Monday, January 11, 2010

First Fusion Bomb Test Recordings Found

Another newsflash courtesy of Wired. Apparently, a retiree cleaning out an old safe at a geological observatory found recordings of the first fusion bomb test, which was carried out by the US in 1957. It would be the second fusion explosion in the solar system—the only other one being the one that started the sun.

The article is here.

The recordings, after the right permissions and phone calls, were declassified, and are now on YouTube, spreading through the world.

Not quite sure what to expect, I decided to watch the video.

I was eating a plate of spaghetti at the time, and stopped chewing mid-video. And here I am now, posting this entry. The fact that this is actually real, and is nothing more than a camera pointed at a building with a 10-Megaton bomb in it, gives me chills. I am totally against nuclear proliferation—but at the same time I can't understand how my country would ask other countries to get rid of their nuclear capabilities (i.e. Iran), while we refuse to get rid of our own. Sure, it's completely politically incorrect, especially for foreign policy matters—but out of principle I can't sit with us instructing the world to do something we won't do ourselves.

Frankly, it is frightening to think that any country could have this kind of capability—and that their first instinct would be to weaponize it. You would think that it would have been much more comforting or exciting to find decade-old videos of the first fusion-powered car or electric generator in some old University safe somewhere, rather than the same mechanism incarnated as a bomb. It's a shame that such a pioneering effort would also have to be so terrifying.

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