Who had the first nuclear weapon

The age of industry

Previously on 3rd October 1952 also Great Britain Detonated its own atomic bomb on an Australian island. It was almost a copy of the Nagasaki bomb, the British researchers involved in the Manhattan Project had the know-how. The USA now had one Proving ground in Nevada, on which the first four tests with “ordinary” nuclear weapons had taken place in 1951, and fifteen more tests by the end of 1953. The American response to the Soviet hydrogen bomb, however, was to be a program launched in September 1953 with which ICBMs should be built that could carry new, lighter hydrogen bombs to the enemy. The new bombs were to be built with a lithium isotope instead of tritium, which had to be cooled at great expense, and, like the Russian hydrogen bomb, they were to have a third stage, in this case a bomb shell made of uranium-238. As a result, radioactive fissile materials were distributed over an area of ​​300 square kilometers. One such bomb was released on March 1, 1954 as the first in a new series of bomb tests tested on Bikini Atoll: the explosive power of this bomb ("Castle Bravo"), which was much smaller than the first American hydrogen bomb, was 15 million tons of TNT - it is still the largest bomb to date the US ever detonated. Although the wind had turned south shortly before the experiment, the project manager Alvin Graves (who anyway thought the dangers of radioactivity had been invented by weak simulators - "concocted in the minds of weak malingerers") to start the attempt anyway: the wind carried the radioactive cloud as far as the Rongelap Atoll, 150 kilometers away, and over a Japanese fishing trawler that was traveling far outside the restricted area. The crew of the"Lucky dragon number 5”Was so shocked by the explosion that the cutter immediately returned to its home port of Yaizu - when it reached it 14 days later, all 23 crew members had been diagnosed with acute radiation sickness. The radio operator died in September and six crew members have since died of liver cancer. The contaminated tuna on board led to further investigations: In total, the catch from 683 boats had to be destroyed due to radioactive contamination. Radiation sickness claimed many victims among Rongelaps 236 residents; they were evacuated to the Kwajalein military base two days later, where the doctors could do little for them - but they began a secret study of the effects of radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons on humans. The survivors were returned to the island in 1957. (In 1982 the American environmental authority admitted that the atoll was still too heavily contaminated, in 1985 the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" brought the inhabitants back to Kwajalein at their request. The Americans paid the Marshall Islands in 1986 $ 150 million to get it to cover all claims for compensation for radiation damage.) Radioactivity from this experiment was soon discovered in the rain over Japan, in the lubricating oil of Indian aircraft and eventually over the entire world.

Demands for a test stop

Until then, the military had been able to lie to the public about the radioactive radiation almost without being contradicted (“no serious danger”), but now this has changed - civilian scientists have calculated how many human lives the atomic bomb tests would cost. Andrei Sakharov in Russia calculated in 1955 that the atomic bombs that had been tested up to that point would cost around 500,000 people their lives - the beginning of his rethinking of the atomic bomb. (Sakharov was later released from the nuclear program and began to campaign for disarmament and minorities; he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 - which he was unable to receive in person because of the travel ban - and was exiled to Gorky in 1980. Michael Gorbachev was the first to lift the exile in 1986 .) Was ignored in the discussion about the radiation exposure that to radioactivity too Accidents in the production facilities which, however, were kept secret or downplayed by the authorities: So it happened in September 1957 in Ural to a nuclear explosion when the cooling system of a storage tank for liquid radioactive waste failed, and a month later one of the two reactors at the UK reprocessing plant burned down Windscale, whereby larger amounts of the radioactive iodine-131 were released. Nevertheless: In Japan, 32 million people signed a petition against nuclear weapons by August 1955. The British mathematician Bertrand Russell wrote one as Russell-Einstein Manifesto Well-known text according to which the use of nuclear weapons threatens the existence of all mankind, which was signed by other important scientists besides Einstein and which has taken place every year since 1957 "Pugwash conferences”On which scientists discussed the dangers of nuclear weapons. The British-Polish physicist was General Secretary until 1973 Jozef Rotblatt, who was the only physicist who had finished his work on the Manhattan Project when it became clear that Germany is not aiming for nuclear weapons. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the conferences. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate began in Germany Albert Schweitzerto exchange ideas intensively with Albert Einstein and Otto Hahn about atomic physics and nuclear weapons - in the spring of 1957 he broadcast a well-received "Appeal to humanity”, With which he spoke out against nuclear weapons. 18 prominent atomic researchers, among them Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, declared that they would not “participate in the production, testing or use of nuclear weapons in any way”; In response, 14 nuclear researchers from the GDR passed a similar resolution. In 1958, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry collected Linus Pauling 11,000 scientist signatures for a nuclear weapons ban, in Great Britain the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament founded and elected Bertrand Russell as its President; the first Easter march took place. In Germany, too, there were demonstrations against the German government's aim for atomic weapons.

