(New Book) An account edited by Siegfried Hecker, Doomed to Cooperate tells the story of the collaboration through the words of American and Russian scientists who traveled to each other’s nuclear complexes to work together within the individual bounds of nuclear secrecy. The content reveals not only the scientific endeavors and benefits of strengthened nuclear safety and security in Russia and worldwide, but also the intensity, emotion, friendships, and sometimes humor that resulted. Published in a two-volume set, Doomed to Cooperate is a reading experience.
Known familiarly as lab-to-lab collaboration, the idea germinated with the joint verification experiments that followed the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik in 1986. Soviet and American nuclear scientists came together to monitor a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site in 1988. This was followed by a second verification test at Semipalatinsk in the Soviet Union. The reciprocal verifications allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to ratify a treaty banning the testing of nuclear weapons of yields greater than 150 kilotons. The Threshold Nuclear Test Ban Treaty had been signed in 1974 but never ratified until joint verification became a reality. While each side was eager to share the other’s scientific and technical knowledge, the personal communication and respect that developed was of equal importance. […]
See contributions by PONARS Eurasia member Alla Kassianova.