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Chapter 4: Nuclear Risks: Three Problematics
(Stuart Allan and Ian
The nuclear age dawned in the early days of August 1945, as the world learned of the atomic destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US military. This transition, characterized by some as ‘the end of innocence’, came as a profound shock for a public who had previously known of ‘atomic bombs’ only in the realm of science fiction. ‘Just as people recall the circumstances under which they first heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor,’ proclaimed Scientific Monthly at the time, ‘so they will remember how the atomic bomb first burst upon their consciousness’ (cited in Boyer, 1985: 3).
The intense secrecy surrounding the Manhattan Project (the international team of ...