Friday, February 24, 2006

Thoughts on Nuclear Bunker Busters

Ever since Bush gave his famous June 2002 speech on unilateralism, the preemptive strike principle and the development and possible use of nuclear bunker busters, I had intended to brush up on nuclear weapons and their history. In the winter of 2003, Bush seemed to back away from the idea of nuclear bunker busters and there was an effort in Congress to limit consideration to research only. And finally, before the war started, it became obvious that Iraq didn't have a nuclear program worthy of the name and so I went beyond procrastination to putting my reading on a back burner.

Finally, last year I wrote something that required I get some accurate information on the effects of nuclear weapons and so off to the library I went. And then I had a mild shock. The books about nuclear weapons at the local library are few and far between. I recall years ago seeing more. So I went to the local state university and again found few books and what there were seemed overly technical for what I needed. But I dug around and found the information I wanted and wasn't totally uninformed when I did my writing.

Now I find that I want to remind myself of some details again since there is rumbling that Bush may consider using nuclear weapons in Iran. I assume it's just rumbling since the use of nuclear weapons would be a profound mistake; however, we clearly have been hearing of a possible preemptive conventional strike against Iran's nuclear sites. A new book, Shockwave, is out that reminds us of the consequences of nuclear weapons. The Atomic Archive has the review:
Written by BBC filmmaker Stephen Walker, who won an Emmy for his documentary on the bombing of Hiroshima, Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima, is a fast paced engaging book about the period of time from the Trinity Test through the events of August 6th. The story is told from many points of view—from the eyes of the pilots, the victims, the scientists and world leaders. The book begins in the New Mexico desert, as the first atomic bomb is detonated. With this success, the wheels begin to turn toward the first atomic attacks on Japan.

Shockwave is a tightly written book that gives the reader a sense of the tension that was felt by the scientists at Los Alamos, at the top-secret airbase on the island of Tinian, and Potsdam—where Truman, Churchill, and Stalin were meeting to decide Japan's fate.
The Atomic Archive itself seems to be a useful resource for a quick understanding of the nuclear age and the terrible effects of nuclear weapons.

If anyone knows of better resources, please let me know.

2 Comments:

Anonymous LarryH said...

With Bush and Cheney in charge, I haven't felt safe for some time.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

kmilyun, thanks for the link to Todd's Atomic Homepage.

P.S. Your comment somehow wound up on the UAE post below this one. I'm glad I caught it.

10:50 PM  

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