Episode #27: Atomic Train

In this episode, we took the midnight train going anywhere… far away from the bad TV mini-series, Atomic Train (1999). Could a dangerous Russian nuke end up on a runaway U.S. train? What would a major city like Denver do to evacuate after a nuclear detonation? How can a movie with a runaway train, nukes, hazardous chemicals, Rob Lowe, and 50+ helicopters be so boring? Tim Westmyer, Gabe, and special guest Elliot answer these questions and more.

This was a fun episode to record but a really tough movie to watch. If you are brave enough, it can be found on YouTube (for now at least): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV_fkGZGhk0

Before the atomic train conductor yelled “all aboard,” we recommend checking out:

Threads (1984 TV movie) and Special Bulletin (1983 TV movie)

The Stand (1994 TV mini-series)

-Michael Krepon, “Moving from MAD to Cooperative Threat Reduction,” Stimson Center, December 2001, https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/93680/Report41.pdf

Unstoppable (2010 movie)

 

Episode #25: Blue Sky & Nuclear Test Site Visit

In this episode, we did some atomic tourism, first to the Nuclear Test Site and then on the emotional journey that is the 1994 melodrama, Blue Sky. How does a mild mannered nuclear test site scientist navigate radioactive cover-ups and family crises? What was it like visiting the former nuclear test site in Nevada? How do you convince your friends it would be more fun to record a podcast in a hotel room than to wander the Las Vegas Strip? Tim Westmyer and special guest Clark answer these questions and more.

This episode was a lot of fun. Tim and his old college roommate/policy debate partner Clark recorded inside a Las Vegas hotel room after visiting the Nevada National Security Site, the swarth of dessert formerly known as the Nuclear Test Site. The public tour requires you to sign up almost a year in advance, so this episode was a long time coming.

Here is a photo of the group in front of the Sedan crater (a “peaceful” nuclear explosion as part of tests showing whether nukes could be used in civilian construction projects) and the Atomic Testing Museum. Tim is front and center in his proud Lakers/Dodgers combo hat.

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Visit our resources page to see what other stuff we recommend checking out and some of the background information that went into the show.