The untold story behind the rock that threatens to change the world

The stability of our world rests on a substance that is unstable at the core. This is the fundamental paradox of uranium, the strongest element the earth can yield, and one whose story is a fascinating window into the valor, greed, genius and folly of humanity.

Uranium is a riveting journey to the heart of this eerie mineral, taking us from slave camps in Africa, to desert mesas, war councils, smugglers’ routes, doomsday cults, jungle mines and secret enrichment plants over five continents in a narrative that is equal parts history, investigative journalism and nonfiction thriller.

Winner of the 2011 Science Writing Award from The American Institute of Physics

Praise for Uranium:
“Journeying to such far-flung sites as Congo’s Shinkolobwe uranium mine and a smuggling route along the Russian-Georgian border, Tom Zoellner examines how uranium has helped shape our recent history and could determine our future. Policymakers and citizens alike need to read Uranium.”
The Washington Post

“Crazy fascinating”
—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

“Part history and part travel narrative, the book presents the atomic age not through its scientists or grand strategists, but through its raw material…”
New York Times

“A riveting journey into perilous terrain.”

“Zoellner possesses the gift of making complex science clear, while weaving the saga of the historically unwanted rock into a compelling narrative.”
Christian Science Monitor

“In this fine piece of journalism, Zoellner does for uranium what he did for diamonds in The Heartless Stone—he delves into the complex science, politics and history of this radioactive mineral, which presents the best and worst of mankind.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Who knew that a rock could be so endlessly fascinating? In this engaging geo-thriller, Tom Zoellner leads us through uranium’s dark and colorful past and points us to its possibly terrifying future. Put on your haz-mat suit and prepare yourself for a wild and ultimately sobering ride.”
—Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers, and winner of the PEN award for nonfiction

“Tom Zoellner has written a stunning book about he calls the “apocalyptic pull of uranium.” His reportage reads like a detective story with a cast of characters ranging from H.G. Wells to Robert Oppenheimer to A. Q. Khan. His writing is at once lyrical, historically informative and deeply investigative. Zoellner’s engrossing history of uranium is a formidable achievement.”
—Kai Bird, co-author of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2006

“There may be nothing on this Earth that more powerfully symbolizes human hope and dread than the ‘unstable element’ known as uranium. Tom Zoellner has spun the curious, epoch-defining story of this yellow dirt into journalistic gold.”
—Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic and Survival City

“A cogent, fascinating investigation of one powerful rock that offers a clear explanation of the current state of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, readable for even those who would prefer not to dwell on the matter.”
New West magazine

“This multi-faceted investigation of uranium sheds light on the rock in new and interesting ways, but doesn’t shy away from the controversy that surrounds it.”
Santa Fe Reporter

“One long, cool look at the history of uranium”
Salt Lake Tribune

From the introduction

This all began for me near a mesa in Utah called Temple Mountain, so named because its rectangular shape and jagged spires reminded early Mormon settlers of a house of worship. I had driven into a canyon at the base of the mountain, pitched a tent and eaten a can of chili while sitting on a rock and watching the day’s last sunlight creeping over the red walls to the south.

A set of caves dotted the face of the cliff, their mouths agape. Pyramid-shaped mounds of debris and talus were piled under them, and a rickety wooden ladder was bolted to the sandstone. I realized these weren’t caves at all. They were mine workings.

This made sense. The floor of the valley had that ragged and hard-used look common to many other pieces of wilderness in the American West that had been rich in gold or silver in the 19th century. A braiding of dirt trails was etched into the canyon floor, and the slabs of a stone building and shattered lengths of metal pipe were down there, too, now almost obscured in the dusk. The place had been consumed quickly and then spat out, with a midden of antique garbage left behind.

What kind of ore had been carted away from here? I had never heard of any precious metals being mined in the deserts of Southern Utah. Curiosity got the better of me and I wandered over to a spot down the dirt road where three other people had also set up camp. They were three recent college graduates from Salt Lake City on a spring camping trip. After offering me a beer from their cooler, they told me the holes on the cliff were of much more recent origin than I had thought. Uranium mines had been drilled here after World War II, and the mineral had gone into nuclear weapons. This was common knowledge around Southern Utah.

Uranium. The name seemed magical, and vaguely unsettling. I remembered the boxy Periodic Table of the Elements, where uranium was signified by the letter U. It was fairly high up the scale, meaning there were a lot of small particles called protons clustered in its nucleus. So it was heavy. It was also used to generate nuclear power. I remembered that much from high school science. But it had never quite registered with me that a mineral lying in the crust of the earth – just a special kind of dirt, really — was the home of one of the most violent forces under human control. A paradox there: from dust to dust. The earth came seeded with the means of its own destruction, a geologic original sin.

There was something personal here, too. I had grown up in the 1980s in Tucson, Arizona, a city surrounded with Titan II missiles. One of those warheads was lodged in a concrete silo and surrounded by a square of barbed wire in the desert about twenty miles north of my high school. It was nearly five hundred times as powerful as that of the bomb which leveled Hiroshima. Our city was supposed to have been number eight on the Soviet target list, behind Washington, D.C., the Strategic Air Command headquarters in Omaha, and several other missile fields in the Great Plains. I lived through my adolescence with the understanding that an irreconcilable crisis with Moscow would mean I and my family would be vaporized in white light, and there might be less than ten minutes warning to say goodbye (the brief window of foreknowledge seemed more terrible than the vaporizing). Like most every other American of that day, I subsumed this possibility and carried about my business. There could be no other choice; to dwell on the idea for very long was like looking at the sun.

And now, here I was in a spot which had given up the mineral that had haunted the world for more than half a century. The mouths in the canyon walls at Temple Mountain looked as prosaic as they would have at any other mining operation. They also happened to be in the midst of some of the most gorgeous American landscape I know: the dry and crenellated Colorado Plateau, which spreads across portions of four states in a red maze of canyons, sagebrush plains and bizarre rock formations that, in places, looks like a Martian vista. This, too, was an intriguing paradox: radioactive treasure in a phantasm landscape. After my trip, I plunged into the library and wrote an article for a history magazine about the uranium rush of the 1950s, when the government paid out bonuses to ordinary prospectors to comb the deserts for the basic fuel of the nuclear arms race.

But my fascination with uranium did not end, even years after that night I slept under the cliff ruins. In the present decade, as the U.S. has gone to war in Iraq on the premise of keeping uranium out of the wrong hands – and as tensions mount in Iran over that nation’s plan to enrich the fatal ore – I realized that I still knew almost nothing about this one entry in the Periodic Table that had so drastically reordered the global hierarchy after World War II and continued to amplify some of the darker pulls of humanity: greed, vanity, xenophobia, arrogance and a certain suicidal glee.

My curiosity would eventually take me to twelve different nations. But first I had to relearn some basic matters of science, long forgotten since college. I knew that nuclear energy came from the “splitting” of an atom and the consequent release of energy. But why not copper or oxygen or coffee grounds or orange peels or anything else? Why did this feat require a rare version of uranium, known as U-235, that must be distilled, or “enriched,” from raw uranium?

I started reading again about the infinitesimally small particles called neutrons and protons packed at the center, or nucleus, of atoms, and the negatively charged particles called electrons that whizzed around the nucleus like bees around a hive. If you could find a way to puncture that nucleus, the electrical energy that bound it together would flash outward in a killing wave.

U-235 is uniquely vulnerable to this kind of injury, and I understood this in concept but could not really visualize it until I came across a line written by the physicist Otto Frisch. He described this particular nucleus as a “wobbling, unstable drop ready to divide itself at the slightest provocation.” That image finally brought it home: the basic principle of the atomic bomb.

A uranium atom is simply built too large. It is the heaviest element that occurs in nature, with ninety-two protons jammed into its nucleus. This approaches a boundary of physical tolerance. The heart of uranium, the nucleus, is an aching knot held together with electrical coils that are as fragile as sewing thread – more fragile than in any other atom that occurs in nature. Just the pinprick touch of an invading neutron can rip the whole package apart with hideous force. The subatomic innards of U-235 spray outward like the shards of a grenade, and these fragments burst the skins of neighboring uranium nuclei and the effect blossoms exponentially, shattering a trillion trillion atoms within the space of one orgiastic second. A single atom of uranium is strong enough to twitch a grain of sand. A sphere of it the size of a grapefruit can eliminate a city.

xi “a wobbly, unstable drop” What Little I Remember, by Otto Frisch, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).

x “A single atom of uranium” Also an image from Frisch, taken from The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986).

xi “They left several of their packing crates” “From X-Rays to Fission, A Metamorphosis in Mining,” by Clay T. Smith, in Geology of the Paradox Basin Fold and Fault Belt, Third Field Conference (Durango, Colo.: Four Corners Geological Society, 1960).

