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Mar 21 2011

At the Atomic Testing Museum

I. A Is for Atom

II. F.D. Roosevelt, President of the United States

Sir:

Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript…new phenomenon would also lead to lead to the construction of bombs…might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory…the most important source of uranium is Belgian Congo…attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.

Yours very truly,
Albert Einstein

III. Operation Crossroads

The first bomb missed its target by almost 800 yards. Watchers were not impressed. They reconvened a month later for the second test.

The third demonstration was canceled.

IV. Daigo Fukuryū Maru

Unknown to the testers, a Japanese fishing vessel was also in the area.

V. Underground Testing

We were determined to learn from any incident and we did. We never repeated an incident.


Someday, no one living will have seen one of these explosions in person. That worries me. (paraphrased from Robert Rex Brownlee)

VI. Project Pluto

The result was a cruise missile that would be able to drop multiple warheads while leaving a swath of radiation in its wake.

VII. BREN Tower

Japanese-style houses were built. An unshielded reactor could be moved up and down the tower to test how the buildings shielded inhabitants from radiation in an effort to help the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

VIII. Counter Terrorism Operations Support

It is the only place they can learn to find and deal with actual radioactive materials at no danger to them.

IX. Modern Remote Sensing

They were able to test how hazardous materials dispersed under a variety of conditions.

X. Inhabitants

The Mojave Desert Tortoise is the only one of the area’s inhabitants with a place on the Endangered Species List.

Native Americans volunteered for WWI, ten years before they were granted citizenship. They returned to the test site and kept returning until fences were built and borders enforced.

XI. EEIOCPA

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program delivers benefits to eligible employees and former employees of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), its contractors and subcontractors, or to certain survivors of such individuals, as provided in the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). This program also includes benefits for certain beneficiaries of Section Five of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

2 comments

  1. 1
    Greg

    Far more people have died from leaving their coffee mug on top of their cars than all the people who died in atom bombs.

  2. 2
    Ben Zvan

    I would be truly saddened to find that over 100,000 people had died from leaving their coffee mug on top of their cars.

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