1 November 2015

Today's nuclear dilemma

Eric Schlosser

Eric Schlosser is the author of The New York Times bestsellers Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. His work has appeared in The Atlantic MonthlyRolling...

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As part of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ 70th anniversary issue, author and investigative journalist Eric Schlosser surveys a nuclear landscape full of dangers, from worldwide nuclear weapons modernization programs and heightened nuclear rhetoric to burgeoning stockpiles of fissile material and shortsighted changes in nuclear doctrine. These dangers are not front-and-center in the public consciousness, as they were in the immediate aftermath of World War II when the Bulletin warned that "all we can gain in wealth, economic security, or improved health will be useless if our nation is to live in continuous dread of sudden annihilation." But even though the widespread fear of nuclear weapons has diminished, Schlosser writes, "the danger is far greater now than when those words were written. And the choice between one world or none is even more urgent."