Talk:List of nuclear weapons tests

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Fast fission[edit]

Where do I start? Scott 00:29:01, 2005-09-13 (UTC)

test dates[edit]

actual test dates w/ additional info such as bomb size, location, and time can be found @ i will try to add some of this info when i can. Somedude 07:27, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

ummm ... dude ... no it's not!

in just my first 30 seconds of looking at the australian geoscience site, i saw that the very first grapple test on 15 may 1957 was missing. kind of casts doubt on their reliability ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Avaiki (talkcontribs) 11:30, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

... ooops scratch that .. had the order wrong - d'oh! but curious as to why no mention of yields - makes it less than complete as a record. avaiki 11:35, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Why United States didn't test their atomic weapons in Africa in the 1950s and early 1960s?[edit]

United States was powerful and they could test their bombs anywhere they wanted in the West in the early years. Why did United States test their atomic weapons on their land and in the Pacific Ocean, and not in Africa? 22:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

It's a trick question. See Operation Argus. (sdsds - talk) 03:44, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, the reason is that nonaligned states (which comprise most of Africa) wouldn't want to become embroiled in the Cold War, and it would create a huge international furore if any nuclear power chose to conduct nuclear tests on the soil of a sovereign state and not one that was a direct dependency. Chaparral2J (talk) 21:48, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

List of most powerful nuclear tests[edit]

Please write in the list all nuclear tests with a yield over 10 Mt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. SkoreKeep (talk) 09:18, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

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Need reliable sources for number of nuclear explosions[edit]

In order to avoid having the same discussion on 2 articles, please see my post on the "Nuclear testing" article's talk page at:

Neither this article nor that one cite reliable sources. Analoguni (talk) 22:03, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Seeking information on the number of atmospheric tests - Brookings Institution indicates 533 total but because calcs from 1998 may not include recent France tests.User:rpauli — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rpauli (talkcontribs) 02:48, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I like The database format is wretched, but if all you want is a number, that's easy, and there lots more information, like an impressive scenario of what a global thermonuclear war would look like to someone in the Rio Grande basin. BTW, there have been a bit more than 2000 tests involving about 2500 individual nuclear devices from 1945 to present. SkoreKeep (talk) 07:33, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Vela explosion[edit]

No-one has a clue who did it or even if it did occur. It was an old satellite, past its use by date. I was reading an article, a few days ago which made a good point that if it did occur the only logic candidate was France. I am not quoting it as I do not think it was of the standard required here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reargun (talkcontribs) 13:41, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Per WP:RS, if it's not of the standard to be a reliable source to cite, it's not enough to change the article, so with the only source I've seen citing France as a possible source being a very preliminary DoD report that seemed to basically be throwing out every possibility they could come up with in hopes that one would stick, I'd recommend going back to the status quo.
Besides (and this isn't valid for editing, per WP:SYNTH, but still, for sake of argument...), it wouldn't make much sense to me for the French to have been behind the Vela event, since they had an established testing range in the Pacific, and had transitioned over to underground testing in 1975. The France theory suggests that it was a test of an enhanced radiation weapon; there would be no reason to hold a covert test of such a weapon, and all the objectives of such a test could be achieved through an underground test. It just doesn't make any sense to me. rdfox 76 (talk) 23:34, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Why does it make no sense? A thousand km or so away there was a French nuclear testing ground, Vela could not be able to identify where the blast happened so there is much speculation that if the Vela Incident did occur that it was either a detonation of a French neutron or small nuclear bomb. Reargun (talk)


I was wondering about the total heat produced by the hundreds of known tests. This is in light of global warming, which is said to be produced by too many cars in China & New Delhi. Which produces more heat? A 1 kt burst, or a million cars running for an hour? Where did the heat go? And why, in the early 1970's, at the height of nuclear tests, were scientists worried about planetary cooling? Dave of Maryland (talk) 23:31, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I think the heat dissipated rather quickly. My personal theory is that the combined kicking up of dust eventually caused some temporary cooling, but that's just a personal theory. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 01:58, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, hold on a minute while I whip out a new napkin and load up google, and we'll see.

