Cold War History

Cold War History

Castle Bravo

On March 1, 1954, the United States carried out its largest nuclear detonation, “Castle Bravo,” at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Bravo explosion was more than two and a half times greater than expected and caused far higher levels of fallout and damage than scientists had predicted.

French Nuclear Program

France became the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons after its first test in 1960. While development was slowed by the impact of World War II, the achievements of early French research were critical for nuclear development worldwide.

Atomic Energy Commission

The Atomic Energy Commission succeeded the Manhattan Engineer District in January 1947, when the Atomic Energy Act went into effect.

Broken Arrow Accidents

The U.S. military uses the term “Broken Arrow” to refer to an accident that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components.

Tsar Bomba

On October 30, 1961 the Soviet Union detonated the largest nuclear device in human history. The weapon, nicknamed Tsar Bomba, yielded 57 megatons of TNT, four times larger than any nuclear device tested by the United States.

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