2 “The provincial governor” Assessment Mission of the Shinkolobwe Uranium Mine, Democratic Republic of Congo, written by the Joint United Nations Environment Program and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated 2004 and published in Geneva.

3 “Leopold had enlisted” The source of this and the following paragraph is the unforgettable King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschild (New York: Mariner Books, 1998).

4 “What he saw there” Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (London: Penguin, 1995).

4 “Locals were paid” L’histoire du Congo, 1910-1945, by Jules Marchal (Borgloon, Belgium: Editions Paula Bellings, 1999), as well as “Pouch Letter 39,” a declassified memo written by the American OSS agent Wilbur O. Hogue, sent on July 5, 1944, and on file in the National Archives, “Records of the Office of Strategic Services,” Record Group 226, Entry 108C..

5 “When the Nazis invaded Belgium” The Road to Trinity, by Kenneth D. Nichols (New York: Morrow, 1987)

6 “on display in the nearby city” Inside Africa, by John Gunther (New York: Harper & Row, 1953).

6 “There were only seventeen” The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence, by Martin Meredith (New York: Free Press, 2005).

7 “In the confusion” Chief of Station, Congo: Fighting the Cold War in a Hot Zone, by Larry Devlin (New York: Public Affairs, 2007).

8 “This reactor” In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo, by Michela Wrong (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001).

8 “The cooling water” These and other details are from In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, Wrong, and “Missing Keys, Holes in Fence and a Single Padlock: Welcome to Congo’s Nuclear Plant,” in Chris McGreal in The Guardian, Nov. 23, 2006.

8 “a supposed unwritten clause” The etemology of the notorious Article Fifteen is explained in In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, Wrong. The phrase is also discussed in “Bumba: the city where cyclists are heroes,” by Colette Braeckman, in the UNESCO Courier, February 2001.

10 “a customs official” This incident, and the earlier one in Tanzania, was covered in “’Uranium’ Seized in Tanzania” from the British Broadcasting Company on Nov. 14, 2002 and “Iran’s Plot to Mine Uranium in Africa,” in London’s Sunday Times, August 6, 2006.

11 “A United Nations panel” “Letter dated 18 July 2006 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo addressed to the President of the Security Council, conveying the report of the Group of Experts,” available from the United Nations in New York.

11 “The horizontal chambers” Assessment Mission of the Shinkolobwe Uranium Mine, Democratic Republic of Congo, written by the Joint United Nations Environment Program and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated 2004 and published in Geneva.

11 “not hard to conceal” Digging in Corruption: Fraud, Abuse and Exploitation in Katanga’s Copper and Cobalt Mines, a team-written report researched and published in July 2006 by Global Witness, London, as well as The State vs. The People: Governance, Mining and the Transitional Regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo, by Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa, and published in Amsterdam in 2006.

12 “have been sold in Katanga” Undated Congolese government intelligence brief “Unofficial Exploitation of Uranium at the Shinkolobwe Mine in Katanga,” (author unknown).

12 “marijuana” “The Seven Myths of Nuclear Terrorism,” by Matthew Bunn and Anthony Wier, Current History, April 2005, and is also cited in The Atomic Bazaar, by William Langewishce (New York: FSG, 2007).

15 “The range was known” Uranium Matters: Central European Uranium in International Politics 1900-1960, by Zbynek Zeman and Rainer Karlsch (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2008).

15 “a radical sect” Pursuit of the Millennium, by Norman Cohn (Fairlawn, N.J.: Essential Books, 1957).

15 “Restless young men” “The Silver Mines of the Erzgebirge and the Peasant’s War of 1525 in Light of Recent Research,” by George Waring, in Sixteenth Century Journal, summer 1987.

16 “One local strongman” Jachymov: The City of Silver, Radium and Therapeutic Water, by Hana Hornatova (Prague: Medeia Bohemia, 2000).

16 “took its linguistic rootsAtomic Rivals, by Bertrand Goldschmidt (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990).

17 “When the silver ran out” Ibid, and “History of Uranium,” by Fathi Habashi and Vladimir Dufek, in the CIM Bulletin, Jan. 2001, published by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.

17 “a sample found its way” The Deadly Element, by Lennard Bickel (Hong Kong: Macmillan, 1979).

18 “spans thousands of years” The World Set Free: A Story of Mankind, by H.G. Wells (Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1914).

19 “dismissed by the critics” H.G. Wells: His Turbulent Life and Times, by Lovett Dickson (New York: Macmillan, 1969), and The Science Fiction of H.G. Wells by Frank McConnell; and H.G. Wells, by Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1973).

19 “the energy there must be enormous” The Interpretation of Radium, by Frederick Soddy (London: John Murray, Ablemarle St., 1912).

20 “It’s luminosity came from within” “Radium and Radioactivity,” by Marie Curie, in Century magazine, January 1904.

21 “the slag heaps” “Marie and Pierre Curie and the Discovery of Polonium and Radium,” by Nancy Froman, Dec. 1, 1996, at http://nobelprize.org.

22 “Doctors confirmed” “Radiation Hormesis,” by Jennifer L. Prekeges in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, November 2003.

23 “a blue-eyed American” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes

24 “When he finally stood” http://nobelprize.org

24 “these universal builing blocks” Atom: Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos by Isaac Asimov and D.H. Bach (New York: Plume, 1992).

26 “took a second look” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes.

27 “’I was brought up’” The birth of the nuclear atom,” by E.N. Andrade, Rutherford Memorial Lecuture, delivered October 4, 1957 in Melbourne.

28 “a bit of a nuetral particle himself” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes.

28 “’an invisible man’” Doomsday Men, by P.D. Smith (London: Allen Lane, 2007).

28 “’We still have far to go’” “The Atom is Giving Up Its Mighty Secrets,” by Waldemar Kaempffert, The New York Times, May 8, 1932.

28 “he became irritated” This famous crossing of a London street is related in several places, with only minor variants, most notably The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes; Michael Bess, “Leo Szilard: Scientist, Activist, Visionary,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 1985; Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts, edited by Spencer Weart and Gertrud Weiss Szilard (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1980); and, Doomsday Men, Smith.

31 “sat down for breakfastWhat Little I Remember, Frisch.

33 “The split halves of the uranium” “Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction,” by O.R. Frisch and Lise Meitner, Nature, Feb. 1939.

33 “the center of a big city” “Memorandum on the Properties of a Radioactive “’Super-Bomb,’” by Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls, reprinted in Remembering the Manhattan Project: Perspectives on the Making of the Atomic Bomb and Its Legacy, by Cynthia C. Kelly (Singapore: World Scientific, 2005).

34 “It is remarkable” Letter reprinted in Leo Szilard: His Version of the Facts, Weart and Szilard; also, Doomsday Men, Smith.

35 “work on the newest” “Vast Energy Freed by Uranium Atom,” The New York Times, January 31, 1939.

40 “perhaps the closest thing he had to a friend” Racing for the Bomb: Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project’s Indispensable Man, by Robert S. Norris (Hanover, N.H.: Steerforth Press, 2003).

41 “’The bomb was latent in nature.’” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes, which also discussed the strides toward the bomb in other belligerent nations.

41 “In France” Atomic Rivals, Goldschmidt.

41 “moved to complain” Stalin and the Bomb, by David Holloway (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).

42 “He made a cup” Atomic Quest by Arthur Compton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956).

43 “swarm of inexperienced young men” Early Days in Katanga, by Robert Rich Sharp (Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia: Rhodesia Printers, Ltd., 1956).

44 “’The Congo can best be understood’” Untitled memo dated Oct. 31, 1944 and on file in the National Archives, “Records of the Office of Strategic Services,” Record Group 226, Entry 108C. See also “Rip Veil From Belgian Congo Uranium Mine,” a Reuters dispatch reprinted in the Chicago Daily Tribune on Nov. 7, 1956; “Shinkolobwe: Key to the Congo,” by Ritchie Calder, in The Nation, Feb. 25, 1961; and “Africa Holds Key to Atomic Future,” by George Padmore in the Chicago Defender, Sept. 8, 1945, and a untitled memo dated Oct. 31, 1944 and on file in the National Archives, “Records of the Office of Strategic Services,” Record Group 226, Entry 108C.

