An explosion on Earth

Understanding Planet-Wide Danger

The way Americans metabolized the global threat of nuclear war has had lasting effects on how we think about our newest global threat: climate change.
A billet of highly enriched uranium

What Is Enriched Uranium?

And what does it mean that Iran has enriched uranium past the 4.5% level?
Library fallout shelter

Preparing Libraries for Nuclear War

During the Cold War, America's libraries helped patrons prepare for nuclear war, from stocking reference materials to providing fallout shelters.
Nuclear test

How Nuclear Tests Spawned Environmentalism

It's been 55 years since the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The massive amounts of fallout in the decade previous to the Treaty taught us a lot about the interconnected planet we live on.
flooded houston hurricane harvey impact

Natural and Man-Made Disasters, from Atom Weather to Fire Ants

Mother Nature’s wrath can be unpredictable and random, but history shows that humankind is ultimately responsible for many "natural disasters."
Tree in desert

The Environmental Impact of Nuclear War

Even a limited nuclear war would throw enough soot into the atmosphere to block sunlight and lower global temperatures by more than one degree Celsius.
Atomic Bomb and Mushroom Cloud over Rural Landscape

How Do We Teach Children About Existential Threats?

In 1986, in the midst of the Cold War, psychologists set out to find answers about how to talk to kids about nuclear war.
Guam Beach

Guam For Beginners

How did the island of Guam, over 5,000 miles from the West Coast, get to be the closest piece of U.S. territory to North Korea?
nuclear blast

The Doomsday Clock: Menacing Metaphor of the Nuclear Age

Pessimism is on the rise. Mercurial politicians, rising nationalism and isolationism, international bluster, a changing climate, mass protests, ...
On July 17, 1955, Argonne's BORAX III reactor provided all the electricity for Arco, Idaho, the first time any community's electricity was provided entirely by nuclear energy.

What Did Idaho Have to Do With the Cold War?

The real life history behind the 1961 nuclear accident fictionalized in Andria Williams' The Longest Night.