In the late 1940s and into the 1950s, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission ramped up its efforts to understand the impacts of radiation on animals and plants. Walter Zinn’s crucial Argonne laboratory inherited a Division of Biology under the leadership of an eminent radiation scientist, Austin Brues, and in late 1949, Brues wrote to his boss in Washington, D.C., defending an imminent move into. . .
Here is a dilemma I face. Israel strove hard to obtain a nuclear weapons capability under cover of a nuclear energy story (even though it never built a nuclear electricity plant). Much has been written about the tale of Dimona and much is clear, but (as is true for all such stories) much was hidden and shall forever remain hidden. Three men drove the first few decades of Israel’s nuke. . .
Historian James Mahaffey has a knack for sharp insights well expressed. This is a footnote of his, talking about the time it took to run the first tiny experimental reactor, from December 2, 1942, and be certain that a big reactor could be built: It is important to note the astonishing speed of the development of a power-producing fission process. It was only 90 days. In comparison, over 50 years. . .