The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults.
For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. An initial set of declassified films were reviewed by trained declassifiers and published in a YouTube playlist.
“It’s just unbelievable how much energy’s released,” Spriggs said. “We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again. I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them.”
I think governments must abolish all nuclear weapons globally. To quote Drs. Jim Muller and John Pastore, co-founders of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985:
Getting people to sit up and recognize that there is an unacceptable level of nuclear threat is an essential step to global nuclear disarmament; governments will not budge without public support. If anything, Trump’s presidency has re-alerted the world to the notion of nuclear annihilation and led to an awakening in social activism in younger generations.