Livermore is working to rescue these films and digitize them for preservation and analysis before they’ve deteriorated. Livermore has already declassified and uploaded hundreds of bomb test videos to the internet, which this week's dump added to significantly. The digitized videos allow the library to push stockpile science forward—the first analyses of these videos were done manually, whereas now scientists use computers—and to educate the public.
“We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again,” LLNL weapons physicist Greg Spriggs said in a press release for a batch of declassified bomb test videos last year. “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.”
Here are a couple videos that rival even Lynch’s portrayal of the weapon that changed everything:
Operation Hardtack II was a last-minute sprint to conduct weapons tests with new designs before a brief moratorium on nuclear tests in 1958. Thirty-seven blasts were carried out in total, with four occurring on the last day before the moratorium.
Operation Dominic consisted of 31 nuclear tests in 1962, responding to the resumption of bomb tests by the Soviet Union.
Operation Teapot consisted of 14 bomb blasts in Nevada in 1955.
Operation Hardtack I took place in 1958, and included more nuclear detonations (35) than had ever been unleashed in the Pacific Ocean before.
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