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MenuBetween 16 July 1945 and 23 September 1992 the United States of America conducted (by official count) 1054 nuclear tests, and two nuclear attacks. The number of actual nuclear devices (aka "bombs") tested, and nuclear explosions is larger than this, but harder to establish precisely. Some devices that were tested failed to produce any noticeable explosion (some by design, some not), other "tests" (by official definition) were actually multiple device detonations. It is not clear whether all multiple device tests have yet been identified, and enumerated.
   see our Nuclear Age Timeline section 

These pages focus principally (although not exclusively) on the period from 16 July 1945 to 4 November 1962, the era of atmospheric testing*. There are a number of reasons for this. These early years marked the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. nuclear weapons establishment came into being, when the major breakthroughs in weapon design occurred, and when the most severe effects of nuclear testing were felt around the world. During this period test series were grand operations, involving huge numbers of people, and each often with a set of clear objectives. The era of atmospheric testing is also the period for which the most information is available. When tests were exploded in the open, everyone could collect data on what was being tested. When the tests went underground, testing became routine, and information about what was being tested went underground too. And of course, we can't have a gallery without pictures- and atmospheric tests are the only ones for which pictures exist.

* There were actually a few surface tests included in the official test count conducted after 4 November 1962. These were a series of zero yield tests of plutonium dispersal conducted in 1963, known as Operation Roller Coaster.

The Atmospheric Test Series
Trinity - The First Nuclear Test
Trinity1945Alamagordo New Mexico1

The Post War Test Series
Crossroads1946Bikini Atoll2
Sandstone1948Enewetak Atoll3
Ranger1951Nevada Test Site5
Greenhouse1951Enewetak Atoll4
Buster-Jangle1951Nevada Test Site7
Tumbler-Snapper1951Nevada Test Site7
Ivy1952Enewetak Atoll2
Upshot-Knothole1953Nevada Test Site11
Castle1954Bikini Atoll
Enewetak Atoll
Teapot1955Nevada Test Site14
Wigwam1955Pacific Ocean1
Project 561955Nevada Test Site4
Redwing1956Bikini Atoll
Enewetak Atoll
Plumbbob1957Nevada Test Site30
Projects 57, 58 & 58A1957-1958Nevada Test Site2
Hardtack I1958Bikini Atoll
Enewetak Atoll
Johnston Island
Argus1958South Atlantic3
Hardtack II1958Nevada Test Site37
Nougat1961-1962Nevada Test Site32
(with Fishbowl)
1962Christmas Island
Johnston Island
Central Pacific
(with Sunbeam and Roller Coaster)
1962-1963Nevada Test Site
Nellis Air Force Range
Visit History Section!"There appears to be a need for adequate education of the people of our country concerning the radiological hazards resulting from atomic explosions. This should be realistic in nature with the view to giving the public a correct understanding of this matter in order that the hysterical or alarmist complex now so prevalent may be corrected."
  -1948: Hull, J.E., Lieutenant General USA

  Additional Resources & Downloads
  U.S. Nuclear Warheads (1945-2002)
  U.S. Nuclear Stockpile, Nuclear Deterrence ( 1945-2002)
  U.S. Nuclear Stockpile 2002 data
  Nuclear Age Timeline from 1895 to 1993
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*used by permission from:   The Nuclear Weapon Archive    LANL