Political Perspectives on 05/25/11
From TUC Radio's timeless archives - remastered
Iain Boal: THE BEGINNING OF THE NUCLEAR AGE
Enrico Fermi and Henry Moore
Did the nuclear age begin at Alamogordo, in Hiroshima, or with Fermi's experiment? Fermi set off the first nuclear chain reaction in the middle of Chicago in 1942, risking a first China Syndrome. With the help of a Chicago street gang he built an unshielded graphite pile with uranium pellets and control rods tacked to a two by four. His experiment led to the building of the plutonium bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Iain Boal is a historian of technology and author of Resisting the Virtual Life and The Green Machine, a history of the bicycle.
Enrico Fermi's experiment, setting off the first nuclear chain reaction, provided the blueprint for the plutonium bomb. In his commemoration of this little known event that changed the world, the historian of technology, Iain Boal, describes the mindset of the early nuclear scientists who began releasing the most long lived toxic substances on earth. He also sketches the beginning of resistance to nuclear weapons in SDS and CND..