US Nuclear Weapons Hist &Cost
This workshop explores how and why the United States spent more than $9 trillion (in today’s dollars) to build 66,000 nuclear weapons since the 1940s, conduct more than 1,000 nuclear tests, and deploy and maintain a worldwide network of delivery systems (including aircraft, missiles, ships, and submarines), sensors, and communications assets capable of unleashing (or defending against) unimaginable destruction. Key developments and turning points in the history of the U.S. nuclear weapons program will be discussed, and the substantial human health, environmental, and economic costs of the testing, production, and deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons will be quantified and assessed, along with the effectiveness—and effects—of efforts to keep secret large parts of the program. Guest speakers will address the management, cleanup, and disposal of radioactive and toxic wastes resulting from bomb production and testing as well as the consistency and effectiveness of congressional oversight of nuclear weapons programs. The ongoing and anticipated future costs of U.S. nuclear weapons (estimated to be as much as $1 trillion over the next 30 years) will also be discussed. Basic knowledge of nuclear weapons and the Cold War is helpful but not essential. Students majoring in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies are particularly encouraged to enroll.