Nuclear Nightmare


Castle Bravo nuclear test, 1954. This bomb was powerful enough to destroy a small country. By United States Department of Energy - US gov, Public Domain,

I'm old enough to remember the end of the Cold War. We lived in fear of nuclear annihilation. The sense of danger waxed and wained with the changing international political climate. By about '85 or '86 it became clear that the threat had lessened, though some political instability in the Soviet Union persisted until it was finally dissolved and the constituent countries went their separate ways.

I never thought we would be back in that type of fear again, but here we are. There is a crisis in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has been talking nuclear threats, and NATO has deployed nuclear attack aircraft to adjacent areas. Iran has a nuclear project that seems to be nearing completion, and the Peoples Republic of China seems poised to invade countries that the United States is obligated by treaty to protect.

I live within 10 miles of a munitions depot that is listed under the START treaty as "inspectable," which means there might be nuclear weapons stockpiled there. It would be a potential target for a nuclear strike.

I do not let this type of fear affect my day-to-day life but I like to read and be informed and sometimes it complicates my psychology. I had a nightmare last night that I was on the Farallon Islands off the coast of California and the Navy forced all the civilians to evacuate due to pending nuclear war. I looked at the sky with dread. Scully and Mulder from the X-Files were there, leading groups of people up into and on top of a large building that looked somewhat like an old brick church to a helipad to evacuate. One of my cats woke me up.


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