US declassifies dozens of nuclear test videos

In order to carry out new analyses, the American Department of Energy is in the process of declassifying the videos of the nuclear tests carried out by the country between 1945 and 1962. Dozens of them are to be consulted on YouTube.

Between 1945 and 1962, the United States carried out no less than 210 nuclear tests, all filmed from different angles, classified and maintained until then under high security. They have now been taken out and digitized with a view to analyzing them again. More than sixty of these videos have been published on the YouTube platform.

 » We have no experimental atmospheric data for modern weapons “Explains Greg Spriggs, the physicist specializing in nuclear weapons at the head of the project in the video presentation available on the channel in question. This declassification and analysis program therefore aims to  » get better data [grâce aux techniques d’analyse d’aujourd’hui] and better understand the effects of nuclear weapons “says Greg Spriggs, operating for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, attached to the US Department of Energy.

The films on which these documents have been stored for decades are for some of them on the verge of being definitively lost, their lifespan being limited.  » These films are known to be on the verge of breaking down to the point that they will become unusable says Jim Moye, a film expert involved in the digitization project.

If more than sixty videos of these trials have been published on YouTube, these are only those that have been declassified. The project is immense in its entirety, since according to Gregg Spriggs, more than 10,000 films exist. To date, around 6,500 have been found, of which 4,200 have been scanned and around 450 have been analysed. It should be noted that the declassification procedure for this type of document is administratively very long, approximately 10 minutes for each of the films according to the physicist in an interview with Wired.

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