Class blog for "The Unstable Nucleus" at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Friday, December 12, 2014

Really useful background on the situation with Iran

(From Oscar)
About the nuclear crisis, in 4 minutes (with some opinion added): Background on the history of the US and Iran:

Russia and India - nuclear power deal?

From Jamie:
I feel like it's a little suspicious for these two countries to collaborate so enthusiastically and at the same time I feel that maybe the United States should not warn or give advice so confidently.

Nuclear safety... and nuclear subs

From Caleb, here's an article that outlines part of the model we use for mandating safety measures, namely establishing a cost per human life risked in order to create a cost-benefit comparison. The international community is putting pressure on the U.S. to agree to new international policies regarding nuclear safety. Even Russia is on the sane side. U.S. business interests, however, are campaigning very hard to keep the U.S. from agreeing and thereby raising costs by imposing new safety standards.

Also, from the related articles on Bloomberg, China is launching nuclear subs that will change the dynamic of nuclear politics between Asia and the west

We shouldn't worry though, they probably wouldn't be able to bomb anywhere in the U.S. besides Hawaii and Alaska. So fewer Palins and volcanoes. I'd miss the bears though.

Government fined for violations on nuclear waste

From Megan, here's an article about a fine (of $54m) New Mexico placed on the Federal Government for violations of nuclear waste.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

White Light/Black Rain
HBO Documentary

This documentary by Steven Okazaki examines the aftereffects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The movie interviews 14 survivors of the bombing, and investigates the trauma of living through that event.  In addition, the movie looks more broadly at the effects on the national psyche of postwar Japan. Several Americans who were involved in the bombings are also profiled to gauge their perspectives looking back.  You can watch the whole thing via this youtube link, or on HBOgo if you have a subscription.

-Taylor Larson

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Defense Secretary and Nuclear Implications?

Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced an overhaul of management in nuclear force along with improvements and modernization of weapons and facilities on November 14. Ten days later, he resigned and this morning Obama announced his nomination of Ashton Carter as new Secretary of Defense. Carter was involved in nuclear management, disarmament both domestically and internationally as well as removal of nuclear materials from certain countries. It seems likely, in my opinion, for him to continue with this policy of reduction, especially with the Obama administration, and it is unclear whether Hagel's policy will be continued.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

History of the Iconic Peace Sign

The "Peace Sign"was originally designed as the symbol of the CND- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. CND was launched in February of 1958 and soon after the Aldermaston Marches attracted attention, this was the first time the CND symbol appeared. The Aldermaston marches were anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations in the 1950's and 1960's demonstrated on easter weekend. The distance between Aldermaston and London is 52 miles.