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Encyclopedia > Operation Plowshare
The 1962 "Sedan" plowshares shot displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet (97.5m) deep and 1,280 feet (390.1m) wide.
The 1962 "Sedan" plowshares shot displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet (97.5m) deep and 1,280 feet (390.1m) wide.

Operation Plowshare, better known as Project Plowshare, not to be confused with the anti-nuclear Plowshares Movement, was the overall United States term for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes. The phrase was coined in 1961, taken from Micah 4:3 ("And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more"). It was the U.S. portion of what are called Peaceful Nuclear Explosions (PNE). The Soviet Union had a similar program of testing as well for many years [1]. The Soviet program was titled Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy. Crater from the 1962 Sedan nuclear test as part of Operation Plowshare. ... Crater from the 1962 Sedan nuclear test as part of Operation Plowshare. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Storax Sedan explosion The Sedan crater. ... Daniel Berrigan at College of the Holy Cross, September 28, 2005. ... A nuclear explosive is an explosive device that derives its energy from nuclear reactions. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... The Book of Micah is one of the books of the Neviim and of the Old Testament. ... Swords to ploughshares is a concept in which military weapons or technologies are converted for peaceful civilian applications. ... Chagan (nuclear test) in Soviet Union 1965 was used to create a dam on Semipalatinsk river Peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs) are nuclear explosions conducted for non-military purposes, such as activities related to economic development including the creation of canals. ... Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy was a Soviet program to investigate peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs). ...

Contents

Suggested usage

Proposed uses included widening the Panama Canal, constructing a new sea-level waterway through Nicaragua, cutting paths through mountainous areas for highways, and for connecting inland river systems. Other proposals involved blasting underground caverns for water, natural gas, and petroleum storage. Serious consideration was also given to using these explosives for various mining operations. One proposal suggested using nuclear blasts to connect underground aquifers in Arizona. Another plan involved surface blasting on the western slope of California's Sacramento Valley for a water transport project. At the end of the program, a major objective was to develop nuclear explosives, and blast techniques, for stimulating the flow of natural gas in "tight" underground reservoir formations. Two Panamas running the Miraflores Locks The Panama Canal (Spanish: ) is a major ship canal that traverses the Isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Oceans. ... An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. ... Official language(s) English Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  Ranked 6th  - Total 113,998 sq mi (295,254 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The Sacramento Valley is the portion of the California Central Valley that lies to the north of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta. ...


Nuclear explosives have not been used for commercial engineering purposes in the United States, but the concept has been tested.


Plowshare testing

One of the Chariot schemes involved chaining five thermonuclear devices to create the artificial harbor.
One of the Chariot schemes involved chaining five thermonuclear devices to create the artificial harbor.

One of the first plowshare nuclear blast cratering proposals that came close to being carried out was Project Chariot, which would have used several hydrogen bombs to create an artificial harbor at Cape Thompson, Alaska. It was never carried out due to concerns for the native populations and the fact that there was little potential use for the harbor to justify its risk and expense. After the project was terminated, a proof-of-concept 104 kiloton (435 terajoule) cratering blast was conducted on July 6, 1962 at the north end of Yucca Flats, within the Atomic Energy Commission's Nevada Test Site (NTS) in southern Nevada. The shot, "Sedan", displaced more than 12 million short tons (11 teragrams) of soil and resulted in a radioactive cloud that rose to an altitude of 12,000 ft (3.7 km). The radioactive dust plume headed northeast and then east towards the Mississippi River. Image File history File links Project_Chariot_plans. ... Image File history File links Project_Chariot_plans. ... Operation Chariot was a 1958 American proposal to construct an artificial harbor at Cape Thompson, Alaska by means of a nuclear explosion. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ... A megaton or megatonne is a unit of mass equal to 1,000,000 metric tons, i. ... To help compare different orders of magnitude we list here energies between 1012 joules (a terajoule, symbol TJ) and 1013 joules. ... July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Shield of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. ... The Nevada Test Site is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the City of Las Vegas, near . ... Storax Sedan explosion The Sedan crater. ... The short ton is a unit of mass equal to 907. ... A teragram (symbol: Tg) is an SI unit of mass. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it falls out of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest named river in North America, with a length of 2320 miles (3733 km) from Lake Itasca to Gulf of Mexico. ...


