These are impressive and at the same time horrible images, the explosions of nuclear weapons. The mushroom-shaped cloud of the atomic bombs that ended on Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains in our memory. In the years after World War II, both the United States and the former Soviet Union developed even more powerful atomic weapons. The bomb that fell on Hiroshima (also called “Little Boy”) was 4 kilotons and “Fat Man” who fell on Nagasaki was 18 kilotons. However, after the war bombs were tested with megatons! Below is a list of the 10 major nuclear explosions that occurred in the past decades. These explosions were intended to test nuclear bombs. Let’s hope that these weapons will never be used in a real war.
10. The Trinity Explosion
On July 16, 1945, the Americans tested the first atomic bomb. The test got the code name ‘Trinity’ and took place in the New Mexico desert. The explosion developed an energetic power of 20 kilotons, equivalent to the energy released by the explosion of 20000 tons of TNT. The atomic bomb thrown the Americans in Nagasaki in Japan in August 1945 had about the same power.
TOP 10 BIGGEST NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS EVER
9. The Soviet tents 158 and 168 on Nova Zembla
The former Soviet Union did not want to lag behind the Americans and soon began to develop nuclear bombs after World War II. In 1962, the Russians conducted a series of tests, including tests 158 and 168. Both test explosions took place on Nova Zembla. The energy of both nuclear explosions reached 10 megaton. Such explosions are sufficiently powerful to completely destroy an area of 4.6 square kilometers. There are no photos and movies of this explosion.
8. Ivy Mike, the first hydrogen bomb
The first hydrogen bomb (an atomic bomb that obtains the vast majority of its explosive energy from nuclear fusion from hydrogen atoms to helium) that exploded the Americans, got the nickname Ivy Mike. The bomb was blasted on November 1, 1952, at the Atoll Elugelab in the Pacific Ocean. The explosion completely destroyed the atol. What remained was a crater with a depth of 50 meters and a diameter of 1.9 kilometers. The mushroom cloud reached a height of 33 kilometers. At the explosion 10.4 megaton of energy was released. The radioactive precipitation after the explosion was huge. Of the vegetation on the neighboring islands nothing remained.
7. Castle Romeo
Castle Romeo was the codename of one of the tests carried out near the Bikini Atol in 1954. The explosion took place on the water. The bomb was on a bend, which was in the water above a crater formed by an earlier nuclear test explosion. This 11 megaton bomb trial was the third largest ever performed by the United States.
6. Soviet Test 123
The Soviets performed their nuclear explosion 123 in 1961. Strangely, the atomic bomb tested had a greater force than the atomic bombs to be tested a year later (pilot explosions 158 and 168 performed in 1962, 10 megaton). The bomb of test 123 developed a force of 12.5 megaton. Why the Soviet Union lowered the energetic power of their atomic bombs in later trials remains a mystery.
5. Castle Yankee
This pilot explosion was also part of the test series conducted by the United States in 1954 near the Pacific Bikini Atol. Castle Yankee achieved an energetic power of 13.5 megaton. The mushroom cloud rose to a height of 56 kilometers in the atmosphere and grew to 160 kilometers in diameter. The wind blew the radioactive precipitation to above Mexico City, more than 11000 kilometers away.
4. Castle Bravo
On March 1, 1954, the most powerful test explosion took place ever by the United States. Near the Bikini Atol, the Americans brought a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb with a power of 15 megaton to blast. Within a second of the explosion a giant fireball with a diameter of 7 kilometers was visible. A crater with a depth of 75 meters and a diameter of two kilometers remained after the explosion. The 40 kilometer high mushroom cloud reached a diameter of 100 kilometers after ten minutes. The test explosion caused a huge radioactive contamination. An area of more than 7,000 square kilometers on the Pacific was affected by the radioactive precipitation, which caused serious health problems with the islanders in the area. The protest against test explosions was more and more important.