Gieljan de Vries

Gieljan de Vries

science writer

Cover article

KIJK magazine no. 2, 2020

7 crazy ideas from the atomic era

Donald Trump's unholy idea of blowing up hurricanes with nuclear bombs is just the tip of an iceberg of feverish plans involving atomic technology. A cover article featuring seven hair-raising - or clever? - nuclear plans.

When Donald Trump blowhards that you could extinguish hurricanes with nukes, I immediately worry about what other fevered nuclear ideas there are floating around. That cries out for a series of short linked pieces about what we now think is science fiction, but what they really tried in the 1950s-60s.

  • KIJK editor in chief André Kesselerin his editorial: "It's a good thing many of those ill-fated dreams didn't come true."

I pitch the idea to the KIJK editors, who think it's cool enough for a cover article. And so in KIJK 2 of 2020 I write about atomic-powered passenger cars, nuclear cruise ships, going to the stars on nuclear explosions, and of course digging ports or fracking natural gas with nuclear warheads. fracken met kernkoppen.

Even in the nuclear-shy now, such ideas appear to be alive. We are not only working with nuclear icebreakers, but also thinking about passenger ships that, like an aircraft carrier or nuclear submarine, only need to refuel once every 25 years. It was fantastic to find out and learn why these ideas didn't work - or did, and at what cost.