What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?

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Offline thedoc

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On the 16th of July 1945, the project code name Trinity was put into action.  Trinity was the first test of an atomic bomb, the first nuclear weapon.   Sixty five years on, the test site is hard to access and rarely visited, but journalist and author David Wolman risked the radiation to find out more about this historic site.
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or [chapter podcast=2745 track=10.07.18/Naked_Scientists_Show_10.07.18_6722.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 20/07/2010 17:41:49 by _system »

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Offline Geezer

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What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?
« Reply #1 on: 20/07/2010 22:43:09 »
...and it's not much more radioactive than Aberdeen!
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline LeeE

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What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?
« Reply #2 on: 21/07/2010 17:07:29 »
I'm not sure that saying the Trinity Test Site is 'hard' to access is the right way to put - it has open days where the public can visit it, but these open days only occur twice a year (wikipedia reckons they're on the first Saturdays of April and October).

The wikipedia article also says that the residual radiation level is about ten times 'normal' and a one hour visit to the site would give you about half of your 'normal' daily dose.  Note that 'normal' isn't quantified here though.

Places located on granite will have higher than 'normal' levels of radiation and as there is some granite around Aberdeen, Geezer's comment might be close to the truth.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline Geezer

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What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?
« Reply #3 on: 21/07/2010 17:38:24 »
Places located on granite will have higher than 'normal' levels of radiation and as there is some granite around Aberdeen, Geezer's comment might be close to the truth.

I believe Aberdeen has about double the average level for the UK. A lot of it comes from the buildings. Grey granite was a common building material there, hence the handle - "The Granite City".
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline ori

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What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?
« Reply #4 on: 21/07/2010 21:13:50 »
The story is really nice (I like the "sooo sunny" aspect of it). There is, however, one point I don't understand: how can a desertic site become one of the richest spots in terms of biodiversity (even if left alone for 60 years)?

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Offline LeeE

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What is the Trinity Nuclear Test site like today?
« Reply #5 on: 23/07/2010 02:03:42 »
Places located on granite will have higher than 'normal' levels of radiation and as there is some granite around Aberdeen, Geezer's comment might be close to the truth.

I believe Aberdeen has about double the average level for the UK. A lot of it comes from the buildings. Grey granite was a common building material there, hence the handle - "The Granite City".

Aha! - I hadn't thought of that.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!