Sunday, April 1, 2012

High-altitude nuclear testing - Operation Dominic




"36 atmospheric nuclear devices detonated in the Pacific Proving Ground from April to November 1962. It was the last atmospheric nuclear test series conducted by the United States...

Dominic I tests were conducted in three general locations: Johnston Island, airdrop and high-altitude detonations; Christmas Island, staging area for 24 airdrop tests; and the open ocean, launch of a Polaris missile from a submarine and subsequent detonation of a device in a reentry vehicle, and the detonation of a device carried by an antisubmarine rocket (ASROC)...

Most of the devices were detonated in the air after being dropped from a B-52 bomber. Five high-altitude bursts, designated as Operation Fishbowl tests, were lofted by rockets. Their purpose was to study the effects of nuclear detonations as defensive weapons against incoming ballistic missiles.

The tests comprising the 1962 Operation Dominic I were as follows:

ADOBE, April 25, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 190 kilotons (kt)
AZTEC, April 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 410 kt
ARKANSAS, May 2, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.09 megaton (Mt)
QUESTA, May 4, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 670 kt
FRIGATE BIRD, May 6, Pacific, rocket, weapons related
YUKON, May 8, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 100 kt
MESILLA, May 9, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 100 kt
MUSKEGON, May 11, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 50 kt
SWORDFISH, May 11, Pacific, underwater, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)
ENCINO, May 12, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 500 kt
SWANEE, May 14, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 97 kt
CHETCO, May 19, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 73 kt
TANANA, May 25, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 2.6 kt
NAMBE, May 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 43 kt
ALMA, June 8, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 782 kt
TRUCKEE, June 9, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 210 kt
YESO, June 10, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 3 megatons (Mt)
HARLEM, June 12, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.2 Mt
RINCONADA, June 15, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 800 kt
DULCE, June 17, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 52 kt
PETIT, June 19, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 2.2 kt
OTOWI, June 22, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 81.5 kt
BIGHORN, June 27, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 7.65 Mt
BLUESTONE, June 30, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.27 Mt
STARFISH PRIME, July 9, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, 1.4 Mt*
SUNSET, July 10, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1 Mt
PAMLICO, July 11, Christmas Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 3.88 Mt
ANDROSCOGGIN, October 2, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 75 kt
BUMPING, October 6, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 11.3 kt
CHAMA, October 18, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 1.59 Mt
CHECKMATE, October 20, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)*
BLUEGILL 3 PRIME, October 26, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)*
CALAMITY, October 27, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 800 kt
HOUSATONIC, October 30, Johnston Island area, airdrop, weapons related, 8.3 Mt
KINGFISH, November 1, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, submegaton (less than 1 Mt, but more than 200 kt)*
TIGHTROPE, November 4, Johnston Island area, rocket, weapons effects, low (less than 20 kt)*

* Operation Fishbowl tests, the high altitude component of the DOMINIC I nuclear tests series...

These nuclear testing operations culminated with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and reached the fiercest point the day of the Bluegill Triple Prime test of near 1 megaton was detonated. During the night of that same day (local Washington, DC time) of October 26, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy met secretly with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to make emergency negotiations at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC. This dramatic meeting broke the crisis in a call from RFK to President John F. Kennedy, in JFK ordering the removal of obsolete, liquid fueled missiles from Turkey in return for a Soviet missile and troop withdrawal from Cuba...

Another extremely dangerous scenario of these tests was a concurrent Soviet series of tests at both Kapustin Yar and Novaya Zemlya,..

Periods of silence during this film were... to remove secret information..."

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