What happened to warships near nuclear test sites?

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Andrew Rowland

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Andrew Rowland  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris,
Been listening to you on 702 radio here in South Africa.

One question I'd love to know the answer to is this: On the archive footage of early nuclear testing, there is one in particular that is often used in documentaries, of a test done in the ocean somewhere. In the foreground, well in fact all around the blast site, you can see a number of what appear to be warships of various sizes. Now in the footage, they pretty much all disappear in the expanding ring from the blast. Question is, rather tongue-in-cheek, did someone bugger up horribly on their calculations, or were those old ships placed there to see what the blast would do to them?

What do you think?


Offline LeeE

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What happened to warships near nuclear test sites?
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2009 17:41:56 »
I believe you're thinking of the Baker test carried out as part of Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll.

Have a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Crossroads

In brief though, yes, the ships were deliberately placed there to see what would happen to them.
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