Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


"I am searching for the truth as long as I can"

I recently blogged about Ted Taylor, and the book he inspired. He passed away recently:

Thirty-one years ago, The New Yorker published a profile of nuclear
weapon designer Ted Taylor, written by John McPhee. Published in book
form as “The Curve of Binding Energy,” this was the first time the
prospect of nuclear terrorism was raised publicly as a genuine concern.
223The use of small numbers of covertly-delivered nuclear explosives by
groups of people that are not clearly identified with a national
government is more probable, in the near future, than the open use of
nuclear weapons by a nation for military purposes,224 Ted had warned
privately in 1966, adding that retaliation offered no protection
against subnational groups or 223an extremist group of U.S. citizens who
believe they are trying to save the U.S.224 Thanks to John McPhee’s help
in raising the alarm, and the work of countless individuals and
government officials (including Ted’s own work with the IAEA in
Vienna) we have not yet faced the tragedy that Ted Taylor feared.

Ted Taylor died in Bath, New York, on October 28, after a long battle
to regain his capacities after a series of strokes. Freeman Dyson, his
friend, colleague, and fellow patent-holder (on the TRIGA inherently
safe reactor) wrote [this] on October 29.