion on a preemptive strike on China………

The de-escalation of the Sino-Soviet crisis in 1969 avoided what could have been yet another large, destructive war of the twentieth century. The current friendship between Moscow and Beijing is a reflection of that crisis and the realization that it’s much better for both countries to be allies than enemies. This is particularly in Moscow’s interests: given Beijing’s rapid military and economic progress over the past thirty years, next time, the Kremlin may find the tables turned. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/forgotten-fact-russia-china-almost-started-nuclear-war-1969-21398

July 3, 2017 Posted by | China, history, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Secret nuclear fallout bunker set up for President Kennedy in 1960

JFK Had a Super Secret Nuclear War Bunker in Florida,National Interest, Darien Cavanaugh, 2 Jul 17This place wouldn’t have survived a direct hit,” Anthony Miller of the Palm Beach Maritime Museum told VisitFlorida.com, Florida’s official Website for promoting tourism.

In December 1960, the SeaBees – the U.S. Navy’s construction force  —  supposedly began the mundane task of building a munitions depot behind the Coast Guard station on Peanut Island, Florida.

 Known as “Operation Hotel,” the SeaBees actually built a secret nuclear fallout shelter for president-elect John F. Kennedy, who often spent his winters at a nearby estate on Palm Beach.

It took the SeaBees less than two weeks to complete the underground bunker, which consisted of a corrugated steel shelter covered with 25 feet of concrete, earth and lead. Official documents referred to the site as “Detachment Hotel,” and the government didn’t formerly acknowledge its existence until 1974……. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/jfk-had-super-secret-nuclear-war-bunker-florida-21406

 

July 3, 2017 Posted by | history, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The scandalously unethical 1946 testing of atomic bombs on Bikini Atoll

The Crazy Story of the 1946 Bikini Atoll Nuclear Tests http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/crazy-story-1946-bikini-atoll-nuclear-tests-180963833/ They were the first time that a nuclear weapon had been deployed since the 1945 attacks on Japan By Kat Eschner, smithsonian.com
June 30, 2017 Operation Crossroads, which had its first big event–the dropping of a nuclear bomb–on July 1, 1946, was just the beginning of the nuclear testing that Bikini Atoll would be subjected to. When the first bomb of the tests dropped, it was the first time since the 1945 attacks on Japan that a nuclear weapon had been deployed. Here are three things you might not know about the infamous test.

The test subjects were ghost ships full of animals

The goal of the tests was to see what happened to naval warships when a nuclear weapon went off, writes the Atomic Heritage Foundation. More than 42,000 people–including a crew of Smithsonian Institution scientists, as well as reporters and United Nations representatives, according to Alex Wellerstein for The New Yorker–were involved in observing the nuclear tests, but the humans were, of course, not the test subjects.

Instead, “some of the ships were loaded with live animals, such as pigs and rats, to study the effects of the nuclear blast and radioactive fallout on animals,” writes the foundation. In total, more than 90 vessels, not all carrying live cargo, were placed in the target area of the bomb, which was named Gilda–after Rita Hayworth’s character in the eponymous film.

The gathered scientists included fish scientist Leonard P. Schultz, who was then the curator of ichthyology for the National Museum of Natural History. Although he was given safety goggles, writes the museum, “he was doubtful whether the goggles would protect him.” So, in true scientific fashion, “he covered one eye and observed the explosion with the other.” His eyes were fine, and the effects that he felt included “a slight warmth” on his face and hearing a boom about two minutes after the flash.

Schultz and his colleagues were there to collect species and document the Atoll before and after the tests. They collected numerous specimens including sea and land creatures, writes the museum, which remain in the museum’s collections today. “The Smithsonian’s collections document the extent to which the diversity of marine life was affected by the atomic blasts,” writes the museum, “providing researchers who continue to ­study the health of the ecosystem with a means to compare species extant today with those collected before the tests.”

The first bomb missed its target

That reduced the damage done to the ghost ships. “The weapon exploded almost directly above the Navy’s data-gathering equipment, sinking one of its instrument ships, and a signal that was meant to trigger dozens of cameras was sent ten seconds too late,” Wellerstein writes.

 It started a tradition of nuclear testing in this vulnerable place

“The nuclear arms race between the US and Soviet Union displaced 167 Marshallese as refugees in their own country,” writes Sarah Emerson for Motherboard. After the first 1946 tests, the U.S. government continued to use the area around Bikini Atoll and the Marshall Islands for nuclear testing, writes Erin Blakemore for Smithsonian.com, conducting 67 nuclear tests in total. 23 of those tests were conducted at Bikini Atoll specifically, including one 1954 test of the largest nuclear device the U.S. ever exploded.

The Marshallese displaced by the testing have not been able to go back to their poisoned homes. Today, it’s hard to know when the Atoll will ever be safe to return to, writes Blakemore, although the Marshall Islands overall are becoming less radioactive.

And it all started in 1946.

July 1, 2017 Posted by | history, OCEANIA, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup, 

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Once expunged from its official history, documents outlining the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran have been quietly published by the State Department, offering a new glimpse at an operation that ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West.

The CIA’s role in the coup, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cemented the control of the shah, was already well-known by the time the State Department offered its first compendium on the era in 1989. But any trace of American involvement in the putsch had been wiped from the report, causing historians to call it a fraud.

The papers released this month show U.S. fears over the spread of communism, as well as the British desire to regain access to Iran’s oil industry, which had been nationalized by Mosaddegh. It also offers a cautionary tale about the limits of American power as a new U.S. president long suspicious of Iran weighs the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran reached under his predecessor……..

The 1,007-page report , comprised of letters and diplomatic cables, shows U.S. officials discussing a coup up to a year before it took place. ……..

The report fills in the large gaps of the initial 1989 historical document outlining the years surrounding the 1953 coup in Iran. The release of that report led to the resignation of the historian in charge of a State Department review board and to Congress passing a law requiring a more reliable historical account be made.

Byrne and others have suggested the release of the latest documents may have been delayed by the nuclear negotiations, as the Obama administration sought to ease tensions with Tehran, and then accelerated under President Donald Trump, who has adopted a much more confrontational stance toward Iran……

Die-hard opponents of Iran’s current government might look to 1953 as a source of inspiration. But the Americans involved in the coup acknowledged at the time they were playing with fire.

Widespread Iranian anger over the heavy-handed Western intervention lingered for decades, and fed into the 1979 revolution, when Iranians seized control of the U.S. Embassy and held those inside captive for 444 days. To this day Iran’s clerical leaders portray the U.S. as a hostile foreign power bent on subverting and overthrowing its government.

As President Dwight Eisenhower wrote in his diary in 1953, if knowledge of the coup became public, “We would not only be embarrassed in that region, but our chances to do anything of like nature in the future would almost totally disappear.”  Online:

State Department report: https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1951-54Iran     https://apnews.com/5111167bcaf84892b01eea93eea4bc01

July 1, 2017 Posted by | history, Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

The world on the brink of nuclear war in 1983

In 1983, A NATO Military Exercise Almost Started a Nuclear World War III, The National Interest,  Warfare History Network, 11 June 17, On the night of November 20, 1983, Armageddon went prime time. Over 100 million Americans tuned in to the ABC television network to watch the two-hour drama The Day After. This depiction of a hypothetical nuclear attack on the United States attracted a great deal of publicity and controversy. Schools made watching the film a homework assignment, discussion groups were organized in communities across the country, and even the secretary of state at the time, George Schulz, took part in a question-and-answer session hosted by ABC after the film’s broadcast. That a mere made-for-TV movie could garner such attention from a leading figure in the Reagan administration indicates how real the fear of a nuclear apocalypse was at the time. But almost no one watching that Sunday night realized just how close fiction came to reality in the fall of 1983.

The possibility of the world’s two greatest military powers destroying each other and the earth in a full-scale thermonuclear war was a fear shared by many throughout the world. At the time, both the United States and the USSR maintained huge nuclear arsenals of over 20,000 nuclear warheads each. In North America and Western Europe, nuclear freeze movements were gaining new members daily, with mass demonstrations that routinely numbered in the tens of thousands.

