No, it’s no joke. For 25 years there were plans for a Swiss Nuclear Bomb. Tom Lehrer did not know that.

Two weeks after Hiroshima a meeting of Swiss government members decided to consider the building of a nuclear weapon. The plans developed and a US-made nuclear reactor, useful for plutonium production, was bought. The price was heavily subsidized in order to prevent Switzerland from buying a Russian contraption. The reactor was loaded and started.

There were discussions about weapon carriers. The government decided to by 100 fighter planes capable of carrying the nukes. The agreed price was increased, doubled and tripled and Swiss business-wise politicians did not like that. So the number of airplanes was reduced and reduced. Finally there were doubts whether the whole enterprise really was not getting too expensive after all, and there were also opponents who asked whether the nukes would be useful.

In 1969 the nuclear reactor exploded. The damage to the environment was limited as it had been placed underground. And after 25 years of “progress” the program was finally terminated. Nukes are useless, expensive and dangerous.

This is what I remember from a guide who spoke in the Historical Museum. I wish museums were the only place for nukes.

The parallel to the Swedish nuclear weapons program would be worth exploring. Has anyone done that? Several books have been written why certain countries do and others don’t acquire nukes. There may be need for one more, at least a chapter.

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