In order to counteract this public pressure, the mighty powers of atomic energy should be made palatable to people through civilian use. In the USA, under President Eisenhower and after Stalin's death, the willingness to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union increased; on the other hand, Eisenhower's program was announced as early as 1953 before the UN General Assembly "Atoms for Peace”Implemented. 1957 was under the umbrella of the United Nations the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) to “accelerate and enlarge the contribution of nuclear energy to peace, health and prosperity worldwide”. The critics of the program pointed out that the generation of electricity using atomic energy produces bomb-proof material - even peaceful nuclear reactors require enriched uranium-238, and they, too, inevitably produce fissile plutonium. The "Atoms for peace”(>> more) would consequently promote the spread of atomic bombs. Nonetheless, by the end of 1959, the United States had supplied test equipment and fuel rods to 42 countries. The Soviet Union, concerned about its influence, followed suit, so that a total of highly enriched uranium for over 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs was distributed around the world. At the same time, the Cold War was far from over. Eisenhower prepared the Bay of Pigs invasion to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba, and the nuclear weapons tests continued - albeit now often underground to reduce radioactive contamination. After the Sputnik shock of 1957 (>> more), the CIA identified a “missile gap” - a Soviet lead in ICBMs - and as a reaction the number of American atomic bombs was increased. But Eisenhower also has doubts about this strategy, and the nuclear physicist Hans Bethe is supposed to work out a plan for global disarmament. In the summer of 1958 he organized an international conference in Geneva, at which scientists from East and West worked out how a Nuclear test freeze could be monitored. The Soviet Union had already suspended its aboveground nuclear tests in March, and the USA and Great Britain have now joined in. When a test stop was ready to be signed in 1960, the Soviet Union shot down a US spy plane over their country; an agreement with the Eisenhower government was unthinkable for the Soviets. The world was also shaken by a French nuclear weapon test.

France, whose researchers had worked on the British team of the Manhattan Project, also had one as early as 1945 Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) founded. In 1956, a reactor was connected to the grid in Marcoule near Avignon to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. However, the public was told that it was used to generate electricity; and in 1958 the science magazine made itself Sciene & Vie funny about a reactor that produces a little extremely expensive “caviar stream” and “no good slag” - it did not know that after its defeat in Vietnam, France had decided in strict secrecy to build the atomic bomb, the “slag” that is the real thing Purpose of the reactor was. In 1959 Charles de Gaulle was elected President, and a good year later, on February 13, 1960 France tested its first atomic bomb - in occupied Algeria. For de Gaulle there was a separate nuclear force ("force de frappe”) Indispensable for the country to remain important alongside the Anglo-Saxons.

The world before nuclear war

During the term of office beginning in 1961 John F. Kennedy The situation initially worsened. First, the invasion of Cubans in exile in the Bay of Pigs prepared by Eisenhower failed, and the embarrassment of the Americans was used by the Soviet Union under Khrushchev to seal off East Berlin. In a televised address in July, Kennedy called on Americans to prepare for a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. This resumed its nuclear tests in September, and ignited one in October Hydrogen bomb with an explosive force of 50 million tons of TNT; and the Americans also resumed testing in both Nevada and the Pacific. Kennedy, who had campaigned with the “missile gap”, found after his election that it did not exist; rather, the USA not only had more missiles, but they were also in Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Turkey, which gave the Soviet Union only a very short reaction time. Khrushchev knew this too, and in 1962 he began Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba to station. When the Americans discovered this, Kennedy announced the discovery in a televised address and announced a naval blockade of Cuba to prevent further supplies. Two days later, the strategic air force - as it turned out later, bypassing President Kennedy - was in full operational readiness for the first and so far last time since the Second World War (defense condition [DEFCON] 2; the even higher level DEFCON 1 means practically war) moved. Eventually Khrushchev gave in and the Soviet freighters with their supplies turned, but during the Cuban Missile Crisis the world was faced with nuclear war several times - mainly because of the arbitrary armed forces. Given that the Cold War had brought the world to the edge of the abyss, Kennedy wanted to end it, replace the "strategy of annihilation" with a "strategy of peace". A direct telephone connection was set up between Washington and Moscow in order to avoid false perceptions in the future; and in August 1963 the US, Soviet Union, and Britain signed an agreement that Above-ground nuclear tests were prohibited. They also had another problem in mind: more and more countries were trying to get nuclear weapons too.

