Monday, March 21, 2022

Big Picture Science for Mar. 21, 2022 - Nuclear Worries

Big Picture Science - Nuclear Worries

The nuclear threat is back, and the Doomsday Clock is almost at midnight. How did we end up here again? In the 1930s, German physicists learned that splitting the nuclei of heavy atoms could release tremendous amounts of energy. Such theoretical ideas became relevant when WW II began.

Today, we try to eliminate nuclear weaponry while exploiting the atom for peaceful uses, such as energy generation. But as the invasion of Ukraine shows, power plants can also be military targets. We lay out some of the questions that scientists and strategists are grappling with considering recent events.


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