⏯ Continued from the previous post.
"Castle Bravo was the first discharge in a series of high-yield thermonuclear weapon design tests conducted jointly by the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense (@deptofdefense
), as part of Operation Castle. It detonated on March 1, 1954, just a couple of weeks before the windshield phenomenon started. Was the radioactivity released by that test in the South Pacific the reason behind the pits and dings? It was, and still is, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the U.S., with a yield of 15,000 kt TNT, which was 2.5 times the predicted yield. To put it into perspective, the nuclear bomb used in Nagasaki (@discover_nagasaki
) was below 22 kt TNT.
Castle Bravo's unexpected blast contaminated more than 7,000 square miles (18,130 km2) of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. Several U.S. Navy crew members suffered beta burns. Nearby islanders had to be evacuated, unable to return to their home for years. Traces of radioactive material reached as far as Australia, India, and Japan, calling the event a 'second Hiroshima.' It also reached parts of Europe and allowed the Soviet Union to analyze the yield and learn the secret military concepts of the Teller–Ulam design, which enabled them to develop more powerful nuclear weapons. The fallout also reached the Southwestern U.S.
Had it reached the Pacific Northwest, too? Seattle panicked. The Mayor, Merritt 'Allan' Pomeroy, contacted the Governor, as well as the President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, urging both to instruct the appropriate state and federal agencies to cooperate on an emergency basis.
Experts brought in Geiger counters to detect and measure any ionizing radiation. They were run over windshield glass, and also over persons who had touched the pit marks. They were all free of radioactivity.
Seattle was under siege. And no one knew what was going on." - Comrade (the human)
"This is not a big bathtub to give me a bath, right? 😐" - Sinatra
⏯ To be continued...
📢: In collaboration with @visitseattle