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One of the Chariot schemes involved chaining five thermonuclear devices to create the artificial harbor.

Project Chariot was a 1958 US Atomic Energy Commission proposal to construct an artificial harbor at Cape Thompson on the North Slope of the U.S. state of Alaska by burying and detonating a string of nuclear devices.


The project originated as part of Operation Plowshare, a research project to find peaceful uses for nuclear explosives.

The plan was championed by Edward Teller, who traveled throughout the state touting the harbor as an important economic development for America's newest state. Alaskan political leaders, newspaper editors, the state university's president, even church groups all rallied in support of the massive detonation.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many

After a customer for the harbor project could not be discovered, the researchers decided to turn the project into a study on the economic impacts of nuclear fallout on the indigenous communities of Point Hope, Noatak, and Kivalina, in particular "to measure the size of bomb necessary to render a population dependent" after local food sources have become too dangerous to eat due to extreme levels of radiation.[1]

The history of Project Chariot is recounted in the book The Firecracker Boys by Dan O'Neill (originally published in 1994 and revised and reissued in 2007 as The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement).


  1. Davis, Robert (1973). The genocide machine in Canada : the pacification of the North. Montréal: Black Rose Books. pp. 143–151. ISBN 0919618049. 

See also

Further reading

  • O'Neill, Dan (2007) [1995]. The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00348-6. 
  • O'Neill, Dan (1995). The Firecracker Boys. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-13416-9. 
  • Seife, Charles (2009) [2008]. Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-311634-9. 


External links

Coordinates: 68°06′01″N 165°45′55″W / 68.10028°N 165.76528°W / 68.10028; -165.76528

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