Dismantling the world's 15,000 nuclear weapons is one the most important geopolitical challenges humanity faces. That number seems bleak, given the current state of affairs. But if you wanted to dismantle just one warhead, here is what it would take.
Tagged With nuclear weapons
Bomb threats have been a part of American life since at least the 19th century. But in the 1970s the types of threats shifted dramatically. The people making bomb threats in the US started to claim their bombs had nuclear materials. By 1975, the US started a new task force to deal with the threats, and we at Gizmodo got our hands on a film that explains what this secret group of nuke-hunting police did.
President Trump has said that he wants a new nuclear arms race. And with more nuclear weapons in the world, there's bound to be an accident sooner or later. At least that's what the experts keep telling us. And when we inevitably descend into nuclear war, you don't want to be caught without the proper GIFs. But don't worry, Gizmodo has you covered.
According to reports, Russia has deployed a secret cruise missile system that violates a treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Known as the SSC-X-8, the Obama administration previously warned Russia about developing the land-based system, but the country went ahead and built it anyway. Now that Trump is in office, there's speculation about what the new administration will do about it.
Remember the nuclear arms race of the 1980s? The United States and the Soviet Union both scrambled to acquire more weapons, increasing the likelihood that the entire world would be blown to bits. Well, Donald Trump thinks another one of those would be great.
Nuclear weapons are already scary enough, but when you dig deeper and find out how powerful the weapons truly are, they get even more terrifying. The weapons we've built after the first atomic bombs are so strong that you can basically use Hiroshima as a unit of measurement. The largest nuclear explosion in human history, the Tsar Bomba, detonated with a force of 50 megatons, or the power of 3333 Hiroshimas.
The destructive power of nuclear bombs has been seared into our collective memory, thanks to archival images of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There's the blast itself, and then all the radioactive fallout to contend with. A new interactive map shows what the damage from fallout would be if nuclear bombs were dropped on target cities today.
Video: Only five countries have been able to create strategic bomber aircraft with the capability of carrying nuclear weapons. That would be the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. We've put together this video that details every single one of those bombers. It's fascinating to see how each country develops its only style of aircraft for these missions.
In 1961 an eight-year-old girl from Marine City, Michigan wrote to President Kennedy. She wanted to know if the Russians were going to bomb the North Pole. JFK responded with the letter below, assuring her that Santa would be just fine.
Sarah Zhang has a fascinating post over at Wired about the systematic study of Cold War-era nuclear test films that's currently being undertaken by nuclear physicist Gregg Spriggs. One of the most interesting elements to the story is the fact that of the 7000 films discovered so far, 4000 are still classified.