16TH JULY 1945 - THE ATOMIC AGE
On 16 July 1945, the ‘Trinity’ nuclear test plunged humanity into the so-called Atomic Age. The first-ever nuclear bomb was detonated in New Mexico, at the Alamogordo Test Range. Nicknamed the “gadget”, the plutonium-based implosion-type device yielded 19 kilotons, creating a crater over 300 metres wide.
Three weeks after the test, on 6 and 9 August 1945, nuclear bombs – one of them based on the Trinity design - were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing tens of thousands civilians immediately and many more from radiation exposure later.
Trinity was the first of over 2000 nuclear tests to be conducted worldwide, with over 1000 in the U.S. nuclear testing programme alone. The tests released vast amounts of radioactivity around the globe. They also spurred the proliferation of nuclear weapons hundreds of times more powerful than the earliest prototypes.
WE MUST REMEMBER
On the 75th Anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, we must never forget the brave servicemen, scientists and civilians that have been affected by the Atomic testing program across the world. LABRATS represents all individuals across the world who have been affected. We are one big family, connected together with a common bond.
The Atomic family includes service veterans, scientists, descendants and the indigenous people whose homes were devastated. Thousands of people across the world have been affected by the tests and there are many organisations and individuals across the world helping them. LABRATS brings these organisations together in one place, with over 100 videos, research papers, social media links and weekly blogs.
In the UK 22,000 servicemen took part in the testing program, in the USA 225,000 took part in 216 atmospheric tests. In later years, servicemen were sent back to clean up the mess left by the tests. Runit dome in the Marshal Islands stands as a reminder of these dark days.
There have been in excess of 2,000 nuclear tests across the world. Our world was changed forever by these tests and we must remember the sacrifices of these men, many dying at a young age and their families suffering with congenital defects. These servicemen have not been officially recognised, their fight for a medal continues, their fight for compensation. It is time for governments across the world to recognise this sacrifice, for many they are still engaging an invisible enemy.
“Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER,
speaking at the detonation of his invention, the first atomic bomb.
You can help LABRATS to ensure that the servicemen and the civilians exposed during these tests are officially recognised and their families supported.
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We need to ensure the testing program is never forgotten, we need to educate future generations.
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Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Legacy of the Atomic Bomb. Recognition for Atomic Test Survivors (LABRATS), on Wednesday 15 July, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/