A heterodox perspective on Teller, Plowshare, Gnome & Radiation
Friday, January 28, 2022, 06:30pm


Title of the presentation : A heterodox perspective on Teller, Plowshare, Gnome & Radiation


Presenter: Norbert T. Rempe,  WIPP-retired


Edward Teller delighted in challenging consensus and the status-quo. Among many high accomplishments, he: 

  • Publicly rebutted double Nobel (and Lenin peace) laureate Linus Pauling on the presumed dangers of fallout from atmospheric tests
  • Sparked and led efforts to use nuclear explosives in civil engineering applications (Plowshare test series)
  • Advocated and supported effective civil defense against nuclear attacks
  • Promoted and defended the Strategic Defense Initiative (derisively dubbed “Star Wars” by Ted Kennedy)


December 10, 1961, 30 miles east of Carlsbad, Gnome, the first civilian underground nuclear explosion outside the Nevada Test Site, was detonated.  Despite an unplanned release of radioactively laced steam, no credible evidence for short- or long-term detrimental consequences has been demonstrated.  Like subsequent tests in the series, it soon became virtually forgotten.  Valuable lessons about radiation exposure resulting from these experiments -and troves of other exculpatory and even salubrious evidence accumulated in over half a century since then- continue to be ignored in regulatory theory and compliance practice.  A paradigm change is long overdue…       


Norbert Rempe became a United States citizen in 1979, when he also moved to Carlsbad with his family.  He worked as a mining and mineral resource geologist in coal, potash, and petroleum, but dedicated most of his career to assuage ignorance about, and opposition to, geologic isolation of radioactive and chemically toxic wastes, domestically and internationally.  Retired since 2011, he continues learning and teaching about radiation, mineral resources, and energy.

Location Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center (CEMRC),1400 University Drive, Carlsbad, NM
Please note that the next day, a tour to the Gnome Project site will be organized. Get information about this tour during the presentation.