a technical history of america s nuclear weapons

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Command And Control

Author : Eric Schlosser
ISBN : 9781101638668
Genre : History
File Size : 48. 86 MB
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**The documentary Command and Control, directed by Robert Kenner, finds its origins in Eric Schlosser's book and continues to explore the little-known history of the management and safety concerns of America's nuclear aresenal.** The documentary will air on PBS's American Experience on January 10th. A myth-shattering exposé of America’s nuclear weapons Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved—and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. While the harms of global warming increasingly dominate the news, the equally dangerous yet more immediate threat of nuclear weapons has been largely forgotten. Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policy makers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can’t be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States. Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with people who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.

People Of The Bomb

Author : Hugh Gusterson
ISBN : 0816638608
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 48. 74 MB
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E.L. Doctorow suggested that in the years since 1945 the nuclear bomb has come to compose the identity of the American people. Developing this theme, Hugh Gusterson shows how the military-industrial complex has transformed public culture & personal psychology in America, to create a nuclear people.

U S Uk Nuclear Cooperation After 50 Years

Author : Jenifer Mackby
ISBN : 0892065303
Genre : History
File Size : 52. 41 MB
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As Britain and the United States commemorate five decades of the special nuclear relationship embodied in the 1958 Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA), two leading research institutes—one on either side of the Atlantic—have collaborated to examine that history. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, enlisted senior officials, scientists, academics, and members of industry who have been involved in the implementation of the MDA over the years. The contributors were asked to recount how the U.S.-UK nuclear relationship flourished despite such obstacles as the halt in the scientific cooperation that had spurred the Manhattan Project; the Suez crisis; and sharp disagreements over scientific, political, and technical issues. They were also asked to look to the future of this unparalleled transatlantic relationship. Abstracts from 36 oral histories (taken with, among others, Des Browne, UK secretary of state for defence; James Schlesinger, former U.S. secretary of energy; and Harold Brown, former U.S. secretary of defense) add to the historical dimension of this work. The resulting collection of histories, analyses, and anecdotes provides valuable reading for an understanding of how the two nations were drawn together by a common threat during a turbulent era, as well as how they will face future challenges in a radically changed security environment.

No Use

Author : Thomas M. Nichols
ISBN : 9780812245660
Genre : History
File Size : 73. 88 MB
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For more than forty years, the United States has maintained a public commitment to nuclear disarmament, and every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama has gradually reduced the size of America's nuclear forces. Yet even now, over two decades after the end of the Cold War, the United States maintains a huge nuclear arsenal on high alert and ready for war. The Americans, like the Russians, the Chinese, and other major nuclear powers, continue to retain a deep faith in the political and military value of nuclear force, and this belief remains enshrined at the center of U.S. defense policy regardless of the radical changes that have taken place in international politics. In No Use, national security scholar Thomas M. Nichols offers a lucid, accessible reexamination of the role of nuclear weapons and their prominence in U.S. security strategy. Nichols explains why strategies built for the Cold War have survived into the twenty-first century, and he illustrates how America's nearly unshakable belief in the utility of nuclear arms has hindered U.S. and international attempts to slow the nuclear programs of volatile regimes in North Korea and Iran. From a solid historical foundation, Nichols makes the compelling argument that to end the danger of worldwide nuclear holocaust, the United States must take the lead in abandoning unrealistic threats of nuclear force and then create a new and more stable approach to deterrence for the twenty-first century.

The Nuclear Taboo

Author : Nina Tannenwald
ISBN : 9781139467469
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74. 71 MB
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Why have nuclear weapons not been used since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945? Nina Tannenwald disputes the conventional answer of 'deterrence' in favour of what she calls a nuclear taboo - a widespread inhibition on using nuclear weapons - which has arisen in global politics. Drawing on newly released archival sources, Tannenwald traces the rise of the nuclear taboo, the forces that produced it, and its influence, particularly on US leaders. She analyzes four critical instances where US leaders considered using nuclear weapons (Japan 1945, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War 1991) and examines how the nuclear taboo has repeatedly dissuaded US and other world leaders from resorting to these 'ultimate weapons'. Through a systematic analysis, Tannenwald challenges conventional conceptions of deterrence and offers a compelling argument on the moral bases of nuclear restraint as well as an important insight into how nuclear war can be avoided in the future.

U S Nuclear Weapons Policy

Author : William James Perry
ISBN : 9780876094204
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 47. 2 MB
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The report notes that in the near term nuclear weapons will remain a fundamental element of U.S. national security. For this reason it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a safe, secure, and reliable deterrent nuclear force and makes recommendations on this front. The report also offers measures to advance important goals such as preventing nuclear terrorism and bolstering the nuclear nonproliferation regime--Foreword.

