Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad

The first in-depth examination of NEST: America's super-secret government agency operating to prevent nuclear terrorist attacks.

Jeffrey T. Richelson reveals the history of the Nuclear Emergency Support Team, from the events leading to its creation in 1974 to today. Defusing Armageddon provides a behind-the-scenes look at NEST's personnel, operations, and detection and disablement equipment--employed in response to attempts at nuclear extortion, lost and stolen nuclear material, crashed nuclear-powered Soviet satellites, and al Qaeda's quest for nuclear weapons. Richelson traces the Cosmos satellite that crashed into the Canadian wilderness; nuclear threats to Los Angeles, New York, and other cities; and the surveillance of Muslim sites in the United States after 9/11. Relying on recently declassified documents and interviews with former NEST personnel, Richelson's extensive research reveals how NEST operated during the Cold War, how the agency has evolved, and its current efforts to reduce the chance of a nuclear device decimating an American city. 16 pages of illustrations; 4 maps

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By Ilya (Redmond, WA) · ★★★☆☆ · October 22, 2012
In October 1945, George Orwell wrote an article on the recently invented atomic bomb, saying that "the question that is of most urgent interest to all of us" is "How difficult are these things to manufacture?" The same question has been posed many times, and the answer has usually been, "For some... ...more
By Graham (Washington, DC) · ★★★☆☆ · May 10, 2013
Richelson makes a good effort here, but part of the problem with both the book and the narrative of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST) at large is the lack of real use they've had in the four decades since their founding. Aside from the MORNING LIGHT deployment to Canada, NEST has seen no r... ...more
By David (Washington, DC) · ★★☆☆☆ · October 04, 2009
Terrifying in its incompetence vs the scope and risk of its task; the story of NEST will likely keep you up at night. However this book is written as a dry academic historical account, so I consider it a real tour de force that is book may succeed in putting you to sleep after all. ...more
By Arthur (Canada) · ★★★★☆ · March 13, 2009
"Defusing Armageddon" is a very interesting book about U.S. Nuclear Emergency Search Teams that have been deployed to a variety of nuclear accidents, emergencies or threats. Highly recommended. ...more
By Scott (Grand Haven, MI) · ★★★☆☆ · September 30, 2009
scary stuff...i had no idea there where this many nuclear "incidents" ...more
By Tim (Alexandria, VA) · ★★★★☆ · July 05, 2013
Awesome. A glimpse into the world we never see... ...more