The Reason We’re All Still Here

Skinny-Dipping in the USSR

Sept. 20, 2023

As the Cold War draws to a close, a group of American scientists hatches a plan to board a Soviet warship with a nuclear weapons detector to prove to their own government that the USSR is open to nuclear arms verification. Meet the guys who brought a slug of depleted uranium through security at LaGuardia Airport, sat atop a Soviet nuclear device in the Black Sea, and skinny-dipped with their counterparts from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

This episode features three physicists: Tom Cochran, formerly of the NRDC; Frank von Hippel, a professor of physics at Princeton University; and Steve Fetter, a professor at the University of Maryland. 

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