Atomic Bomb History Declassified Account Of Return To Nuclear Weapons Testing By U S After Test Moratorium 1958 1961 The Only Detailed

Author : U. S. Military
ISBN : 1798885670
Genre : Science
File Size : 72. 23 MB
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This unusually important and authoritative history report provides the only official account of major aspects of the American atomic bomb testing program, with technical and political insights into nuclear tests conducted after the test moratorium ended in 1961. The author, Dr. Bill Ogle, a scientist and manager, played a central role in the United States nuclear test program from the first explosion at Alamogordo in 1945 through the time of his death in May 1984. During the critical periods just before and following the moratorium he served as Scientific Deputy to the Military Commanders of the Joint Task Forces that were created to carry out U.S. tests in the Pacific. As Test Division Leader at Los Alamos, he was responsible also for a major part of the underground test program in Nevada.On August 22, 1958, President Eisenhower announced that the United States was ready to begin test ban negotiations on October 31, and to suspend nuclear weapons tests on that date for one year while the negotiations proceeded. The suspension might continue from year to year depending on progress in other areas. A week later Premier Khrushchev agreed to the same date for negotiations, but not to a moratorium. In fact, Soviet testing, in abeyance since March, resumed on September 20 with two very large explosions, and continued until November 3. In compliance with the President's statement, no U.S. tests were conducted after October 30. No further tests then were performed by either nation until the Soviets burst forth with an astonishing 45 shots in 65 days beginning on September 1, 1961. Of these, 14 were above a megaton, and one yielded 63 megatons -- the largest bomb ever fired by any nation. The Soviet program gave every evidence of careful and deliberate preparation.Following the 1958 test suspension, the United States dismantled most of the complex infrastructure required for its own nuclear test programs, both in Nevada and in the Pacific. Almost three years later when President Kennedy found it essential to United States interests to resume testing in response to the Soviet testing, the experience for America's testing community was technically agonizing, operationally painful, and economically very costly. The atmospheric component of test resumption had especially high political obstacles and costs. In this book, which was eight years in preparation, Ogle has provided a detailed description of the events of that period. The book does not argue for or against nuclear testing underground or in the atmosphere. Rather, it presents a comprehensive account of the major difficulties that attended U.S. test resumption in both of those environments after a period of total cessation. Dr. Ogle's book is unique in several respects. It is the only detailed account by an "insider" of United States nuclear testing. The earlier development of testing methods and weapons technology is presented as necessary background for the reader. The author, in addition to accumulating and knowledgeably screening a vast collection of original documents from the period, personally interviewed more than 70 key political, technical, and operational professionals who participated in the events described in the main part of the book. The collection of data and interviews on which this book is based will be preserved intact in the archives of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Since many of the original sources are no longer available, this archival material is unique and irreplaceable.CHAPTER I - Premoratorium Internal Readiness Activities * CHAPTER II - Test Moratorium, 1958-1961 * CHAPTER III - Return To Testing - Nevada * CHAPTER IV - Return To Atmospheric Testing - Pacific

Atomic Bomb The Story Of The Manhattan Project

Author : Bruce Cameron Reed
ISBN : 9781627059923
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 24 MB
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In August 1945, two US Army Air Force B-29 bombers each dropped single “atomic bombs” on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Little Boy and Fat Man each exploded with energies equivalent to more than 10,000 tons of conventional explosive. Just seven years later, in October 1952, the Ivy Mike test saw the detonation of America’s first full-scale thermonuclear weapon that achieved a yield over 400 times as much as Little Boy and Fat Man. The invention of nuclear weapons was one of the most stunning scientific and technological developments of the 20th century. Carried out under the auspices of the United States Army’s Manhattan Project, this development had profound immediate and long-term impacts: the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped bring World War II to a close, but set the stage for the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, and fear of nuclear annihilation and terrorism. This volume, prepared by an acknowledged expert on the Manhattan Project, gives a concise, fast-paced account of all major aspects of the project at a level accessible to an undergraduate college or advanced high-school student familiar with some basic concepts of energy, atomic structure, and isotopes. The text describes the underlying scientific discoveries that made nuclear weapons possible, how the project was organized, the daunting challenges faced and overcome in obtaining fissile uranium and plutonium and in designing workable bombs, the dramatic Trinity test carried out in the desert of southern New Mexico in July 1945, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The final chapter surveys current worldwide nuclear weapons deployments, and a bibliography lists sources of published and online information along with numerous links.

Britain And The Americas Culture Politics And History

Author : Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson
ISBN : 1851094318
Genre : History
File Size : 26. 69 MB
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A History Of U S Nuclear Testing And Its Influence On Nuclear Thought 1945 1963

Author : David M. Blades
ISBN : 9781442232013
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77. 75 MB
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The story of U. S. nuclear testing between 1945 and 1963 is a vivid and exciting one, but also one of profound importance. It is a story of trailblazing scientific progress, weapons of mass destruction, superpower rivalry, accidents, radiological contamination, politics, and diplomacy. The testing of weapons that defined the course and consequences of the Cold War was itself a crucial dimension to the narrative of that conflict. Further, the central question - Why conduct nuclear tests? - was fully debated among American politicians, generals, civilians, and scientists, and ultimately it was victory for those who argued in favor of national security over diplomatic and environmental costs that normalized nuclear weapons tests. A History of U. S. Nuclear Testing and Its Influence on Nuclear Thought, 1945–1963 is an examination of this question, beginning with the road to normalization and, later, de-normalization of nuclear testing, leading to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. As states continue to pursue nuclear weaponry, nuclear testing remains an important political issue in the twenty-first century.

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