A handbook for scholars, students, policy makers, journalists, and peace and environmental activists, Nuclear Wastelands provides concise histories of the development of nuclear weapons programs of every declared and de facto nuclear weapons power, as well as detailed surveys of the health and environmental effects of this development both in these countries and in non-nuclear nations involved in nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining. Among the more obvious but largely deferred costs of the Cold War are those related to the management of radioactive waste. The world is burdened with thousands of unwanted nuclear devices and mounting surpluses of weapons-grade plutonium and enriched uranium. In addition, the process of weapons production and testing has left many lands, aquifers, rivers, lakes, and seas contaminated by a multitude of weapons-related poisons. This book follows the production process step by step and country by country from uranium mining to the final assembly and storage of weapons, analyzing the potential hazards of each step and compiling the most complete information available on the actual health and environmental effects, in each country involved. Nuclear Wastelands includes a wealth of information that has only recently come to light, particularly on the nuclear weapons program of the former Soviet Union. It also features critical analyses of official public communications concerning the health and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons production, bringing to light governmental secrecy and outright deception that have led to the subversion of democratic principles, and have camouflaged the damage done to the very people and lands the weapons were meant to safeguard.