A recently released study exposes the “widespread dispersion” of radioactive fallout and devastation caused by the US government’s first detonation of a nuclear weapon. The “Trinity” atomic bomb test which caused “environmental contamination and population exposures” was carried out in New Mexico on July 16th, 1945.
This new research shows within 10 days of the explosion, which saw a mushroom cloud as high as 50,000 – 70,000 feet, radioactive deposits were dispersed across 46 states, and even parts of Canada as well as Mexico.
The study covers the Trinity test as well as dozens more, above-ground, “atmospheric” nuclear tests, conducted as a result of the Manhattan Project. Not included in the study are the myriad underground nuclear weapons tests. Between 1951 and 1998, Washington blew up more than 800 subterranean nuclear weapons.
Utilizing a combination of data previously unavailable during past studies, the researchers used “high-resolution reanalyzed historical weather fields, U.S. government data, and complex atmospheric modeling to try to chart the distribution of radioactive fallout in the days following historical nuclear tests,” reports Gizmodo.
The study was led by Sébastien Philippe, a scientist and researcher from Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. “Our results show the significant contribution of the Trinity fallout to the total deposition density across the contiguous U.S….and in New Mexico in particular,” the study reads.
During the time period analyzed by the researchers, there were 101 nuclear tests conducted. Since Trinity, there were subsequently 93 more atmospheric tests in Nevada which saw nuclear fallout distributed across the country yet again by radioactive mushroom clouds. The US government also launched 45 “airburst” tests, which saw nuclear bombs, tipped on rockets, detonated within the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
40,000 people lived within 50 miles of Trinity’s blast, many of the victims and their relatives have been afflicted with various cancers ever since. Washington has never compensated these Americans.
“When the initial shock wore off, [locals] returned to their daily lives. They drank from cisterns full of radioactive debris, ate beef from cattle that had grazed on the dust for weeks on end, and breathed air full of tiny plutonium particles. Only later would the real impact become clear,” as Responsible Statecraft’s Connor Echols notes. The test site was chosen by Robert Oppenheimer.
As a result of the Trinity test, infant mortality in New Mexico increased by 56% between 1944 and 1945. Locals, including those who saw the explosion themselves, were lied to by US officials with a cover story that this was all an accident which occurred at a nearby ammunition depot.