44 “The man who had oversight” “Mystery Man of the A-Bomb,” by John Gunther in Reader’s Digest, December 1953.

45 “’Never allow a lawyer’” Uranium Trail East by Cordell Richardson (London: Bachman & Turner, 1977).

46 “’Be careful’” Now It Can Be Told, by Leslie Groves (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1962).

46 “a three story warehouse” The Traveler’s Guide to Nuclear Weapons Sites by Timothy L. Karpin and James M. Maroncelli (Lacey, Wash.: Historical Odysseys Publishers, 2002).

47 “a different of meeting” The Road to Trinity, by Kenneth D. Nichols (New York: Morrow, 1987), also La Mangeuse de Cuivre: La Saga de l’Union Minière du Haut – Katanga 1906 – 1966, by F. Lekime (Brussels: Didier Hatier, 1992).

48 “a dummy account” Now It Can Be Told, Groves.

48 “hired consultants from Union Carbide” The Guarin report is republished in the anthology The Secret History of the Atomic Bomb (New York: Dell Publishing, 1977).

49 “’to hoard the sea.’” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes.

49 “an exclusive buying contract” Gathering Rare Ores: The Diplomacy of Uranium Acquisition, 1943-1954, by Jonathan E. Helmreich, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986).

49 “’this stuff will make you sterile’” The Road to Trinity, Nichols.

50 “watch the site” A Private War: An American Code Staffer in the Belgian Congo, by Robert Laxalt (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1998).

51 “a crude spherical fission device” The Making of the Atomic Age, by Alwyn McKay (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).

51 “two small towns” “The First Fifty Years,” in the Oak Ridge National Laboratories Review, Volume 25, 3-4, 1992.

52 “the grain silo” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes.

52 “one of his maxims” Racing for the Bomb, Norris

52 “’cryptic conversations’” Memo from Joe Volpe to Phillip Merritt dated Jan. 3, 1945 and on file in the National Archives, “Manhattan Engineering District, General Administrative Files, General Correspondence 1942-1948,” Record Group 77, Entry 5.

52 “no use except widespread destruction” Plutonium: A History of the World’s Most Dangerous Element, by Jeremy Bernstein (Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 2007).

53 “a few cheerily burning fires”

54 “a costly embarrassment” Racing for the Bomb, Norris.

55 “tucked away in the box keel” Germany’s Last Mission to Japan: The Failed Voyage of U-234, by Joseph Mark Scalia (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2000).

57 “radioed an order” Document reproduced in Critical Mass: How Nazi Germany Surrendered Enriched Uranium For The United States Atomic Bomb, by Carter Hydrick (Houston, Tex.: JiffyLine, 1998).

57 “a possibility thus hangs” “Captured Cargo, Captivating Mystery,” by William J. Broad, The New York Times, Dec. 31, 1995.

58 “working as an attorney” The obituary “John Lansdale, 91, Hunter of Nazi Atomic-Bomb Effort,” by Anahad O’Connor, The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2003.

58 “’When I heard about the uranium’” Lansdale was interviewed for the 2001 film Hitler’s Last U-Boat, directed by Andreas Gutzeit and distributed by International Historic Films, Inc. of Chicago.

59 “The entry for 10:33 a.m.” This daybook is in the possession of Robert S. Norris, author of Racing for the Bomb.

59 “’We wouldn’t care’” Bethe was interviewed for the film Hitler’s Last U-Boat.

59 “unctuous, replusively good little boy” These and other details in this section were taken from American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin (New York: Knopf, 2005). Other details of life at Los Alamos are in 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos, by Jenant Conant (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2005).

60 “crude sketch of a bomb” The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes.

60 “There they were” Nuclear Muse: Literature, Physics and the First Atomic Bomb, by John Canady (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000).

60 “A whole social world” “Now They Can Be Told Aloud, Those Stories of ‘The Hill,’” by William McNulty in the Santa Fe New Mexican, August 7, 1945.

60 “a vacationing reporter” Racing for the Bomb, Norris.

61 “blinking in the bright sunshine” What Little I Remember, Frisch.

61 “’The object of the project’Los Alamos Primer, by Robert Serber (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).

62 “a hairsbredth of ecoming critical” What Little I Remember, Frisch

65 “’There was an enormous ball of fire’” Rabi’s quote was taken from “After the Bomb, A Mushroom Cloud of Metaphors,” by James Gleick in The New York Times, May 21, 1989; and also Picturing the Bomb, by Rachel Fermi and Esther Samra (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995).

66 “The caller then hung up” “Mystery Man of the A-Bomb,” by John Gunther in Reader’s Digest, December 1953.

67 “A squad of soldiers” Details from the first few seconds of the blast are taken from Robert Jay Lifton’s Death in Life (New York: Random House, 1967) and also quoted in Rhodes.

67 “A school for girls” “Imagining Nuclear Weapons: Hiroshima, Armageddon and the Annihilation of the Ichijo School,” by James Foard, in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 1997.

68 “one-third of the weight of a Lincoln penny” The Curve of Binding Energy, by John McPhee (New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1973).

68 “’Much living substance’”  “Atom Bombing of Nagasaki Told by Flight Member,” by William L. Laurence, New York Times, Sept. 9, 1945.

70 “Anticipation of the end” Much of the theological material in this section was drawn from Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism, by Robert Jay Lifton (New York: Owl Books, 1998); The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium, by Damian Thompson (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1996). Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith, by Norman Cohn (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993); Apocalypses: Prophesies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs through the Ages, by Eugen Weber (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999); Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America, by Charles B. Strozier (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994); The Torment of Secrecy, by Edward A. Shils (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1956); “A Comet’s Tale,” by Tom Bissell in Harper’s, Feb. 2003; and most especially, the excellent When Time Shall Be No More, by Paul S. Boyer (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap, 1992).

71 “’The city burning’” “The Santa Ana,” by Joan Didion, The Saturday Evening Post, August 26, 1967.

72 “’The four sinister horsemen’” Answer to Job, by Carl Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973).

72 “’The nearest thing to Doomsday’” This quote appears, among other places, in March to Armageddon: The United States and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1939 to the Present, by Ronald Powaski (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).

72 “Normally sober newspapers” Some of the editorials quoted here, as well as the gloomy reports from Washington, are drawn from the dilligent work of University of Wisconsin historian Paul S. Boyer, whose By the Bomb’s Early Light (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994) is probably the best examination of 1940s Cold War mentality ever written.

73 “’Instead of the anticipated wave’” Republished in The Manhattan Project, ed. Cynthia Kelly (New York: Workman Publishing, 2007).

73 “The usually stolid” Other period journalism comes from “Fantastic World Envisioned With Atomic Energy,” by Chiles Coleman, reprinted in, among other papers, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on August 7, 1945; “U.S. Warns Artist Who Sketched Bomb,” in The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 1945; “Wellsian Apocalypse,” in The Washington Post, Oct. 25, 1945; “Atom Discounted as Rival of Coal,” in The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 8, 1945; the Aug. 7, 1945 Associated Press dispatch “Vatican City Paper Deplores Creation of ‘Catastrophic’ Weapon.”

74 “’Whatever elation’” “Modern Man is Obsolete,” by Norman Cousins, Saturday Review, August 29, 1945 and quoted in Life Under A Cloud: American Anxiety About the Atom, by Allan M. Winkler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

74 “’an event so much more enormous’” Time, August 20, 1945.

75 “A poll taken” Quoted in Life Under a Cloud, Winkler.

75 “’to wipe from the face of the earth’” Quoted in Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, by Spencer R. Weart (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988).

77 “The comedian” Quoted in The Nuclear Jihadist, by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins (New York: Twelve Books, 2007).

77 “guarantee the value” “Uranium Metal” in Scientific American, February 1947.

77 “he retold the story” “Mystery Man of the A-Bomb,” by John Gunther in Reader’s Digest, December 1953.

77 “later visited” Inside Africa, Gunther.

78 “off limits” “Congo is Blind to the Richest Uranium Mine,” by AP reporter Arthur L. Gavshon in The Washington Post, Aug. 6, 1950.

78 “tool of global hegemony” “New Responsibilities,” in Science News Letter, August 18, 1945.

79 “The story tells of” The Collected Short Prose of James Agee, edited by Robert Fitzgerald (London: Calder and Boyars, 1973).

79 “In the White House,” This exchange is retold, with slight variations, in the following places: Life Under a Cloud, Winkler; American Prometheus, Bird and Sherwin, and 109 East Palace, Conant.

