This column was originally published in Northern Life, Greater Sudbury’s community newspaper on February 23, 2007
The metallic “Achilles heel” for any military and navel production has always been nickel
Sudbury was definitely going to be “nuked” by the Russians. At least that was our conclusion back in 1976 when I worked at CVRD Inco’s Clarabell Mill for a year.
During one graveyard shift, a group of us were talking about Cold War politics and atomic bombs. We all agreed that if there ever was a nuclear war between the Americans and Russians then there must have been one Soviet “nuke” with our community’s name stenciled on it. We all laughed a little nervously, but there was also some pride in knowing Sudbury was important enough to get blown-up in the first round of missiles.
Access to strategic materials has always affected the destinies of nations. The Romans conquered Britain in AD 43 to control valuable tin deposits in Cornwall. Combining tin with copper produces bronze, a more valuable and militarily important alloy. Ancient Chinese metallurgical expertise with iron and steel allowed the Middle Kingdom to become a dominate military and economic force during the prosperous Han dynasty.