Teapot MET (Military Effects Test)
|Test site||Nevada Test Site|
|Number of tests||14|
|Max. yield||43 kilotons of TNT (180 TJ)|
|Previous test||Operation Castle|
|Next test||Operation Wigwam|
Operation Teapot was a series of fourteen nuclear test explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in the first half of 1955. It was preceded by Operation Castle, and followed by Operation Wigwam. The aims of the operation were to establish military tactics for ground forces on a nuclear battlefield, and to improve the nuclear weapons used for strategic delivery.
Teapot test blasts
|Name||Date Time (UT)||Location||Elevation + Height||Delivery||Purpose||Device||Yield||Notes|
|Wasp||18 February 1955 19:59:59.2||NTS Area 7||1498 !1,268 metres (4,160 ft) + 230 metres (750 ft)||free drop||weapon effects||Mark 6 50 kilograms (110 lb) implosion system||012 !1.2 kT||Air defense test; Desert Rock VI.|
|Moth||22 February 1955 13:45:00.0||NTS Area 3||1320 !1,230 metres (4,040 ft) + 90 metres (300 ft)||tower||weapon development||W30||020 !2 kT||proof test of the W30 air defense warhead; external initiator; Desert Rock VI.|
|Tesla||1 March 1955 13:30:00.3||NTS Area 9||1372 !1,282 metres (4,206 ft) + 90 metres (300 ft)||tower||weapon development||linear implosion device||070 !7 kT||First successful UCRL test; Desert Rock VI.|
|Turk||7 March 1955 13:20:00.2||NTS Area||1520 !1,370 metres (4,490 ft) + 150 metres (490 ft)||tower||weapon development||XW-27D||430 !43 kT||Desert Rock VI.|
|Hornet||12 March 1955 13:19:59.8||NTS Area 3||1314 !1,224 metres (4,016 ft) + 90 metres (300 ft)||tower||weapon development||boosted XW-30 with ZIPPER initiator||040 !4 kT|
|Bee||22 March 1955 13:04:59.9||NTS Area 7||1444 !1,294 metres (4,245 ft) + 150 metres (490 ft)||tower||weapon development||XW-25||080 !8 kT||Desert Rock VI.|
|ESS||23 March 1955 20:30:00.0||NTS Area 10||1278 !1,298 metres (4,259 ft) - 20 metres (66 ft)||cratering||weapon effects||Mark 6 HE||012 !1.2 kT||Desert Rock VI.|
|Apple-1||29 March 1955 23:55:00.1||NTS Area 4||1467 !1,317 metres (4,321 ft) + 150 metres (490 ft)||tower||weapon development||140 !14 kT, expected 40 kT||Primary failed, Desert Rock VI.|
|Wasp Prime||29 March 1955 17:59:54.8||NTS Area 7||1491 !1,261 metres (4,137 ft) + 230 metres (750 ft)||free drop||weapon development||Mark 6 50 kilograms (110 lb) implosion system||032 !3.2 kT||Repeat of Wasp; Desert Rock VI.|
|HA||6 April 1955 18:00:04.1||NTS Area 1||11160 !0 + 11,160 metres (36,610 ft)||parachute drop||weapon effects||air-to-air munition||032 !3.2 kT|
|Post||9 April 1955 0:30:00.2||NTS Area 9||1384 !1,294 metres (4,245 ft) + 90 metres (300 ft)||tower||weapon development||020 !2 kT|
|MET||15 April 1955 19:15:00.3||NTS Area 5||1060 !940 metres (3,080 ft) + 120 metres (390 ft)||tower||weapon effects||Uranium-233/plutonium bomb core||220 !22 kT||Supposed to me standard effects test, but LASL substituted an experimental core.|
|Apple-2||5 May 1955 0:10:00.0||NTS Area 1||1444 !1,294 metres (4,245 ft) + 150 metres (490 ft)||tower||weapon development||290 !29 kT||Test bed for Civil Defense Project Cue;Desert Rock VI.|
|Zucchini||15 May 1955 11:59:59.9||NTS Area 7||1444 !1,294 metres (4,245 ft) + 150 metres (490 ft)||tower||weapon development||080 !8 kT|
The MET was the first bomb core to use uranium-233 (a rarely used fissile isotope that is the product of thorium-232 neutron absorption), along with plutonium. It produced a yield of 22kt (comparable to the Fat Man plutonium-only weapon that exploded over Nagasaki), but significantly less than the expected amount.
The Civil Defense Apple-2 shot on 5 May 1955 was intended to test various building construction types in a nuclear blast. An assortment of buildings, including residential houses and electrical substations, were constructed at the site nicknamed "Survival Town". The buildings were populated with mannequins, and stocked with different types of canned and packaged foods. Not all of the buildings were destroyed in the blast, and some of them still stand at Area 1, Nevada Test Site. A short film about the blast, referred to as "Operation Cue", was distributed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration. The houses are still standing at , at the east and west ends of the road loop. They are stops on the NNSS tour.
- "For the Record - A History of the Nuclear Test Personnel Review Program, 1978-1993". Department of Defense. p. 100. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012.
- Local time (PST) is 8 hours less than UT (7 for PDT); local date is the day before UT if UT time is before 08:00 (07:00 PDT).
- "Operation Teapot 1955". Nuclear Test Personnel Review. Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012.
- "Operation Teapot". Nuclear Weapon Archive. 15 October 1997. Retrieved 2008-12-09. "The predicted yield was 33 kt. The actual 22 kt was 33% below this, seriously compromising the data collected." cf. "Nuclear Test Film - Operation Teapot" (linked below) ~17:30 "While the expected yield was 28 kilotons, radiochemical analysis indicated a yield closer to 22 kilotons."
- Chuck Hansen, U. S. Nuclear Weapons: The Secret History (Arlington: AeroFax, 1988)
- Operation Teapot Project 5.4 Evaluation of fireball lethality using basic missile structures(C)
- The Nuclear Weapons Archive Operation Teapot: 1955 - Nevada Proving Ground
- United States Nuclear Tests - DOE/NV--209-REV 15
- United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (Revision 15). Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office. December 2000. Retrieved 10/26/2013.
- Yang, Xiaoping, Robert North, and Carl Romney (August 2000). CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3). SMDC Monitoring Research. Retrieved 10/26/2013.
- Hansen, Chuck (1995). The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8. Chukelea Publications (Sunnyvale, CA). ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Operation Teapot.|
- The short film Big Picture: The Atom Soldier is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film Nuclear Test Film - Operation Teapot (1954) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film Operation Cue (1955) (1955) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film Big Picture: Individual Protection Against Atomic Attack is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- NPR web page: effect on commercial beverages