80 “’Frankenstein’” The commentator is H.V. Kaltenborn, quoted in By The Bomb’s Early Light, Boyer.

81 “as he once put it” Dawn Over Zero, by William L. Laurence (New York: Knopf, 1946).

81 “He was born” Laurence offered candid reflections on his life and convictions in two oral history interviews, whose typed transcripts are on file in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York City. One was conducted by Scott Bruns in 1964; the other by Louis Starr in 1957.

81 “the butt of a soldier’s rifle” William Laurence of The Times Dies,” New York Times, March 19, 1977.

83 “left the meeting in a daze” Men and Atoms, by William L. Laurence (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1959).

83 “a freelanced story” “The Atom Gives Up,” The Saturday Evening Post, Sept. 7, 1940.

84 “The marriage became formal” How I Got That Story, by members of the Overseas Press Club (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1967).

84 “’crackpots, columnists, commentators,’” Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial, by Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell (New York: Avon Books, 1995).

85 “a pile of metal cubes” Dawn Over Zero, Laurence.

85 “The atomic age began” Ibid.

86 “’highly exaggerated, even phony’” Laurence’s influence and failings have been scrutinized in The Myths of August, by Stewart Udall; News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb, by Beverly Ann Deepe Keever (Monroe, Me.: Common Courage Press, 2004); Nuclear Fear, Weart; and, most especially, in the peerless Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial, Lifton and Mitchell.

88 “’It was early morning’” Laurence recalls this mid-air reverie in his 1964 Columbia oral history interview, and it comes in for psychological decoding in Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial, Lifton and Mitchell.

89 “The news story he wrote” “Atom Bombing of Nagasaki Told by Flight Member,” New York Times, Sept. 9, 1945.

89 “The public relations crisis” The conflicting accounts in this section were unearthed in The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them, by David Goodman and Amy Goodman (New York: Hyperion, 2004). The authors have called for Laurence to be stripped of his Pultizer Prize.

90 “He quoted Groves” “U.S. Atom Bombsite Belies Tokyo Tales,” New York Times, Sept. 12, 1945.

90 “without a trace of regretDawn Over Zero, Laurence.

91 “’Today we are standing’” “Paradise or Doomsday?” Woman’s Home Companion, May 1948.

92 “’pea’” “Cliché Expert Testifies on the Atom,” by Frank Sullivan, The New Yorker, November 17, 1945, and quoted in By The Bomb’s Early Light, Boyer.

92 “privately skeptical” The Journals of David E. Lilienthal (New York: Harper and Row, 1983).

93 “a slick comic book” By The Bomb’s Early Light, Boyer.

93 “described by the explorer” Quoted in Savage Dreams, by Rebecca Solnit (New York: Vintage, 1994).

93 “The surface blasts” Some of the color of this era is taken from copies of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on file at the Nevada State Museum, as well as “The Mushroom Cloud as Kitsch,” by A. Titus Considine in the anthology Atomic Culture, edited by Scott C. Zeman and Michael A. Amundson (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2004); Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics, by A. Constandina Titus (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2001); “The Melted Dog: Memories of an Atomic Childhood,” by Judith Miller in The New York Times, March 30, 2005; and Nuclear Fear, Weart.

94 “’as hot as a two dollar pistol!’” Nukespeak: The Selling of Nuclear Technology in America, by Stephen Hilgartner, Richard Bell and Rory O’Conner (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1982).

94 “Wayne’s worst movie” “The Conqueror and Other Bombs,” by Bob Davis, Mother Jones, June 9, 1998.

95 “a revised outline” This episode is recounted in mutiple places, including By The Bomb’s Early Light, Boyer.

95 “’If there are to be atomic weapons’” Quoted in Life Under a Cloud, Winkler.

97 “This was the intellectual cornerstone” Bernard Brodie and Foundations of American Nuclear Strategy, by Barry Steiner (Lawrence, Kan: The University Press of Kansas, 1991).

97 “The buildup eventually cost taxpayers” Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, edited by Stephen I. Schwartz, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998); and Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race, by Richard Rhodes (New York: Knopf, 2007).

97 “’We can’t use those awful things’” The American Age: United States Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad Since 1750, by Walter LeFeber (New York: W. W. Norton, 1989).

98 “a glitter more secuctive” Disturbing the Universe, by Freeman Dyson (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

98 “power to make a star” Savage Dreams, Solnit.

98 “blinding flash” Quoted in Survival City: Adventures Among the Ruins of Atomic America, by Tom Vanderbilt (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002).

98 “a grim epiphany” Here Is New York (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948).

99 “The civil defense” Survival City, Vanderbilt

99 “cellars” Ibid.

100 “house a replacement government” “Is This Bush’s Secret Bunker?” by Tom Vanderbilt in The Guardian, August 26, 2006.

100 “The most fundamental of nuclear cliches” Our Friend The Atom, by Heinz Haber (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1957).

100 “signature jingle” A clip can be viewed in the 1981 documentary film Atomic Café directed by Jayne Loader and Kevin Rafferty.

101 “loud guffaws” “Power from the Atom: An Appraisal,” by C.G. Suits in Nucleonics, Feb. 1951 and quoted in “Atomic Myths, Radioactive Realities: Why Nuclear Power is the Poor Way to Meet Energy Needs,” by Arjun Makhijani in the Journal of Land, Resources & Environmental Law, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2004.

101 “an il-fated AEC initiative” Information on Plowshare was drawn from “Peaceful Atomic Blasting,” in Time, March 4, 1958; “Radiation Drops in A-Blast Zone,” by Bill Becker in The New York Times, Dec. 11, 1961; and “U.S. A-Bomb Test Releases Radiation,” by Bill Becker in The New York Times, December 10, 1961; Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology, by Robert Pool (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); and in Proving Grounds: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving, by Scott Kirsch (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005).

103 “Opponents of the plan” The Curve of Binding Energy, McPhee.

103 “dreamy utterance” The Samson Option by Seymour Hersh (New York: Random House, 1991).

104 “at the beginning of a career” Feinberg is profiled in “Going Steady,” in Time magazine, August 29, 1955, and The Bomb in the Basement (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2006) by Michael Karpin.

105 “stoke a secret reactor” Sources include the June 1981 United Nations report “Israel: Nuclear Armament,” prepared by Ali Mazuri, et.al.; Israel and the Bomb, by Avner Cohen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998); “Recipe for an Israeli Nuclear Arsenal” by Martha Wegner in Middle East Report, November 1986; and The Samson Option, Hersh.

107 “Fund raising for Dimona” Israel and the Bomb, Cohen; and The Bomb in the Basement, Karpin.

107 “shown nothing” The Samson Option, Hersh.

109 “gave a detailed description” The Vanunu story was first told in “Revealed: The Secrets of Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal” in the London Sunday Times of Oct. 5, 1986, and the tale of “Cindy” and her Roman flat is related in “Mordechai Vanunu” in The Guardian, April 16, 2004.

111 “A nation with the power of annihilation” “Myth-Building: The ‘Islamic’ Bomb,” by Pervez Hoodbhoy in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1993.

111 “The memory that no country” “The Nuclear Arsenal in the Middle East,” by Frank Barnaby in Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn 1987.

111 “the hole card” The Samson Option, Hersh.

112 “Plans were elaborate” The Plumbat Affair first broke in The Los Angeles Times in a story headlined “200 Tons of Uranium Lost; Israel May Have It,” by Robert Gillette on April 29, 1977. The New York Times followed up with “Escort Unit Urged for Uranium Cargo,” on April 30, 1977; a later op-ed titled “The Plumbat Affair,” by Paul S. Leventhal, April 30, 1978; and also “Uranium Loss Fails To Change Security,” February 25, 1979. Time magazine exposed more details in “Uranium: The Israeli Connection” on May 30, 1977.

115 “Khan flew home” The story of A.Q. Khan has been told in several places, but the following sources contributed most heavily to this section: the 2007 dossier Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks by the staff of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London; the outstanding book The Atomic Bazaar, by William Langewishce (New York: FSG, 2007); the British Broadcasting Company documentary “The Nuclear Wal Mart,” reported by Jane Corbin, aired on Nov. 12, 2006; “A Tale of Nuclear Proliferation,” in The New York Times, Feb. 12, 2003; and The Nuclear Jihadist, by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins (New York: Twelve Books, 2007).