World events seemed to only reaffirm people’s fears. It was the third year of the presidency of Ronald Reagan, a man who had built his political career on a virulent hatred for all things communist. His 1980 victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter had largely been the result of his hard-line stance against the Russians. A former film actor with a natural flair for the dramatic, Reagan both inspired and shocked people with his hardcore rhetoric, such as his statement before the British House of Commons in 1982 that the Marxist ideology would be relegated to the “ash heap of history.” Perhaps his most memorable and antagonistic remarks came on March 8, 1983, when Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “focus of evil in the modern world” and an “evil empire.”……

“Star Wars” and Fleetex 83: On the Brink of Nuclear War

On March 23, 1983, Reagan took the superpower rivalry to a new level when he unveiled the Strategic Defense Initiative Program during a live television address. The SDI program, more popularly referred to as “Star Wars,” was to provide an orbital shield that would protect the United States—at least partly—from a nuclear strike…..

To Yuri Andropov, then general secretary of the USSR, Reagan’s intentions spelled trouble…….http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/1983-nato-military-exercise-almost-started-nuclear-world-war-21111

June 12, 2017 Posted by | history, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Legacy of Shoreham nuclear power plant (in pictures)

Generating controversy: The Shoreham nuclear power plant, http://www.newsday.com/long-island/history/generating-controversy-the-shoreham-nuclear-power-plant-1.13702920 [large set of excellent photos] June 2, 2017 The nuclear power plant built in Shoreham was initially sold as a solution for a power-hungry Island, a safe and economical source of electricity that would light 500,000 homes and last for several decades. The LILCO project instead generated intense controversy.

An estimated 15,000 people rallied in a driving rainstorm outside Shoreham’s gates on June 3, 1979, in what was then believed to be the biggest demonstration of any kind in Long Island history. Before the protest was over, 571 people were peacefully arrested. In the years after the protest, questions about the plant’s safety and its ballooning costs led to a state takeover of the Long Island Lighting Co. and the decommissioning of the plant. LIPA, which owns the property and operates a substation and other power facilities there, continues to express interest in redeveloping the site. But despite occasional calls to convert it for other uses, the property’s future remains uncertain.

The plant’s legacy included $6 billion in debt related to its closure and LIPA taking over LILCO, with $1 billion left to be paid, and vivid memories of a demonstration that captivated the Island on June 3, 1979.

After years of controversy, the Shoreham nuclear power plant was ordered closed on May 25, 1988. It was fully decommissioned in 1994.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | history, USA | Leave a comment

1961 the thermonuclear bomb that they dropped in North Carolina

A thermonuclear bomb slammed into a US farm in 1961 — and part of it is still missing https://www.businessinsider.com.au/nuclear-bomb-accident-goldsboro-nc-swamp-2017-5?r=US&IR=T, DAVE MOSHER MAY 8, 2017,

May 8, 2017 Posted by | history, incidents, USA | Leave a comment

The real purpose of nuclear power industry was always to provide plutonium for weapons

The deadly industry – this is a brief section from Nuclear Power and the Collapse of Society 

The story of how nuclear generated power came to be starts in the 1950s. After WWII, the US, UK, France, Russia, and China set out to build arsenals, but required more plutonium than could be furnished by their respective military programs. A US Atomic Energy Commission study concluded that commercial nuclear reactors for power were not economically feasible because of costs and risks. Dr. Charles Thomas, an executive at Monsanto, suggested a solution: A “dual purpose” reactor that would produce plutonium for the military and electric power for commercial use.

Companies profited from these dual markets, while leaving the public to assume responsibility for research, infrastructure, and risk: Privatise the profits, socialise the costs. The real purpose of a “nuclear power” industry was to provide plutonium for weapons and profit for a few corporations.

This deadly industry has now left dead zones and ghost towns around the world. The Hanford nuclear storage site in the US, Acerinox Processing Plant in Spain, The Polygon weapons test site in Kazakhstan, the Zapadnyi uranium mine in Kyrgyzstan, and countless other uranium mines, decommissioned plants, nuclear waste dumps, and catastrophes like Fukushima and Chernobyl.  http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/nuclear-weapons-power-Chernobyl-Fukushima-danger/blog/59326/  by Rex Weyler, 5 May 17,

May 6, 2017 Posted by | history, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment