This historic film documents Operation Greenhouse, the fifth American nuclear test series and the second conducted in 1951. Operation Greenhouse was the first to test principles that would lead to developing thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs). Conducted at the new Pacific Proving Ground at Eniwetok Atoll, all of the devices were mounted in large steel towers to simulate air bursts.
Operation Greenhouse represented new and aggressive designs for nuclear weapons. The main idea was to reduce the size, weight, and most importantly, reduce the amount of fissile material necessary for nuclear weapons, while increasing the destructive power. With the Soviet Union's first nuclear test a year and half earlier, the United States had begun stockpiling the new designs before they were actually proven. Thus the success of Operation Greenhouse was vital before the development of thermonuclear weapons could continue.
A number of target buildings, including bunkers, homes and factories were built on Mujinkarikku Islet to test nuclear weapon effects.
The "George" explosion was the world's first thermonuclear burn, though it was just a test design, unsuitable for weaponization. Shaped like a torus, the "George Device" had a small amount of heavy isotopes of liquid hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) placed at its center. The vast majority of its yield derived from fission. The energy output from the thermonuclear fusion in this test was insignificant in comparison. The "George" device was more like a "boosted" atomic bomb than a thermonuclear one. The small amount of heavy deuterium and tritium in this test fused, but its role was to generate a strong flurry of fast neutrons - ones that sparked more fissions in the uranium nuclei that were present, and which also caused fission in uranium-238 - which does not fission under bombardment with slow neutrons, as does uranium-235.
However, the "George" test validated the principles which would be used for the first full-scale thermonuclear bomb test, Ivy Mike, one year later, on 1 November 1952, at Eniwetok Atoll. "Greenhouse Item" was the first boosted fission weapon, nearly doubling the normal yield of a similar non-boosted weapon.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
October 6, 2016 Subject:
Very interesting but all of these films uploaded by Periscope are marred by the addition of a meaningless time clock embedded in the video image. It's worse than any video watermark I've ever seen and a signal to look for another version of this film (or any other film provided by this person/company. Sorry to be such a bummer.