was a series of nuclear tests
conducted between May 28 and October 7, 1957, at the Nevada Test Site
, following Operation Redwing
, and preceding Operation Hardtack I
. It was the biggest, longest, and most controversial test series in the continental United States.
The operation was the sixth test series and consisted of 29 explosions
, two of which did not produce any nuclear yield
. 21 laboratories and government agencies were involved. While most Operation Plumbbob tests contributed to the development of warheads
, they also tested air defense
warheads with small yields. They included 43 military effects tests on civil and military structures, radiation
and bio-medical studies, and aircraft structural tests. Operation Plumbbob had the tallest tower tests to date in the U.S. nuclear testing program, as well as high-altitude balloon
tests. One nuclear test involved the largest troop maneuver ever associated with U.S. nuclear testing.
Almost 1,200 pigs were subjected to bio-medical experiments and blast-effects studies during Operation Plumbbob. On shot Priscilla (37 KT), 719 pigs were used in various experiments on Frenchman Flat
. Some pigs were placed in elevated cages and provided with suits made of different materials, to test which materials provided best protection from the thermal pulse
. Other pigs were placed in pens behind large sheets of glass, at measured distances... Read More