Atomic History in the West

From 1945 to 1993, over one thousand atomic weapons were detonated as part of the United States Nuclear Testing Program. In the years between 1951 and 1962, these tests were performed above ground at the Nevada Nuclear Testing Site. The Atomic Energy Commission was responsible for the program, but they did not warn the general public of the dangers of radiation. The bombs were much larger than the desert could hold. This tour describes the multiple ways the American public was affected by government negligence and the race for military superiority.

The United States Nuclear Testing Program began in the 1950s and was conducted in the Nevada desert near local sheep grazing lands. The Bullock ranching family was heavily affected by the radiation in spring of 1953. Vera Bullock later recorded, “By June 4, eleven bomb tests had been conducted and our lives had been changed forever.”
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