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Plutopia : nuclear families, atomic cities, and the great Soviet and American plutonium disasters
Éditeur Oxford University Press
Année cop. 2013
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Plutopia : nuclear families, atomic cities, and the great Soviet and American plutonium disasters
1 vol. (x-406 p.) : ill., cartes, jaquette ill. ; 24 cm
Notes bibliogr. p. 341-398. Index
Classification Dewey
Part One. Incarcerated space and Western nuclear frontiers ; Mr. Matthias goes to Washington ; Labor on the lam ; "Labor shortage" ; Defending the nation ; The city plutonium built ; Work and the women left holding plutonium ; Hazards ; The food chain ; Of flies, mice and men ; Part Two. The Soviet working class atom and the American response ; The arrest of a journal ; The Gulag and the bomb ; The Bronze Age atom ; Keeping secrets ; Beria's visit ; Reporting for duty ; Empire of calamity ; "A few good men" in pursuit of America's permanent war economy ; Stalin's rocket engine : rewarding the plutonium people ; Big Brother in the American heartland ; Neighbors ; The vodka society ; Part Three. The plutonium disasters ; Managing a risk society ; The walking wounded ; Two autopsies ; Wahluke Slope : into harm's way ; Quiet flows the Techa ; Resettlement ; The zone of immunity ; The socialist consumers' republic ; The uses of an open society ; The Kyshtym belch, 1957 ; Karabolka, beyond the zone ; Private parts ; "From crabs to caviar, we had everything" ; Part Four. Dismantling the plutonium curtain ; Plutonium into portfolio shares ; Chernobyl redux ; 1984 ; The forsaken ; Sick people ; Cassandra in coveralls ; Nuclear glasnost ; All the kings' men ; Futures
In Plutopia, Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia-the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias--communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Brown shows that the plants' segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted. In four decades, the Hanford plant near Richland and the Maiak plant near Ozersk each issued at least 200 million curies of radioactive isotopes into the surrounding environment--equaling four Chernobyls--laying waste to hundreds of square miles and contaminating rivers, fields, forests, and food supplies. Because of the decades of secrecy, downwind and downriver neighbors of the plutonium plants had difficulty proving what they suspected, that the rash of illnesses, cancers, and birth defects in their communities were caused by the plants' radioactive emissions. Plutopia was successful because in its zoned-off isolation it appeared to deliver the promises of the American dream and Soviet communism; in reality, it concealed disasters that remain highly unstable and threatening today (jaquette).
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