Nuclear Power

The U.S.S.R. sent legions of “liquidators” to clean up in the aftermath of the meltdown. 

Past and Presence

Footage Shows How Daily Life Didn't Change After Chernobyl—and the Cover-Up's Toxic Aftermath

A new documentary shows how the disaster transformed—and endangered—those who lived near the nuclear plant

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

A protester holds a sunflower during a London rally in support of Ukraine on March 26, 2022.

Why Sunflowers Are Ukraine's National Flower

People around the world are embracing the bright bloom as a symbol of solidarity with the beleaguered country

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

One of 664 uranium cubes used in a nuclear reactor during World War II. Researchers are trying to confirm whether a similar cube housed in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's collections was also part of the Nazis' failed nuclear program.

Did the Nazis Use This Uranium Cube in Their Failed Nuclear Program?

New research may help the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory confirm the identity of a mysterious object in its collections

Visitors explore during a sneak preview of the newly renovated Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Museum in Independence, Missouri. The $29 million expansion took 2 years to complete.

At the Harry Truman Library and Museum, Visitors Get to Ask Themselves Where the Buck Stops

Interactive exhibitions pose questions about the decision to drop the nuclear bomb, the Red Scare, Truman's foreign policy and more

This sample of red trinitite contained the quasicrystal described in a new study.

New Research

Study Plucks Rare Quasicrystal From Wreckage of First Atomic Bomb Test

Researchers found the strange material inside a piece of red trinitite, a glass-like amalgam formed by the blast's intense heat and pressure

The disastrous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred on April 26, 1986, after a flawed reactor design caused two explosions that broke Chernobyl's No. 4 Reactor.

Chernobyl Survivors Do Not Pass Excess Mutations on to Their Children After All

Researchers suggest the results may extend to those exposed to radiation in other nuclear accidents, such as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi explosion in Japan

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as seen from the coast of Futaba town in Fukushima prefecture.

Japan Will Release Fukushima Nuclear Plant Wastewater Into Ocean

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the site is running out of space to store tritium-containing wastewater

On March 11, 2021, lanterns are released in remembrance of earthquake and tsunami victims in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture.

Remembering the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Ten Years Later

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake in 2011 remains the largest in Japan's recorded history

An abandoned building near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine Seeks to Designate Chernobyl as a Unesco World Heritage Site

"People should leave with an awareness of the historic significance of the place," says the country's culture minister

A man wheels his bicycle through Hiroshima days after an atomic bomb leveled the city.

Nine Harrowing Eyewitness Accounts of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

More than seventy-five years ago, the atomic blasts killed an estimated 200,000 people

Untitled image from Restricted Residence

Nearly a Decade After Fukushima, Photos Capture Residents' Bittersweet Return

A new photo series titled “Restricted Residence” features 42 thermal images of locals and their changed landscape

Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994

John Nash’s Nobel Prize Sells for $735,000

Best known as the subject of "A Beautiful Mind," Nash made pioneering advances in the study of game theory

An employee of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant walks in the control room of the destroyed 4th block of the plant on February 24, 2011, ahead of the 25th anniversary of the meltdown of reactor number four.

Trending Today

You Can Now Visit Chernobyl's Control Room, if You're Quick About It

Visitors will have five minutes to look around the contaminated spot where the worst nuclear disaster in history took place

Samples of trinitite from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

A Chunk of Trinitite Reminds Us of the Sheer, Devastating Power of the Atomic Bomb

Within the Smithsonian's collections exists a telltale trace of the weapon that would change the world forever

A baby croc is held up in front of the Turkey Point wildlife preservation area in 2008.

Why Florida Crocs Are Thriving Outside a Nuclear Power Plant

But is the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station the reptilian utopia that it seems?

A woman looks at wreckage of trucks in the ghost city of Pripyat during a tour in the Chernobyl exclusion zone on June 7, 2019.

HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Miniseries Is Driving Tourists to the Nuclear Disaster Site

Chernobyl tourist agencies have reportedly experienced a 30 to 40 percent jump in bookings since the show’s premiere

Researchers extracted paint and canvas fiber samples from a known forgery supposedly dating to 1886 but actually created during the 1980s.

Art Meets Science

Cold War Nuclear Bomb Tests Are Helping Researchers Identify Art Forgeries

Traces of carbon-14 isotopes released by nuclear testing enable scientists to date paintings created post-World War II

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