Mount Kologet, Goldsboro, Palomares, Thule… Four nuclear accidents, four stains on the history of the Cold War. Four names that are now forgotten. These events lay undiscovered for years having been classified as official secrets. Now published, the files show how the relentless standoff between the two superpowers spiralled out of control and led us to the brink of obliteration.
Along with contemporary protagonists, historians, geopolitical specialists and atomic experts, this two-episode documentary takes us first to the Uniteted States, then on European soil, to reveal what we avoided by a whisker during a period that is not really all that far in the past. Returning to this subject casts fresh light on the perils to which the public was exposed at a time of extreme tension, especially as recent historiography will allow us to revisit many shadowy corners of the past, throwing up some completely unexpected answers.
Episode 1: The 1950s
Episode 2: The 1960s
Direction: Thierry Piantanida & Thierry Ragobert
Production: Cinétévé for France Télévisions