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Nuclear War Theme Parks: Mass Destruction for the Whole Family


#1

Nuclear War Theme Parks: Mass Destruction for the Whole Family

John LaForge

Plutonium was named after Pluto, “god of the underworld,” Hades, or hell. It was created inside faulty reactors, concentrated, and machined by US scientists into the most devastating and horrifying of all weapons. Photos of what the Manhattan Project’s plutonium bomb did to human beings at Nagasaki prove the point. There is radioactive blowback in the fact that the thousands of tons of plutonium created since 1945 is so dangerously hot and long-lived that, like the underworld itself, nobody knows how to handle it at all -- except maybe to trivialize it.


#2

Thank you for this intelligent article, Mr. LaForge.

It might interest you to know that Pluto is regarded by astrologers as the "upper octave to Mars, god of war." Indeed, the discovery of nuclear power and its use in armaments coincides with the discovery of this planet. Pluto has worked to exceed Mars' (and by extension, the war state's) expectations in making death so universal in its potent destructive powers. Think of Oppenheimer's words: "I am become death, the destroyer."

Turning Pluto's factories into theme parks intended to impress or amuse visitors is on a par with homage to Mars, a necessary staple to the make-war state.

Until it's seen for what it is and that it makes Creator into Destroyer, no saner ideological narrative will be able to take the place of this one. It's been handed down from father to son since the days of the first warriors baptized by blood. For many, this redundant horror of shedding blood is what history is all (and only) about.

Without new myths honored and different stories of our selves, the old gods will not only continue to dominate The Conversation, they will retain their coercive means to maintaining full-scale hegemony over the human race and all that otherwise would be possible to it--in the way of 1000 creative acts--were warriors not defining The Agenda.


#3

Sweep conservative's death and destruction under the rug and life goes on for a while longer.


#4

"the thousands of tons of plutonium created since 1945 is so dangerously hot and long-lived that, like the underworld itself, nobody knows how to handle it at all"

I think the accumulated total global production of plutonium is still well below 2000 tons, so I suspect that should have read "hundreds of tons" rather than thousands. And actually, the purer the weapons grade or supergrade plutonium is, the less radioactive it is and the easier it is to handle. The hottest plutonium is spent fuel plutonium, which is too contaminated to be usable as bomb fuel. The more radioactive the plutonium is, the safer it is with regards to any proliferation potential.

"These nuclear war theme parks are part of a deliberate attempt to trivialize nuclear weapons and to dumb down popular understanding of their environmental and human health legacy."

Does anybody think that the various Holocaust museums, or the fact that you can actually visit the preserved Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps in any way trivializes what happened there? Museums and memorial sites are about things which we deem important to remember. Seems to me that the development, use, and deployment of nuclear weapons properly counts as important. And since when have progressives considered it a bad thing when there is a move towards declassification and opening up formerly secret sites to the public?

"Jarvis insults our intelligence by feigning ignorance of the vast literature concerning the development and use of nuclear weapons which is available in any good library "

Any good library will also have books about wars and the Holocaust. That doesn't even come close to rendering the memorial sites superfluous. There is something about visiting the actual physical site which makes it real in a way that words on page and maybe some grainy little black-and-white photographs cannot.

"radiation in the body in cumulative doses attacks the gene pool in multi-generational perpetuity."

Radiation is one of multiple factors which can contribute to the mutations which are the raw material for decent with modification. And that's been the case for billions of years.

"Enormous radiation releases by commercial reactors and nuclear waste sites -- at Windscale, Chelyabinsk, Tomsk, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, etc. "

Technically, none of those were waste depositories and only two of them were commercial reactors.

"-- have resulted directly from the nuclear weapons program"

The commercial power reactors were more directly descended from marine propulsion reactors than weapons reactors, but even so, there have been many occasions where we have found good uses for technology developed by or for military applications. The origin history of a tool does not forever determine its fate.


#6

"It might interest you to know that Pluto is regarded by astrologers as the "upper octave to Mars, god of war."

