Herblock used irony, with a hint of sarcasm, to contradict a positive newspaper headline announcing the end of the Cold War. Although the Soviet Union and the United States ended the nuclear weapons showdown that had begun during World War II, nuclear waste remained a risk within both countries. In the 1990s, journalists reported that radioactive waste in a Soviet mine had exploded and had devastated area communities. People living near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State learned that contaminated water in the Columbia River reached the Pacific coast and local fallout poisoned crops. The release of nuclear waste into the air near Cincinnati, Ohio, contaminated local drinking water.