The Nazis never got close to building the bomb, but they understood the science and knew what was coming. A top-secret raid led by Norwegian resistance fighter Joachim Rønneberg destroyed a heavy water-producing plant in Rjukan, Telemark in 1943—a key victory that put Nazi nuke research to bed. Ronneberg died this week at 99.
The following year, Ronneberg chose a team of five other commandos in an Allied operation codenamed Gunnerside.
"We were a gang of friends doing a job together," he told the BBC during the 70th anniversary of the mission.
The men parachuted on to a plateau, skied across country, descended into a ravine and crossed an icy river before using the railway line to get into the plant and set their explosives.
"We very often thought that this was a one way trip," he said.
After the explosion, the men escaped into neighbouring Sweden by skiing 320km (200 miles) across Telemark - despite being chased by some 3,000 German soldiers.
With a wry smile, Ronneberg described it as "the best skiing weekend I ever had".
Rønneberg told a BBC interviewer that he only realised the importance of the mission after the bomb on Hiroshima. When reading elaborate counterfactual histories concerning different outcomes to World War II, remember that in all of them Germany gets nukes for Christmas in 1945. Read the rest
A group of high school students in Japan spent two years recreating the sounds and sights of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 in painstaking detail.
The Aug. 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima killed 140,000 people. Three days later, a second U.S. atomic bomb killed 70,000 people in Nagasaki. Japan surrendered six days after that, ending World War II.
“Even without language, once you see the images, you understand,” said Mei Okada, one of the students working on the project at a technical high school in Fukuyama, a city about 60 miles east of Hiroshima. “That is definitely one of the merits of this VR experience.”
Wearing virtual reality headsets, users can take a walk along the Motoyasu River prior to the blast and see the businesses and buildings that once stood. They can enter the post office and the Shima Hospital courtyard, where the skeletal remains of a building now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome stand on the river’s banks, a testament to what happene
Can anyone actually find this? Here's another clip. It's frustrating that there seems to be no good video of this anywhere online, let alone the VR experience itself: just brief moments polished into news clips sharing the same AP wire copy. Read the rest
“I am announcing that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” President Donald Trump announced to a room of reporters at the White House today. Read the rest
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, told envoys of South Korea today he is willing to negotiate with the United States to end his country’s nuclear weapons program. South Korean officials say the North Korean leader also agreed to halt all nuclear and missile tests during the proposed talks with Trump administration officials.
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Trump's buddy President Vladimir Putin has just announced that Russia has new nuclear-capable weapons in the works that "renders defense systems 'useless,'” according to NBC News. To show off his developing nukes, he pairs his announcement with the chilling video above of a nuclear weapon going straight toward Florida.
According to NBC:
"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development ... you have failed to contain Russia," he said.
He accused the West of "ignoring us. Nobody listened to us. Well listen to us now."
He boasted that Russia's new ICBM is “powerful and modern and defense systems will not be able to withstand it,” he said. “Missile defenses will be useless against it.”
Putin said Russia will not be "an aggressor," but, "Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies … any kind of attack … will be regarded as a nuclear attack against Russia, and in response we will take action instantaneously no matter what the consequences are. Nobody should have any doubt about that."
Read NBC's full story here. Read the rest
It's eschatology in motion: 62 tests carried out between 1945 and 1962, of detonations filmed from up to 50 angles. A total of 210 tests were carried out and this tranche is a good slice of them.
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Listen: 'Nuclear War,' by space prophet Sun Ra and his mighty arkestra. Read the rest
Authorities in nine Mexico states are ordered on high alert for stolen radioactive material. Mexico's chief of national emergency services announced the missing hot stuff on Monday. Read the rest
From the newly-released archives.
After collecting dust in high-security vaults for more than 65 years, hundreds of reels of film showing Cold War nuclear bomb tests have been declassified by the United States.
From 1945 to 1962, the United States detonated more than 210 nuclear bombs, with multiple cameras capturing each explosion at around 2,400 frames per second.
There's so many to watch! Read the rest
Artist Darren Cullen (previously) created the posters, which read, "The crew of our nuclear submarines are on a suicide mission. To launch their missiles means death is certain, not just for them, but for the millions of innocent people those bombs will obliterate, and for the rest of us too." Read the rest
The Atomteller plates update the Dutch tradition of plates that feature windmills with more up-to-date power-generation -- nukes: "Monuments of error - hope of yesterday - folklore of tomorrow." €39 each, 20cm in diameter. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest
If the “man-made seismic event” reported along the North Korea/China border tonight by the USGS is confirmed to be a new nuclear test, America's next Commander-in-Chief will have complex new Pyongyang problems on their plate. Read the rest
In 2014, undercover Congressional investigators set out to test the countermeasures put in place to test the regulatory system that is supposed to detect and interdict terrorists who are assembling a dirty bomb -- countermeasures set in place after a red team found that it would be easy to do just that in 2007. They found that it was still very easy to beat all the detection systems. Read the rest
Obama is touting his record on reducing nuclear arms, but he's been a dismal failure at reducing the US's stockpile, writes Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm at the Guardian today. Read the rest
In 1981, Harvard law professor Roger Fisher, director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, published a thought experiment in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists: what if the codes to launch nuclear war were kept inside the chest-cavity of a young volunteer, and the President would have to hack them out of this young man's chest before he could commence armageddon? Read the rest
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is suing the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China for failure to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.
Explore how many nukes there are in the world, and where they are, courtesy of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' interactive Nuclear Notebook -- a useful way to discover whether some friendly superpower has stashed nukes in your harbour. Read the rest