More and more nuclear powers

The most likely candidates for the atomic bomb were primarily Israel, India and China; but South Africa, Taiwan, Brazil and Argentina also worked on nuclear weapons. In Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion saw the atomic bomb as a guarantee of survival, and in 1953 had concluded an agreement with France on cooperation in nuclear research. In 1957, after the Suez Crisis, France agreed to help build a reactor near Dimona in the Negev desert. India founded an atomic energy agency in 1954, and in 1955 Canada and the USA had given a commitment to supply a natural uranium reactor with the obligation to use it only for peaceful purposes, but without inspection agreements. In the same year, Mao Tse-tung decided that too China - which had seen itself exposed to American atomic threats in Korea - should take care of nuclear weapons: with the help of the Soviet Union, which was still allied at the time, an atomic research and development center was set up in Mianyang (Sichuan province). After breaking with the Soviet Union in 1960, China continued on its own, and im October 1964 the country detonated its first atomic bomb in the Uyghur Autonomous Republic of Xinjiang. China (like France) had not signed the nuclear test agreement, and arms lobbyists and military officials in the US and the Soviet Union requested and received additional underground nuclear weapons tests - since these were more expensive, spending on nuclear tests rose to a billion dollars a year in the US. But the US is now betting on one Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which should ban other countries from acquiring nuclear weapons. In return, they should get access to “peaceful nuclear technology”.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was passed in 1968 and signed by the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and 59 other states (but initially not by France and China) and came into force in 1970. Compliance with this is monitored by the IAEA, the effectiveness of which has suffered from its dual role to this day: on the one hand, it is supposed to promote nuclear energy, on the other hand, it should monitor it. Since peaceful and military atomic technology can hardly be distinguished and the “peaceful use” was unclearly defined - in the USA, for example, they were planning to create canals and tunnels with atomic bombs, and so India also declared the atomic bomb that it detonated in 1974 to be a “peaceful” one Access to atomic technology contributed to the spread of bomb technology.This was not least due to Germany, which was against the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would “disempower German industry” - according to Adenauer in 1967. In order to get Germany's approval, a passage was added according to which states that "could" also sell nuclear technology onwards. German industry did this in South Africa, Argentina and Brazil, among others. All programs that helped new states to acquire nuclear weapons were known to the IAEA years in advance - it could not prevent any. Israel, India and Pakistan, now all in possession of the bomb, did not even sign the treaty. Article VI, which dealt with the disarmament of existing nuclear weapons, also did not contain a timetable - the arms race between the existing nuclear powers continued.

That Israel secretly working on the atomic bomb, the USA had known since 1960 at the latest. They pressed for inspections in Dimona, but found nothing there - the Israelis, as it turned out later, simply bricked up secret parts of the facility when the inspectors came. In any case, the construction of the Israeli atomic bomb would provide material for a film: apparently uranium was stolen both in the USA and later in Europe (>> here). The first atomic bombs were installed shortly before the Six Day War 1967. In 1969 the US effectively accepted the Israeli atomic bomb and ended its inspection in Dimona (the price for this was later due in Iraq, Libya and soon in Iran). The public only suspected the bomb when a presumably Israeli atomic bomb was tested in South Africa in 1979. A US survey alleged that the images sent by a satellite may have been caused by a small meteorite hitting the satellite, but on October 5, 1986, after careful scrutiny, the London Sunday Times published classified documents that the Israeli nuclear physicist had published Mordechai Vanunuwho had worked in Dimona for nine years had smuggled out of the country. The records indicated that Israel had 100 to 200 atomic bombs. (Vanunu was briefly abducted from the publication and reappeared in an Israeli prison, where he spent 18 years, 11 of them in solitary confinement. Released in 2004, he is under house arrest and is not allowed to use cell phones or the Internet. Contact with foreign nationals - he has since served additional sentences.)

