Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters – Kate Brown

As the ASEH Newsletter reports, “Brown draws on declassified documents and oral histories of government officials as well as workers and their families in the US and the former Soviet Union, capturing the shared experiences of the Soviet and American experience with the production of a nuclear arsenal. Beyond the major accidents, Brown reveals how everyday operations exposed workers and their families to toxic radioisotopes. The cloak of secrecy that permeated the Cold War facilitated reckless attitudes towards nuclear weapons and wastes produced in both the US and the USSR. The very nature of radioactive materials limited tracing back to sources thus producing insidious exposures in workers and their families. Both wastes and exposures can be invisible in nature and invisible in terms of social action. Yet Brown rediscovers their traces in the bodies of the exposed.”

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