Countdown To Zero

Synopsis: A documentary about how the likelihood of nuclear weapons (or fissile materials) usage has increased due to the rise of terrorism and lack of safeguards and verification.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Lucy Walker
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

I dont believe it.

It makes no sense.

"There is something so strange."

"Perhaps you could suggest some

fantastic explanation. "

"Could'nt it be this sort of thing"

He turned the drawing round.

"Yes," she said,

"That is what I mean."

This was the first explanation

of the splitting the atom.

Robert Oppenheimer said:


But within 15 minutes he decided

it was real.

He realised it would release

some great amount of energy,

That you could

generate power

and make bombs.

Within one week, on

Oppenheimer's black board

There was a drawing of

the bomb.

Enrico Fermi stood

in his office

and looked out of Manhattan.

He kept his hand to

the size of a tennis balll.

"A little bomb like that" He said

"And it would all disappear."

Countdown To Zero

There is no doubt in my mind

if the terrorists had

acquired a nuclear weapon,

They would not have hasitated to use it.

SoI guess the question is:

Could They Ever Get One?

Al-Qaida is determined

to acquire nuclear weapons

and use them if they get them.

In the early 90's

they tried to buy highly

enriched uranium in Sudan

They got scammed

Just prior to the

we do know that Osama bin Laden and

his lieutinent Zawahiri

sat down with two

Pakistani nuclear scientists

and discussed

nuclear weapons.

Before releasing sarin gas

in the Tokyo subway

the Japanese cult

Aum Shinrikyo

attempted to acquire a

nuclear bomb in Russia.

They bought a sheet

farm in Australia

to mine uranium to

build their own bomb.

The objective of Al-Qaeda is:

is to kill 4 million Americans

including two million children

This is in his calculations,

the..which is required to

balance the scales of justice.

He takes

various incidents

from Shatila to

the war in Iraq,

and counts up the

bodycount and says

"Thats how many people

we owe:
4 million. "

You are not going to get

hijacking airplanes and

crashing them into buildings.

Actually, I am not that worried

about nuclear weapons.

Its not one of my main worries.

Isnt everyone worried about

nuclear weapons?

There are all concerned

nuclear war?

Thats a stupid answer,


I don't know. Its never been something

that I actually had to think

in my everyday life.

It might get on your conscience

and maybe then disappears

I do not think anybody is going

to use in this day and age

it is ridiculous to even think about it.

What can you do?


At the end of the day a small button

and there is going to be a big mess at the end of that

Somebody is going to make a mistake one day

and we are all going to suffer for it.

There are three ways to

acquire a nuclear weapon:

You could steal a bomb,

You could buy a bomb

and you could build a bomb.

Of all the things I've learned after 9/11,

about terrorism iintent

the most startling discovery

for me personally

was realising they were trying to

build a bomb.

The hardest part of

making a nuclear bomb

is getting the material,

highly enriched uranium

or plutonium.

Many countries have

these materials,

and often they are poorly guarded

But if I were

a terrorist

intending to build

a nuclear bomb,

and i wanted to blow up

a major city

I would look to the countries of

the former Soviet Union.

There have been many cases

involving the theft

of highly enriched

uranium or plutonium.

And every time there has been a black market ceasure

of stolen HEU or plutonium

andthey were able to

track to its source

It came from Russia.

There was a case at a Russian naval base

in the early 1990s.

One of the naval personel told a relative of his

where the highly enriched uranium at this place was

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Lucy Walker

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Countdown To Zero" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 20 Aug. 2022. <>.

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