The Nuclear World Project is a story about struggle told from the vantage point of many perspectives and voices. It is about how a technological achievement created a dilemma for humankind. It is worldwide and can have an impact on everyone. It is an urgent and not a well understood struggle, which receives little attention except for sporadic headlines about the threat and sometime calls for abolition of nuclear weapons. Over sixty four years ago, at the beginning of, what continues to be essentially a secret parallel establishment, the nuclear world was created by a group of scientists. Six and a half decades later that secret world is comprised of over 25,000 nuclear weapons, with a proliferation of fissile materials which can be utilized to make nuclear weapons and aspiring states which now number at least thirty one nations with nuclear power plants or aspiring to have the power capability which can lead to being able to produce fissile nuclear materials for making weapons, along with what are called “non-state actors” in a race to obtain the weapons and materials, all of this continues to threaten the very existence of humankind and all life on the planet. This does not even deal with the whole issue of nuclear power, which in many respects is at the core of the challenge dealing with controlling the spread of fissile materials.
There was a pride of their scientific achievement, but it was also the beginning of the struggle among many individuals present at the creation as they reflected on the consequences of the weapon they had created. “The lighting effects beggared description. The whole country was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun. It was golden, purple, violet, gray, and blue. It lighted every peak, crevasse and ridge of the nearby mountain range with a clarity and beauty that cannot be described but must be seen to be imagined” General Thomas Farrell observed at the Trinity site.