Doomsday Clock Now Three Minutes To Midnight

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the big hand of its "Doomsday Clock" to three minutes to midnight, i.e. the end of the world, citing the apocalyptic threat of global warming and nuclear proliferation. » 1/22/15 7:00pm 1/22/15 7:00pm

The U.S. Considered An "Accidental" Bombing Of China's Nuke Facilities

Recently declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive reveal that the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations were considering military action to prevent or delay China from building nuclear weapons — even if that meant working with Moscow to stage an accidental bombing. » 12/16/14 1:40pm 12/16/14 1:40pm

America's nukes are in a shocking state of neglect. A recent Pentagon review found outdated equipment, weak leadership, and abysmal morale among the people responsible for maintaining and launching these massively destructive weapons. Billions of dollars will be required over the next five years to ensure its security… » 11/14/14 4:40pm 11/14/14 4:40pm

​​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 Ten Most Bizarre Ideas For Using Nuclear Weapons

When you're a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And if you have several thousand nuclear warheads just lying around, it seems a shame not to put them to good use. Here are ten of the most bizarre proposals for nuclear bomb use over the decades. » 5/20/14 10:30am 5/20/14 10:30am

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

The Air Force is simplifying how it grades nuclear-missile officers who are authorized to key in launch codes. The service has "made the monthly [certification] test pass-fail," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh announced, though he declined to say what percentage of correct answers would be needed to pass. » 4/24/14 9:40am 4/24/14 9:40am

Air Force Says Drones Won’t Carry Nukes…For Now

A recently published report outlines the Air Force's future plans for its fleet of drones, including whether they would ever be used to carry out a nuclear strike. » 4/08/14 11:30am 4/08/14 11:30am

​There were once plans for nuclear-powered planes

Presenting an all-new horror movie: Nuclear Reactors on a Plane! In the 1950s, when nuclear power was still full of promise and wonder, there were plans to make a nuclear-powered aircraft. » 2/10/14 10:35am 2/10/14 10:35am

Silent raw footage of the bombing of Nagasaki is absolutely chilling

This 11-minute video takes us from the preparations of the Fat Man nuclear weapon, its loading onto the plane Bockscar, and the explosion of the bomb in Nagasaki. It's a sobering look at this catastrophically destructive technology and a reminder of the toll it took in human lives. » 2/07/14 10:40am 2/07/14 10:40am

Red mercury is the coolest substance that never existed

We know that red mercury makes the manufacturing of nuclear bombs much, much easier. We don't exactly know how it manages to do this, but that's only because red mercury, as far as we know, doesn't exist. » 1/29/14 8:55am 1/29/14 8:55am

Here's why you shouldn't nuke a hurricane

Why don't we nuke hurricanes? Apparently the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration gets asked this question often enough that it has produced an official response, explaining in no uncertain terms why launching a nuclear missile into the eye of a storm "would not be an effective hurricane modification… » 12/17/12 10:00am 12/17/12 10:00am

Photos of Mushroom Clouds as Seen from 1950s Las Vegas

Once upon a time, Las Vegas wasn't merely a place you could go to enjoy a few games of chance in a glamorous setting. It was also a place where, quite frequently, you could enjoy the view of a distant mushroom cloud. » 8/19/12 2:00pm 8/19/12 2:00pm

Photos imagine atomic bomb tests as a modern tourist attraction

What if iPhones and Facebook already existed by the dawn of the Atomic Age? Would your news feed be clogged with photos of vacationing friends staring out at not-too-distant mushroom clouds? That's the alternate history imagined by Clay Lipsky's Atomic Overlook photos. » 8/04/12 9:00am 8/04/12 9:00am

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

Welcome to the Smithsonian​’s Atomic Weapons Museum

The Atomic Age is a difficult period to memorialize. Research from the time period yielded a clean form of energy, but also killed hundreds of thousands of individuals in World War II and plunged the planet into a Cold War. The National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada aims to collect artifacts and interpret… » 5/17/12 8:20am 5/17/12 8:20am

When Nuclear Bombs Were Going to be Used For Construction Work

The creator of dynamite wanted to use it in mining and construction, but saw it turned into a weapon. But nuclear weapons nearly went the other direction: they were developed as weapons, but were going to be used in construction. » 5/09/12 3:00pm 5/09/12 3:00pm