115 “a steel or aluminum rotor” “A Tantalizing Look at Iran’s Nuclear Program,” by William J. Broad, New York Times, April 29, 2008.

116 “ogling pretty girls” The Atomic Bazaar, Langewische.

116 “’Top secret centrifuge drawings’” Interview broadcast in “The Nuclear Wal-Mart,” Corbin.

117 “weak export laws” Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks, IISS.

118 “hailed as a genius” “Abdul Qadeer Khan: The Man Behind the Myth,” by Zeba Khan, republished by the Human Development Foundation at yespakistan.com.

119 “a luxury hotel” “Khan Built Hotel in Timbuktu,” The Times of India, Feb. 1, 2004.

119 “a fleshy, banquet-fed man” The Atomic Bazaar, Langewische.

120 “only the beginning” Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks, IISS.

121 “Khan’s own voice” A clip of this ad can be viewed in “The Nuclear Wal-Mart,” Corbin.

121 “peace guarantors” Ibid.

121 “A complete blank check” “The Bomb Merchant,” by William J. Broad and David Sanger, in The New York Times, Dec. 26, 2004.

122 “desert city state” “An Unlikely Criminal Crossroads,” in U.S. News and World Report, Dec. 5, 2005; and “Boom Town” The Guardian, Feb. 13, 2006

122 “’Mr. John’” Hide and Seek: Intelligence, Law Enforcement and the Stalled War on Terrorist Finance, by John Cassara (Dulles, Va.: Potomoc Books, 2006).

123 “for use at a plant” “How Gadhafi Got His Groove Back,” by Judith Miller, The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2006.

123 “’the Beast’” The Nuclear Jihadist, Frantz and Collins.

123 “’What qualifies the Americans’” “The Nuclear Wal-Mart,” Corbin.

127 “a mediation group” The story of this cult and their uranium-gathering activities is told in “A Case Study on the Aum Shinrikyo,” by the staff of the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Oct. 31, 1995; Aum Shinrikyo, Al-Queda and the Kinshasa Reactor: Implications of Three Case Studies for Combating Nuclear Terrorism, by Sara Daly, John Parachini and William Rosenau (Santa Monica, Calif: The RAND Corporation, 2005);  “The Changing Proliferation Threat,” by John F. Sopko in Foreign Policy, Winter 1996-97; “The AFP Investigation into Japanese Cult Activities in Western Australia,” a case study compiled by Richard Crothers of the Australian Federal Police, April 24, 2007.

128 “the teachings got weirder” The psychology and doctrine of the group is dissected in Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism, by Robert Jay Lifton (New York: Owl Books, 1998); and The End of Time: Faith and Fear in the Shadow of the Millennium, by Damian Thompson (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1996).

131 “last true mineral rush” “The Uranium Rush” by Tom Zoellner in The American Heritage of Invention and Technology, Summer 2000.

131 “A whole land of naked rock” Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries: Explored in 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872, Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, by John Wesley Powell, Almon Harris Thompson, Elliott Coues and George Brown Goode (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1875).

132 “”Good for nothing’” Grand Memories, by Phyllis Cortes (Grand County, Utah: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, 1978), and quoted in “Hot Rocks Made Big Waves,” by Amberly Knight in Utah Historical Quarterly, Winter 2001, as well as the fall 2006 edition of Canyon Legacy, the journal of the Dan O’Laurie Museum in Moab.

132 “The choice was curious” The Far Country: A Regional History of Moab and La Sal, Utah, by Faun McConkie Tanner (Salt Lake City: Olympic Publishing, 1976).

133 “Moab ballooned” Details in this section were drawn from One Man’s West, by David Lavender (New York: Doubleday, 1964); The Redrock Chronicles, by Tom H. Watkins (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000); Yellowcake Towns: Uranium Mining Communities in the American West, by Michael Amundson (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2002); “The Time of the Great Fever,” by Larry Meyer, American Heritage, June/July 1981; and Quest for the Golden Circle: The Four Corners and the Metropolitan West, 1945-1970, by Arthur R. Gomez (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994). Also of great help was the dissertation “A History of the Uranium Industry on the Colorado Plateau,” by Gary Shumway, University of Southern California, January 1970. Shumway’s master’s thesis “The Development of the Uranium Industry in San Juan County, Utah,” Brigham Young University, July 1964, also provided source material.

133 “the smoke-dense air” Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1990)

133 “life of golf and cocktails”“Uranium is People,” by Paul Schubert in Empire magazine, republished in Reader’s Digest, March 1953.

133 “an owl-eyed Texan” Reality and mythology tend to merge when Charlie Steen is discussed in southern Utah, and I drew from multiple sources for this part of the chapter: “Uranium Millionaire,” by Jack Goodman, The New York Times, Oct. 17, 1954; “Uranium Mining Stocks Feed Gambling Fever,” by Jack R. Ryan, The New York Times, June 20, 1954; “Uranium: Jackpot in Utah,” in Business Week, August 1, 1953; “Ordinary Was Radioactive to Charlie Steen, The Uranium King,” by Gary Massaro, The Rocky Mountain News, March 16, 2006; and “Fallout in the Family,” by Ward Havarky in Denver’s Westword, February 19, 1998. But this section depended most heavily upon Uranium Frenzy, by Raye Ringholz (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989), the definitive history of the uranium story in the American Southwest, which delves deep into the life of Steen.

135 “special misery” This horrid chapter in Czech history might have been consigned to obscurity were it not for the work of historian Zbynek Zeman. His articles “The Beginnings of National Enterprise Jachymov (Joachimsthal),” in Der Anschnitt, March 1998, and “Czech Uranium and Stalin’s Bomb” in Historian, Autumn 2000 have done much to bring the truth into public view, and were used in the writing of this chapter.

136 “promised the United Nations” Ibid.

136 “Plan of Action T-43” Some of the original documents, including this one, are on display at the Royal Mint in St. Jochimsthal.

137 “’a nightmare’” Ibid.

137 “Sedivy was senetenced” Frantisek Sedivy was kind enough to give me a copy of his autobiography, The Legion of the Living (Prague: Eva-Milan Nevole, 2003) which supplied some of the details of his incarceration. He also wrote a novel based on his experience, Under the Tower of Death (Prague: Eva-Milan Nevole, 2003). Grateful thanks to Marketa Naylor for translation assistance.

139 “’a beautiful, expertly-trained police dog’” “Soft Norms in a Spa,” by Joseph Wechsberg in The New Yorker, May 3, 1952.

141 “a security zone” Rainer Karlsch of the Free University of Berlin colloborated with Zeman on Uranium Matters: Central European Uranium in International Politics 1900-1960 (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2008), which was a source for a few details in this chapter, including the supposed “acts of sabotage” at Wismut and the bedsheets at St. Joachimsthal.

141 “Jachymov Hell” Jachymov: The City of Silver, Radium and Therapeutic Water, by Hana Hornatova (Prague: Medeia Bohemia, 2000).

142 “the strike of a lifetime” “Miner’s Luck,” by Henry Winfred Splitter in Western Folklore, October 1956; and History of California by Theodore Henry Hittell (San Francisco: N.J. Stone & Company, 1898).

145 “the drill bit broke off the pipe” The story has been told in several places, but none better than in Uranium Frenzy, Ringholz.

146 “in full view of Route 66” The Coming Thing,” by Daniel Lang in The New Yorker, March 21, 1953, also the source for the rest of Martinez’s story.

147 “an affable Minnesota electrician” “Vernon Pick’s $10 Million Ordeal” Life, November 1954; “The Time of the Great Fever,” by Larry Meyer, American Heritage, June/July 1981.

148 “a wedge of crunchy pink mortar” Interviews with miners were recorded and preserved by Gary Shumway in the early 1970s and are on file in the special collections division of California State University at Fullerton.

150 “camp trailers down by the river”White Canyon: Remembering the Little Town at the Bottom of Lake Powell, by Tom McCourt (Price, Utah: Southpaw Publications, 2003).

150 “an entire carnival” “Ordinary Was Radioactive to Charlie Steen, The Uranium King,” by Gary Massaro, The Rocky Mountain News, March 16, 2006.

151 “first dug in the twelfth century” Information about the culture and operations of Wismut were drawn from materials on exhibit at the excellent Museum Uranbergau in Schelma, Germany. Grateful thanks to curator Herman Meinel for translation assistance, and from Martha Brantley, who helped me speak with former Wismut miners.

