Declassified Cold War Footages Of Some Of History’s Largest Nuclear Tests

By | March 20, 2017

This week, the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California released 62 newly declassified and restored films of U.S. nuclear testing conducted in conjunction with the lab between 1945 and 1962. During those Cold War years, the LLNL carried out 210 tests, resulting in approximately 10,000 film clips. Of those, about 6,500 have been found and 750 have been declassified, according to an LLNL news release. The 62 that are now on YouTube are just the first batch to see release.

Though only tests, some of the very explosions depicted here in fact resulted in devastating human and environmental casualties.

Operation Hardtack I – Nutmeg at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific. May 22, 1958.

Operation Teapot – Tesla at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. March 1, 1955.

Operation Plumbbob – Rainier at the Nevada Test Site (underground test). September 19, 1957.

Credits: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory