27 Amazing Color Photographs That Capture U.S Nuclear Tests From the Mid-1940s to the Early 1960s

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Nuclear weapons tests are experiments carried out to determine the effectiveness, yield, and explosive capability of nuclear weapons. Throughout the twentieth century, most nations that developed nuclear weapons tested them.

The first nuclear device was detonated as a test by the United States at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945, with a yield approximately equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT. The first thermonuclear weapon technology test of engineer device, codenamed “Ivy Mike”, was tested at the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands on November 1, 1952 (local date), also by the United States.

In 1963, three (UK, US, Soviet Union) of the four nuclear states and many non-nuclear states signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, pledging to refrain from testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, underwater, or in outer space. The treaty permitted underground nuclear testing. France continued atmospheric testing until 1974, and China continued until 1980. Neither has signed the treaty.

21kt, Bikini, 24.Jul.1946

225kt, Nevada Test Site, 8.May, 1951

14kt, Nevada Test Site, 30.Oct.1951

“Buster Charlie”, 14kt, Nevada Test Site, 30.Oct.1951

“Buster Dog,” 21kt, Nevada Test Site, 1.Nov.1951

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