America was detonating thousands of nuclear bombs in its own backyard.
Established in 1950, the Nevada Test Site (NTS) was the main United States location for the testing of nuclear devices for both military and peaceful uses. Between 1945 and the voluntary suspension of testing in 1992, the U.S. conducted 1,051 nuclear tests worldwide – 925 of these were at the NTS.
The legacy of that testing is evident in the image to the right of the NTS’s Yucca Flats area. From the 925 tests, 828 were underground. So the vast majority of these tests were contained and produced little to no fallout. Here you can read about the effects of underground explosion, such as earthquakes.
The data visualization team as Esri recently set out to make an interactive that would convey the sheer magnitude of the project—and the incredible scars it left on a 1,360 square mile patch of Nevada desert.
Their new site, America’s Nuclear Moonscape, walks you through the hundreds of detonations in chronological order, showing you where and why the bombs went off.
Oh, they wanted to use nukes in everyday construction. So they tested “cratering”.