200 Haunting Videos of U.S. Nuclear Tests Now Declassified and Put Online

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:

Oper­a­tion Hard­tack

Oper­a­tion Plumb­bob

Oper­a­tion Teapot

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kurt Von­negut Gives a Ser­mon on the Fool­ish­ness of Nuclear Arms: It’s Time­ly Again (Cathe­dral of St. John the Divine, 1982)

Haunt­ing Unedit­ed Footage of the Bomb­ing of Nagasa­ki (1945)

53 Years of Nuclear Test­ing in 14 Min­utes: A Time Lapse Film by Japan­ese Artist Isao Hashimo­to

How a Clean, Tidy Home Can Help You Sur­vive the Atom­ic Bomb: A Cold War Film from 1954

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.