Operation Sunbeam

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Operation Sunbeam
Small Boy nuclear test 1962.jpg
Sunbeam Small Boy
Information
Country United States
Test site NTS Area 18, Buckboard Mesa; NTS Areas 5, 11, Frenchman Flat
Period 1962
Number of tests 4
Test type cratering, dry surface, gun deployed, tower
Max. yield 1.6 kilotonnes of TNT (6.7 TJ)
Navigation
Previous test series Operation Nougat
Next test series Operation Dominic

Operation Sunbeam[1] was a series of four nuclear tests conducted at the United States of America's Nevada Test Site in 1962. Operation Sunbeam tested small, "tactical" nuclear warheads; the most notable was the Davy Crockett. Operation Sunbeam was also known as Operation Dominic II.

The chief milestone of Operation Sunbeam was that it was the last nuclear test series on the Nevada Test Site conducted in the atmosphere by the United States. Since Operation Sunbeam, specifically the Little Feller 1 test of the Davy Crockett, all US nuclear tests on the Test Site have been carried out underground in accordance with the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

United States' Sunbeam series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][2] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery [note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Little Feller II 7 July 1962 19:00:?? PST (-8 hrs)
NTS 37°07′09″N 116°18′14″W / 37.11906°N 116.30381°W / 37.11906; -116.30381 (Little Feller II) 1,566 m (5,138 ft) + 1 m (3 ft 3 in) dry surface,
weapon effect
W-54 22 t I-131 venting detected, 0 [3][4][5][6][7][1] Used a stockpile Davy Crockett warhead. The Army's part of Sunbeam was Operation Ivy Flats.
Johnnie Boy 11 July 1962 16:45:00.09 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS 37°07′20″N 116°20′02″W / 37.12216°N 116.33395°W / 37.12216; -116.33395 (Johnnie Boy) 1,572 m (5,157 ft) - 0.6 m (2 ft 0 in) cratering,
weapon effect
W30 TADM 500 t Venting detected off site [3][4][8][6][7][1] TADM (Tactical Atomic Demolition Munition) test, similar to Plumbbob Stokes.
Small Boy 14 July 1962 18:30:?? PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 5 36°47′53″N 115°55′55″W / 36.798°N 115.932°W / 36.798; -115.932 (Small Boy) 940 m (3,080 ft) + 3 m (9.8 ft) tower,
weapon effect
1.7 kt I-131 venting detected, 270 kCi (10,000 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7][1] Test of missile silo hardening principles, specifically EMP, similar to Nougat Ermine, Chinchilla I/II, Armadillo.
Little Feller I 17 July 1962 17:00:?? PST (-8 hrs)
Launch from NTS Area 18, Buckboard Mesa 37°05′10″N 116°19′47″W / 37.08607°N 116.32977°W / 37.08607; -116.32977 (Launch_Little Feller I), elv: 1,630 + 2 m (5,347.8 + 6.6 ft);
Detonation over NTS 37°06′34″N 116°19′06″W / 37.10946°N 116.31823°W / 37.10946; -116.31823 (Little Feller I)
2,550 m (8,370 ft) + 1 m (3 ft 3 in) gun deployed,
weapon effect
W54 18 t Venting detected off site, 3 kCi (110 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7][1] Army Operation Ivy Flats, witnessed by Robert Kennedy. Last atmospheric test at NTS, used a stockpile Davy Crockett warhead.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research 
  2. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". iana.com. Retrieved 2014 March 08. 
  3. ^ a b c d Estimated exposures and thyroid doses received by the American people from Iodine-131 in fallout following Nevada atmospheric nuclear bomb tests, Chapter 2, National Cancer Institute, 1997, retrieved 2014-01-05 
  4. ^ a b c d Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06 
  5. ^ a b c Norris, Robert Standish; Cochran, Thomas B. (1 February 1994), "United States nuclear tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992 (NWD 94-1)", Nuclear Weapons Databook Working Paper (Washington, DC: Natural Resources Defense Council), retrieved 2013-10-26 
  6. ^ a b c d Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0 
  7. ^ a b c d United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (DOE/NV-209 REV15), Las Vegas, NV: Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, 2000-12-01, retrieved 2013-12-18 
  8. ^ Radiological Effluents Released from U.S. Continental Tests 1961 Through 1992 (DOE/NV-317 Rev. 1), DOE Nevada Operations Office, retrieved 2013-10-31