December 16, 2017
DECLASSIFIED US nuclear tests from the 1950s have been released to the public and show what the end of the world could look like if nuclear war broke out.



WATCH: US nuclear tests show what END OF THE WORLD could look like if WW3 broke out

Between 1945 and 1962 the US conducted more than 1,054 nuclear arms tests.
Around 210 of these blasts were atmospheric nuclear tests over remote sites in New Mexico, Nevada, and both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
At least 10,000 recordings were captured, however, over time some of these have been left to slowly decay in high-security vaults.
Dr Gregg Spriggs and his team of researchers have spent five years restoring 6,500 videos in an attempt to preserve the test footage.
More than 120 clips of the newly declassified tests have been posted on YouTube to commemorate the historic footage.
The US has not conducted a nuclear test since 1992 and have since used computer simulations to work out the impact of newly developed weapons.
Lead researcher Dr Gregg Spriggs, a weapons physicist at the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California said: “It has been 25 years since the last nuclear test, and computer simulations have become our virtual test ground - but those simulations are only as good as the data they are based on.
“Accurate data is what enables us to ensure the stockpile remains safe, secure and effective without having to return to testing.”
Following the nuclear test era, this data is critical to ensuring the effectiveness and safety of today's nuclear collection.
Years ago, analysts manually went through the footage using a tool called a kodagrap, which enlarged the image on a single frame, shined it onto a grid, and measure the fireball and shockwave.
Today, however, with the use of modern technology and software experts, researchers have developed tools to automate many of the processes, including determining the frame rate of each camera.
The new effort has revealed major discrepancies in the numbers, however, which indicates that many of the original analyses are wrong.
Some figures were off by 20 or 30 per cent.
The new development has allowed researchers to get a more accurate measure of the fireball growth, and better determine the test's yield.
Dr Spriggs and his Lawrence Livermore team posted 62 nuclear test videos on YouTube this week.
Footage includes the nuclear test 'Nutmeg', which was detonated on a barge in the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation Hardtrack in May 1958.

WATCH: US nuclear tests show what END OF THE WORLD could look like if WW3 broke out

Clips from the US military's 'Turk' test was also published, which was detonated in the Nevada desert as part of Operation Teapot in March 1955.
Dr Spriggs said: “We've received a lot of demand for these videos and the public has a right to see this footage.”
“'Not only are we preserving history, but we're getting much more consistent answers with our calculations.”
The latest 62 videos posted on YouTube follow on from footage published in March, taking the total number of videos to 125.
About 4,200 films have been scanned so far, and 750 have been declassified, with the remaining set to be published after they are approved.
Dr Spriggs said in March: “You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the by-products of the decomposition process of these films.

WATCH: US nuclear tests show what END OF THE WORLD could look like if WW3 broke out

“We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they'll become useless.
“The data that we're collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose.”
Dr Spriggs went on to say: “When you go to validate your computer codes, you want to use the best data possible.
“We were finding that some of these answers were off by 20, maybe 30 per cent.
“That's a big number for doing code validation. One of the payoffs of this project is that we're now getting very consistent answers.
“We've also discovered new things about these detonations that have never been seen before.
“New correlations are now being used by the nuclear forensics community, for example.”
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