Let's see: says that there have been 520 Mtons of testing done with nuclear weapons of all kinds. converts that into about 2.2e+18 joules (with the assumption that all those megatons stay right here keeping the home fires burning; we'll claim to have those few photons that hightailed it for the gamma quadrant). tells us that there are 174 petawatts incoming from the sun (1.74e17, thanks to and that's 1.74e32 joules/sec (thanks again to Our 520 Mtons of testing would supply about 4e-19 secs of the total insolation of Earth.

The world burns 5e17 BTUs per year (, which is 5.3e20 joules per year (; love those folks) or 1.6e13 joules/sec. In terms of our energy use, all the atomic testing ever amounts to about 38 hours of the total energy burning done by man.

Google/wikipedia/MSCalc is your friend. SkoreKeep (talk) 22:25, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

∑ Mt[edit]

∑ Mt of all tests? (talk) 23:29, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

~ 520 MT SkoreKeep (talk) 09:20, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
See Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary. It actually turns out to be more like 540 Mt. SkoreKeep (talk) 17:58, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Pakistan Subcritical tests[edit]

"Because it was a cold test,[13] the Pakistan Atomic Scientists Foundation (PASF) estimated the yield at no more than around 12–25 kilotonnes.[12]" Now, that is some subcritical test. According to the definition of a cold test on the referenced page, a cold test is a test of a nuclear bomb without the nuclear material in it. No explosion not involving nuclear has ever gotten above about 7 kT (that was the N1 moon rocket blowing up at Baikonur), so either their wrong about the yield, or they're wrong about it being a "cold test", or they invented some hellacious HE and will rule the world soon. It is likely they mean 12-25 tonnes, which is still quite large for a primary HE. In any case, I could not find the quoted yield in the references, so I think the figure needs to be trimmed...err, pruned. SkoreKeep (talk) 09:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Pruned it; removed mention of testing figures and the references, which were only vague recalls, nothing that could actually be looked up. SkoreKeep (talk) 03:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


This page is an odd one. It is just a collection of highlights, perhaps just trivia, concerning nuclear testing. I'm not clear on its reason for existence; perhaps what it needs is just a change of title, something like "Highlights in Nuclear Testing". SkoreKeep (talk) 17:40, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

On looking a bit further, no, it appears to be an early (~2005) attempt to provide a comprehensive list of nuclear testing events, in the scope that I've done so in the last 3 months. There's these pages in the effort:
List of nuclear weapons tests (this page)
List of nuclear weapons tests of the United States
List of nuclear weapons tests of the Soviet Union
...and there it appears to have petered out, about half way through the Soviet weapons. I can understand why; compiling this stuff by hand, without database automation to do the donkey work, would be a tremendously boring and error prone morass.
My druthers here would be to rename this current article to "Highlights in nuclear testing", delete the content and redirect the second to "Nuclear weapons and the United States"; I've already edited the third. The only thing that distinguishes these pages is some of the novelty value on this current highlights page. Any arguments? I'll give it a week or two before I do anything. SkoreKeep (talk) 17:55, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello, do anyone know how you determine the manifest on these early test. Particularly on the soviet payloads? (talk)
I started out with the Johnston archive data and then a bunch of supportive research on my own. Follow the references on the pages that interest you. If you mean, what the hardware details of the various tests, that's very difficult to determine unless the government in question makes a press release or someone is "in the know", and you happen to know him/her, and they're not just spinning you along. As an example: the first 200 Soviet tests took place in the GZ area of Semipalatinsk, which Google Earth shows as pockmarked with craters (real one, not those made-in-America subsidence dips) and covered by drop targets. However, no one seems to know which bombs went off in which places, even accounting for the uncertainty of where exactly a dropped bomb really goes. Perhaps some day a tattered, crumbling papyrus will come to light and tell all; perhaps that information is well and truly lost. It keeps retirement interesting. SkoreKeep (talk) 20:02, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Merger with Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary[edit]

The Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary article is a short article that, in addition to having an unencyclopedic title, only covers things that should be covered on List of nuclear weapons tests anyway. As such, I recommend that Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary be merged here. Neelix (talk) 18:14, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

