Last month, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory put on YouTube 200 now-declassified videos documenting American nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1962. According the Lab, "around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever."
In the first video above, weapon physicist Greg Spriggs discusses how a team of experts salvaged these decomposing films, with the hope that they can "provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective."
If you click the forward button, the playlist will skip to the next video, the first of 63 nuclear tests. Several of those clips you can watch below:
If you'd like to support Open Culture and our mission, please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us provide the best free cultural and educational materials.