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Questions tagged [nuclear]

Nuclear energy is energy taken from splitting nucleus of an atom of some chemical elements. This can be used in both peaceful or military goals.

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Has there ever been an instance of an active nuclear power plant within or near a war zone?

The question Has there ever been a military combat going on around an active (running or in outage but not decommissioned) commercial nuclear power plant? Or dangerously near it? If yes, how did the ...
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Is there any footage of the Chernobyl explosion?

I know there is a lot of footage of the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, but is there any footage of the explosion itself? In a documentary about the Chernobyl disaster it was stated that there ...
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Why is the nuclear powered USS Nautilus (SSN-571) a museum, when nuclear aircraft carriers are not converted to museums?

My understanding is that the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine is now a museum. This boat was a real nuclear vessel, so it should have all the hazards associated with a decommissioned nuclear ...
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Why was the Vemork heavy water plant so important for the Uranprojekt? [closed]

Germany sourced the heavy water for its Uranprojekt, an effort to develop nuclear power plants or bombs, from the Norsk Hydro hydroelectric power plant in Vemork, Norway. During World War II there ...
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Why was Hanford, Washington, selected during World War II as the site of America’s first nuclear energy plant?

In 1942, as part of the plan to manufacture atomic bombs to drop on Japan, the U.S. Army began to seek out a suitable location to build a factory for producing plutonium, necessary for the atomic bomb ...
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Did US and Soviet nuclear war policies allow for a pause?

In the HBO made-for-tv movie "By Dawn's Early Light", the commander of the navy (codename "Harpoon") explains to the US President that USAF nuclear bombers are at their positive check points and await ...
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What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
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What benefits were there to the USA of developing both Uranium and Plutonium bombs in World War 2?

Clearly there was a large cost both in money and resources. Working on both very likely slowed down the production of the first nuclear bomb.
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Have there been any nuclear accidents in the US at nuclear facilities which were not “commercial”?

In a feature called "On This Day," the March 28th, 2015 issue of the New York Times recounted how "On March 28, 1979, America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor ...
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why Israel has not used its nuclear arsenal against hamas? [closed]

If Israel has a nuclear arsenal, why has not used its against Hamas? If the Palestinian had nuclear weapons would have surely used to erase Israel from the map.
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Why did so many countries agree to the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

The Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 contains (among others) provisions that amount to the following: There are five countries (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China) that ...
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What was the efficiency of the “Gadget” bomb in the Trinity Test?

I've done a bit of searching and was unable to find what I expected to be a simple statistic. By "efficiency" I mean the percentage of the Plutonium in the bomb that actually fissioned.
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Non-voluntary deferments in WWII?

This question comes from an interview I conducted many years ago. The question about drafts reminded me. The subject was a grad student and medical researcher. His research project was canceled and he ...
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Why did America not know about Soviet espionage in manhattan project

I was watching PBS documentary Behind Closed doors. According to that documentary Churchill and Roosevelt were not really sure if Stalin really understood about 'the new kind of weapon' when they ...
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What was the extent of influence of James Byrnes on President Truman in the decision to use nuclear weapons?

Secretary of State James Byrnes was a very influential man and played a key role in foreign policy and the negotiations during WW2. It is known that after the death of FDR, he was the one who informed ...
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When was General Douglas MacArthur made aware of the Manhattan Project?

Considering the US government's low opinion of General MacArthur* even before he almost performed a military coup in the 1950s: Was Douglas MacArthur ever made aware of the Manhattan Project before ...
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Why were all Y-12 operators of Manhattan Project women?

I have searched a while and I have not found any evidence of why all operators at Y-12 had to be women. I am interested especially in in two aspects: Who was the person from inside of the project ...
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Did Russia help India arm itself with nuclear weapons? [closed]

Although Canada provided India with its first nuclear reactor ccnr, much of the fuel for India's reactors have come from Russia India Times. India asserts that the atomic weapons program was entirely ...
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Are submarine launched ballistic missiles still inaccurate?

In the early 1980s documentary First Strike, one of the arguments made for the development of the MX missile program was that in the event of a massive Soviet attack on the land-based missile and ...
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Did the United States have a third atomic bomb to drop on Japan?

On 15 August, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan announced its surrender to the United States, signing the instrument of surrender on 2 September, officially ending the war. The question ...
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Why did the Germans fall behind the Americans in the development of the atomic bomb after an initial lead?

I actually know certain facts about this matter, but am seeking guidance in interpreting these facts into "theories." 1) Theory 1, Economic: The Americans spent something like $2 billion (in money of ...
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Motivation Behind the USSR Assisting China's Nuclear Program

What motivated the USSR to assist China with the development of Nuclear Weapons? Why would the USSR want China to have this technology during the 1950s and early 1960s? What did they get out of this ...
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Why did the US drop nuclear bombs on a weakened Japan? [closed]

Why did the United States drop two nuclear bombs on the Japanese mainland? It appeared that Japan was ready to surrender.
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What do the modern Japanese people think about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Japan has been an ally of the USA for a long time now. On the other hand, every year they observe Hiroshima Day. Moreover, Japanese people visit Yasukuni Shrine. Then what is the catch?
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Is there any evidence to support the claim that the US Strategic Defense Initiative played any significant role in undermining the USSR?

I have been reading Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, and one of the things that stuck me was a quote by Soviet hydrogen bomb creator Andrei Sakharov who was released from political imprisonment ...
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Plans for More Nuclear Warfare in Japan during WW2

When reading about Operation DownFall I noticed that if Japan had not surrendered following the nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki there could have been at least 7 more Nuclear Bombs ready for ...
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Were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary? [closed]

The United States bombed Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Before the Japanese could surrender, they bombed Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The two bombs killed over 200,000 people, most of them civilians. ...