Science: Undetectable & Underground

Late in 1958, U.S. negotiators met with the Russians and British in Geneva, proposed a system for monitoring nuclear bomb tests based on a network of 180 control stations. The U.S. has been regretting the offer ever since. Only two months later, U.S. scientists exploded a small nuclear device beneath a mesa in Nevada, which proved that such explosions were far harder to detect than the U.S. had supposed. Difficulty is that the Russians have embraced the 180-station system as if they had thought of it themselves. For months they refused even to listen to the U.S.'s new evidence. And then,...

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