Little is there about the nuclear weapons program South Africa known. In 1975, a uranium enrichment plant supplied by Germany to the west of Pretoria started operations, and South Africa apparently worked with Israel to build nuclear weapons - hence the suspected joint test in 1979. In 1993, Frederik Willem de Klerk announced that South Africa had built six atomic bombs, but ( before the ANC came to power).

In India work on the atomic bomb began in 1964 at the latest, after the Chinese nuclear test. In order to calm the pacifists in the country and the world public, the Indians talked about a peaceful atomic bomb to "blow up mountains for industrial parks". The poor infrastructure delayed completion, and India could not enrich uranium itself. But on May 18, 1974 India detonated its first atomic bomb in Rajasthan; so now the first emerging country had an atom bomb. Some of the uranium for this came from the Canadian-American reactor, which was only allowed to be used for peaceful purposes, but the US still allowed further deliveries of enriched uranium to India. This enabled the country that had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to build up uncontrolled bomb stocks. In 1976, environmental groups petitioned to ban fuel exports to India, and Jimmy Carter made the US Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty a campaign issue. In 1978 the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act was passed, which banned nuclear exports to countries that were not part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and did not have their power plants controlled. (However, in view of the new, pacifist Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai, Carter vetoed an export ban to India in 1980. Deliveries were only stopped in 1982 - and in 2008 under George W. Bush - without any controls.)

The Indian atomic bomb had to be in reactions Pakistan trigger. Pakistan's President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had already announced as foreign minister that Pakistan would follow suit if India builds an atom bomb, "and if necessary only eat grass and leaves or even starve." After detonation the Indian bomb stole Abdul Qadeer Khan, Employee at the German-British-Dutch uranium enrichment plant in Almelo, blueprints and documents and, after he was discovered, went to Pakistan and from 1975 headed the uranium enrichment research program. The US, long viewed by the Pakistani military as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, was concerned about the rivalry between India and Pakistan and prevented the delivery of a French reprocessing plant in 1978, but gave the country a free hand after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. It is unclear when Pakistan owned the atomic bomb: since Pakistan's foreign minister took part in a Chinese nuclear test in 1983, a Pakistani bomb could have been detonated here. In the spring of 1990 the world stood during the Cashmere conflict between India and Pakistan closer to nuclear war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis, said former CIA vice director Richard Kerr. The country itself officially gave up possession of nuclear warheads 1997 known. (India responded with further atomic bomb explosions in 1998.)

The end of the cold war

In the meantime, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 (>> more), the arms race between the USA and the Soviet Union flared up again. In the same year, NATO decided with a ”Retrofitting decision”The deployment of new medium-range missiles in Europe; US President Ronald Reagan left the Neutron bomb build (which is constructed in such a way that the neutrons can escape as unhindered as possible - such a bomb kills people and other living beings, but leaves buildings largely intact) and in 1983 announced its Strategic Defense Initiative, which was called "Starwars" got known. In 1986 the number of nuclear warheads worldwide reached its highest point at around 70,000. 1985 but had in the Soviet Union Michael Gorbachev took office, and in October 1986 Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to eliminate all medium-range weapons in Europe and reduce strategic weapons by 50 percent. In November 1989 the Berlin wall, the symbol of the division of the world into East and West. On July 31, 1991 Russia agreed under Boris Yeltsin and the USA with the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) I Agreement further dismantling of strategic nuclear weapons, followed two years later by START II. The Russian Duma, however, did not approve the treaty for a long time, first because of the Iraq war and finally because of the dispute over NATO's eastward expansion; It finally failed when the USA terminated the 1972 ABM Treaty (which restricted missile defense systems) in 2002. The SORT (Strategic Offensive Reduction TreatyHowever, the 2002 agreement contains neither controls nor a timetable; both countries still had sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times. Closed in 2010 Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev a contract called New START, according to which the number of warheads is to be reduced to 1,550 each by 2020. In both countries, in the years since the end of the Cold War, the catastrophic consequences that the nuclear weapons production, sometimes under strong production pressure, and the nuclear weapons tests had on the environment and the people living in their surroundings have become clear; Targeted human experiments were also carried out in both countries to investigate the effects of radioactivity. Bill Clinton's Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, who published some of the documents, said that for some of the attempts she “only remembered Nazi Germany”. In the former Soviet Union, too, soldiers were released from the confidentiality that was imposed on them after they were sent to nuclear test areas without protective clothing to see whether they would still be able to fight there. Large test sites in both countries are still radioactively contaminated.

