Plutopia

Author: Kathryn L. Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199855765
Size: 15.31 MB
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In Plutopia, Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Brown shows that the plants' segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted. In four decades, the Hanford plant near Richland and the Maiak plant near Ozersk each issued at least 200 million curies of radioactive isotopes into the surrounding environment--equaling four Chernobyls--laying waste to hundreds of square miles and contaminating rivers, fields, forests, and food supplies. Because of the decades of secrecy, downwind and downriver neighbors of the plutonium plants had difficulty proving what they suspected, that the rash of illnesses, cancers, and birth defects in their communities were caused by the plants' radioactive emissions. Plutopia was successful because in its zoned-off isolation it appeared to deliver the promises of the American dream and Soviet communism; in reality, it concealed disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening today. -- From publisher description.

Plutopia

Author: Kate Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019932381X
Size: 53.59 MB
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While many transnational histories of the nuclear arms race have been written, Kate Brown provides the first definitive account of the great plutonium disasters of the United States and the Soviet Union. In Plutopia, Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Fully employed and medically monitored, the residents of Richland and Ozersk enjoyed all the pleasures of consumer society, while nearby, migrants, prisoners, and soldiers were banned from plutopia--they lived in temporary "staging grounds" and often performed the most dangerous work at the plant. Brown shows that the plants' segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted. In four decades, the Hanford plant near Richland and the Maiak plant near Ozersk each issued at least 200 million curies of radioactive isotopes into the surrounding environment--equaling four Chernobyls--laying waste to hundreds of square miles and contaminating rivers, fields, forests, and food supplies. Because of the decades of secrecy, downwind and downriver neighbors of the plutonium plants had difficulty proving what they suspected, that the rash of illnesses, cancers, and birth defects in their communities were caused by the plants' radioactive emissions. Plutopia was successful because in its zoned-off isolation it appeared to deliver the promises of the American dream and Soviet communism; in reality, it concealed disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening today. An untold and profoundly important piece of Cold War history, Plutopia invites readers to consider the nuclear footprint left by the arms race and the enormous price of paying for it.

The Missile Next Door

Author: Gretchen Heefner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674067460
Size: 16.40 MB
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In the 1960s the Air Force buried 1,000 ICBMs in pastures across the Great Plains to keep U.S. nuclear strategy out of view. As rural civilians of all political stripes found themselves living in the Soviet crosshairs, a proud Plains individualism gave way to an economic dependence on the military-industrial complex that still persists today.

Dispatches From Dystopia

Author: Kate Brown
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022624279X
Size: 32.64 MB
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The author "wanders the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, first on the Internet and then in person, to figure out which version -- the real or the virtual -- is the actual forgery. She also takes us to the basement of a hotel in Seattle to examine the personal possessions left in storage by Japanese Americans on their way to internment camps in 1942. In Uman, Ukraine, we hide with Brown in a tree in order to witness the male-only Rosh Hashanah celebration of Hasidic Jews. In the Russian southern Urals, she speaks with the citizens of the small city of Kyshtym, where invisible radioactive pollutants have mysteriously blighted lives. Finally, Brown returns home to Elgin, Illinois, in the industrial rust belt, to investigate the rise of "rustalgia" and the ways her formative experiences have inspired her obsession with modernist wastelands."--Jacket flap.

Being Nuclear

Author: Gabrielle Hecht
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262300672
Size: 65.80 MB
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Uranium from Africa has long been a major source of fuel for nuclear power and atomic weapons, including the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In 2003, after the infamous "yellow cake from Niger," Africa suddenly became notorious as a source of uranium, a component of nuclear weapons. But did that admit Niger, or any of Africa's other uranium-producing countries, to the select society of nuclear states? Does uranium itself count as a nuclear thing? In this book, Gabrielle Hecht lucidly probes the question of what it means for something--a state, an object, an industry, a workplace--to be "nuclear." Hecht shows that questions about being nuclear--a state that she calls "nuclearity"--lie at the heart of today's global nuclear order and the relationships between "developing nations" (often former colonies) and "nuclear powers" (often former colonizers). Hecht enters African nuclear worlds, focusing on miners and the occupational hazard of radiation exposure. Could a mine be a nuclear workplace if (as in some South African mines) its radiation levels went undetected and unmeasured? With this book, Hecht is the first to put Africa in the nuclear world, and the nuclear world in Africa. By doing so, she remakes our understanding of the nuclear age.