152 “a state mining company with a deceptive name” Further details are from The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-49, by Norman Naimark (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1995); Stalin and the Bomb, by David Holloway (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994); “Zhukov and the Atomic Bomb,” author unknown, (Munich: Radio Free Europe, 1957); Uranium Matters: Central European Uranium in International Politics 1900-1960, Zeman and Karlsch; and the doctoral dissertation The Quest For Uranium: The Soviet Uranium Mining Industry in Eastern Germany, 1945-1967, by Traci Heitschmidt, on file in the library at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Grateful thanks to Rainer Karlsch, whose own work in this area has been groundbreaking and who provided encouragement and direction.

152 “a mining director named Schmidt” “The Saxony Mining Operation,” reprinted in Soviet Economic Policy in Postwar Germany (New York: Research Program on the USSR, 1953).

153 “Stalin had told” Stalin and the Bomb, Holloway; also, Bomb Scare, by Joseph Cirincione (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

154 “The CIA’s forecast” Legacy of Ashes, by Tim Weiner (New York: Doubleday, 2007).

155 “the hat revealed traces” Shadow Flights: America’s Secret Air War against the Soviet Union, by Curtis Peebles (New York: Presidio Press, 2000) and the declassified background paper titled “On the Soviet Nuclear Scent,” by Henry S. Lowenhaupt of the Central Intelligence Agency (undated).

155 “at the edge of the mining zone” Prowling Russia’s Forbidden Zone, by Werner Knop (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1949).

157 “True West” Canyon Legacy, summer 2006.

158 “cheap storefronts” “Quackery in the Atomic Age,” in Business Week, Aug. 29, 1953.

159 “a televised episode” “Uranium on the Cranium,” an essay by Michael Admundson in the anthology Atomic Culture: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, ed. Admundson and Scott C. Zeman (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2005).

159 “crusading atomic patriotism” The Senate campaign and the cranky speech at Texas Western are from Uranium Frenzy, Ringholz.

162 “Personal gain”Uranium Matters: Central European Uranium in International Politics 1900-1960, Zeman and Karlsch.

167 “a calm but relentless voice” “Pechblende,” by Michael Beleties, reprinted in Wechselwirkung, May 1989.

168 “knew of these dangers” More than any one person, former U.S. Interior Secretary Stewart Udall has helped drag this sorry reality into the light. His excellent The Myths of August, (New York: Pantheon, 1994) was a key source for this section. Raye Ringholz has also written in-depth on this subject in Uranium Frenzy.


169 “’They weren’t getting paid much’” Blue Mountain Shadows, Winter 2001, published by the San Juan County Historic Society.


170 “soldiers of the Cold War” White Canyon: Remembering the Little Town at the Bottom of Lake Powell, McCourt


171 “became a hot place to mine” The practical methods of mining on the Navajo reservation are recounted in the excellent If You Poison Us: Uranium and Native Americans, by Peter Eichstaedt (Santa Fe: Red Crane Books, 1994), as well as “The Coming Thing,” Lang.

172 “’Saudi Arabia of uranium’” “Blighted Homeland,” a four-part series by Judy Pasternak in The Los Angeles Times from Nov. 19-22, 2007.


172 “At least six hundred Americans” “Udall: Navajo ‘Cancer Free’ Until Uranium,” by Kathy Helms in The Gallup Independent, Nov. 15, 2007; “Toxic Targets” by Jim Motavalli in E magazine, July 1998; “Lung Cancer in a Nonsmoking Uranium Miner” by Karen B. Mulloy et. al. in Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 109, 2001; “The History of Uranium Mining and the Navajo People,” by Doug Brugge and Rob Goble in American Journal of Public Health, September 2002.

172 “far greater in the Ore Mountains” “Lung Cancer Risk Among German Male Uranium Miners,” by B. Grosche, et. al. in British Journal of Cancer, October 2006; and “Diseases of Uranium Miners and Other Underground Miners Exposed to Radon,” by J.M. Samet and D.W. Mapel in Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 1998.

174 “’My pilgrimage’” Atomic Rivals, Goldschmidt.

178 “began to squabble” “Fallout in the Family,” by Ward Havarky in Denver’s Westword, February 19, 1998.

178 “puportedly demanded” “Man on Probation in Attempt to Extort Dr. Seuss Estate,” By Onell R. Soto, in the San Diego Union Tribune, August 21, 2004.

179 “’pie in the sky’” “The Fall of the ‘Uranium King’” by Mike Wiggins, Grand Junction Sentinel, June 28, 2008.

180 “threads of musical notes” The Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin (New York: Penguin, 1988).

181 “when the plane banked away” “How Ranger Was Named,” undated internal document from Energy Resources of Australia, with this citation at bottom “Thanks to Rob Ryan for early historical details.”

182 “a mining colony” “ERA 2005 Annual Report,” prepared by Energy Resources of Australia

183 “top domestic policy issue” Political background on the uranium debate comes partially from “The Rise of Anti-Uranium Protest in Australia,” by Sigrid McCausland, a paper submitted to the Australasian Political Studies Association conference, (October 2000); and Uranium on Trial by Stuart Butler, Robert Raymond and Charles Watson Moore (Sydney: New Century Press Ltd., 1977).

184 “signs from heaven” “Flood Gave Birth to World’s Oldest Religion,” by Leigh Dayton in New Scientist, Nov. 11, 1996.

184 “agent of every exhilerating thing” This section could not have been written without the help of Joe Fisher, who donated a scrupulously-documented account of his life: a self-published autobiography in two volumes. These valuable books are Trials and Triumphs in the Northern Territory and Northern Australia: From Cape York to the Kimberleys 1954-2002 (Melbourne: S.R. Frankland Pty Ltd., 2002) and Battles in the Bush: The Batavia Goldfields of Cape York (Melbourne: S.R. Frankland Pty Ltd., 1998).

185 “such a remote outpost” The Uranium Hunters, by Ross Annabell, (Adelaide: Rigby, 1971).

188 “the steaming jungle” Ibid.

192 “the small circle of buyers” The most complete account of this episode is Yellowcake, by J. Taylor and Michael Yokell (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1979). A highly readable version can be found in The Politics of Uranium, by Norman Moss (New York: Universe Publishers, 1984), from which I used several details.

192 “French metaphor of the filling of wineglasses” Jabiluka: The Battle to Mine Australia’s Uranium, by Tony Gray (Melbourne: Text Publishing, 1994).

193 “the matchless reach” The Cooperative Edge: The Internal Politics of International Cartels by Debora L. Spar (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994).

193 “A remark he made at a dinner party” “A Very British Coup,” The Daily Mail, March 13, 2006.

194 “’come out the same’” “’It Worked For The Arabs…’” in Forbes, January 15, 1975.

197 “agitprop pamphelts” The most famous was called “A Slow Burn.”

198 “’most boring national park’” “Kakadu: ‘Scruffy and a Bore,’” in the Northern Territory News, August 8, 1978, reprinted in Fisher’s autobiography.

199 “a song” Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia, by Peter Sutton (New York: George Braziller Publishers, 1988).

200 “life grew even more difficult” Aboriginal Australians: Black Responses to White Dominance, 1788-2001, by Richard Broome (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2002); Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia, Sutton; and Arguments About Aboriginals, by L.R. Hiatt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

201 “an artificial town” Yellowcake and Crocodiles by John Lea and Robert Zehner (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1986).

202 “a melange” Kakadu: The Making of a National Park, by David Lawrence (Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing, 2000).

203 “a fashionable cause” Abstracts from mutliple stories from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Northern Territorial News, on file at the Northern Territory Library in Darwin, were used for background and details about the 1998 protests.

205 “a list of objections” The arguments can also be found in “Yellowcake Country: Australia’s Uranium Industry,” paper prepared in 2006 by Beyond Nuclear Initiative in Melbourne; and “Nuclear Power No Solution to Climate Change,” a paper prepared for Friends of the Earth, et. al. in Sydney in September 2005.

207 “Its apocalyptic power” Jaibaluka, Grey.

209 “The British writer” The Songlines, Chatwin.

212 “’Australia has a clear responsibility’” Australian Associated Press dispatch, April 28, 2007.

