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Download e-book for kindle: Britain’s Nuclear Arms Control Policy in the Context of by J. P. G. Freeman (auth.)

By J. P. G. Freeman (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349078077

ISBN-13: 9781349078073

ISBN-10: 1349078093

ISBN-13: 9781349078097

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Extra resources for Britain’s Nuclear Arms Control Policy in the Context of Anglo-American Relations, 1957–68

Sample text

ATMOSPHERIC TESTS AND THE FALL-OUT DEBATE On l March 1954 the US tested a large thermonuclear device at Bikini 13 and, as a direct result, some three hundred people received large doses of radiation. Radioactive fish were detected in Japan and radioactive rain was observed in many places. 14 The most conspicuous result of the fall-out was felt on board the Japanese fishing-boat Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon), where twenty sailors were seriously affected- of whom one subsequently died. Significantly the ship had been outside the 30 000 square miles prescribed zone and some seventy-two miles from the test site.

The 'optimistic' scientist argued, as Dr Teller did in America, that in fact there was a 'threshold' below which radiation damage did not occur. 33 Lord Cherwell, speaking in the House of Lords, cavalierly dismissed the ASA's concerns by an analogy with the effects of arsenic - large doses killed but minute doses were unimportant. The Statement on Strontium Hazards was, however, embarrassing for the government the more so because it emanated from such a distinguished body as the ASA. The list of Vice-Presidents of the ASA had among its members some very highly placed Government scientists, such as Sir John Cockcroft.

69 However, it had not at first been believed, at least by some, in the USA, 10 and was not readily accepted by British scientists. 71 It is ironical, therefore, that it was British scientists who, on small model experiments with conventional explosives in Cornwall, established the validity of the theory. 72 None the less, strong doubts remained concerning the practicability of decoupling when account was taken of the large-scale engineering problems posed by such a nuclear weapon test. 73 These new doubts about the Geneva system of detection were considered alongside other issues by a special panel established by the President's Science Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Lloyd Berkner.

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Britain’s Nuclear Arms Control Policy in the Context of Anglo-American Relations, 1957–68 by J. P. G. Freeman (auth.)


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