THE ATOM: Facts of Attack

For a nation that expects to take the first blow in nuclear war, the U.S. does perilously little hard thinking about what that blow would be like—and even less about what to do to soften it. Last week, in five days of responsibly conducted hearings, a special Joint Congressional Atomic Energy subcommittee called on the Government's ablest experts for their best estimates of a "moderate-sized" war's toll. The proposition, as put by California Democrat Chet Holifield, subcommittee chairman: an enemy has dumped 263 nuclear bombs, totaling 1,446 megatons (equivalent of 1.4 billion tons of TNT)...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!