Talk:Nuclear weapons testing

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Page has a problem[edit]

Pakistan tested its six nuclear test at Kharan desert also known as Kharan-I. The date of the nuclear test is May 30th, 1998..Add that one too!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Pakistan had two tests, known as Chagai-I and Chagai-2. In the first test one bomb was exploded; in the second somewhere between 1 and 5 bombs were exploded simultaneously (called a "salvo" test), depending on who exactly you talk to. I believe that both sites are considered to be in the Kharan desert, but "Kharan-I" has no meaning I'm aware of concerning nuclear testing. The listing is just a list of representative testing; for a complete rundown, see Nuclear testing: India, Pakistan and North Korea.
Now at Pakistan's nuclear testing series. Wbm1058 (talk) 02:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)


"United States: As of March 2009, the U.S. is the only nation that compensates nuclear test victims." Not true; Australia's paid out compensation to victims of the Maralinga tests: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposed changes[edit]

Might the following be useful? :

Perhaps we should create a separate article for List of nuclear tests for all of the test-series designations, and the individual sections for each country on this page should be a better description of the history of the country's testing (i.e. a longer version of "The US tested its first bomb in 1945, then there was Crossroads with its implications, then lots of testing in Nevada, then the hydrogen bombs at Eniwetok, then more Nevada testing, then underground testing as a result of fallout concerns, then no testing after end of Cold War." for the USA section). Lacking from this page is any discussion of the concerns of fallout from atmospheric testing, which seems almost criminal in an article on nuclear testing. I think its "list-like" quality should be discouraged. I think a well-done article on the history and issues related to nuclear testing could easily be brought up to Featured Status, whereas the present article has little room for improvement (and is not all that useful in my opinion). Any objections to the proposed changes? I'll wait a week or so... --Fastfission 02:56, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I removed the recently inserted list of all nuclear tests. This page is enough of a list as it is (which I'm planning to change) without needing a thousand individual tests pasted into it. If anyone wants that information, they can get it from the links at the bottom of the page. Someplace like Wikisource is the location for that form of information, anyway -- it is not the content of an encyclopedia article. --00:25, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Milestone Nuclear Explosions[edit]

Isnt Chernobyl a milestone nuclear explosion, as being the only accidental nuclear explosion? It was the result of a test too, even though it wasnt a weapon Ottawakismet (talk) 13:24, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

It was a steam explosion that happened to occur inside a nuclear reactor, not a nuclear explosion. SkoreKeep (talk) 08:46, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

"Dry-nuclear" testing[edit]

The article for Moronvilliers (a village in France) mentions that it was the site of "dry-nuclear" testing, with a link that points here. Does anyone have any info on what "dry-nuclear" testing means? -- 17:30, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

I Googled "nuclear" and "Moronvilliers" and got this page which seems to indicate it was used for non-fissioning nuclear tests (i.e. just testing the high explosives, without fissile material inserted). I've never seen it called "dry-nuclear" testing before, I imagine it is a translation error of some sort. Usually one just says that the facilities were used to fire "test assemblies" and indicate that no fission was occurring. It sounds like they did similar things there like they did at Site 300 near Livermore. --Fastfission 19:20, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Nothing on the testing done in North/South Dakota prior to Trinity test? Or was this just "dry testing?" (talk) 22:45, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, the Dakotas had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project - no testing, no role in manufacturing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SkoreKeep (talkcontribs) 08:50, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Fixing up this article[edit]

This current article is still a complete mess. I think a real encyclopedia article on nuclear testing would also include sections on: 1. types of nuclear testing and the types of information one can get from a test, 2. environmental effects of nuclear tests, 3. a brief history of controversies over nuclear testing worldwide. If anyone has the time to add them, this is pretty straightforward stuff... --Fastfission 15:28, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey FF. I hadn't noticed that you had incorporated test sites into the test country table (sorry, bud). But still: how about a table or list with flag icons that gives the reader an overview of which countries and dependencies have test sites? Neither France nor the United Kingdom contain such sites. //Big Adamsky 15:35, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking that the best way to do it might be a map, but I haven't gotten around to making it yet. That way you could list not only where the tests had been, but how many in each place. --Fastfission 15:39, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan (I am actually the one who posted the map request thing up at the top a while back...). Each test site could then be marked with a dot whose size (diameter) would be indicative of the number of tests. =J //Big Adamsky 15:59, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I might have messed up it a little bit more by adding a link: What About Radiation on Bikini Atoll? --> if somebody with more reliable sources could make a section from environmental effects of nuclear testing.

