Operation Tumbler–Snapper

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Operation Tumbler–Snapper
Tumbler Snapper rope tricks.jpg
Photograph taken milliseconds after detonation of nuclear device from the "Tumbler-Snapper" test series. (The shot tower is faintly visible below fireball; downward spikes are termed "rope tricks").
Information
Country United States
Test site NTS Areas 5, 11, Frenchman Flat; NTS, Areas 1-4, 6-10, Yucca Flat
Period 1952
Number of tests 8
Test type free air drop, tower
Max. yield 31 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)
Navigation
Previous test series Operation Buster–Jangle
Next test series Operation Ivy

Operation Tumbler–Snapper was a series of atomic tests conducted by the United States in early 1952 at the Nevada Test Site. The Tumbler-Snapper series of tests followed Operation Buster-Jangle, and preceded Operation Ivy.

The Tumbler phase, sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission consisted of three airdrops which were intended to help explain discrepancies in the actual and estimated blast shock wave damage noted on previous detonations, and to establish more accurately the optimum height of burst.

The Snapper phase, sponsored by the Department of Defense consisted of one airdrop and four tower shots intended to test various new weapons developments.

The military exercise Desert Rock IV, involving 7350 soldiers, took place during the test series. They trained during the Charlie, Dog, and George shots and observed shot Fox.[1]

United States' Tumbler-Snapper 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
Able 1 April 1952 17:00:07.5 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 5 36°47′54″N 115°56′11″W / 36.7983°N 115.9364°W / 36.7983; -115.9364 (Able) 940 m (3,080 ft) + 240 m (790 ft) free air drop,
weapon effect
Mk-4 1 kt I-131 venting detected, 140 kCi (5,200 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7] U-235 core, same as Ranger/Able.
Baker 15 April 1952 17:29:57.1 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 37°05′03″N 116°01′13″W / 37.0841°N 116.0203°W / 37.0841; -116.0203 (Baker) 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 340 m (1,120 ft) free air drop,
weapon effect
Mk-4 1 kt I-131 venting detected, 140 kCi (5,200 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7]
Charlie 22 April 1952 17:30:10.0 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 37°05′04″N 116°01′16″W / 37.0844°N 116.0211°W / 37.0844; -116.0211 (Charlie) 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 1,050 m (3,440 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-4 31 kt I-131 venting detected, 4.6 MCi (170 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Proof test of new core (?). First blast broadcast live on TV. Desert Rock IV.
Dog 1 May 1952 16:29:59.1 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 37°05′03″N 116°01′16″W / 37.0841°N 116.0211°W / 37.0841; -116.0211 (Dog) 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 320 m (1,050 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
TX-7 19 kt I-131 venting detected, 2.9 MCi (110 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Tested deuterium (without tritium) gas fusion boosting. Investigate rope trick. Desert Rock IV.
Easy 7 May 1952 12:14:59.3 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 1 37°03′11″N 116°06′23″W / 37.053°N 116.1064°W / 37.053; -116.1064 (Easy) 1,294 m (4,245 ft) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
Mk-12 "BROK-1" 12 kt I-131 venting detected, 1.8 MCi (67 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] First use of beryllium as tamper.
Fox 25 May 1952 11:59:59.6 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 4 37°05′44″N 116°06′23″W / 37.0955°N 116.1064°W / 37.0955; -116.1064 (Fox) 1,300 m (4,300 ft) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
TX-5 "XR1" 11 kt I-131 venting detected, 1.6 MCi (59 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Designed to test the initiation/yield curve. Calibration test for TOM polonium/beryllium internal initiator. Desert Rock IV.
George 1 June 1952 11:54:59.8 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 3 37°02′53″N 116°01′19″W / 37.048°N 116.022°W / 37.048; -116.022 (George) 1,229 m (4,032 ft) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
TX-5 "XR-2" 15 kt I-131 venting detected, 2.2 MCi (81 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Tested an external betatron initiator that shot x-rays into the core, which induced neutrons by photofission. Desert Rock IV.
How 5 June 1952 11:55:00.3 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 2 37°08′19″N 116°07′07″W / 37.1386°N 116.1187°W / 37.1386; -116.1187 (How) 1,370 m (4,490 ft) + 90 m (300 ft) tower,
weapons development
TX-12 "Scorpion" 14 kt I-131 venting detected, 2.1 MCi (78 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] First test to use a beryllium neutron reflector/tamper.

References[edit]

A clip of a mushroom cloud during Operation Tumbler-Snapper. Background color change is photographic artifact; vertical smoke trails allow for making shock wave visible.
  1. ^ Operation TUMBLER SNAPPER Fact Sheet. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  2. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". iana.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 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 e f g h Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h 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 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research 

External links[edit]