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    Operation Teapot - 1955

    / Main Archive / USA /

    Apple 2 Apple-2 - 05/05/1955
    Operation Teapot was the fifth series of nuclear weapons tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), consisting of 14 nuclear detonations and one non-nuclear test. The Teapot Series lasted from 18 February 1955 to 15 May 1955, and involved an estimated 11,000 DOD personnel participating in observer programs, tactical maneuvers, and military effects and scientific studies. Teapot was authorized by President Eisenhower on 30 August 1954

    The series was intended to to improve military tactics, equipment, and training, and to enhance the understanding of civil defense requirements. A broad variety of fission devices with low to moderate yields were tested. These devices used new compact, efficient and light weight spherical implosion systems, beryllium tampers, hollow cores, deuterium-tritium boosting, and the use of neutron pulse tubes as initiators to create light, compact, efficient and reliable fission explosive systems.

    These devices were tested for a broad variety of tactical weapon applications, including air defense (AD) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Several new primaries were tested for a new generation of lighter and more compact (Class "D") thermonuclear weapons to be fired in 1956 during Operation Redwing.

    UCRL (University of California Radiation Laboratory) had its first successful tests shots (Tesla and Post) after two and a half years of trying. UCRL demonstrated linear implosion - a non-lensed implosion approach used in artillery shells and other applications where very small diameter systems were required.

    LANL test shots were named after flying insects, fruits, and vegetables. UCRL test shots were named after inventors and San Francisco streets. DOD shot names were abbreviations or abbreviation mnemonics.

    MET MET - 15/04/1955
    Approximately 8000 DOD personnel participated in the Desert Rock VI exercise which was intended to familiarize troops with the capabilities of nuclear weapons and the conditions of atomic combat. During shot "Wasp", ground forces including an armored task force called "Razor" moved to within 900 meters of ground zero, under the still-forming mushroom cloud. Troop operations during shot Tesla were complicated due to the test device exceeding it's predicted yield by 350%.

    A number of weapon effects tests were conducted, the most notable being:

    MET - The primary objective of MET (military effects test/tower) was to confirm the phenomenon of precursor and 'dust loading' in increasing damage to drag sensitive targets, discovered accidentally during shots 9 and 10 of Operation Upshot-Knothole. The secondary objective was to measure damage to aircraft structures, by flying three radio-controlled QF-80K drones directly above the blast. The timing of this test was so critical, that the test was to be cancelled as little as 30 seconds before zero time if the aircraft were out of position. The inclusion of these drones required daylight, making MET the first US daytime tower shot.

    - Drone aircraft testing

    Apple-2 - This Civil Defense shot was intended to test various building construction types known as "Survival Town" to a nuclear blast. A documentary film was produced showing the buildings being damaged by the blast. In the film the test is known as "Operation Cue".

    - Operation Cue - 1955

    HA (high-altitude) - Though the HA warhwead was intended for use in an air-to-air missile, it was dropped from a B-36 in a Mk-5 ballistic case at over 12 km, an extremely high altitude for air dropped device. A retarding parachute was used to permit the release aircraft to escape to a safe distance, the only parachute weapon drop ever conducted at the NTS. The aircraft kill radius for thermal and blast effects was found to be less at altitude than on the ground. However for prompt nulear radiation, the range of the immediately incapacitating and quickly lethal dose of 5000 roentgens was found to be double that of the lower aerial shot Wasp Prime, extending out to 1.4 kilometers.

    Test Shots

    Video Name Yield Date |UTC| Type Warhead Location LAT/LONG
    - Wasp 1.2 Kt 20:00 18/02/1955 Airdrop @230m - NTS Area 7 37.08670 -116.02190
    - Moth 2 Kt 13:45 22/02/1955 Tower @90m XW-30 NTS Area 3 37.04780 -116.02110
    - Tesla 7 Kt 13:30 01/03/1955 Tower @90m Cleo I NTS Area 9b 37.12550 -116.04750
    - Turk 43 Kt 13:20 07/03/1955 Tower @150m XW-27 NTS Area 2 37.13830 -116.11750
    - Hornet 4 Kt 13:20 12/03/1955 Tower @90m XW-30 NTS Area 3a 37.04030 -116.02530
    - Bee 8 Kt 13:05 22/03/1955 Tower @150m XW-25 NTS Area 7 37.09470 -116.02390
    Ess 1 Kt 20:30 23/03/1955 Subsurface @-20m Mk-6 NTS Area 10 37.16830 -116.04390
    - Apple-1 14 Kt 12:55 29/03/1955 Tower @150m - NTS Area 5 37.09560 -116.10280
    Wasp Prime 3.2 Kt 17:59 29/03/1955 Airdrop @230m - NTS Area 7 37.08670 -116.05780
    HA 3.2 Kt 18:00 06/04/1955 Airburst @11160m - NTS Area 1 37.02860 -116.05780
    - Post 2 Kt 12:30 09/04/1955 Tower @90m Cleo II NTS Area 9c 37.12220 -116.03440
    MET 22 Kt 19:15 15/04/1955 Tower @121m Cleo II NTS Frenchman Flats 36.79810 -115.92890
    - Apple-2 29 Kt 12:10 05/05/1955 Tower @150m - NTS Area 1 37.05310 -116.10250

    - Click on a thumbnail for a larger version

    Published on: 2010-09-28 (3883 reads)

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