Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nuclear Bombs Testing

Since the time of Trinity, which is the first nuclear explosion in 1945, nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have been performed, with the majority taking place during the 1960s and 1970s. When the technology was new, tests were frequent and often spectacular, and led to the development of newer, more deadly weapons.

Judging from the amount of nuke test done, I just can imagine the amount of radiation human kind had been exposed.

Starting in the 1990s, there have been efforts to limit the future testing of nuclear weapons, including a U.S. moratorium and a U.N. comprehensive test ban treaty. As a result, testing has slowed, though not halted, and there are questions about the future. Who will take over for those experienced engineers who are now near retirement, and should we act as stewards with enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons? 

Gathered here are images from the first 30 years of nuclear testing.

Exposed wiring of The Gadget, the nuclear device which exploded as part of Trinity, the first nuclear weapons test of an atomic bomb. At the time of this photo, the device was being prepared for its detonation, which took place on July 16, 1945. (U.S. Department of Defense)  

Upshot-Knothole Grable, a test carried out by the U.S. military in Nevada on May 25, 1953. A 280mm nuclear shell was fired 10km into the desert by the M65 Atomic Cannon, detonating in the air, about 500 feet above the ground, with a resulting 15 kiloton explosion. (U.S. Department of Defense) 

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