The first PNE blast was Project GNOME, conducted on December 10, 1961 in a salt bed 24 mi (39 km) southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The explosion released 3.1 kilotons (13 TJ) of energy yield at a depth of 361 meters (1,184 ft) which resulted in the formation of a 170 ft diameter, 80 ft high (52 by 25 m) cavity. The test had many objectives. The most public of these involved the generation of steam which could then be used to generate electricity. Another objective was the production of useful radioisotopes and their recovery. Another experiment involved neutron time-of-flight physics. A fourth experiment involved geophysical studies based upon the timed seismic source. Only the last objective was considered a complete success. The blast, unintentionally, vented radioactive steam while the press watched. The partly developed Project Coach detonation experiment, that was to follow adjacent to the Gnome test, was then cancelled. Project GNOME was the first nuclear explosion to be used for peaceful purposes. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Location in the state of New Mexico. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into articles entitled steam and water vapor, accessible from a disambiguation page. ... A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus. ... ≈≈ This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Time of flight method of measuring particle mass is done as follows. ... Thousands of particles explode from the collision point of two relativistic (100 GeV per ion) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ...


Over the next 11 years 26 more nuclear explosion tests were conducted under the U.S. PNE program. Funding quietly ended in 1977. Costs for the program have been estimated at more than (US) $770 million.


Natural gas stimulation experiment

The final PNE blast took place on 17 May 1973, under Fawn Creek, 76.4 km north of Grand Junction, Colorado. Three 30 kiloton detonations took place simultaneously at depths of 1,758, 1,875, and 2,015 meters. It was the third nuclear explosion experiment intended to stimulate the flow of natural gas from "tight" formation gas fields. Industrial participants included the El Paso Natural Gas Company for the Gasbuggy test; Austral Oil Company; CER Geonuclear Corporation for the Rulison test; and CER Geonuclear Corporation for the Rio Blanco test. May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Mt. ... El Paso Natural Gas is a system natural gas pipelines that brings gas from the Permian Basin in Texas and the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and Colorado to California and Arizona. ... Rulison was a 47-kiloton nuclear test that took place in the United States on September 10, 1968, in or near western Colorados Grand Valley in Garfield County (39 26 30. ... Río Blanco (Spanish: White River) could be referring to: Guatemala Río Blanco, San Marcos Mexico Río Blanco, Chiapas Río Blanco, Oaxaca Río Blanco, Veracruz Nicaragua Río Blanco, Matagalpa United States Rio Blanco, Colorado Rio Blanco, Puerto Rico ...


If it was successful, plans called for the use of hundreds of specialized nuclear explosives in the western Rockies gas fields. The previous two tests had indicated that the produced natural gas would be too radioactive for safe use. After the test it was found that the blast cavities had not connected as hoped, and the resulting gas still contained unacceptable levels of radionuclides. Rockies may also refer to the National League Baseball team, the Colorado Rockies. ... Radioactivity may mean: Look up radioactivity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus. ...


By 1974, approximately 82 million dollars had been invested in the nuclear gas stimulation technology program. It was estimated that even after 25 years of gas production of all the natural gas deemed recoverable, that only 15 to 40 percent of the investment could be recovered.


Also, the concept that stove burners in California might soon emit trace amounts of blast radionuclides into family homes did not sit well with the general public. The contaminated well gas was never channeled into commercial supply lines.


The radioactive blast debris from 839 U.S. underground nuclear test explosions remains buried in-place and has been judged impractical to remove by the DOE's Nevada Site Office.


