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Modern Marvels

Season 14 Episode 9

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 21, 2007 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Weapons of Mass Destruction
From the unimaginable power of nuclear bombs to microscopic anthrax spores, we reveal who possesses these nightmare weapons and explore the danger posed by terrorists with deadly technologies. Using the latest computer technology see an on-screen representation of the radioactive plume that would result from a mock dirty bomb attack in Seattle. Learn how bio-agents are discovered and understand the technology currently used to identify and prevent suicide bombings. Weapons of mass destruction have made the world a dangerous place but find out how technology can assist us as we strive for lasting solutions.moreless
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  • Keep an Eye on It!

    Have or will the chemical and biological . weapons have been or be destroyed by the end of 2012? It really makes you think... follow the weapons!

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • JASPER: Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research
      APDS: Autonomous Pathogen Detection System

    • Ten percent of the nuclear energy generated in the United States each year comes from recycled Russian nuclear warheads.

    • Over 300,000 alarms have been triggered at Radiation Portal Monitors in the United States. Not one has resulted in the discovery of illicit nuclear material.

    • At the height of its biological weapons program in the 1980s, the Soviet Union employed over 60,000 scientists and was able to produce 20 tons of smallpox, 20 tons of plague, and 5,000 tons of anthrax every year.

    • At one time the Deseret Chemical Depot – home to the Tooele Chemichal Agent Disposal Facility – stored 5 major chemical agents in 10 different types of munitions, for a total of over 1 million weapons.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Narrator: They're the dark achievements of our intellect: nuclear, chemical, biological and even dirty bombs. They're nightmare weapons designed to kill indiscriminately and they may be in the hands of terrorists. From furnaces burning forgotten poisons to machines that probe, detect and analyze, technology is on the front line of defense. Now: Weapons of Mass Destruction, on Modern Marvels.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Commentators:

      Harley Benz, PhD
      Scientist in Charge, NEIC

      Bruce Goodwin, PhD
      Livermore Nuclear Weapons Program Head

      Sammy Salama
      Center for Nonproliferation Studies

      Clay Moltz, PhD
      Center for Nonproliferation Studies

      Jeffrey M. Bale, PhD
      Center for Nonproliferation Studies

      Kevin Rohrer
      Spokesman, Nevada Test Site

      Dax Jolly
      Deputy Facility Manager, JASPER

      William Potter
      Center for Nonproliferation Studies

      John Nasstrom, PhD
      Associate Program Leader, NARAC

      Todd A. Hoffman
      Port Director, Los Angeles/Long Beach

      Michael Carmouche
      CBP Officer, Port of LA/Long Beach

      Edward J. Morones
      CBP Officer, Port of LA/Long Beach

      Shawn Funk
      System Manager, CUGR

      Jeffrey K. Smart
      US Army Command Historian, ECBC

      Craig Hooper, PhD
      Center for Nonproliferation Studies

      Peter Emanuel, PhD
      Biodefense Team Leader, ECBC

      John Dzenitis, PhD
      Project Leader, APDS

      Matt Peterson
      Facilities Operator, TOCDF

      Ted Ryba
      Site Project Manager, TOCDF

      Richard L. Wiltison
      Historian, ECBC

      Gary W. McCloskey
      General Manager, TOCDF

      Randy Herald
      Production Manager, Fort Gordon

      Lynn Skinner
      Chief of Devices, Fort Gordon

      Sgt. First Class Roy Ebersole
      Training Instructor, Fort Gordon