What I find most fascinating is the fact that the weapon has never been found. Now I have no idea how nuclear weapons work, (I should really read Nuclear Dawn) but I am surprised that there has been no environmental impact resulting from this.
All in all this has been an interesting couple of months for nuclear nations. North Korea became the latest member of this exclusive club...confirming it's status as a nuclear nation with its second underground test.
Then, a number of lawsuits brought by people working on nuclear tests, often only wearing shorts look to be reaching their conclusion, with the right to sue the British government finally being acknowledged. And only a few months ago there was a story about what happened when one of the B-52s that was in the air almost constantly during the height of the Cold War crashed in Greenland. In the crash four nuclear weapons detonated, but failed to go nuclear - scattering radioactive debris across a huge area and triggering a dangerous and extensive clean up.
And finally, and most disturbing was the revelation that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was unsecured, scatter in a number of locations across the country, were possibly at risk from the Taliban insurgency in the north of the country and that Pakistan seems to have some sort of strange gentleman's agreement with the USA which allows the Americans to send in troops to secure Pakistani nuclear facilities and weapons if they are threatened by an external force (watch the video that featured on BBC's Newsnight programme here - it is well worth a watch).
And while I was researching this blog and collecting up links I also stumbled across a staggering photo journal taken at the site of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl - which is like stumbling back in time!
The secretive nature of nuclear power and nuclear weapons has always fascinated me. Its a murky world of suspicion, intrigue and cover ups. Filled with surprising (and sometimes terrifying) stories it is no wonder that the threat of nuclear destruction had such an impact on the people who lived during the Cold War. As I was researching a few bits and pieces from the history of nuclear weapons in preparation for the release of our book Nuclear Dawn I discovered that South Africa assembled 6 nuclear weapons before the end of apartheid (and are thought to have tested a weapon - possibly with the help of Israel - which is now known as the Vela incident).
I also recently learnt that there is a small nuclear reactor in Kinshasa, the capital of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo - now that must be a security nightmare, as you can read in this article from the Guardian Website.
Nuclear Dawn is available to preorder now!
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