218 “Unhappiness over hunger” The story of the violence around the Uranium Highway is told in “France Sees Areva Progress, Offers Niger Mine Aid,” by Abdoulaye Massalatchi of Reuters, August 4, 2007; “Niger’s Uranium Industry Threatened by Rebels,” by Andrew McGregor in Terrorism Focus, July 31, 2007; “Niger Rebels Pressure Uranium Mines,” by James Finch in Stock Interview, July 9, 2007; “Uranium Worth a Fight, Niger Rebels Say,” by Tristan McConnell in The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 21, 2007; “Five Wounded As Bus Hits Landmine in Niger,” by the South Africa Press Association and Agence France-Presse, Nov. 23, 2007. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also produced two relevant bulletins: “New Tuareg Rebel Group Speaks Out,” May 12, 2007 and “Five Killed as Army Clashes with Tuaregs in Desert North,” Oct. 7, 2007.

219 “The uranium business in Niger” Commercial details are in a paper read at the 2004 annual symposium of the World Nuclear Association in London: “Uranium Mining in Niger; Status and Perspectives of a Top Five Producing Country,” by George Capus, Pascal Bourrelier and Moussa Souley. “Country Report,” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, February 2, 2007, was also helpful, as was the article “Niger: Uranium – Blessing or Curse?” by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Oct. 10, 2007.

220 “took a woman out to lunch” The best and most complete account of this fatful episode is in The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq, by Peter Eisner and Knut Royce (New York: Rodale, 2007). Eisner offers a compressed version in “How a Bogus Letter Became a Case for War,” in The Washington Post, April 3, 2007. Royce and Eisner’s reporting was the backbone of this section.


220 “a file folder” Other useful accounts which I used are “The Italian Job: How Fake Iraq Memos Tripped Up Ex-Spy,” by Jay Solomon and Gabriel Kahn in The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 2006; “The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed,” by Craig Unger in Vanity Fair, July 2006; and “The Italian Job,” by Laura Rozen in The American Prospect, March 2006.

221 “An emerging narrative” The Italian Letter, Eisner and Royce, and “U.S. Claim on Iraqi Nuclear Program Is Called Into Question,” by Joby Warrick, in The Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2003.

222 “the lead paragraph” “U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb,” by Michael Gordon and Judith Miller, New York Times, September 8, 2002 (one of American journalism’s lower moments).

225 “eight days at the Ganwye Hotel” The Politics of Truth, by Joseph Wilson (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004).

225 “a matter of public knowledge” “What I Didn’t Find In Africa,” by Joseph Wilson in The New York Times, July 6, 2003.

225 “speculated” “The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed,” by Craig Unger in Vanity Fair, July 2006.

227 “snugly underground” “A Tantalizing Look at Iran’s Nuclear Program,” by William J. Broad in The New York Times, April 29, 2008; also, “Satellite Images Show Work Near Iran Nuclear Site,” by Reuters, reprinted in Istanbul’s Today’s Zeman on July 11, 2007.

227 “wants the means of production” Iran’s history and attitude toward nuclear science can be found in the background paper “Iran: Nuclear Chronology,” by the staff of the Monterey Institute for International Studies, 2003; and the book The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mamoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran, by Yossi Melman and Meir Javedanfar (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2007).

228 “In one of his first acts as president” This section depended on several news stories: “Waiting for the Rapture in Iran,” by Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 21, 2005; “‘Divine Mission’ Driving Iran’s New Leader,” by Anton La Guardia, The Telegraph, Jan. 15, 2006; “Nuclear Armed Iran Risks World War, Bush Says,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg in The New York Times, Oct. 18, 2007.

229 “Islam is probably” Quoted in Arabic in Chains: Structural Problems and Artificial Barriers, by Robert Marzari (Berlin: Verlag Hans Schiler, 2006).

230 “he noted” “Islam and Science – Unhappy Bedfellows,” by Pervez Hoodbhoy, Global Agenda, Jan. 2006, and quoting The Arab Human Development Report 2002: Creating Opportunities for Future Generations, by the United Nations Development Program and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

230 “’The bomb looms large’” “Myth-Building: The ‘Islamic’ Bomb,” by Pervez Hoodbhoy in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1993.

231 “cinnabar” The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright (New York: Random House, 2006).

231 “repeated calls” Iranian nuclear pride is covered in “Rafsanjani: Iran Will Get Its Nuclear Rights With Wisdom,” by the Islamic Republic News Agency, Jan. 11, 2006; “Rafsanjani: Europe Indebted to Muslims for Scientific Advancement,” by the Islamic Republic News Agency, August 15, 2007; “Iran Admits Nuclear Secrecy,” by the Associated Press, March 7, 2005; “Western Pressure Irks Average Iranians,” by Angus McDowell, The Christian Science Monitor, April 24, 2006; “Across Iran, Nuclear Power is a Matter of Pride,” by Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, May 29, 2005; “Iran Looks to Science as Source of Pride,” by Anne Barnard, The Boston Globe, August 22, 2006; and “The Riddle of Iran,” in The Economist, July 21, 2007.

232 “a Western reporter” MacFarquhar, above.

232 “a U.S. journalist” McDowell, above.

233 “a national fetish” Reflections on nuclearism were taken from the lecture “The Image of the End of the World: A Psychosocial History,” by Robert Jay Lifton at Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I. in 1983, and reprinted in Facing Apocalypse (Dallas, Tex.: Spring Publications, 1987).

234 “far better choice” “Eliminating Excessive Stocks of Highly Enriched Uranium,” by Morten Bremer Maerli and Lars van Dassen in Pugwash Issue Brief, published by the Council of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, April 2005. See also “Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Reducing the Danger of Highly Enriched Uranium,” a 2003 paper by Hui Zhang of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University;; Stockpiles Still Growing,” by David Albright and Kimberly Kramer in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nov./Dec. 2004; “Nuclear Fuel is Widespread,” by Sam Roe in the Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4, 2007; The Atomic Bazaar, Langewische.

235 “one night” “The Bomb in the Backyard,” by Peter D. Zimmerman and Jeffrey G. Lewis, in the National Post of Canada, Dec. 20, 2006.

235 “’It’s sadly not difficult’” “Responding to Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions: Next Steps,” the transcript of a Sept. 19, 2006 hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

235 “a more realistic bomb staff” “The Bomb in the Backyard,” Zimmerman and Lewis.

236 “The stuff has gone missing” The Logan Airport incident was mention in John McPhee’s The Curve of Binding Energy (above), and the Erwin safety record was examined in Nukespeak (above). The incident in Dalhalt was reported in the Sept. 22, 1951 United Press dispatch “’Plaything’ of Three Boys Turns Out to Be Uranium,” and also in “Buried Treasure,” in Time magazine, Oct. 1, 1951. The story of Sanford Simons was recalled in Doomsday Men, Smith.

237 “several merchants in Shanghai” A Jan. 20, 1946 memo “Directive to All X-2 Field Stations,” and the June 24, 1946 summary report from X-2’s Shanghai station. Both are located in the National Archives in “Records of the Office of Strategic Services,” Record Group 226, Entry 211.

237 “sixty six pounds of enriched uranium” “FARC acquired uranium, says Columbia,” by Sibylla Brodzinsky, Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 2008; and “Columbia Reflects Rising Threat of Nuclear Terrorism,” by Tom Gjelten and broadcast on National Public Radio on April 21, 2008.

237 “teeming with asbestos” Spying and asbestos at the IAEA was discussed in The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran (above).

239 “two metal cannisters” “Czech Seize Migrating Uranium,” by Mark Hibbs in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 1993.

239 “one thousand tons” “Nuclear Cleanup’s Trudge,” by David E. Hoffman in The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2007; “At Mayak, Lax Security Worries U.S.,” by Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 22, 2003; the research paper “Recent Weapons Grade Uranium Smuggling Case: Nuclear Materials are Still on the Loose,” by Elna Sokova, William C. Potter, and Christina Chuen, Jan. 26, 2007, published by the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and “Nuclear Smuggling, Rogue States and Terrorism,” by Rensselaer Lee in The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, April 2006.

240 “persistent lack of funding” Securing the Bomb 2007 (Cambridge, Mass., and Washington D.C.: Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard University, and Nuclear Threat Initiative, September 2007).

240 “a thief” William Langewische describes a hypothetical scenario in The Atomic Bazaar.

242 “his case” The story was first reported in “Smuggler’s Plot Highlights Fear Over Uranium,” by Lawrence Scott Sheets and William J. Broad in The New York Times on January 25, 2007, from which I drew some details. Further details were from “A Smuggler’s Story,” by Sheets in The Atlantic, April 2008.

242 “the smuggling” The 2004 research paper “Smuggling Through Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region of Georgia,” by Alexandre Kukhianidze, Alexandre Kupatadze and Roman Gotsiridze and published by the Transnational Crime and Corruption Center in Tbilisi.

