60 YEARS ON

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Trinity

Sixty years ago yesterday, the first nuclear explosion was unleashed by man. Codenamed Trinity , it briefly created another sun in the desert near Los Alamos New Mexico.

Led by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, a group of scientists fulfilled the US government’s desire to create a weapon that would bring a quick end to WWII. Oppenheimer remembered that a line from the Bhagavad Gita went through his mind as he witnessed the detonation “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”.

The Cold War may be history but the legacy of the Superpowers’ unbridled orgy of nuclear weapon creation lives on as the world worries that terrorists may create or have already created “dirty bombs” using a few pounds of the tons of misplaced plutonium loose in the world. When you look at the havoc caused by 4 10 pound devices using conventional explosives in London, it’s almost impossible to imagine how many deaths would result from a small radioactive bomb detonated in a busy city.

They say “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle”. The problem now is that we don’t really know where all the genie’s children are hiding.