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").
|Test site||NTS Areas 5, 11, Frenchman Flat; NTS, Areas 1-4, 6-10, Yucca Flat|
|Number of tests||8|
|Test type||free air drop, tower|
|Max. yield||31 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)|
|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 United States test series summary table is here: United States' nuclear testing series.
The detonations in the United States' Tumbler-Snapper series are listed below:
|Name[note 1]||Date time (UT)||Local time zone[note 2]||Location[note 3]||Elevation + height[note 4]||Delivery[note 5]||Purpose[note 6]||Device[note 7]||Yield[note 8]||Venting[note 9]||References||Notes|
|Able||1 April 1952 17:00:07.5||PST (-8 hrs)
||NTS Area 5||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)||||U-235 core, same as Ranger/Able.|
|Baker||15 April 1952 17:29:57.1||PST (-8 hrs)
||NTS Area 7||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)|||
|Charlie||22 April 1952 17:03:10.0||PST (-8 hrs)
||NTS Area 7||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)||||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||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)||||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||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)||||First use of beryllium as tamper.|
|Fox||25 May 1952 11:59:59.6||PST (-8 hrs)
||NTS Area 4||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)||||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||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)||||Tested an external betatron initiator that shot x-rays into the core, which induced neutrons by photofission. Desert Rock IV.|
|How||5 June 1952 11:00:55.3||PST (-8 hrs)
||NTS Area 2||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)||||First test to use a beryllium neutron reflector/tamper.|
- The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China have not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions - Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 - 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
- To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight savings time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it's 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day.
- Rough place name and a Latitude/Longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
- Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
- Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
- Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
- Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceeding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
- Estimated energy yield in tonnes, kilotonnes, and megatonnes (all metric units).
- Emissions to atmosphere, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and everything if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radiation released.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Operation Tumbler-Snapper.|
- Operation TUMBLER SNAPPER Fact Sheet. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- 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
- Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06
- Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications, ISBN 978-0-9791915-1-0
- 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
- Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research
- Robert Standish Norris and Thomas B. Cochran. United States Nuclear Tests July 1945 to 31 December 1992. NRDC NWD 94-1. Retrieved 12/11/2007.
- Griggs, D. T., and Frank Press (1961). "Probing the earth with nuclear explosions". Journal of Geophysical Research 66 (1): 237–258. doi:10.1029/jz066i001p00237.
- "Troops shown three miles from 'ground zero' of bomb"
- The short film Nuclear Test Film - Operation Tumbler-Snapper (1952) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The short film A-Bomb Blast Effects (1959) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Video clip: Historic footage of troops observing airdrop "Dog" from Camp Desert Rock