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Can a nuclear explosion be peaceful? US scientists used to think so | WCAI

Fifty-five years ago this month, Milo Nordyke was staring out at the Nevada desert, waiting for a huge explosion to blow a hole in the surface of the earth.The blast was known as Sedan, and it was one of two dozen nuclear explosions that American scientists set off for non-military purposes.

 The mushroom cloud of the first test of a hydrogen bomb, "Ivy Mike", as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952, by a member of the United States Air Force's Lookout Mountain 1352d Photographic Squadron.

The mushroom cloud of the first test of a hydrogen bomb, “Ivy Mike”, as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952, by a member of the United States Air Force’s Lookout Mountain 1352d Photographic Squadron.

It was 1962, a year when most people feared the destructive power of nuclear bombs.But Nordyke and his colleagues believed that bombs had the power not only to destroy, but also to create. Let’s say you wanted to build a harbor or pit mine. One nuclear bomb could do the work of hundreds of bulldozers — or millions of sticks of dynamite.

Read the whole story and LISTEN here: Can a nuclear explosion be peaceful? US scientists used to think so. | WCAI

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