History section[edit]

I added a little history section. It is very schematic but I tried to touch on the major issues. Hopefully someone can look it over and see if I left out anything major, I wrote it pretty much off of the top of my head (the references listed should, if I recall correctly, have all of the added information in them in one place or another. I'm happy to cite any more specific things if anybody wants them.) A specific section on the environmental and personal effects from the tests (i.e. both the total fallout issue as well as the local fallout issue) would still be nice. --Fastfission 03:48, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

  • OK -- I implemented some more changes, shuttling almost all descriptions of individuals tests off to the separate list page and concentrating on making the article a general overview of nuclear weapons testing. Let me know if there are any concerns. --Fastfission 23:38, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Enviromental Impact[edit]

Does anyone know anything about the enviromental impact of nuclear tests. I think it would make a good addition to this article stargate70

  • I agree completely. It is one of the important issues around nuclear testing that much light has been shed on in recent years. --Fastfission 21:05, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
    • If you want to read about the long term impact then the best thing to read are the IAEA reports on placeswhich have been used in the past to test bombs. I have seen a report on the island that the French used.Cadmium

i agree too we should have environmental impacts of nuclear testing

images of nuclear tests taken from space?[edit]

I don't suppose there are any images of nuclear explosions taken from space, are there? TerraFrost 05:29, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Satellites didn't exist or were extremely primitive when the vast majority of atmospheric tests were carried out in the late 1950's and early '60's. However, there was the Vela Incident, which didn't involve an image, but is intriguing. See also Smiling Buddha, the 1974 Indian test, but it came as a surprise to nearly everybody.Acroterion (talk) 01:40, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


there should definitely be a video of a nuke explosion on this page... can someone help??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 12 December 2008 (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? 22:48, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Security was considered important. For an interesting discussion about the selection of sites for testing, see especially pages 34 and 37 onwards in this document. Jakew 10:10, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
US could not test "anywhere they wanted to in the West". They had no territories or possessions in Africa. They did in the Pacific. If the US had access to the Sahara for testing, maybe they would have, like France. But they didn't. -- (talk) 00:04, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

And why is Iran butting in?[edit]

Why on earth is iran showing off its nuclear power by the several "tests"? Is this just an to show the US? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Iran doesn't have any nuclear weapons, what it does have is a half finished nuclear power plant that is being built by the Russians. Do you perhaps mean North Korea ? North Korea has tested one nuclear bomb but the timing device was not accurate enough and the bomb went fizzle rather than pop. --Delos (talk) 07:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Movie as first image[edit]

I don't know what the policy is for a movie as a first image but I think it is a bad idea:

  1. . It's really not that attractive
  2. . It doesn't convey ANY information unless you are willing to sit through the entire thing
  3. . This particular movie is not representative of nuclear testing at all. It is from one of the rare times that the US really did dedicated effects/civil defense related testing.

I think a better image ought to be chosen. Put the video of the test somewhere in the article body if it must be displayed. But don't just pick a video for its own sake—pick the best image. Pick something that is instantly striking and conveys a lot of information specifically related to the topic. Pick something that doesn't require people clicking any buttons or waiting for anything to load to get something out of it.

As it currently stands this makes the article look really amateurish. -- (talk) 00:07, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Need reliable sources for number of nuclear explosions[edit]

There is an Associated Press article going around (around May 27, 2009) listing the number of nuclear explosions that have occurred since the first one in 1945, but I've been having trouble finding a reliable source for this list. The original source for the AP article is at The article is hosted on at:

On the primary article page, it is titled, "8 nations carried out 2,054 nuclear explosions from 1945 to 2009" and dated May 26, 1:46 PM EDT

It has been repeated at several other news sites, such as:

And in each of these articles, the source is cited as, "Associated Press", which some people will believe to be credible. The originating AP article doesn't cite a source at all.

Here is the list that has been posted:

Numbers of nuclear explosions carried out by individual nations:

  • UNITED STATES - 1,032
  • FRANCE - 210
  • CHINA - 45
  • BRITAIN - 45
  • INDIA - 3
  • PAKISTAN - 2
  • (The U.S. number includes the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.)

