Two ideologies, two plutonium programs, and too reckless!


(*see note at bottom of the post)

The more read about the Cold War, the more I am convinced that both sides lost. Not only did both the Americans and Soviets/Russians gut large parts of their economies by wasting trillions in a fear-based bogeyman paranoia of capitalism versus communism, but they each poisoned thousands, if not millions, of their own citizens in a reckless attempt to thwart the other ideology.

Mayak Production Site nuclear facilities in south-central Russia – Source:

The outstanding book, http://Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

*, by Kate Brown carefully documents this reckless behavior in a fascinating way – through comparing the history and culture of both the American and Soviet plutonium programs by concentrating on the primary cities developed specifically by each government for the production of that deadly weapons-grade material – Richland, Washington adjacent to the Hanford Site in south-central Washington state and Ozersk, Russia adjacent to the Mayak Production Site in south-central Russia.

Hanford Site nuclear facilities – Source:

What she finds is both the Americans and the Soviets/Russians followed:

  • the same no-holds-barred tactical and strategic approaches;
  • the same loose developmental and operational protocols with limited protective redundancies;
  • the same reckless disregard for the environment (such as the Columbia River or the Techa River), as well as for concerned residents of downwind communities;
  • the same unsafe and reckless behavior towards the health and safety of construction crews, clean-up crews, employees and their families, as well as area residents;
  • the same mismanagement and lack of regulatory oversight;
  • the same secretive and authoritarian attitudes towards any dissent;
  • the same tossing of money down a corrupt and endless rabbit hole;
  • the same profiteering, whether by managers or corporations;
  • the same defensiveness whenever questioned;
  • the same disastrous results that radiated and poisoned a significant area for thousands of years; and
  • the same half-baked response to environmental degradation – convert some of the poisoned areas into biological/radiological research zones that will have limited access for thousands of years.

In other words, both capitalist and communist approaches have failed miserably and have demonstrated they are more alike than different when it comes to plutonium safety – it just depends on whether you want a corporate/government partnership operation or solely a government-run operation. Both continually ended up with the same failed results.

This sign slogan would be fine, if it weren’t so bogus for so many years. – Source:

I won’t go into greater details, as many of them, particularly the effects of radiation poisoning on children will make you sick to your stomach. Other details will make you shake your head in disbelief, while some will make you downright angry. Regardless of the impact this book has on you, it is imperative that concerned citizens of all nations learn from these tragic and often willful mishaps.

Areas directly impacted by the deliberate release of radiation from the Hanford Site in 1949 – Source:

Secretive operations, by their very nature are often conduits for lies, misdeeds, corruption, and disasters. Being secretive makes it too easy to hide, hush, bury, deny, or burn the evidence. Rigorous oversight, even if it must be classified, is imperative to assure public safety. Blind allegiance does no one any good except for those who have something to hide.


*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using these links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here are a couple of other books available through on this topic that may be of interest.*

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This entry was posted in atomic age, book reviews, books, cities, civics, culture, economic development, energy, environment, geography, government, health, Health care, history, humanity, infrastructure, injustice, land use, Maps, military, peace, place names, planning, politics, pollution, product design, rivers/watersheds, Russia, Science, social equity, Statistics, technology, urban planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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