Skip to comments.15 Megatons of Hell: The Castle Bravo Nuke Test
Posted on 03/02/2015 6:55:46 AM PST by C19fan
Sixty-one years ago on an island in the South Pacific, scientists and military officers, fishermen and Marshall Islands natives observed first-hand what Armageddon would be like.
And it almost killed them all. The Atomic Energy Commission code-named the nuclear test Castle Bravo.
The March 1, 1954 experiment was the first thermonuclear explosion based on practical technology that would lead to a deliverable H-bomb for the Air Forces Strategic Air Commandpart of the Operation Castle series of tests needed to manufacture the high-yield weapons.
Bravo was the worst radiological disaster in American atomic testing historybut the test provided information that led to a lightweight, high-yield megaton bomb that would fit inside a SAC bomber.
(Excerpt) Read more at realcleardefense.com ...
A true “blast from the past,” back when America still had the b@lls to do things like this and not feel ashamed about it.
Scientists messing with things they don’t fully understand.
To be a scientist, I would think, would entail messing with things one doesn't fully understand: if they were fully understood, there would be no need for scientists to understand them.
Thermonuclear weapons require more understanding than normal, don’t you think?
What the scientists didn’t know at the time was that the “dry” lithium deuteride had much more explosive potential when the neutrons it released split the atoms in the uranium-238 “jacket” much higher than anticipated. That’s why the original yield estimate was around 6 MT, when in reality it came out to 15 MT.
Teller watched a seismograph wiggle in a basement at UC Berkeley and knew immediately that the test had been successful. He declined to attend the test in person because he was PO’d about something.
As they used to say during the Cold War, “a test a day keeps the Reds away.”
Looked good on paper.....What could possibly go wrong?.........................
Most of the yield was from U238 fission. It was a very dirty detonation.
Better to be PO’d than blown to smithereens!.....................
The scientists learned that tritium effect could allow more yield from less core materials which would eventually would lead to the ability to have the MIRV warheads on the large land- and sea-based missiles. The size reduction of the actual warhead was also enhanced by the use of smaller electronic components.
I don't understand.
Well, you realize that the duration of nuclear Fallout and designing Fallout shelters was a byproduct of nuclear weapons testing, right? I hate to say it, but the overall testing of such weapons was bittersweet. We gave people radiation poisoning (downwinders in NV, UT, AZ) but at the same time, figuring out how long residual radioactivity lasted for professionals such as Cresson Kearny was a byproduct of the work.
Was this the test where a decommissioned battleship was blow vertical standing up in the water?................
Yeah, cluster nuking!
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