The Atom War was an event in Orion history when the Orions made a bid for freedom with nuclear weapons.

Over four millennia, the Orions had gradually become the trusted slaves of the races frequenting the Rigel system. However, they had been using the resources and education provided by their masters to learn more about technology and interstellar politics. The Orion bureaucrats learned that nuclear weapons were widely considered an effective deterrent, and it was their hope that nuclear weaponry could bring an end to the proxy warfare that they were forced to wage on Botchok. At the 21st Rigel Conference in 12,327 BCE (reference stardate −143/27), they gained permission to develop nuclear technology.

On 12th September, 12,237 BCE (stardate −142/3709.12), upon completion of their nuclear arsenal, the Orions delivered an ultimatum to their masters, ordering them to withdraw from the Rigel system or be destroyed. After a brief set of secret conferences, the master races responded by detonating all their nuclear weapons on Botchok. It was reasoned that they could do without the planet for a generation, as there were plenty of Orion slaves offworld. The Treaty of Kammzdast was modified to restrict travel to Botchok (proxy warfare was temporarily suspended), and it also placed stronger restrictions on Orion access to technological knowledge.

The effect of the brief exchange on Botchok itself was devastating; eighty percent of the population was killed during the Atom War or the Long Winter that followed it, and the planet's ecology would not recover for five thousand years. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)

A Grey Orion commentator at the time, Somchuk Nhat the Far-Sighted, said the war was a failure of diplomacy to handle technological questions. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)

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