Part of the charm of the Fallout series is its combination of post-apocalyptic hellishness and its 1940s-1950s Nuclear Age naive charm. And much of the look and feel of the Fallout games is based on places like Yucca Flat, which was part of the Nevada Test Range, where scientists blew the holy hell out of the desert to see what it would look like.
Not that if you were aiming to hijack a nuclear materials truck that would easily find one. It’s not like they’re brightly colored with “Nuclear weapons material inside” painted on the trailer. They look like just generic transfer trucks, and even if someone wanted to try, these unassuming trucks are GPS tracked, heavily armored and heavily guarded. But it’s interesting to see the routes between various labs and factories.
The above image is a picture of an atomic explosion, but not the giant mushroom cloud you’re familiar with. It’s the first millisecond of the explosion, frozen in time both beautiful and eerie, knowing that this is right before everything in its wide path is vaporized.
Nuclear-armed countries, for obvious reasons, like to keep tabs on other nuclear-armed countries. According to a new Pentagon study, it looks like China’s got twice as many nukes as we once thought, obscured by the country’s vast underground nuclear missile tunnel network.
Wikileaks: Gitmo detainees threaten nuclear strikes if bin Laden is killed. Good luck with all that.
“A senior Al-Qaeda commander claimed that the terrorist group has hidden a nuclear bomb in Europe which will be detonated if Bin-Laden is ever caught or assassinated. The US authorities uncovered numerous attempts by Al-Qaeda to obtain nuclear materials and fear that terrorists have already bought uranium. Sheikh Mohammed told interrogators that Al-Qaeda would unleash a ‘nuclear hellstorm’.”
In an effort to both improve security and save money, the Nevada National Security Site, home to a shitload of nuclear waste and some Cold War era nukes is now being guarded by robot sentries. Because it’s not like the robots couldn’t figure out how to use the nuclear waste for their own evil purposes, right? RIGHT? Someone tell me I’m right.
In 1962, in the middle of the Cold War, the US government wanted to test some theories about what might happen if a nuke was detonated in space. So they detonated a nuke in space, high above the atmosphere. This is one of the previously classified photos of the view of the blast from the ground.
The plan was to send rockets hundreds of miles up, higher than the Earth’s atmosphere, and then detonate nuclear weapons to see: a) If a bomb’s radiation would make it harder to see what was up there (like incoming Russian missiles!); b) If an explosion would do any damage to objects nearby; c) If the Van Allen belts would move a blast down the bands to an earthly target (Moscow! for example); and — most peculiar — d) if a man-made explosion might “alter” the natural shape of the [Earth’s magnetic] belts.
You can see more images and read / listen to the full story here at NPR. That’s one hell of a July 4th light show.