Operation CASTLE's 15 MT Bravo early fireball with Compton Effect lightning, March 1, 1954

Still Image Restorations

These images are not for sale and have been reduced in size to avoid misuse. They are also the property of this website.

1952 Operation TUMBLER-SNAPPER, Able, 1 kiloton, dropped at Frenchman Flat:

Information about BUSTER Able:

1952 Operation IVY King 500 kiloton superbomb, a prototype alternative in case the Mike thermonuclear test failed. This bomb was the world record all-fission yield until the British tested the very dangerous 720 kiloton Orange Herald device in 1957, as part of Operation GRAPPLE.

Orange Herald contained lithium deuteride, and failed to increase yield through fusion. The active metal was so close to critical mass, the core of the bomb required neutron-absorbing ball bearings inside the shell until the arming process shortly before targeting, to prevent the device uranium from softening from the heat of spontaneous fission.

1952 Operation TUMBLER-SNAPPER Charlie shot:

Operation BUSTER-JANGLE Easy test in 1951:

Operation DESERT ROCK VI tank troops covered their eyes during the 29 kiloton APPLE II shot, 5 May, 1955, at 5:10 AM Pacific Standard Time.

APPLE II was a redo of the APPLE I test, because the nuclear primary failed during the first attempt.

The weapons development test device was mounted on a 490 ft (150 m) tower, yet included military maneuvers (DESERT ROCK) around the shot location, and Civil Defense representatives in training exercises and fact-finding experiments (Operation CUE).

Nicknamed the "S.O.B." (Oak Ridge Superoralloy Bomb), the Mk-18F KING bomb detonated off the north shore of Runit Island, Enewetak Atoll, at 450 m (1,480 ft) altitude, 15 November, 1952.

Its purpose was to test a high yield, all fission weapon using highly enriched uranium-235, in case the 10.4 MT MIKE superbomb experiment failed.

KING was so close to critical rate fission, the weaponeers temporarily placed a neutron absorbing metal chain inside the hollow core to avoid elevated fission rate heat that could have damaged or even destroyed this extremely expensive device. Shortly before the targeting run, the chain was removed and the bomb was quickly armed for release by a B-36 Peacekeeper bomber.

It still needs some cleanup.

A nifty sight is to the bottom right. Helicopters were photographed racing out toward the test island, likely to quickly take experiment surveys.

Posting JPEG images at Blogger alters the lighting of the images for some odd reason, making them slightly brighter than the originals. :-(  Workaround: post PNG images. :-D

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