A careful reading, seems to me, shows that the two pages have different thrusts. The existing List article is each nation's top-10 list of it's most odd nuclear tests, rounded of with a top-10 most powerful blasts, and a list of rocket delivered nuclear tests. Certainly lists.
The Worldwide article contains a total summary of all testing by count and yield. The bulk of the article is a justification for the counting method used, as it is at minor odds with most other "official" lists and totals. Further, it serves as the top of a hierarchical pyramid which accesses each nation's equivalent summaries, and thence to test series pages which list every known test performed since the first in 1945. (Official Disclosure Notice: I wrote the Worldwide article, and maintain the hierarchy mentioned; I'm likely somewhat biased, but try not to be unreasonable :) .
For that matter, how can this hierarchy be better integrated into the totality of data about nuclear tests? I'm all ears about what would be more accessible to the users. Be aware that the data in the tables on these pages are all generated by a script running over a database, which I keep updated to cover changes submitted to the pages. I have updated the entire set of pages (about 100) three times since last December 1, and am planning a fourth in the next 3-4 months (my summers are busy). Requests for details, comments, etc are all welcome at my User_talk:SkoreKeep page. Note the discussion just above this, where I'm trying to determine how to do just this.
It certainly would be possible to merge these articles, but it doesn't seem like a very good fit. My opinion, but I don't have a hard reason to say no. BTW, for my own information, what exactly is unencyclopedic about the title? I did try to make it as descriptive of the content as possible. SkoreKeep (talk) 05:36, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your willingness to discuss this proposed merger. The issues with the title of the Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary article are numerous. Firstly, the word "worldwide" is superfluous; all Wikipedia articles are considered to be without geographical constraints unless the title specifies otherwise. For example, the title of the Sport in Saskatchewan article indicates its geographical restriction to Saskatchewan, but the Sport article is assumed to be without geographical restriction and the addition of the word "worldwide" would be superfluous. The words "and summary" are also superfluous, as all articles are supposed to contain summaries, in the lead if not anywhere else. Removing those two portions of the title, we are left with "Nuclear testing counts", but that doesn't specify what the article is about because it could refer to a variety of things, such as statistics on how many nuclear tests were performed in various years, in various parts of the world, by type of nuclear weapon, etc. The article is in fact about nuclear testing counts by country, but such is the scope of the List of nuclear weapons tests article. I see no reason to move the Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary article to an encyclopedic title because a merger is preferable in this case anyway. The scope of this article is already covered by List of nuclear weapons tests; at present, one of these articles lists the tests while the other counts them. This difference is not an encyclopedic one and is insufficient to justify two distinct articles. Consider the List of highest-grossing films article, which is a featured list. That article contains a table listing the highest-grossing films, a table adjusted for inflation, a year-by-year table, a timeline, and a franchise table; all of the different ways of addressing the scope of the article are given their own section. The same should be true of List of nuclear weapons tests; a table of the test counts by country would need to be included for the article to be complete. In what sense do you see the Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary article as the top of a hierarchy? At present, it seems to be the lowest rung, as there are no subarticles (ie. sections within the article that are themselves summaries of other articles). I respect the work you are doing in maintaining the counts table; the table simply shouldn't have an article to itself, especially under its current title. Neelix (talk) 16:17, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've always been a content person, and I guess that shows.
The hierarchy consists in links to the summary pages for each of the nations who tested weapons, though internal links in the name of each country in the table. The same happens at the national level, to link to pages describing each series of tests. The series pages have tables where the individual tests and explosions are covered. The sentence immediately preceding the table on these bottom levels have links rising back to the national summary and then the worldwide summary. If you have a more encyclopedic way of doing that, then I'm all ears, as I said. SkoreKeep (talk) 18:09, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
The more encyclopedic way is to merge Worldwide nuclear testing counts and summary into List of nuclear weapons tests. Would you object to such a merger? Neelix (talk) 20:34, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
No, not really. I'm a bit proprietary (and I know I have no right to that), but I understand that my knowledge of how an encyclopedia is put together is not as sharp as I could hope, as well. I have a feeling that there are too many pages in this topic that roughly parallel one another (even these two, despite what I wrote above). I would suggest that you or someone well versed in doing such a merge do so, and I would then follow up to make sure the content is properly arrayed. I would also solicit any further comment you have about other of these pages on nuclear testing; I note that this is likely a new area for your editing, and welcome that. My overriding intent is that the information be as useful as it can be. Fair?
Of course, I'm not the only opinion that matters, but I wonder if anyone else cares enough about it to comment. SkoreKeep (talk) 22:26, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for agreeing to the merger. I have completed the merger, minus unsourced and self-referential statements. The bulk of the paragraphical information is now the lead of this article and the table is in the "Totals by country" section. I would recommend merging United States' nuclear test series into List of nuclear weapons tests of the United States and moving the other country-specific articles to titles of that format (ie. "List of nuclear weapons tests of x" where x is the country). Neelix (talk) 00:42, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

