NUCLEAR RISK: Oppenheimer envisioned the tactical use of nuclear weapons. Putin now threatens it – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By: Matthew Evangelista
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Geopolitical Intelligence Network
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Thursday, 26th October 2023
For a Hollywood blockbuster, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer does an effective job of portraying the “father of the atomic bomb” as a complex, multifaceted human being, driven by a combination of arrogance and self-doubt and facing profound moral dilemmas.
The movie—which debuts next month on most North American streaming platforms—alludes not just to the story of the race to build the bomb but also to the subsequent debate over whether to go beyond the development of fission weapons to create the “Super” or hydrogen bomb, based on nuclear fusion. J. Robert Oppenheimer famously opposed the H-bomb, partly on moral grounds.
In his and the other critics’ view, its capacity for nearly unlimited explosive power rendered it useful only for mass murder of civilians. He also opposed it as a competitor to other uses of nuclear materials—then in short supply—for military purposes. But for all his moral concerns, Oppenheimer was not an antinuclear dove. Learn More /…
About the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
At our core, the Bulletin is a media organization, posting free articles on its website and publishing a premium digital magazine. But we are much more. The Bulletin’s website, iconic Doomsday Clock, and regular events help advance actionable ideas at a time when technology is outpacing our ability to control it. The Bulletin focuses on three main areas: nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. What connects these topics is a driving belief that because humans created them, we can control them. Learn More /…
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