ArchiveAugust 2019

Five Russian nuclear scientists reported killed

I’ve been watching chaotic reports of a Russian “nuclear” accident of some sort. The ABC (article “Russian military orders village evacuation”) has what seems like a good up-to-today summary of what little is available. And I’m not moved to spend much time on it, for purely selfish reasons. This clearly has nothing to do with nuclear power reactors in electricity-producing plants, which is my. . .

Call him William

A recurring bit player in the UK reactor story after the war is one W. G. Marley, a physicist. He crops up regularly but, in the nature of things, I wasn’t intending to mention him in the book. But in a narrative strand about the Windscale fire, he crops up so prominently that I just have to include him as “physicist W. G. Marley.” But wait – doesn’t “W. G. . .

Never forget the awe

Obsessing over something like nuclear power or atomic energy as it was initially occurred, over time you become blasé. Over the last half decade, a group of friends and I have worked through the epic 3,600-page six-book My Struggle series of novels by Norway’s Karl Ove Knausgaard. In the final book, listen: To split the atom is no minor matter. It is to exceed a boundary never before. . .

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