The Secret 1949 Radiation Experiment That Contaminated Washington

The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in New Mexico, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation. » 6/03/15 2:30pm 6/03/15 2:30pm

The U.S. Has a Secret Model of Iran's Nuclear Facilities 

Back in the days of the Manhattan Project, the government set up a string of National Labs devoted to creating nuclear weapons. Now, those labs are playing a role in the opposite task: stopping them. A secret facility in Tennessee that replicates Iran’s nuclear capabilities was key to the recent negotiations. » 4/22/15 4:55pm 4/22/15 4:55pm

North Korea's Brand New Ballistic Sub Discontinued by Soviets in 1990

Looks like North Korea's engineers have been hard at work brushing up on their obsolete Soviet-era technology. Because after acquiring 10 discontinued Soviet subs, everyone's favorite little warmongering-dictatorship-that-could has finally rendered the outdated ballistic vessels seaworthy—and it only took them 21… » 11/03/14 11:33am 11/03/14 11:33am

What Would Happen If the 20 Biggest US Cities Were Wiped Out With Nukes

Wiping out an American city, much less the largest ones, requires either blast yields well beyond the capability of any terrorist organization, or numbers of nuclear weapons that would make the terrorist organization one of the largest nuclear powers on the planet. This is particularly true of major cities such as… » 10/14/14 1:10pm 10/14/14 1:10pm

Less than two percent of the Hiroshima bomb's uranium actually detonated

Little Boy, the nuclear bomb that U.S. forces dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, leveled a two-mile radius of the city, killing an estimated 80,000 people. It was an enormous amount of destruction—and it was caused by less than two percent of the uranium carried by the bomb. » 8/20/14 1:16pm 8/20/14 1:16pm

How to Hide a Nuclear Missile

After its Cuban Missile Crisis experience, Kremlin leaders wanted to ensure the USSR would never again be outgunned: one might call it 'Cuban Missile Syndrome.' The result were new missile systems, including schemes to cache nuclear warheads in the deep ocean and outer space. But before the strange logic of nuclear… » 8/11/14 10:00am 8/11/14 10:00am

John Oliver Reminds Us How Badly We Take Care of Our Nukes

If you've been paying attention since, well, since the Cold War started, you know that the United States has an insanely huge number of nuclear weapons. And if you've been paying even closer attention, you'll know that the military is not very good at keeping track of them. In fact, it's laughably bad at. » 7/28/14 10:07am 7/28/14 10:07am

10% of U.S. Electricity Comes From Old Russian Nuclear Warheads

This is basically the least worst thing that can happen with Russian nuclear bombs! For the past twenty years, the Russians have been turning 500 tons of uranium from decommissioned nuclear weapons into nuclear fuel for the United States. It's called the Megatons to Megawatts program. The last shipment from that 1993… » 12/11/13 5:23pm 12/11/13 5:23pm

Reagan-Era Futurists Thought Iran Would Get Nukes by 2020

Will Iran obtain a nuclear weapon? That's the hot-button question for the U.S. government as the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York this week. No one knows for sure, (except maybe Space Cat). But if you asked American futurists of the early 1980s, they'd probably tell you that it's bound to happen by… » 9/25/13 2:25pm 9/25/13 2:25pm