Nuclear Activism

To return to one of the main threads of this blog–all things nuclear–which has been going down slightly different paths over the past month, I give you the following excerpt from Devon Fredericksen’s interview with Terry Tempest Williams, activist and author of When Women Were Birds (2013), among many other books:

I believe the first time I found my voice was when I crossed the line at the Nevada Test Site in 1988. It was one year after my mother died. It was one year before my grandmother would die, and I found myself the matriarch of my family at thirty. With the death of my mother, grandmothers, and aunts—nine women in my family have all had mastectomies, seven are dead—you reach a point when you think, “What do I have to lose?” and you become fearless. When I crossed that line at the Nevada Test Site as an act of protest because the United States government was still testing nuclear bombs in the desert—it was a gesture on behalf of the Clan of the One-Breasted Women—my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts. And I didn’t do it alone. I was with hundreds of other women who had suffered losses in Utah as a result of atomic testing, as a result of our nuclear legacy in the West. I crossed that line with Jesuit priests, with Shoshone elders, with native people who had also lost lives because of the radiation fallout in the Shivwits’ lands.

North Korea Nuclear Test

As is being reported all over today, “North Korea has drawn widespread condemnation after conducting a nuclear test in defiance of international bans – a development signaled by an earthquake detected in the country and later confirmed by the regime.”  This is N. Korea’s third nuclear test; the others occurred in 2006 and 2009The Guardian Quotes Dr. Leonid Petrov as saying, “‘The world is now a much more dangerous place.'” Indeed.

And Wired discusses how N. Korea’s weapons are getting bigger based on seismic readings.

Some Old Nuke Pics from LIFE

Today LIFE posted a number of pictures depicting the aftermath of a 1955 nuclear test in the Nevada desert. Some of these pictures were originally published in the magazine, but the majority of them were not. As the brief commentary accompanying the revisiting of these images puts it: “And yet today, six decades later, at a time when the prospect of nuclear tests by ‘rogue states’ like North Korea and Iran is once again making headlines and driving international negotiations and debate, the very banality of one long-forgotten atomic test in 1955 feels somehow more chilling than other more memorable or era-defining episodes from the Cold War. After all, whether conducted in the name of deterrence, defense or pure scientific research, the May 1955 blast. . . was in a very real sense routine.” A couple samples: