Science: Swords into Plowshares

Even before an atomic bomb leveled Hiroshima, scientists dreamed of the day when nuclear explosives might be used to build, not to destroy. They talked about moving mountains with nuclear blasts, digging harbors and tunnels, constructing canals. Huge oil caches, they said, could be recovered with underground explosions.

In 1957 the U.S. Government finally got to work on Project Plowshare,* a program for developing the peaceful uses of nuclear explosives. Last week, after a 2½-year moratorium on testing, the first nonmilitary nuclear bomb test ever conducted in the U.S. rocked the flat floor of the New Mexico desert with a mighty...

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