List of nuclear weapons tests of the United States

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Trinity, part of Project Alberta, was the first ever nuclear explosion.

The nuclear weapons tests of the United States were performed between 1945 and 1992 as part of the nuclear arms race. The United States conducted around 1,054 nuclear tests by official count, including 216 atmospheric, underwater, and space tests.[1] Most of the tests took place at the Nevada Test Site and the Pacific Proving Grounds in the Marshall Islands and off Kiribati Island in the Pacific, plus three in the Atlantic Ocean. Ten other tests took place at various locations in the United States, including Alaska, Nevada other than the NNSS/NTS, Colorado, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

List[edit]

United States' nuclear testing series summary
Series or years Years covered Tests [Summ 1] Devices fired Devices with unknown yield Peaceful use tests Non-PTBT tests [Summ 2] Yield range (kilotons) [Summ 3] Total yield (kilotons) [Summ 4] Notes
Alberta 1942-1945 3 3 3 15 to 21 57 The project to pursue the Atomic Bomb and use it against WWII beligerents.
Crossroads 1946 2 2 2 21 42 First postwar test series.
Sandstone 1948 3 3 3 18 to 49 104 The first use of "levitated" cores made of oralloy. Tested components for Mark 4 design.
Ranger 1951 5 5 5 1 to 22 40 First tests at the Nevada Test Site. Operation originally named "Operation Faust".
Greenhouse 1951 4 4 4 46 to 225 398 George shot was physics experiment relating to the hydrogen bomb; Item shot was first boosted fission weapon.
Buster-Jangle 1951 7 7 7 small to 31 72 The first series in which troop maneuvers (Operation Desert Rock) were performed.
Tumbler-Snapper 1952 8 8 8 1 to 31 104
Ivy 1952 2 2 2 500 to 10,400 10,900 The "Mike" shot was the first multi-megaton thermonuclear weapon.
Upshot-Knothole 1953 11 11 11 small to 61 252 18,000 men exposed in Desert Rock V up to 26.6 REM. 84 exceeded current yearly limits of 5 REM/yr.
Castle 1954 6 6 6 110 to 15,000 48,200 Bravo shot inspired secret 4.1 project to study fallout victims. It over-produced by 250% of expected yield, caused fallout over a wide area.
Teapot 1955 14 14 14 1 to 43 167
Wigwam 1955 1 1 1 30 30
Project 56 1955-56 4 4 4 0 to 0 0
Redwing 1956 17 17 17 small to 5,000 20,820 Test with "energy budget". Competition between UCRL and LASL over budget allocation was high.
Project 57 1957 1 1 1 0 0 The first safety test, asking whether an improperly ignited bomb (as in a plane crash) would cause a nuclear blast.
Plumbbob 1957 29 29 25 0 to 74 344
Project 58+58A 1957 4 4 1 small to 1 1 Four more safety tests.
Hardtack I 1958 35 35 35 0 to 9,300 35,628 A series in the Pacific Proving Ground, including three rocket boosted high altitude tests called Operation Newsreel.
Argus 1958 3 3 3 2 4 Also known as Operation Floral before becoming Argus for security reasons. Tested three weapons in the South Atlantic, trying to create an artificial energy belt in the magnetosphere.
Hardtack II 1958 37 37 24 0 to 22 46 Meant to squeeze all possible testing into the time before Eisenhower's test ban started on 30 October 1958. Planned as "Operation Millrace", changed to HT II when a science panel recommended to "stop testing after the Hardtack series."
Nougat 1961–62 44 44 1 2 small to 67 357 First all-underground test series. Included first Operation Plowshare shot "Gnome" in Carlsbad, New Mexico, which was detonated in an underground salt dome.
Sunbeam 1962 4 4 4 small to 2 2 Aka Operation Dominic II. Test of small tactical warheads, including the man-portable "Davy Crockett". Last atmospheric test series. The Army's part of Sunbeam was Operation Ivy Flats.
Dominic 1962–63 31 31 31 2 to 8,300 34,640 "Frigate Bird" was the only operational test of a missile "mated" with a live warhead. Series also included three high-altitude tests known as Operation Fishbowl, separated out in this text.
Fishbowl 1962 9 5 9 400 to 1,400 2,205 The high altitude rocket part of Operation Dominic. Included several failed tests as the rockets failed for various reasons.
Storax 1962–63 47 47 3 1 1 to 115 585
Roller Coaster 1963 4 4 4 0 0 Storage-transportation safety experiments, measured plutonium dispersal risk.
Niblick 1963-64 41 43 4 small to 249 698
Whetstone 1964–65 46 49 4 1 small to 51 476
Flintlock 1965–66 47 49 2 small to 365 1,891
Latchkey 1966–67 38 38 3 small to 870 1,831
Crosstie 1967–68 48 57 5 4 2 small to 1,300 3,638
Bowline 1968–69 47 58 2 1 small to 1,150 2,152
Mandrel 1969-70 52 78 1 2 small to 1,900 5,528
Emery 1970-71 16 24 2 small to 220 565
Grommet 1971–72 34 39 1 small to 4,800 5,200 Included Cannikin, the largest underground explosion ever at 5 Mt, fired under the Aleutian island Amchatka.
Toggle 1972–73 28 35 1 small to 250 958
Arbor 1973–74 18 20 small to 150 274
Bedrock 1974–75 27 29 small to 750 2,840
Anvil 1975–76 21 20 0 to 1,000 5,993
Fulcrum 1976–77 21 24 small to 140 635
Cresset 1977–78 22 23 0 to 150 1,122
Quicksilver 1978–79 16 16 1 to 140 717
Tinderbox 1979–80 14 14 1 to 140 452
Guardian 1980–81 14 14 1 to 140 322
Praetorian 1981–82 19 20 1 to 140 938
Phalanx 1982–83 18 19 1 to 143 365
Fusileer 1983–84 16 16 small to 150 521
Grenadier 1984–85 16 16 3 to 150 670
Charioteer 1985–86 16 16 small to 140 549
Musketeer 1986–87 14 16 3 to 150 970
Touchstone 1987–88 13 15 2 to 150 696
Cornerstone 1988–89 11 17 1 to 150 436
Aqueduct 1989–90 10 13 small to 150 426
Sculpin 1990–91 7 9 2 to 140 478
Julin 1991–92 7 9 small to 100 172 The last test series, cut off by the adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Totals 1945-Jul-16 to 1992-Sep-23 1032 1127 8 27 231 0 to 15,000 196,513 Total country yield is 36.3% of all nuclear testing.

Summary table notes:

  1. ^ Includes all tests with potential for nuclear fission or fusion explosion, including combat use, singleton tests, salvo tests, zero yield fails, safety experiments, and bombs incapacitated by accidents but still intended to be fired. It does not include hydronuclear and subcritical tests, and misfires of a device which was subsequently fired successfully.
  2. ^ Number of tests which would have been in violation of the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, such as atmospheric, space or underwater tests.
  3. ^ "Small" refers to a value greater than zero but less than 0.5 kt.
  4. ^ Some yields are described like "< 20 kt"; such are scored at one half of the numeric amount, i.e., yield of 10k in this example. "Unknown yield" adds nothing to the total.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological Listing of Above Ground Nuclear Detonations". Wm. Robert Johnston. Retrieved 2001-02-06.