The table on this page is generated by database[edit]

The table on this page and the contents of any nuclear tests infobox are generated from a database of nuclear testing which I have maintained and researched for a number of years. The table is automatically generated from that database by a Visual Basic script, and then has, periodically, been inserted into the page manually. I began doing this in October of 2013.

Recently a user complained (politely) to me about the practice. It seems to him that it removes control from all editors besides myself over the content. He believes it is tantamount to WP:OWNED of the pages affected. He also points out that there is no public mention of the fact anywhere on wikipedia, and that is true, through my own oversight, until now.

There was no intent that the pages affected should be owned by myself; in fact, one of my reasons for building these pages was to solicit (in the wikipedia way) criticism and corrections to the data, perhaps additional references that I had been unable to locate. I have regenerated the tables twice in the days since they were originally placed. Each time I did so, I performed a diff between the current version and the version that I put up in the previous cycle; all corrections were then either entered into the database or corrected in the programming, as appropriate. As may be guessed, the programming corrections were frequent to start out as suggestions about the table formatting were raised, and most incorporated. I have not made judgements on the "usefulness" of corrections; all have been incorporated, or I have communicated directly with the editor to settle the matter. In fact it was in pursuing such a correction that this matter came up.

I am posting this comment on the Talk page of every page containing content which is so generated. If you would like to comment on this matter, please go to the copy on Talk:List of nuclear tests so the discussion can be kept together. I will also be placing a maintained template on each Talk page (if anyone would like also to be named as a maintainer on one or all pages, you are welcome). I solicit all comments and suggestions.

SkoreKeep (talk) 01:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Total yields from fission and fusion[edit]

The text now reads: "As of 1993, worldwide, 520 atmospheric nuclear explosions (including 8 underwater) have been conducted with a total yield of 545 megaton (Mt): 217 Mt from fission and 328 Mt from fusion, while the estimated number of underground nuclear tests conducted in the period from 1957 to 1992 is 1,352 explosions with a total yield of 90 Mt." It is unclear if 328 Mt is the total yield of all fusion type bombs or if it is only the yield of the fusion reactions when the fission yields have been subtracted. The reson why I bring this up is that hydrogen/fusion bombs often get the majority of their energy from fission reactions and not from the actual fusion reaction. If I remember correctly the neutrons and x-ray from the fusion reaction helps in boosting the initial fission reaction to such a degree that the fission energy often exceeds the fusion energy.

Hence, "328 Mt from fusion" is not the same as "328 Mt from fusion type bombs", since only ca 50 % of the energy in these bombs would come from the actual fusion reaction.

EV1TE (talk) 22:06, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

[Pardon, new entries are entered at the bottom of the page, so I moved your comment verbatim there.]
I agree with you. Until I can locate a database which lists per shot the imputed amount of fission vs. fusion energy released, with the requisite source quality, I am very leery of having such numbers in the text. Fusion within the bombs today is most usually a source of neutrons rather than an of energy. The keeping of such stats is pretty much a useless gesture in any case, let alone the problem of accuracy.
By all means, edit it out, IMHO. Or ask me to. SkoreKeep (talk) 02:04, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

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Number of nuclear tests[edit]

Comes to change the number of Soviet tests from 727 to 981, saying "i changed the number of nuclear tests carried out by the soviet as they were old dates". The number chosen is the number of devices used in the 728 tests performed; many of the tests fired multiple devices simultaneously in a local area; they are called salvo tests, as explained at the top on this same page. All the nuclear pages in wikipedia count tests, not devices (as do all of the supporting documents I'm aware of, though they mention the device count). I reverted it before I understood where the number came from for a lack of reference, which was true. SkoreKeep (talk) 21:35, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

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