243 “a popular folk myth” Georgia: A Soveriegn County of the Caucasus, by Roger Rosen (Hong Kong: Odyssey Publications, Ltd., 1999).

244 “twenty-nine times” Ibid.

246 “the Darial Gorge” The Land of the Czar by O.W. Wahl (London: Chapman and Hall, 1875).

253 “A nuclear future” “Middle Eastern States Seeking Nuclear Power” by Peter Crail and Jessica Lasky-Fink, Arms Control Today, May 2008

253 “This is no longer election propaganda” “Yemen to Use Nuclear Energy to Generate Power,” by Nasser Arrabyee, Gulf News, October 4, 2006.

257 “euphoria” The Global Nuclear Fuel Market, by the staff of the World Nuclear Association, 2005; and Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market: A Practical Investor’s Guide to Uranium Stocks (Sarasota, Fla.: Stock Interview, 2006).

259 “fuel in China” “Dangerous Coal Mines Take Human Toll In China,” by Erik Eckholm, June 19, 2000; and “Pollution From Chinese Coal Casts a Global Shadow,” by Keith Bradsher and David Barboza, June 11, 2006, both in New York Times.

259 “a clean alternative” “Atomic Renaissance,” in The Economist, Sept. 8, 2007; “The New Economics of Nuclear Power,” by the staff of the World Nuclear Association, 2005; “A Rush for Uranium,” by Susan Moran and Anne Raup in The New York Times, March 28, 2007; “Nuclear Power: Winds of Change,” by Michael Campbell, et.al., a paper from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists published on March 31, 2007; and “Solving ‘Fission Impossible’” by Daniel Gross, in Newsweek, Oct. 29, 2007.

259 “some historical opponents” “Nuclear Power is the Only Green Solution,” by James Lovelock in the London Independent, May 24, 2006; the position paper “Environmentalists Do Not Support Nuclear Power,” by Jim Green, published by Friends of the Earth, Australia, May 11, 2007; “Atomic Myths, Radioactive Realities: Why Nuclear Power is the Poor Way to Meet Energy Needs,” by Arjun Makhijani in the Journal of Land, Resources & Environmental Law, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2004; and “Pelosi Reconsiders Nuclear Power,” in The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 8, 2007.

260 “The fact of this planetary crisis” The speech was given at the October 2006 Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference in Sydney, Australia.

263 “chief nuclear apostle” Details on Sen. Pete Domenici’s lobbying on behalf of the nuclear industry and his statements at the Eunice groundbreaking are in the well-reported January 2007 package of stories “Power Play: New Dawn for Nuclear Energy?” by Mike Stuckey and John W. Schoen, on MSNBC.com.

263 “a reddish plain” “Little Texas”: Beginnings in Southeastern New Mexico, by May Price Mosley (Roswell, N.M.: Hall- Poorbaugh Press, 1973).

263 “new uranium enrichment plant”“Waste Issues Dog Uranium Plant Build,” by Ben Neary, in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Dec. 9, 2003; “RecentAlmelo Visitors Speak to Eunice Rotary Club,” in the Eunice News, Dec. 13, 2007; “Texas Senate Approves Fee to Bury Nuclear Waste in Andrews,” by John Reynolds, in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, May 5, 2005; and “Dangerous Liaisons,” by Marilyn Berlin Snell, in Sierra, May/June 2005.

265 “semisecrecy” “The Atomic Plant’s 40th Anniversary,” reprinted in the Paducha Sun, Nov. 3, 1992.

266 “terrible mistakes” Laid out in two influential stories by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post: “Paducah Plant Spewed Plutonium,” Oct. 1, 2000, and “Nuclear Bomb Risk Revealed at Kentucky Uranium Plant,” Feb. 11, 2000.

266 “replacement facility” Information on the Piketon plant came from the press release “USEC Will Fuel Nuclear Revival, CEO Tells Shareholders,” Apr. 25, 2006, and the newspaper story “Costly Centrifuge Plan Key to Piketon Revival,” by Tom Beyerlein and Lynn Hulsey, in the Dayton Daily News, Nov. 14, 2006.

267 “eagerly picked over” “Power Surge,” by Max Jarman in The Arizona Republic, May 28, 2006.

269 “a plug shaped restaurant owner” “Bob Adams: Positive Energy Force in the Yampa Valley,” by Rod Hanna in Steamboat Springs magazine, Summer 1980; “Bob Adams: 1917-1982,” in The Steamboat Pilot, Sept. 30, 1982; “Home on the Range No More: The Boom and Bust of a Wyoming Uranium Mining Town, 1957-1988,” by Michael Amundson in The Western Historical Quarterly, Winter 1995; and Quest for the Pillar of Gold: The Mines and Miners of the Grand Canyon, by George E. Billingsley, Earle E. Spamer and Dove Menkes (Grand Canyon Village, Ariz: The Grand Canyon Association, 1987).

274 “famous motto” Recounted in Fleecing the Lambs: The Inside Story of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, by David Cruise and Allison Griffiths (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1987).

275 “a frozen spot called Pine Point” Ibid.

275 “gotten so bad” “The Scam Capital of the World, by Joe Queenan, Forbes, May 29, 1989.

275 “a disgraceful episode” “Salt for the Bre-X Wounds,” in Macleans, March 2, 1998; “The Ghost of Bre-X Rises,” by Steve Maich, in Macleans, June 13, 2005; “Geologists Still Have Something to Answer For,” by David Baines in The Vancouver Sun, August 18, 2007; and “U.S. Gets Burned by Lax Canadian Oversight,” by Robert McClure in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 13, 2001.

275 “a partner with high standing” The Oct. 28, 1996 Reuters dispatch “Bre-X Joins Forces with Suharto’s Son, Stock Soars,” by Heather Scoffield, and quoted in the July 31, 2007 court judgment Her Majesty the Queen v. John Bernard Felderhof by Justice Peter Hyrn in the Ontario Justice Court.

280 “plunder and abuse” In the Empire of Genghis Khan, by Stanley Stewart (Guilford. Conn.: The Lyons Press, 2004).

281 “well-worn joke” “To the Left of Chinggis Khan,” by Timothy May in World History Connected, November 2006.

283 “a total of eight shafts” “Western Prospector Builds on Soviet-era Uranium Project,” by Stephen Stakiw in The Northern Miner, Nov. 25, 2005; also, the corporate report “Gurvanbulag Uranium Mine and Mill Development Plans,” by Emeelt Mines LLC, June 2007.

284 “Ivanhoe Mines” “The New El Dorado,” by Michael Schuman, in Time International, August 7, 2006; “Your Risk, His Reward,” by David Baines, Canadian Business, June 1997; and “Big Dig: Mongolia is Roiled By Miner’s Huge Plans,” by Patrick Barta in The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4, 2007.

287 “priority target” The Brinkley Mining announcement “Agreement in DRC,” dated July 11, 2007; and also the Sept. 18, 2007 news dispatch “Brinkley Hits Back in DRC Uranium Fracas,” by Allan Seccombe of Miningmx.com.

287 “jeopardy” “Congo Purge Puts Brinkley Deal in Doubt,” by Ben Laurence in the Sunday Times, Sept. 16, 2007; the British Broadcasting Company story “DR Congo ‘Uranium Ring Smashed’,” March 8, 2007; the Reuters dispatch “Congo Keeps Uranium Riches Under Wraps,” Dec. 10, 2007; and the article “Uranium Smuggling Allegations Raise Questions Concerning Nuclear Security in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” by Peter Crail and Johan Bergenas in the April 2007 edition of WMD Insights.

288 “hard to conceal” “Nuclear Technical Cooperation: A Right or a Privilege?” by Jack Boureston and Jennifer Lacey, in Arms Control Today, Sept, 2007.

290 “the final report” HEU: Striking a Balance – A Historical Report on the United States Highly Enriched Uranium Production, Acquisition and Utilization Activities from 1945 through September 30, 1996. The circumstances of its suppression and eventual release are discussed in the article “The U.S. Highly Enriched Uranium Declaration: Transparency Deferred But Not Denied,” by Steven Aftergood and Frank N. von Hippel, in Nonproliferation Review, March 2007.

290 “total Russian stockpile” Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium 1996: World Inventories, Capabilities and Policies, by David Albright, Frans Berkhout and William Walker (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) and quoted in “Russia: Fissile Material and Disposition” by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

292 “an unwitting imitator of nature” “A Natural Fission Reactor” by George A. Cowan, Scientific American, July 1976.