NH #632: Hiroshima/Nagasaki Radiation Aftermath – We Are All Hibakusha (A-Bomb Survivors) – Prof. Robert “Bo” Jacobs

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Radiation Aftermath – We Are All Hibakusha (A-Bomb Survivors) – Prof. Robert “Bo” Jacobs

New study reveals that radioactive fallout from the Trinity atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945, deposited in 46 states, Canada and Mexico. (Map from New York Times; CLICK here for the article.

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • HIBAKUSHA is the term for those who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But in recent years, it has come to be applied more widely to all who have been exposed to radiation from nuclear bomb testing and other sources of contamination from manufacturing, uranium mining, nuclear reactors, and radioactive waste. As today’s guest will explain, that means just about all of us.

    Prof. Robert “Bo” Jacobs is an American historian of nuclear technologies and radiation techno-politics. He moved to Japan in 2006 after being hired by the Hiroshima Peace Institute. and is currently a professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute and the Graduate School of Peace Studies of Hiroshima City University. He’s the author of the 2022 book, NUCLEAR BODIES: The Global Hibakusha, and that’s what we’ll be talking about.

Prof. Robert “Bo” Jacobs of the Hiroshima Peace Institute with his book, NUCLEAR BODIES: The Global Hibakusha.

Bo offers such a wealth of information that our interview ran over one hour. So it’s being presented in two parts as a bracket around the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Part 2 will appear on next week’s Nuclear Hotseat #633, August 8, 2023.

(To clear up a few references from the interview, note that in Part 1, Rongalap in the Marshall Islands was a site of U.S. A-bomb tests in the 1950’s. And the Japanese fishermen on the boat Lucky Dragon were accidentally contaminated by nuclear fallout from the United States Castle Bravo thermonuclear weapon test at Bikini Atoll in 1954.)

I spoke with Bo Jacobs on Friday, July 21, 2023.

LINKS: Robert “Bo” Jacobs and NUCLEAR BODIES: The Global Hibakusha.

Nuclear Hotseat Hot Story with Linda Pentz Gunter:

Did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki end the war, or was it a fundamentally  immoral act of racism?

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):

  • Decisions, decisions… What’s more numnutz? A nuke-powered space rocket to get us (or Elon Musk) to Mars in half the time while risking an explosion that will set off an Electro-Magnetic Pulse that will destroy the grid back on earth? A bedside lamp featuring the image of a nuclear explosion that doesn’t destroy any of the Manhattan landmark buildings? Oh, but wait — Diablo Canyon decommissioning and demolition framed as being more damaging to the environment than keeping it running… until it needs to be decommissioned and demolished in 20 years?

Nukemap: See what would happen if they dropped a bomb on your neighborhood/city/state/country

  • Nukemap by historian Alex Wellerstein created is a do-it-yourself way to launch a nuclear war on… well, anyone, anywhere! Enter the name of the city or area you wish to see nuked, pick out the size of the bomb being dropped, check off a few more boxes et voila! A map showing the target as well as the range of impact from the blast will pop up almost immediately, showing everything from Instantaneously vaporized to merely killed. I suggest you start with the preset for Little Boy, the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, and translate the photos you’ve seen of it into your neighborhood.

Nukemap (below) without selections being made (section on the right). Select location you wish to target (type in or use preset), and warhead yield (again, preset may be easiest.) Make sure you click on Casualties and Radioactive Fallout, then click DETONATE.

Nukemap (below) showing the impact of a Hiroshima-sized nuclear bomb dropped on Manhattan.
Scroll down for further information on what those concentric circles indicate.


Lots to choose from, as this is “high season” for nuclear stories – Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries – even without the added boost from Oppenheimer:

Downwinder activist Tina Cordova

NUKEMAP – https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/



CBS Sunday Morning report on re-evaluation of film of atomic bomb blasts.

Bob Fahrquar free pdf of book, Duck and Cover: A Pictorial History of Nuclear Weapons