Places of nuclear weapon tests on Wikimapia

Volcano explosions, tectonic plates splitting, climate changes, tsunami - all these nature forces are changing the face of our planet, they make some islands rise from the Ocean bottom and other disappear. In 20th century mankind has created nuclear weapon that can be compared in power to nature itself. As any other great discovery or invention, nuclear weapon has brought much prosperity to people (e.g., nuclear energy), as well as lot of tragedy. But the fact is undeniable: the beginning of Nuclear Era has made the contemporary World as it is now. As any other invention the nuclear bomb needed testing to give an idea of what the actual size and effects of an atomic explosion would be. When filtering places on Wikimapia through 'nuclear testing area' category, you can learn the history of nuclear weapon tests and see their huge tracks on the Earth.

The first nuclear weapon was detonated as a test by the United States at the Trinity site, 48 km southeast of Socorro on what is now White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. It was a test of an implosion-design plutonium bomb, the same type of weapon later dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only two events of nuclear weapons usage in war to date. The detonation was equivalent to the explosion of around 20 kilotons of TNT, and is usually credited as the beginning of the Atomic Age. The crater left from the explosion is approximately 900 m wide.

Trinity Test Site

Bikini Atoll is a coral island in the Micronesian Islands in Pacific Ocean. As part of the Pacific Proving Grounds it was the site of more than 20 nuclear weapons tests between 1946 and 1958, including the first test of a practical dry fuel hydrogen bomb in 1952 and Castle Bravo detonation, the first test of a practical hydrogen bomb, in 1954, wich was the largest nuclear explosion ever set off by the United States. Castle Bravo appeared to be much more powerful than predicted, and created widespread radioactive contamination. Even today, in 2012, eating fruits grown here for a long period of time without having taken remedial measures, might result in radiation doses higher than internationally agreed safety levels.

Bikini Atoll

The Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons. The first Soviet bomb, Operation First Lightning (nicknamed Joe One by the Americans) was conducted in 1949 from a tower at the Semipalatinsk Test Site.

Explosion of Joe One

Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба; "Emperor Bomb") is the nickname for the AN602 hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated in human history. This attempt was successful, as it was one of the cleanest (relative to its yield) atomic bombs ever detonated. Only one bomb of this type was ever built and it was tested on October 30, 1961, in Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

Explosion of Tsar Bomba

Operation Hurricane was the test of the first British atomic device on 3 October 1952. A plutonium implosion device was detonated in the lagoon between the Montebello Islands, Western Australia.

the Montebello Islands

There were 210 French nuclear tests from 1960 until 1996. 17 of them were done in the Algerian Sahara between 1960 and 1966, starting in the middle of the Algerian War. 193 were carried out in French Polynesia. Gerboise Bleue ("blue jerboa") was the name of the first French nuclear test. It was an atomic bomb detonated in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert on 13 February 1960.

Algerian Sahara

Lop Nur Nuclear Weapons Test Base is where the first Chinese nuclear bomb test, codenamed "596", was tested in 1964. Until 1996, 45 nuclear tests were conducted here.

Lop Nur Nuclear Weapons Test Base

"Smiling Buddha" was the codename given to the Republic of India's first nuclear test explosion that took place at the long-constructed Indian Army base, Pokhran Test Range at Pokhran municipality, Rajasthan state on 18 May 1974. It was also the first confirmed nuclear test by a nation outside the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The Indian government, however, declared that it was not going to make nuclear weapons even though it had acquired the capacity to do so. It claimed that the Pokhran explosion was an effort to harness atomic energy for peaceful purposes and to make India self-reliant in nuclear technology, but subsequently, India conducted five more nuclear tests on 11 May and 13 May 1998

Pokhran Test Range

Chagai-I is the name given to the five underground nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan on 28 May 1998. The tests were performed in a secret Chagai weapon-testing laboratories, located in the Chagai District of the Baluchistan Province of Pakistan.
The Chagai-I is considered a milestone in the history of Pakistan that was conducted in a direct response to India's second nuclear tests, Operation Shakti, on 11 and 13 May 1998. Nuclear weapon testings of both states resulted in a variety of economic sanctions on each other by number of major powers, particularly the United States and Japan. With the performance of the simultaneous atomic testing of the five nuclear devices, Pakistan, thus became the seventh nuclear power in the world to successfully develop and publicly test nuclear weapons, despite the international fury.

Chagai weapon-testing laboratories

In 2006 North Korea announced its intention to conduct a test, and in doing so became the first nation to give warning of its first nuclear test. This test provoked International condemnation and aggravates conflict between North Korea goverment and United Nations Security Council. Nevertheless, three years later, on 25 May 2009 the second underground detonation of a nuclear device conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Though, there is no official information, where exactly the tests took place, they were confirmed by seismic measurements.

Places of North Korea tests

By marking such places, Wikimapia users make the map data more valuable not only for geogrphical purposes, but closely connected with history, politics and natural sciences. Though we all hope that there will be no more places on Earth like these anymore, we on Wikimapia are glad to know that our project can give coverage on such serious topics, thanks to users contributions. We appreciate their efforts a lot and encourage Wikimapia community members to pay more attention to the places of such a high significance for all mankind and participate in improving Wikimapia map.