Jeffrey LewisOperation Gunnerside

Many nuclear experts recently gathered in Oslo for an event on nuclear disarmament, organized by the Nobel Institute.

Bruno Tertrais, attendee and friend of wonk, sends along this photo of what, for him, was the highlight of the meeting: A talk by Joachim Rønneberg, “who, in addition to bearing a slight resemblance to Clint Eastwood (and is now 90), was the first successful counter-proliferator in history. He led the Norwegian team that conducted Operation Gunnerside, the sabotaging of the Nazi-occupied Norwegian heavy water plant in February 1943.”

Bruno might think Rønneberg looks like Clint Eastwood, but Kirk Douglas (right) played the Rønneberg character in The Heroes of Telemark.

Of course, Kirk is also father of Michael, no slouch when it comes to acting himself, who fights proliferation in his capacity as Ploughshares Board Member.

Bruno did not ask whether any of Rønneberg’s descendants were available for a short visit to Arak — no visa required.


  1. bradley laing (History)

    It was long assumed that Hughes’ efforts were ignored.

    But Coyle said in a recent interview that the Atomic Energy Commission was under so much heat from Hughes, as well as other hotel owners, that the agency ordered a test to see whether a big detonation farther from the Strip would reduce the shaking there.

    “Howard Hughes was unhappy with the situation and complained about it to the AEC,” Coyle recalled. “That’s why Faultless was done.”

    The Faultless test involved one of the biggest hydrogen bombs ever detonated in the Lower 48 states. Unexpectedly, the violence of the blast caused the earth to sink 8 feet and opened gaps 3 feet across. It did not reduce the problem of shaking in Las Vegas, either, Coyle recalled.,0,1389110.story

  2. Anon

    Alright… my kind of Arms Control 🙂

    VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California — The Air Force successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile Monday from the California coast to an area in the Pacific Ocean some 4,200 miles away.

    The ICBM was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara at 3:01 a.m. and carried three unarmed re-entry vehicles to their targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, said Lt. Raymond Geoffroy.

    The missile, configured with a National Nuclear Security Administration Test Assembly, was launched under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, whose members installed tracking and command destruct systems on it to collect data and meet safety requirements.