Nuclear weapons in the Middle East and North Africa

At that time still allied with the West Iraq Under Saddam Hussein, work began in 1977 to build a nuclear reactor supplied by France outside of Baghdad. France also supplied fissile uranium for the reactor. Before this could be equipped with fuel elements, however, it was on June 7th 1981 destroyed by a targeted attack by the Israeli Air Force. The reactor had been inspected by the IAEA, but inspector Roger Richter later told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that Iraq determined when and where inspections were to take place. He told the Washington Post that the inspectors were not authorized to search for undeclared material, "we are only allowed to check that the records on the declared material are correct." In any case, Israel was convinced that the reactor should be used to build nuclear weapons. After the first Gulf War, in which West-backed Iraq used chemical weapons, a UN special commission investigated secret weapons programs in Iraq; and than this 1991 Calutrone - an obsolete, but suitable for uranium enrichment technology - discovered and was shot at while trying to track the trucks that were just about to transport them away, it was clear that Iraq was still working on the atomic bomb. Without Western support, however, it made no decisive progress, and after the Iraq war in 2003 the Americans did not find any nuclear weapons.

The Iran had already been with the Shah in 1975 Bushehr Construction of two nuclear reactors in the Persian Gulf started by the German Kraftwerk Union (a subsidiary of Siemens and AEG); Iran also took a 15 percent stake in a large uranium mine in Namibia. However, after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power, for whom nuclear power was not compatible with Islam, construction was stopped and later damaged in the war with Iraq. Apparently, however, work was still being carried out on the nuclear program in secret. According to the IAEA, Iran is said to have received 531 tons of uranium from Namibia in 1982. After Khomeini's death, the program took off in any case, and was sold in the late 1980s Abdul Q. Khan the country announced its plans for gas centrifuges. Other techniques came from China, and Iran built a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz. In 2003, IAEA inspectors found weapons-grade uranium there, and Iran cited contamination of the imported equipment as the cause. In 2009, Iran admitted to building a second uranium enrichment facility near Qom, which had been kept secret until then. According to Iranian information, the enrichment plants are only used for civil purposes - in 1995 Russia took over the completion of one of the reactors at Bushehr, which went online in September 2011 -; however, the plants are also suitable for the production of weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium. For a long time, there have been efforts to prevent Iran from enriching uranium through diplomatic channels, for example by supplying enriched uranium for its nuclear power plant and taking back burned fuel rods under the direction of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). So far these efforts have been in vain.

Libya had already planned to build a Russian nuclear reactor in the mid-1970s (planning was later stopped); after the explosion of an Israeli atomic bomb in 1979 Muammar al-Gaddafito want to build an atomic bomb too. The country bought two Russian reactors and got plans and centrifuges from Abdul Q. Khan In Pakistan, in 2003, components for nuclear facilities were found on a Chinese freighter destined for Libya, following an anonymous tip. Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was then trying to lift the sanctions after the attack on a passenger plane over Lockerbie, then announced that he would end the development of nuclear and chemical weapons and in January 2004 handed over the construction plans to Great Britain and the USA ( apparently as they were delivered: in a plastic bag from Abdul Q. Khan's tailor in Islamabad. When he heard about it, he is said to have removed Khan's customer photo from his studio.) When the USA confronted Pakistan with the material found in Libya, it had to Khan publicly apologized on television and was placed under house arrest.

