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Reminiscing about the past

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By Kirsten Laskey

John Richter spent 46 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on weapons design and he is now going to tell-all.During the Los Alamos Historical Society lecture series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge, Richter will spill the beans and give his unauthorized (by the Department of Energy) and unclassified reminiscence.Richter explained he will discuss his perspective of the history of nuclear weapons and about their present situation.He said he will be putting “60 years into 60 minutes.” Basically, he will discuss how the nuclear program started out strong during World War II and the Cold War but at present, seems to be losing its steam.When Richter arrived in Los Alamos in 1958, there was a race to beat the Germans in developing the nuclear bomb. The nuclear race continued with a new opponent, the Soviet Union, during the Cold War.However, the fall of the Soviet Union and Cold War changed things. “Everybody lost interest in nuclear weapons,” he said.For instance, the U.S. took down many types of nuclear weapons, but kept seven types in stockpiles.Although Richter believes the nuclear weapons have dwindled, it certainly has not stopped. “We’re still spending a lot of money in the nuclear weapons program,” he said.Richter’s motivation for the lecture, he said, is to discuss what happened to this program that the U.S.


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