Nuclear Explosions That Went Horribly Wrong


Since world war 2, Countries have seen the potential of Nuclear weapons, and the edge it brings over their enemies is tremendous. Many Countries were testing Nuclear weapons to enhance their capabilities and to show their rivals that what would be the result of any potential clash. But we know how dangerous and the potential threat to whole mankind these nuclear bombs are. And during the testings, some explosions had shown us what happens if we really use them.

The BaneBerry Test

Atmospheric testing was banned by the US military and scientists had to do underground tests if they want to test the capabilities of nuclear weapons. One such test known as the Baneberry test was scheduled to occur at 7:30 am on December 18th, 1970. The test was located at a Nevada test site the bomb was kept more than 900 feet into a hole little over seven feet in diameter. It only took about three minutes after the test began for people to realize that something has gone horribly wrong. Nearly 300 feet away from the place where the bomb was planted a fissure opened up in the ground and a cloud of radioactive vapor and dust began pouring into the sky it was able to rise 8000 feet into the atmosphere and
fallout went on to spread out across Nevada, California, and other nearby states.

About four hundred cars were contaminated. They all had to be vacuumed and sprayed down before they could go back to their owners. government workers immediately had to evacuate from the tests site. But when you’re dealing with a nuclear bomb you don’t exactly have a lot of time. Hundreds of them ended up being exposed to the radiation. Many of the workers had suffered from the highest levels of exposure they later contracted leukemia and passed away.

Standing Under A Nuke

On the 19th of July 1957, Six men including the cameraman stood at the ground zero of a nuclear test at the Nevada test site. The explosion occurred over 3000 meters above the ground and was equivalent to 2 Kilotons of TNT. The 5 volunteers and the cameraman who wasn’t a volunteer stood under the explosion without any safety gear. Though the cameraman asked for protection but didn’t get any.

The purpose of the test was to show US citizens that they had nothing to fear about nukes. The bomb exploded creating a bright light and a powerful sound wave that scared the six men. Everything was thought to be fine until they all got cancer. Though most of them lived their lives until their 80s. It is kind of a disappointment that none of them got any superpowers and turned into Hulks.

Starfish Prime

Starfish Prime was a high altitude nuclear test conducted by the US on the 9th of July 1962. A Thor rocket carrying the W49 thermonuclear warhead was launched from the johnson island from the pacific ocean. Nine seconds after Honolulu time,
the starfish prime test was successfully detonated at an altitude of 400 Kms. It caused an electromagnetic pulse which was far larger than expected so much larger than it drove much of the instruments off the scale. The pulse caused electrical
damage in Hawaii about 1,445 km away from the detonation, Knocking out about 300 streets light, setting off numerous burglar alarms, and damaging the telephone company microwave link. The damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from the Hawaii island. the flash created by the explosion could be seen from over 1500 Kms away. It is thought that the explosion produced and yield equivalent to 1.4 megatonnes of TNT.

Lake Chagan

In 1965 soviets had a brilliant idea to create a lake by detonating a nuke. The Nuclear test occurred at the Semipalatinsk site in Kazakhstan Chagan. The yield was equivalent to 140 Kilotons of TNT and meant to produce a large conical crater suitable for Lake. The resultant lake has a diameter of 408 meters and is 100 meters deep. Afterward, the Soviets dug a canal between the river and the crater and let gravity do its job.

Unfortunately, they forgot a basic thing called Radiation. Actually even Nowadays Lake Chagan is still radioactive. I am presuming that that’s where they get their fish for Sci-Fi movies.

Nuke That Almost Exploded Over America

Nuke disaster
Nuke with parachute still intact

In 1961, A B52 Bomber went into a tailspin and crashed over North Carolina while carrying two nukes with the power of 3 to 4 megatons each 260 times as powerful as the one that was dropped on Hiroshima. The pilot threw them away before
crashing into farmland, though one of the nukes was armed. when the bomb was dropped, three of the four arming mechanisms activated causing it to execute many of the steps needed to arm itself. Such as charging the firing capacitors and luckily deploying a 104 diameter parachute which allowed the bomb to hit the ground with little damage. The bomb was large enough to have a 100% Killzone of 23 Kilometers.

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