More Than 250 US Nuclear Test Videos from Cold War Era Released on Youtube

A collection of US nuclear test videos from the 40's, 50's and 60's have just been released.
Jessica Miley

Between 1945 and 1962, the United States executed more than 200 atmospheric nuclear tests. Each test was meticulously documented using cameras capturing the test at around 2,400 frames per second.

Since the tests, the films have been unused mostly lying inside high-security vaults across the country. The films were not only wastefully gathering dust, they were also slowly decomposing putting their contents at risk of being lost forever.

Thankfully a collaborative team comprising of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have spent the last five years hunting down these tapes, scanning them, sorting and classifying them.

The team aims to preserve this important part of US military history as well as assist contemporary US scientists to understand the cache of aging US nuclear weapons. These post-testing-era scientists use computer codes to certify the weapons remain safe, secure as well as effective.

A large collection of these saved films are now available for public viewing via the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory YouTube channel. People interested in the US’s nuclear history should check out this fascinating archive.

The videos vary in quality and range in length from just a few seconds to several minutes of test footage. The videos serve as a good reminder as to the potential calamity nuclear weapons can cause.