Search results for ‘secrecy’

TMI & Chernobyl


In the academic literature, it’s widely held that the disasters at Three Mile Island (TMI) and Chernobyl are failures in risk communication. It’s useful to revisit these cases as the international media (ABC News & BBC as examples) likens Fukushima-Daiichi reactor problems to TMI (a partial core meltdown) and Chernobyl (continuing public health and environmental […]

As I digest media accounts of the nuclear reactor situation in Japan, it seems to me the U.S. media has a teachable moment at hand. Teachable, as I intend here, means the U.S. media thoughtfully lead the debate on nuclear power and harm in the same way as perhaps Life magazine (May 16, 1949 “The […]

Historically, censorship has been employed by the U.S. government as a shield to restrict specific categories of information during war. For example, the Office of Censorship’s Code of Wartime Practices (1945) requested that publishers and broadcasters refrain from communicating information on weapons, “military intelligence,” and casualties during WWII.  Nuclear weapons fell under this type of […]

A terrible scan but readable, Medical Aspects of Atomic Weapons was prepared for the National Security Resources Board by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S Atomic Energy Commission, or AEC (Washington, DC, 1950: SuDoc Pr 33.702:At 7). Medical Aspects is an interesting doc in comparison with the almost bland Handbook Of Atomic Weapons For Medical Officers (June, […]

A rare document on the Web, Personal Preparedness in the Nuclear Age, Student Manual (December, 1960, SM-3-11, Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization, GPO; SuDoc: Pr 34.761:P 43), is the text for the course of the same title (p.iii). Pages 8-68 are a guide to CBR (chemical, biological and radiological) fallout, fallout shelters, warning systems, […]

David Shiga’s article “Is your city prepared for a home-made nuke?”, recently published in the New Scientist is based on the Committee on Medical Preparedness for a Nuclear Event, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies assessment of “technologies and therapies” available in the event of a terrorist-inspired nuke attack. In its report, the Committee […]

Back issues of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists are  available at google books from December 24, 1945 through through November 1998. The Bulletin, founded by Manhattan Project scientists Eugene Rabinowitch and Hyman Goldsmith, is critical to understanding scientific information sharing deeply influenced by by a culture of compartmentalization and secrecy. BAS provides a valuable […]

Through government publications and other materials published previous to, and during the Cold War, this blog explores the atom in U.S. culture, including the subjects of atomic energy, weapons, and the nuclear fuel cycle. I became interested in these subjects while working with government publications as a former gov docs librarian and as a member […]