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Nuclear testing
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Nuclear testing

A nuclear test explosion is an experiment involving the detonation of a nuclear weapon.
in 1945.]]

Motivations for testing generally are broken into the categories of "weapons related" (verifying that a weapon works, or examining exactly how it works), and "weapons effects" (how weapons behave under various conditions, and how structures behave when subjected to weapons). Often, though, weapons testing has also been a demonstration of the possessing nation's military and scientific strength.

Nuclear weapons tests are generally classified as being either "atmospheric" (in or above the atmosphere), "underground," or "underwater." Of these, underground testing contained in deep shafts poses the least health risk in terms of fallout. Atmospheric testing which comes in contact with the ground or other materials poses the highest risk. Nuclear weapons have been tested by dropping them from planes (an "airdrop"), from the tops of towers, hoisted from balloons, on barges at sea, attached to the bottom of ships, and even shot into outer space by rockets.

The first atomic test was detonated by the United States at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945, with a yield approximately equivalent to 20 kilotons. The first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Mike", was tested at Eniwetok island in the Bikini atoll on November 1, 1952, also by the United States. The largest nuclear weapon ever tested was the Tsar Bomba of the Soviet Union at Novaya Zemlya, with an estimated yield of around 57 megatons.

There have been around 2,000 nuclear test explosions:

Peter Kuran's documentary film Trinity and Beyond (1996) incorporates a good deal of footage from US, Soviet and Chinese tests.

Table of contents
1 Known test series designations
2 See also
3 External links

Known test series designations


The United States has conducted numerous nuclear tests throughout the nation including the Nevada Test Site, the Marshall Islands, Alaska, and even Farmington, New Mexico.






Israel/South Africa

See also

External links