Operation Plumbbob: Detonation Fizeau. Image Source: Nuclear Weapon Archive.
Following advances in nuclear science in the 20th century, mutants have become a popular way of understanding the impact of radioactivity. In 2004, an academic from the University of Chicago argued that that perception was changed to reconcile certain ironies about nuclear science. Those ironies concern the fact that both nuclear weapons and nuclear power were devised to protect advanced nations' security and energy interests. But the great powers' superpowers came at a price: nuclear weapons and power have grim cultural and environmental impacts.
Worse, those impacts have already been felt. The greatest irony arises when one considers that bomb detonations and radioactive fallout have already occurred. In North America, it happened during atomic testing that began in 1951. In other words, the apocalypse has already happened; it was self-inflicted. We have been living in the slow burn aftermath ever since.