Amchitka and the Bomb
Nuclear Testing in Alaska
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University of Washington Press
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Dean Kohlhoff died on June 12, 1997, before he had a chance to complete final revisions on his manuscript for Amchitka and the Bomb. Because we knew that Dean's greatest unfulfilled wish was to have his story of the environmental consequences of nuclear testing on Amchitka Island told, ...
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In the 1960s and early 1970s, three underground nuclear tests were carried out on Amchitka Island, a small island in the Aleutian Chain. Each blast had its own name - Long Shot, Milrow, and Cannikin - but the name Amchitka became a code word for all of them. Although these tests were the only ones ...
1. Among the Many Islands
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Alaska is an exceptional place by any realistic standards. It is the biggest state in the Union. It holds the most islands, the highest mountains, the largest glaciers, and the greatest number of active volcanoes over any of the other States. Although it was once only a small outpost in the old Russian empire, Alaska is now ...
2. On an Anvil of War
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World War II. which began officially for the United States with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in December 1941. came to the Aleutians in 1942. On June 3 and 4, American military installations at Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island in Unalaska Bay were bombed by Japanese planes. ...
3. Before a Mighty Windstorm
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The war that marked Amchitka so decidedly ended in fiery devastation and ensuing death to thousands of people in enemy territories across the globe. In February 1945, bombs dropped on Dresden by 2,570 Allied planes took at least 35,000 German lives and ignited a conflagration visible for 200 miles. ...
4. Nuclear Alaska
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The predicament of the human and the bear-the trapper and the trapped - is a fitting symbol of the nuclear age. "We" had the bomb, but it just as surely had "us:' Which one really dominated, the man or the bomb, was difficult to know. In Native lore, the uneasy relationship between man and bear taught a lesson ...
5. Under Rufus & Larkspur Scrutiny
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During the 1960s, the unabated arms race with the Soviet Union continued to produce new weapons technologies that required field testing as a preliminary to actual arms production. As the destructive power of these proposed weapons grew, the problem of finding suitable test sites expanded proportionately. ...
6. During a Long Shot
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At first glance, the successful negotiation of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 might appear to have been largely the product of a panic reaction to the threat posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis. In reality, however, improved means of nuclear test detection, coupled with a genuine desire on the part of both ...
7. Through Milrow Calibration
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Had Operation Long Shot succeeded in discovering a means by which underground nuclear tests could be detected, the history of the postwar arms race might have been written differently. As it was, the hole left by that failure in the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty simply encouraged a new round of weapons development. ...
8. For Safeguard Security
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By the end of the 1960s, the shape of the argument over nuclear testing in Alaska had begun to take recognizable form. On the one side were the advocates of military preparedness, veteran cold warriors for the most part, who felt that security issues occupied the highest rank among national priorities. ...
9. Amid More Cannikin Controversy
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The controversy that surrounded the final nuclear test held in Alaska, Shot Cannikin, was fueled by a combination of fears of the unknown occasioned by Cannikin's size and an accumulation of frustration and anger suffered by those whose questions about the safety of nuclear explosions had been ...
10. Beyond the Last Bomb
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On the evening before the Cannikin blast, members of the Auke Tribe, headquartered in Juneau, raised the stakes one notch higher in another last-minute attempt to stop the test. They called the president's attention to the TIingit traditional belief that all of the islands in the Aleutians were imbued with spirit. ...
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Publication Year: 2002