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Plowshares Into Nuclear Bombs

RFE/RL's Kazakh Service has contributed a video glimpse into the plight of villagers living near the site of an "atomic lake" in northeastern Kazakhstan. The 100-meter-deep lake was created in the 1960s when Soviet scientists were testing grand plans to harness the power of the "peaceful atom" for infrastructure and other megaprojects.

And just so it's clear that no one's accusing the Soviets of being alone in their misplaced faith, the video begins with U.S. video from "Operation Plowshare," when Americans were equally enamored of the "peaceful atom: a tool to move a mountain." (Here's an extended version of the U.S. film outlining the plans.)

-- Andy Heil

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at