Over at Compfused… The Power of Nukes, showing some really clear footage of nukes going off and their ground-level effects. Lots I’d never seen before.
But how geeky is this? Onscreen there are superweapons going off and I keep thinking about how the movie cameras were built that could accurately record the expansion of a nuclear explosion when it’s the size of a house and moving at maybe 0.1c. If I remember correctly they used rotating prisms instead of mechanical shutters to achieve rates of 10,000 frames per second or so – just barely high enough.
On a related note, check out this exhaustive list of nuclear accidents from the 1940’s through today. If it’s true that we learn from our mistakes, the nuclear industry should be just about perfect by now. Of course, if you tote up the fatalities and areas rendered unfit for human habitation, the nuclear industry is hardly unique. All industry has risks, like the rather nontrivial risk to our global climate from the carbon-fuels industry.
The nuclear industry may have a solution to the carbon-fuels problem, though it’s kind of funny that this article in Wired magazine treats the Three Mile Island accident as if it were the only one that ever happened. Thoughts, anyone?