The rapid production of more fissile material required the Y-12 method. To meet this deadline, fissile material was manufactured artificially by a transmutation process in the linear CALUTRONS. Input systems had been rearranged to produce intense volumes of neutron beams. These were directed into ura-nium-238 receivers. The process would rapidly produce very high grade plutonium. The process required two weeks of continual high speed neutron bombardment. The continual charging and discharging of powerful capacitor banks fired alpha particles into beryllium targets to produce beams of volumetrically large neutron populations at high energy. The input was discharged some 1400 times per 24 hour period, a total of nearly 20,000 successive bombardments. Sufficient material had now been transmuted to manufacture several plutonium bombs. Once the proper amount of fissile material had been manufactured with these ends in mind, several laboring personnel were required to actually enter the CALUTRON room, which had now become dangerously radioactive. It is said that this accelerator could not be approached for months. The subsequent status of these workers, for very obvious reasons remains unknown.
Some have noticed that the Nagasaki explosion (August 9) was visibly different from the Hiroshima weapon, these differences the result of two different fissile materials. The more vicious detonation obviously having been produced through the plutonium weapon, all subsequent atomic bombs would use plutonium. The terror of these two civilian encounters with atomic fire proved greater for those who wielded the power. Even after this second Bomb, the Japanese bureaucracy required 5 full days to reach a decision of surrender. This was formally related to the appropriate authorities on August 14. It is apparent that Japanese military may never have been moved with pity for their own people, even after the promised “rain of ruin”. But the halt to this deployment was necessary on many counts. Both of the Atomic Bombs had produced far more than the fire bomb effects observed in Dresden, where rapidly ascending whirlwind flames sucked the breath out of civilians. These early firebombs, which later became the Napalm bombs and other chemical approximations of small yield nuclear weapons, did not produce the unique and deadly fire stimulated by nuclear reactions. Nuclear fire reached deep into the inertial side of matter, releasing its deadly debris into a world which had never known its likes. Here was fire from such deep energetic states that exposed materials were reduced to atomic vapor. The atomic bomb was a true terror weapon, and the whole world stood back in awe.
Oligarchs were secure. They had their terror weapon. Nuclear weaponry and everything having to do with uranium production had been transformed into a very obvious product of terror. This bomb, the result of working class labors and minds, was now the very embodiment of technological revolution. The Bomb reaffirmed a new definition of power for this social class. The Bomb was a reminder of ultimate power, of supreme power. There would be no control of the military privatization of this weapon. Here was a dynamic tension never before encountered. These were weapons which could destroy the planet. Moreover, the Bomb had not simply refocused power among mere researchers, those who first secured proof of its potentials. Now, power had been permanently concentrated in the military. It was at this point in time that rulership realized the impossibility of regulating or containing The Weapon. Once in military hands, there the weapon would remain. Though the weapon was no ordinary explosive, the military attitude concerning secrecy and national security remained the same. None could bind the consciousness which had both produced The Weapon and the new attitude which surrounded its development Here was property of a complex ownership. Having materials, the result of oligarchic patronage, the secrets were now the permanent property of bureaucracy! Power remained in the military. The rulership would do its all to seize the whole nuclear technology package.
The concept of nuclear regulation signalled the soft first reassertions of demands from the oligarchy. The ultimate aim of these overtures was to “secure the property”. The rulership promoted the case that the nuclear processing systems were nothing more than new industry, and definitely their property. Here at least they were on the begging end. The Atomic Energy Commission was the attempt, at a higher than martial bureaucratic level, to take the quantifiable accoutrements of the Nuclear Age: uranium, nuclear bombs, processing plants, assembly facilities, researchers, academic advisers, finished weapons, and military leadership. Now military and academic personnel, along with the purification plants, the uranium mines, in short every piece of the Nuclear Industry which was not classified, became tagged property. But there was a catch.
Were they to exercise the full weight of their means in obtaining the materials of nuclear industry, the highly classified secrets would yet remain unobtainable by Federal Law. Completely separate from the civilian population, the severity of military position in the hierarchy provided a powerful deadlock between those who claimed the nuclear secrets as “their property” and those who claimed trusteeship of the national defense. The military would divulge none of the information. The only way an information “leak” could be arranged would be through bureaucratic agencies of command, none of which would dare interfere. Military correctly resisted even executive pressures to release the secrets to the United States Government, citing the imposture of exposing such highly classified and potentially deadly secrets to any potential security risk. By exerting the full measure of their privileges in this respect, they effectively isolated themselves from every other level of the executive bureaucracy. In short, the military seized the secrets of the nuclear weapons, and by so doing, became now the principle owner of that property. No private militia group could be mounted to seize the power back. Who would mount an armed assault on the United States military?
A nuclear power struggle had begun, one which moved within the offices of bureaucracy in deep tides. Agencies, divisions, and branches of military jurisdiction maintained silence. The frightful power of this martial consortium was one whose newly privatized power would not easily bow to or conform with superior command at any level. This is why President Eisenhower, years after the incident, spoke out against the new consolidation. Publicly indicted by his statements, the phrase “military-industrial complex” was first heard in a new light. His forceful statements were the result of experience with the inner machinations of a short-lived military rule, in which the very Commander-in-Chief had been restricted from exercising his full authority.
- CHAPTER 3
- CHAPTER 5