The discovery of nuclear reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than the discovery of matches.

ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955)

Nuclear Testing

The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated was 16 times as powerful as all the munitions used in the World War II combined.
WINSTON CHURCHILL (1874-1965)

If you go on with this nuclear arms race, all you are going to do is make the rubble bounce.

Bombs in Yorkshire



In 1953 atomic weapons scientists at Aldermaston considered various coastal sites in the UK for atom bomb test detonations, concluding that the best place to nuke would be the seaside village of Skipsea in Yorkshire.
 
Duncansby Head near Wick in Caithness was rejected because of the wet weather in the area. Donna Nook, a military range on the coast near Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire was also investigated, but was not thought to be as suitable as Skipsea between Bridlington and Hull, where there was a base that was about to be relinquished by the RAF.
 
To be fair, misgivings arose immediately. The Tory MP for the constituency opined that it was ‘a most inappropriate place’ for a nuclear test, and an official pointed out that there were bungalows and beach huts nearby which might be damaged, not to mention a foreshore with a public right of way, and that ‘local feeling aroused by Atomic Research Establishment use of it would be very considerable’.
 
Soon afterwards, the plans were switched to Maralinga in Australia. Prior to selection, the Maralinga site was inhabited by the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal peoples, who were relocated before the tests. On 27 September 1956, Operation Buffalo commenced there with the testing of four fission bombs, codenamed One Tree, Marcoo, Kite and Breakaway. The McClelland Royal Commission of 1984-85 noted that British and Australian servicemen were purposely exposed to fallout from the blasts, to see what happened, and concluded that all four tests were fired under inappropriate conditions. 

For 12 years, an average of one atomic bomb every three weeks was detonated in the Nevada desert.

Bikini Island



Bikini Island in Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands) is famous for having the bikini named after it and being the site of a series of thermonuclear tests. An atoll is any island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.
 
Between 1946 and 1958, 23 nuclear devices were detonated at Bikini including the 1954 detonation codenamed Castle Bravo, which was the first test of a practical hydrogen bomb and the largest nuclear explosion ever set off by the United States. It had an explosive force equal to nearly 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs (over twice the yield predicted). It vaporized the test island, parts of two other islands, and left a mile-wide crater in the lagoon floor.
 
The blast also contaminated 23 crewmembers of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon 5 which was fishing outside the danger area. One of the crew later died of radiation poisoning. The ensuing scandal in Japan inspired the 1954 film Godzilla, in which the US nuclear test awakens and mutates the monster, who then attacks Japan.
 
In 1968 the United States declared Bikini habitable and started bringing a small group of Bikinians back to their homes in the early 1970s as a test. In 1978, however, the islanders were removed again due to radiation levels.
 
The earliest depiction of a bikini type swimsuit is from the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (286-305 AD). The modern bikini appeared in 1946, when two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes. Heim called his the ‘atome’ and advertised it as ‘the world's smallest bathing suit’. Reard promoted his creation as ‘smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit’ and called it the bikini, after the Bikini Atoll which was in the news as nuclear tests had just begun there. 

Hollywood
cancer scare


Almost half of the people involved in the 1954 movie The Conqueror - including John Wayne - contracted cancer. The movie was filmed around 140 miles downwind of a nuclear testing site in Nevada.

Sunbeam, nougat, grommet, toggle and teapot were all codenames for nuclear explosions in Nevada in the fifties and sixties.

BILLY CONNOLLY

The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll look exactly the same afterwards.

There are enough nuclear shelters in Switzerland to house the entire population.