The idea for the name of Pluto was suggested by an 11 year old girl, because Pluto could become invisible. Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of the planet, liked the proposal because it started with the initials of Percival Lowell (Tombaugh worked at the Lowell Observatory, and Lowell had predicted the existence of a Planet X). But what if Pluto had been given a different name? What if it had wound up named for a Roman goddess of childbirth, or gaiety, or protection from enemies, or justice? Would it still retain the same astrological significance, or would it have some alternate significance more in keeping with whatever name it wound up with? And is there any reason Greco-Roman mythology should have dominance over any other mythology? In India, the hellish planet we call Venus was associated with Shukra, teacher of demons. To the Maya, Venus was their war planet, and they arranged their battles and sacrifices of prisoners to coincide with significant positions of Venus.

"Indeed, the discovery of nuclear power and its use in armaments coincides with the discovery of this planet."

Plutonium was discovered ten years later than Pluto, and it has uses other than for armaments. Indeed, plutonium provides the power which enabled the New Horizons probe to send back pictures of Pluto's heart-shaped feature. (Maybe we got the names for Venus and Pluto backwards.)

"Pluto has worked to exceed Mars' (and by extension, the war state's) expectations in making death so universal in its potent destructive powers. Think of Oppenheimer's words: "I am become death, the destroyer."

Oppenheimer's words upon the successful detonation in the Trinity test were "It worked". A couple of decades later he recounted thinking of the passage "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" but he doesn't claim to have said, and nobody remembers him actually saying, those words. And in the passage he refers to, "death" is his translation of "kala", which can also mean time or fate. In the context of the passage, Vishnu is urging a hesitant prince Arjuna to attack an army by saying all those warriors have already been foreordained (fated) to be destroyed, and Arjuna is only the instrument. If Oppenheimer was thinking of that passage, he may have imagined himself in the position of Arjuna--ie. not really having any responsibility for the deaths which would ensue.

"Without new myths honored and different stories of our selves, the old gods will not only continue to dominate The Conversation, they will retain their coercive means to maintaining full-scale hegemony over the human race"

That sounds like a good argument for casting the old mythologies of Astrology aside.


#7

The B Reactor shrine is very different than a Holocast museum.

There's is no reality check as regards the 200,000 (ongoing) victims of Hirsohima or Nagasaki. It's a big "jee whiz, hog golly" presentation.

I was horrified a few years a go when a visitor from Japan, one of the Hibakusha ( the Japanese word for the surviving victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) toured Hanford and told me of how the tour guide at the B Reactor had responded to her upon finding out who she was. He didn't miss a beat and kept extolling the wonder of it all.

I don't know. It makes me feel sometimes that Americans as a whole are incapable of waking up and facing facts--past, present and future. Climate Change here we come!


#8

I've researched and toured quite a few of the nuclear weapons facilities and sites in the U.S. Around 1996 I toured the Titan Missile Museum south of Tucson, Arizona. Such sites often utilize people who once worked at the sites as tour guides. Of course they tend to look with pride at how such sites benefited the U.S. and that attitude come across when they give tours. The tour guide didn't mention the megaton yield warheads were capable of wiping out large cities.

A museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, was set up by former administrators of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) where over 900 nuclear test explosions were conducted. That museum has connections with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Again, such museums leave certain negative aspects of the history out of their presentations.

When anti-nuclear factions try to get such museums to present a more comprehensive view these factions tend to be opposed by those who believe that U.S. patriotism should involve painting a more positive picture of U.S. history. In the process, such museums tend to compromise, often leaving out aspects of the history that the anti-nuclear and peace factions believe should be included.

There are eleven sites in the U.S. where underground tests were conducted, usually leaving plutonium laden blast debris underground and under the water table. The marking is poor for all those sites that lie outside the NTS and they are effectively abandoned.

In 1997, a NTS contractor issued a report they did that estimated the cost of partly cleaning up the underground testing areas at the NTS. It was estimated that $7.29-trillion might be needed to do the open-pit mine partial cleanup option. A decision was made, at the field-level, not to pursue that due to many impracticalities. Instead the long term institutional control option was chosen. That means the those responsible for the detonations will need to be payed to monitor the site for the next half-million years. They assumed that future generations will come up with remediation strategies that we do not yet have.

This NTS contractor report is not part of the display at the NTS museum in Las Vegas.

I believe that the off-site underground nuclear explosion test sites should be turned into museums to the hubris of mankind.