6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

Kennan Institute U.S. Alumni Series //

Plutopia is the first history of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia, two communities developed in parallel by opposing nations at the height of the Cold War. Using firsthand interviews and historical archives, Kate Brown traces the development of the twin sites, showing how the cover provided by the idyllic towns allowed plant managers to grow corrupt and freely pollute. The result, she discovers, was a twinned pair of environmental and medical disasters ranking among the worst that the world has ever seen.

Life in a Real Nuclear Wasteland : Recent article by Kate Brown in Slate about daily life in Muslumovo, Russia. 


  • Kate Brown

    Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and former Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute