U.S. Drops Plan for Nuclear Bunker-BusterThe Bush administration is abandoning its push to develop a "bunker-buster" nuclear warhead and instead will pursue a conventional weapon that can penetrate hardened underground targets.
Development of such a warhead has been the subject of intense debate in Congress for several years, although lawmakers have been cool to the proposal.
Administration officials had argued they needed a tactical nuclear warhead that could destroy deeply buried targets including bunkers tunneled into solid rock. Potential adversaries increasingly are building hardened retreats deep beneath the earth, immune to conventional weapons, the officials said.
But opponents said developing such a device could spread nuclear weapons and would signal the world the United States wanted a new generation of nuclear weapons. They also said such weapons would cause significant above-ground radiation fallout. [via Yahoo! News]
Review: 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos
109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos, tells the tale of the events at Los Alamos from a slightly different perspective. High atop the mesa, in a non-descript office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the gateway to the secret laboratory. This is where scientists and technicians were racing to the develop the atomic bomb, and was guarded by Dorothy McKibben. Author Jennet Conant, whose grandfather was former Harvard president James B. Conant and chief administrator of the Manhattan Project, focuses the retelling of this story from Ms. McKibben's point of view.
Drawing upon an unpublished memoir by Dorothy McKibben, this book gives the reader insight into life beyond the laboratory and chalkboards. From this unassuming office, we learn what it took to live on "the Hill." This book is not about the deep science of the Manhattan Project, but rather about the "day to day" experiences.
Conant gives the reader an "insider's" view of the many of the principle characters of the Manhattan project. She paints an accurate portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer's intense and powerful charisma, by which Ms. McKibben was certainly influenced. Although some of these stories have been told before, 109 East Palace offers the reader an enjoyable account of that incredible saga. Available at amazon.com.
Petition by physicists on nuclear weapons policy, September 2005The following petition was drafted by individual UCSD physics faculty members and represents the individual views of the signatories below, not of the Physics Department nor the University.
We intend to deliver this petition to members of the US Congress, professional organizations, and news media, with as many physicist's signatures as possible. Please click on the signature link at the bottom and add your name if you support this effort.
"As physicists we feel a special responsibility with respect to nuclear weapons; our profession brought them into existence 60 years ago. We wish to express our opposition to a shocking new US policy currently under consideration regarding the use of nuclear weapons. We ask our professional organizations to take a stand on this issue, the Congress of the United States to conduct full public hearings on this subject, and the media and public at large to discuss this new policy and make their voices heard."
To sign, visit http://physics.ucsd.edu/petition/
Scientists warn nuclear catastrophe is 'an imminent danger'In a talk titled "Our Last Best Chance" and timed to coincide with a new film of the same name airing on HBO this month, William J. Perry, a Stanford-trained mathematician who served as secretary of defense in Bill Clinton's administration, cautions that current efforts to address the threat of nuclear attack are insufficient and in some cases misguided.
Current efforts to control the nuclear threat mistakenly focus on two areas, Perry said. The first, the construction of a missile defense system, is irrelevant because nuclear devices are far more likely to arrive in a truck or container than on an intercontinental missile. And the second, interdiction of incoming cargo, has a low probability of success. [via PhysOrg.com]
Effects of Nuclear Weapons Section Expanded!We are pleased to annouce a major addition to the web site. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons section (http://www.atomicarchive.com/Effects/index.shtml) has been greatly expanded. Drawing from our award-winning CD-ROM, Atomic Archive:Enhanced Edition, this section offers a complete primer on the various effects from a nuclear detontation. In addition to the accompanying photographs, video clips are also available for viewing. We hope you find this new section useful.
The team at atomicarchivec.om
Iran hints U.N. might get to visit military sitesIran has signaled it may grant access to sites linked to possible work on nuclear weapons and other demands from the U.N. atomic watchdog agency to avoid referral to the Security Council, diplomats said Tuesday. [ via MSNBC.com]
ABC News: Loose NukeAs U.S. officials continue to cite a nuclear or radiological incident as the worst-case terror scenario, ABC News will broadcast a series of exclusive investigative reports on the threat, the federal government's efforts to counter it and what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of an attack. [via Abc News]
New Enola Gay Photos addedIn June of 2005, I visited the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washingotn, D.C. A fully restored Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, was on exhibit. Here are some photos I took. I had seen the previous exhibit, which only featured a portion of the plane due its size.
ElBaradei and IAEA win Nobel PrizeThe U.N. nuclear watchdog and its head Mohamed ElBaradei, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for fighting the spread of nuclear weapons.
The Nobel Committee praised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and ElBaradei, a 63-year-old Egyptian, for their battle to stop states and terrorists acquiring the atom bomb, and to ensure safe civilian use of nuclear energy.[via Yahoo! News]
Trinity Atomic Web Site relaunchedGregory Walker's Trinity Atomic Web Site has been redesigned by AJ Software & Multimedia. We had a lot of fun reworking this site. The site had always was a great resource, but was looking a bit long in the tooth. So, we took upon ourselves to create a modern design and restructure the content. The effort went fairly smooth.
We were very excited when Gregory approved the new look and feel. So go take a look and let us know what you think.