Up here in the Queen City, we’re a little far removed from concerns about atomic bombs. But! Preparedness is almost always a good idea. In that spirit, I present this NPR report: “U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers to See If They Are Safe to Drink”.
It’s actually a post on Robert Krulwich’s NPR science blog, Krulwich being one half of the Radiolab hosting team. Specifically, the half that didn’t get a genius grant, but Krulwich is still great.
The experiments in question happened in the mid-1950s and involved exactly what the headline says. Krulwich’s summary of the results: “So here’s your government’s considered advice: Should you find yourself near an atomic blast and run short of potable water, you can chug a Coke or a beer, but don’t expect it to taste great.” Important information.