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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 2:53pm 6/03/15 2:53pm

These Videos of Nuclear Weapon Tests Are Terrifying But Spectacular

It’s impossible to forget just how immense the destructive power of a nuclear weapon is, but there is nothing quite like watching an explosion to hit that point home. These videos capture the test detonations of various nuclear weapons, letting us witness the immediate effects safely behind our computer screens. » 5/22/15 5:00pm 5/22/15 5:00pm

​​If There's A Nuclear Arms Race In Asia, Don't Blame North Korea

In a recent interview, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said, "It would be difficult for us to prevent a nuclear domino from occurring in this area," were North Korea to conduct another test. But one analyst argues that if a nuclear arms race were to occur, it's China that should be singled out for blame. » 6/02/14 10:20am 6/02/14 10:20am

The Astronomer Who Wanted to Rearrange the Solar System, Using Nukes

CalTech astronomer Fritz Zwicky was the first to conceive of dark matter, supernovas and neutron stars. He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun. » 5/14/14 11:00am 5/14/14 11:00am

Obama's Efforts to Reduce U.S. Nuclear Weapons Are Kind Of Pathetic

The White House has released figures on the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal: Our stockpile consists of 4,804 warheads. The good news, according to the State Department, is that this number "represents an 85% reduction." The bad news: That's the total reduction since 1967. The last four years tell a different story. » 5/06/14 5:00pm 5/06/14 5:00pm

Rare photographs of atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll

When io9 reader Chris Carey's grandfather, a WWII veteran, passed away, he took it upon himself to assemble a slideshow for the funeral. While searching through a dusty photo album that he'd found in the attic, Carey made an incredible find: numerous photographs of the atomic bomb testing conducted at Bikini Atoll. » 7/27/12 4:14pm 7/27/12 4:14pm

Remembering the day when the US nuked its own communications satellite

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of Telstar 1, the first U.S. communications satellite to relay television signals, phone calls, and fax images through space. But just as the astromech-like satellite started to settle in orbit and make its ground-breaking transmissions, it had to contend with… » 7/12/12 11:45am 7/12/12 11:45am

Supercomputer simulates nuclear explosion down to the molecular level

Treaties forbid the detonation of nuclear test weapons — which creates problems for national defense developers who need to efficiently certify the effectiveness of their arsenal. Luckily for them, a powerful new supercomputer is now able to replicate the physical impact of nuclear explosions — albeit digitally. And… » 6/06/12 4:30pm 6/06/12 4:30pm