But I can't help but to notice how similar these numbers are to the list in the current article. The original AP article doesn't cite a source, so I can only assume that the author of the article used the statistics from this wikipedia article.

So I checked some of the sources for the numbers in this article, and I don't see how is a credible source. That source for the total US explosions has a link at the bottom of the page to a pdf document, but it's not available anymore. The link to the file is: but it's not accessible.

In conclusion, I don't see the statistics in the article as reliable, and it looks like these same statistics are going around, being cited as from the Associated Press, when in fact these stats are from this wikipedia article, which aren't reliable. Analoguni (talk) 21:42, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

One needs be a little careful about the words and meanings here, The total is 2054 "tests", not explosions. There have been some 2500+ explosions. Many tests are "salvo tests", which are multiple explosions within 5 seconds and located no more than 40 km from one another. The USSR set off as many as 8 explosions in a test. Pakistan has had two tests, but the second had 4 separate explosions testing different kinds of devices. I note that in this article on the talk page the use of the word explosions is several times in factual error. Even this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, because the count of 2054 test includes some zero yield safety tests, as well as at least two duds that never exploded after being cemented in the bottom of their holes, and were later destroyed by other tests. In fact, I just might incorporate this into the text somewhere. SkoreKeep (talk) 06:54, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Found a source[edit]

I found a source, which was used for the chart in this section. It's the chart at: which cites the source as: This has a long list of nuclear explosions that occurred up through a North Korea test in 2006. It has a table that contains information about each test such as the location, date, etc. This source isn't listed in the article, though. Analoguni (talk) 22:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I found an archived version of the American source, which says the US made 1,030 tests, dropped 2 bombs on Japan "which are not considered tests", and conducted joint US-UK tests 24 times. A few of the tests had multiple explosions, in case that was part of the criteria being quantified. Here's the archived version: carries some of this material on their website:
Cheers! Binksternet (talk) 23:05, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! I found a pdf version of the list of nuclear explosions from the Oklahoma Geological Survey. This can help anyone trying to put the data into a table in a spreadsheet: Analoguni (talk) 23:37, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
There are several sources for a canonical list of US tests, ditto for a world-wide list. It becomes difficult to tell which list are sources for which others. The US, USSR, GB have published "official" lists from the appropriate governmental organizations, though I do know also of claimed errors, especially in the Soviet list according to other sources. France and China have never officially published lists, and others, such as Argentina, Israel and South Africa have never admitted to any testing, and there is no verified testing to the contrary. I am in the process of making wikipedia into such a list source (so far I've done Trinity (1945) through Cresset (1978) and intend to do this for all the nuclear countries, with as much information as I have available. SkoreKeep (talk) 06:54, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Some sources of lists of tests are (sources checked in December 2013): worldwide tests worldwide US tests Chinese tests Another Chinese test list Official US list worldwide

and so on. (I'll update this list further at a later time.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by SkoreKeep (talkcontribs) 08:30, 5 December 2013 (UTC)


Where is the Exoatmospheric section?? The picture describes 4 types of tests, and the section only talks about 3 of them, with no mention of exoatmospheric tests. Kevinmon (talk) 15:16, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Nuclear Testing Treaties[edit]

I recently added a section on Nuclear Testing Treaties, as it was missing from the article. Please leave feedback, and add anything. Fludd12 (talk) 00:12, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Added list of international treaties that I researched. Additions/edits welcome, as always. SkoreKeep (talk) 20:24, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

NZ Compensation[edit]

I don't like editing articles, but maybe someone who knows what they're doing can do it, or find some info. New Zealand pays a pension to those involved in testing who had symptoms, and deaths associated. I can't backup my claims with a link, only that my step fathers mother gets payments for it, as his father died of a brain tumour associated with the testing. He was a navy man. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:02, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Christmas Island incorrectly identified[edit]

In the British testing section the article refers testing at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. This is incorrect. There were never any tests at this island. The British tests at Christmas Island were at the other Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean, the one now belonging to Kiribati, and now spelled Kiritimati. I have amended this in the article. Ptilinopus (talk) 22:21, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Subcritical testing list too long[edit]

Subcritical testing is not even nuclear testing in the sense meant by this article, and yet it takes up several screen lengths with a list of some US subcritical tests. These should be moved to another page, and this section should certainly not be *above* the discussions of actual nuclear testing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 24 June 2015 (UTC)