Uranium

Author: Tom Zoellner
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101024526
Size: 38.89 MB
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The fascinating story of the most powerful source of energy the earth can yield Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world. Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts and America would knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security. Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe. In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.

Stalin And The Bomb

Author: David Holloway
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300066647
Size: 17.44 MB
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'Stalin and the Bomb' represents a comprehensive history of Soviet nuclear policy, from developments in physics in the 1920s to the emergence of nuclear deterrence in the 1950s. The author looks at how the bombs were built, and the role that espionage played.

Making A Real Killing

Author: Len Ackland
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 9780826327987
Size: 72.28 MB
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p>Just as huge nuclear explosions result from small spheres of plutonium, the story of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver, Colorado is much larger than itself. It is about the Church family, who came West seeking gold in 1861, stayed to raise cattle, watched the federal government take a large piece of its land for the weapons plant in 1951--and now is busily developing real estate in the booming suburbs next to the contaminated plant site. It is about the government and private corporations that produced the deadliest devices in history for thirty-seven years, concealed problems behind the wall of national security secrecy, and came close to a Chernobyl-scale disaster during a 1969 fire. It is about plant managers who cut corners to maintain weapons production, workers who saw themselves as loyal Cold War soldiers, and citizen activists who challenged the plant's very existence. And it is about a community that profited from thousands of jobs and contracts but now faces long-term environmental and health risks. Making a Real Killingexamines the way Americans participated in building a nuclear weapons arsenal capable of destroying the human species. To read it is to learn some sobering lessons, including the fact that the democratic process lagged decades behind technological developments. "As Americans reckon with the legacy of the Cold War,Making a Real Killingdeserves a place at the center of our attention. Len Ackland's integrity and hard work remind us how crucial energetic journalism is for a successful democracy."--Patricia Nelson Limerick

Hiroshima

Author: Andrew J. Rotter
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019157791X
Size: 28.13 MB
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The US decision to drop an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 remains one of the most controversial events of the twentieth century. However, the controversy over the rights and wrongs of dropping the bomb has tended to obscure a number of fundamental and sobering truths about the development of this fearsome weapon. The principle of killing thousands of enemy civilians from the air was already well established by 1945 and had been practised on numerous occasions by both sides during the Second World War. Moreover, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was conceived and built by an international community of scientists, not just by the Americans. Other nations (including Japan and Germany) were also developing atomic bombs in the first half of the 1940s, albeit hapharzardly. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any combatant nation foregoing the use of the bomb during the war had it been able to obtain one. The international team of scientists organized by the Americans just got there first. As this fascinating new history shows, the bomb dropped by a US pilot that hot August morning in 1945 was in many ways the world's offspring, in both a technological and a moral sense. And it was the world that would have to face its consequences, strategically, diplomatically, and culturally, in the years ahead.

Poison In The Well

Author: Jacob Darwin Hamblin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813544238
Size: 33.21 MB
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In the early 1990s, Russian President Boris Yeltsin revealed that for the previous thirty years the Soviet Union had dumped vast amounts of dangerous radioactive waste into rivers and seas in blatant violation of international agreements. The disclosure caused outrage throughout the Western world, particularly since officials from the Soviet Union had denounced environmental pollution by the United States and Britain throughout the cold war. Poison in the Well provides a balanced look at the policy decisions, scientific conflicts, public relations strategies, and the myriad mishaps and subsequent cover-ups that were born out of the dilemma of where to house deadly nuclear materials. Why did scientists and politicians choose the sea for waste disposal? How did negotiations about the uses of the sea change the way scientists, government officials, and ultimately the lay public envisioned the oceans? Jacob Darwin Hamblin traces the development of the issue in Western countries from the end of World War II to the blossoming of the environmental movement in the early 1970s. This is an important book for students and scholars in the history of science who want to explore a striking case study of the conflicts that so often occur at the intersection of science, politics, and international diplomacy.