Also Syria seems to have a secret nuclear program: After Israel on September 6, 2007 bombed a suspected nuclear facility, traces of uranium were found there. The reactor was probably built with North Korean support. There Saudi Arabia financially supported the Pakistani nuclear program, it is also suspected that the country has access to Pakistani nuclear weapons.

More atomic bombs and aspirants

North Korea has been doing atomic research with Soviet help since 1965. In 1993, the country refused IAEA inspectors access to its research facility, but in 1994 undertook to abandon its nuclear weapons program due to international pressure. In 2002, based on intelligence reports, the US accused North Korea of ​​continuing to work on nuclear weapons, and in 2003 North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 2005, North Korea announced that it had operational nuclear weapons, and on October 9, 2006to have carried out a bomb test. However, this was so weak that many experts considered it a failure. At the May 25, 2009 Another test, about 40 times more powerful, was carried out. Despite all international efforts, the bitterly poor country is continuing to expand its nuclear arsenal (>> here).

In Argentina and Brazil the military governments had been working on nuclear programs since 1978, but the democratic governments from 1983 and 1985 brought them to an end. In 1995 and 1998, respectively, both countries joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.However, in 2004 Brazil refused IAEA inspectors access to the uranium enrichment plant in Resende, in 2007 President Lula announced that Brazil would build nuclear-powered submarines, and in September 2009 Brazil's Vice President Alencar spoke out in favor of Brazilian atomic bombs: Brazil needs them because of its 15,000 kilometers Border and its offshore oil reserves as a "deterrent" and it could increase the international importance of Brazil. Some experts, such as Hans Rühle, head of the planning staff in the Federal Ministry of Defense from 1982 to 1988, suspect that Brazil has long been secretly working on the atomic bomb (>> here). Other countries that may be working on the atomic bomb in secret are (Foreign Policy October 2009) Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Burma, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Nightmare nuclear terror

In addition to the states, the experts are perhaps even more concerned about the possibility that Terrorists to some of the large stocks of fissile material - a total of around 3,000 tons, 1,000 tons of which from civil nuclear power plants - in many countries around the world. With just a tiny part of it, they could build a primitive atomic bomb. Experts such as Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who works at the Belfer Center at Harvard University, fear the situation in Pakistanwhere violent extremists, an unstable political situation and a growing amount of fissile material come together; in addition, both the military and the secret services are said to have had contacts with al-Qaeda. North Korea has most likely already delivered nuclear technology to Syria, and this link was only discovered by the secret services shortly before the reactor was completed. This raises doubts as to whether the secret services really know all of the nuclear facilities in the world, and whether North Korea - similar to Abdul Q. Khan in Pakistan, whose network is still not fully known - is not also in contact with other countries . Mowatt-Larrsen's colleague Prof. Graham Allison, who worked on securing the fissile material in the Successor states of the Soviet Union collaborated and in 2004 a book about "Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe”Wrote, estimated the probability of a nuclear terrorist attack in the next 10 years at over 50 percent, the former US Secretary of Defense William Perry called this estimate“ possibly too low ”(>> more). Barack Obama also takes the danger seriously: in April 2010 he called atomic terrorism America's greatest foreign policy threat and invited 47 states to participate in a "Nuclear Security Summit”To Washington. The states agreed to protect hitherto insufficiently protected stocks of fissile material within four years and, with better cooperation, to make illegal trade in fissile material more difficult.

Literature on the subject:

Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin: J. Robert Oppenheimer: The biography. “Brilliant biography” (SPIEGEL review, >> here). Propylaea 2009, List Paperback 2010.

>> Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (in English)

Stephanie Cooke: Atom. The story of nuclear error. Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2010.

Robert Jungk: Brighter than a thousand suns. Even if this book is originally from 1956 (revised 1958), it still reads well and describes the dichotomy of many atomic researchers who, for fear of a German atomic bomb, despite moral doubts, collaborated on the construction of the atomic bomb. Unfortunately only available as an antiquarian.

Norbert F. Pötzl / Rainer Traub (ed.): The cold war. DVA 2009 (Spiegel book).

Stern Extra No. 1/2011: The history of nuclear power.

Simon Winchester: Pacific. HarperCollins 2015. The first chapter of this book on the Pacific deals with the atomic bomb tests in it.

© Jürgen Paeger 2006 - 2020