Sedan (nuclear test)
The selectable images and pictures below present data about Sedan (nuclear test). Storax Sedan was a shallow underground nuclear test conducted in Area 10 of Yucca Flat at the Nevada National Security Site on 6 July 1962 as part of Operation Plowshare, a program to investigate the use of nuclear weapons for mining, cratering, and other civilian purposes. The radioactive fallout from the test contaminated more US residents than any other nuclear test. The Sedan Crater is the largest man-made crater in the United States, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sedan was a thermonuclear device with a fission yield less than 30% and a fusion yield about 70%. The timing of the test put it within the Operation Storax fiscal year, but Sedan was functionally part of Operation Plowshare, and the test protocol was sponsored and conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with minimal involvement by the United States Department of Defense. The explosive device was lowered into a shaft drilled into the desert alluvium deep. The fusion-fission blast had a yield equivalent to 104 kilotons of TNT (435 terajoules) and lifted a dome of earth above the desert floor before it vented at three seconds after detonation, exploding upward and outward displacing more than of soil. The resulting crater is deep with a diameter of about . A circular area of the desert floor five miles across was obscured by fast-expanding dust clouds moving out horizontally from the base surge, akin to pyroclastic surge. The blast caused seismic waves equivalent to an earthquake of 4.75 on the Richter scale. The radiation level on the crater lip at 1 hour after burst was 500 R per hour (130 mC/(kg·h)).
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The Sedan shot resulted in a radioactive cloud that separated into two plumes, rising to 3.0 km and 4.9 km (10,000 ft and 16,000 ft). The two plumes headed northeast and then east in roughly parallel paths towards the Atlantic Ocean. Nuclear fallout was dropped along the way, narrowly dispersed in a relatively small number of United States counties. Detected radioactivity was especially high in eight counties in Iowa and one county each in Nebraska, South Dakota and Illinois. Most heavily affected counties were Howard, Mitchell and Worth counties in Iowa, as well as Washabaugh County in South Dakota, an area that has since been incorporated into Jackson County and is wholly within Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. These four counties measured maximum levels higher than 6,000 microcuries per square meter (220 MBq/m2).Want to read more? Wikipedia has even more information about Sedan (nuclear test).