U.S. Nuclear Tests (1945-1992)

Bibliography:
The United States Nuclear Weapon Program: A Summary History Department of Energy, March 1983
DOE/NV-209-REV 15: United States Nuclear Tests - July 1945 through September 1992 (December 2000) (PDF)

Editoral Note: DOE/NV-209-Rev 15 Circa 2000, considers FAT MAN and LITTLE BOY to be outside the test sequence. However, the 1983 Summary History of the Nuclear Weapons Program referenced above considered them to be tests. The reason for the change? In the eighties, the Japanese finally noticed that the U.S. considered Hiroshima and Nagasaki as tests, complained and forced their reclassification. I use the 1983 definition in these charts.

Note: 62 underground tests at the Nevada Test Site, and one underground test at Rifle, Colorado had simultaneous initations of multiple devices within 0.1 seconds of each other and within 2 kilometers of each other (as defined by the Threshold Test Ban Treaty) so the actual numbers of devices initated is 1,151; rather than the total of 1,056 tests as given below.

Tests By Calendar Year

Calendar
Year

US-Only Tests

US/UK
Joint Tests

Total
US-Only
Tests to Date

Total
US/UK
Tests to Date

Total Tests To Date

CY 1945

3

0

3

0

3

CY 1946

2

0

5

0

5

CY 1947

0

0

5

0

5

CY 1948

3

0

8

0

8

CY 1949

0

0

8

0

8

CY 1950

0

0

8

0

8

CY 1951

16

0

24

0

24

CY 1952

10

0

34

0

34

CY 1953

11

0

45

0

45

CY 1954

6

0

51

0

51

CY 1955

18

0

69

0

69

CY 1956

18

0

87

0

87

CY 1957

32

0

119

0

119

CY 1958

77

0

196

0

196

CY 1959

0

0

196

0

196

CY 1960

0

0

196

0

196

CY 1961

10

0

206

0

206

CY 1962

96

2

302

2

304

CY 1963

47

0

349

2

351

CY 1964

45

2

394

4

398

CY 1965

38

1

432

5

437

CY 1966

48

0

480

5

485

CY 1967

42

0

522

5

527

CY 1968

56

0

578

5

583

CY 1969

46

0

624

5

629

CY 1970

39

0

663

5

668

CY 1971

24

0

687

5

692

CY 1972

27

0

714

5

719

CY 1973

24

0

738

5

743

CY 1974

22

1

760

6

766

CY 1975

22

0

782

6

788

CY 1976

20

1

802

7

809

CY 1977

20

0

822

7

829

CY 1978

19

2

841

9

850

CY 1979

15

1

856

10

866

CY 1980

14

3

870

13

883

CY 1981

16

1

886

14

900

CY 1982

18

1

904

15

919

CY 1983

18

1

922

16

938

CY 1984

18

2

940

18

958

CY 1985

17

1

957

19

976

CY 1986

14

1

971

20

991

CY 1987

14

1

985

21

1,006

CY 1988

15

0

1,000

21

1,021

CY 1989

11

1

1,011

22

1,033

CY 1990

8

1

1,019

23

1,042

CY 1991

7

1

1,026

24

1,050

CY 1992

6

0

1,032

24

1,056

Surface Tests by Type

Type

US-Only

Airdrop

55

Balloon

25

Barge

36

Rocket

12

Surface

28

Tower

56

Total

212

Sub-Surface Tests by Type

Type

US-Only

US/UK Joint

Crater

9

0

Shaft

739

24

Tunnel

67

0

Underwater

5

0

Total

820

24

Tests by Location

Test Site

US-Only

US/UK Joint

Total

Notes

Bikini

23

0

23


Christmas Island

24

0

24


Enewetak

43

0

43


Johnston Island

12

0

12


Pacific

4

0

4


South Atlantic

3

0

3

ARGUS I (1-2 kt Rocket Launched Effects Shot)
ARGUS II (1-2 kt Rocket Launched Effects Shot)
ARGUS III (1-2 kt Rocket Launched Effects Shot)

Hiroshima, Japan

1

0

1

LITTLE BOY (First Combat Use)

Nagasaki, Japan

1

0

1

FAT MAN (Last Combat Use)

Alamogordo, NM

1

0

1

TRINITY (First Nuclear Initation)

Amchitka, AK

3

0

3

MILROW (Sesmic Calibration)
CANNIKIN (Spartan Warhead Test)
LONGSHOT (NUDET Experiment)

Carlsbad, NM

1

0

1

GNOME (Project Plowshare)

Central Nevada

1

0

1

FAULTLESS (Seismic Calibration)

Fallon, NV

1

0

1

SHOAL (Vela Uniform)

Farmington, NM

1

0

1

GASBUGGY (Gas Stimulation Experiment)

Grand Valley, CO

1

0

1

RULISON (Gas Stimulation Experiment)

Hattiesburg, MS

2

0

2

STERLING (Vela Uniform)
SALMON (NUDET Experiment)

Nellis AFB Range

5

0

5


Rifle, CO

1

0

1

RIO BLANCO-1/2/3
(Simultaneous shot of three devices in same hole as part of Gas Stimulation Experiment)

Nevada Test Site
(Atmospheric)

100

0

100


Nevada Test Site
(Underground)

804

24

824

62 simultaneous shots involving 93 devices.

Reason for Test

Purpose

Number of Initations

Combat Test

2

Joint US/UK Test

24

Project Plowshare

35

Safety Experiment

88

Storage-Transportation

4

Vela Uniform

7

Weapons Effects

100

Weapons Related

891

Total

1,151