In his compelling new book, ‘The Apocalypse Factory’, Steve Olson lays out the road to the Manhattan Project as it wends its way through Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and to some degree forgotten, Hanford, Washington. He crafts a story of the scientists involved and the discovery of plutonium, which was a true game changer as America wrongly assumed that it was in a race with Germany to unleash new weapons capable of unthinkable destruction. He then visits the decision-making throughout the process of using two bombs on Japan. The first on Hiroshima, using uranium, and the second on Nagasaki, unlocking the even greater destructive force of plutonium. Our discussion then centers on nuclear weapons today, including modernization, treaties to limit and defense shields to blunt. And, finally, we explore whether there is any serious movement to eliminate the threat to mankind forever. In a moment of serious challenges, lurching, overarching is the potential for split second miscalculation which could obliterate life as we know it. And, it gets barely a mention. We revive the conversation today.
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