In a (now) rare moment of transparency – or perhaps in an odd way, a show of bravado to the rest of the world – more than 250 videos of previously classified US nuclear bomb tests have been uploaded to YouTube this week, providing a fascinating but terrifying glimpse into the United States’ nuclear program.
Digitized and uploaded by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, RT reports that the videos document secret atomic bomb tests between 1945 and 1962. The organization says that it hopes that the videos will help dissuade humanity from further use of nuclear weapons in the future.
“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,” a physicist working for the lab said after a similar batch of videos was released last year.
The videos feature dozens of tests from once-classified chapters in US nuclear history, including Operation Dominic, which consisted of 31 nuclear tests in 1962…
…and Operation Teapot, during which 14 bombs were dropped in Nevada in 1955.
A similar series of tests, known as Operation Sunbeam, was conducted at the Nevada National Security Site in 1962.
The visually stunning but harrowing videos vary in length, although most of them are approximately one minute long and begin at the moment of detonation.
This is not the first time that US nuclear test videos have been released. In December, 62 Cold War era clips were uploaded to YouTube.