The First Nuclear Test:
In the U.S., Trinity, an 18.5 kiloton above ground atmospheric test at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Advisors to President Truman described it as "unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendouse and terrifying." (8rigadier General Thomas F. Farrell).
What followed: 2,045 tests over 51 years, or approxirnately one test every 9 days.
The Last (and hopefully final) Nuclear Test:
In China, a 5 kiloton underground test at the Lop Nor test site in Northwest China on July 29, 1996 just as the negotiations for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty were reconvening. The test was condemned by nations and citizens throughout the world. China promised that this was its final test, and that it would now join the international moratorium on nuclear testing.
A BRlEF HlSTORY OF NUCLEAR TESTlNG
|KNOWN NUCLEAR TESTS WORLDWIDE, 1945-1996|
|FIRST/LAST TESTING DATES|
|FIRST TEST||1945||1949|| 1952||1960||1964||1974|
|LAST TEST||1992||1990|| 1996||1991||1996||?|
|NUCLEAR TEST SITES WORLDWIDE|
|United States||Alamogordo, New Mexico|
Nevada Test Site (also in Colorado, Mississippi, and Alaska)
Marshall Islands: (Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, others)
Hiroshima **, Nagasaki** (** as an act of war against Japan)
|France||Algeria, Moruroa, Fangautafa|
|United Kingdom||Austrailia, Nevada Test Site, Christmas Island|
|Soviet Union||Kazakhstan, Novaya Zemia|
|China||Lop Nor (Northwestern China)|
|India||Rajasthan desert (Western India, near Pakistan)|
Atmospheric testing has resulted in deposition of radioactive materials around the world. For example, 11-13 million curies of Strontium 90, 17-21 milllion curies of cesium 137, 10 million curies Carbon 14, and 225,000 curies of Plutonium 239, are among the radionuclides inventories deposited due to atmospheric testing. These and other radionuclides have created health, and environmental problems in local "downwind" hot spots, and globally.
Underground Testing has left large quantities of long-lived radionuclides at test sites around the world - estimates are that approximately 3,830 kilograms of plutonium has been left in the ground from underground testing. Additionally, radioactive leaking, or venting, has led to contamination over large areas.
All over the world nuclear tests have damaged the environment, created large areas of uninhabitable land, and affected the health of miliions.
A Project of: Greenpeace * Peace Action * Physicians for Social Responsibility
Plutonium Challenge * Women's Action for New Directions
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