The US government just declassified 750 nuclear weapons movies and put a bunch on YouTube!
In a quest for Cold War military superiority, the United States detonated more than 1,000 nuclear weapons.
Government researchers blew up many of the bombs on the ground and others in ocean atolls. Yet as threats moved into space and concerns about fallout increased — material that’s sucked into a blast becomes radioactive — the US exploded 210 of the terrifying devices high in the atmosphere.
But on March 14, after more than 65 years of collecting dust, the US has declassified 750 of the high-speed films for the first time — and released dozens of the digital scans on YouTube. We first heard about the movies from writer Sarah Zhang on Twitter.
A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists led the rescue effort over the past 5 years. The films are made of nitrate cellulose and slowly decompose in air while releasing a vinegar smell, according to a LLNL release.
“This is it. We got to this project just in time,” Greg Spriggs, a nuclear weapons physicist at LLNL, said in a video about the digitization effort. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing, to the point where they will become useless.”
Read the whole thing here: Hundreds of nuclear bomb blast films were declassified and uploaded – Business Insider