Table of Plowshare tests

The U.S. conducted twenty-seven PNE shots in conjunction with other, weapons-related, test series. These are annotated under the 'Note' column.

Plowshare Test Blasts
Test Name Date Location Yield Note
Gnome 10 December 1961 Carlsbad, New Mexico 3 kilotons Nougat
Sedan 6 July 1962 Nevada Test Site 104 kilotons Storax
Anacostia 27 November 1962 Nevada Test Site 5.2 kilotons Dominic I and II
Kaweah 21 February 1963 Nevada Test Site 3 kilotons Dominic I and II
Tornillo 11 October 1963 Nevada Test Site 0.38 kilotons Niblick
Klickitat 20 February 1964 Nevada Test Site 70 kilotons Niblick
Ace 11 June 1964 Nevada Test Site 3 kilotons Niblick
Dub 30 June 1964 Nevada Test Site 11.7 kilotons Niblick
Par 9 October 1964 Nevada Test Site 38 kilotons Whetstone
Handcar 5 November 1964 Nevada Test Site 12 kilotons Whetstone
Sulky 5 November 1964 Nevada Test Site 0.9 kilotons Whetstone
Palanquin 14 April 1965 Nevada Test Site 4.3 kilotons Whetstone
Templar 24 March 1966 Nevada Test Site 0.37 kilotons Flintlock
Vulcan 25 June 1966 Nevada Test Site 25 kilotons Flintlock
Saxon 11 July 1966 Nevada Test Site 1.2 kilotons Latchkey
Simms 6 November 1966 Nevada Test Site 2.3 kilotons Latchkey
Switch 22 June 1967 Nevada Test Site 3.1 kilotons Latchkey
Marvel 21 September 1967 Nevada Test Site 2.2 kilotons Crosstie
Gasbuggy 10 December 1967 Farmington, New Mexico 29 kilotons Crosstie
Cabriolet 26 January 1968 Nevada Test Site 2.3 kilotons Crosstie
Buggy 12 March 1968 Nevada Test Site 521.08 kilotons each Crosstie
Stoddard 17 September 1968 Nevada Test Site 31 kilotons Bowline
Schooner 8 December 1968 Nevada Test Site 30 kilotons Bowline
Rulison 10 September 1969 Grand Valley, Colorado 43 kilotons Mandrel
Flask 26 May 1970 Nevada Test Site 105 kilotons Mandrel
Miniata 8 July 1971 Nevada Test Site 83 kilotons Grommet
Rio Blanco 17 May 1973 Rifle, Colorado 3×33 kilotons each Toggle

Project GNOME was the first nuclear explosion to be used for peaceful purposes. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Location in the state of New Mexico. ... During the Cold War, Operation Nougat was a series of thirty-two nuclear tests conducted (with one exception) at the Nevada Test Site during the 1962 Fiscal Year. ... Storax Sedan explosion The Sedan crater. ... July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... The Nevada Test Site is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the City of Las Vegas, near . ... Operation Storax was the series of American nuclear tests of the Operation Dominic I and II series which took place in Fiscal 1963, but excluding the Sedan blast, which was part of the Plowshare program. ... November 27 is the 331st day (332nd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Pacific Ocean detonation Operation Dominic I and II was a series of 105 nuclear test explosions conducted in 1962 and 1963 by the United States. ... February 21 is the 52nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... Pacific Ocean detonation Operation Dominic I and II was a series of 105 nuclear test explosions conducted in 1962 and 1963 by the United States. ... October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... Operation Niblick was a series of twenty-seven underground nuclear explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1963 and 1964. ... February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Niblick was a series of twenty-seven underground nuclear explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1963 and 1964. ... June 11 is the 162nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (163rd in leap years), with 203 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Niblick was a series of twenty-seven underground nuclear explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1963 and 1964. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Niblick was a series of twenty-seven underground nuclear explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1963 and 1964. ... October 9 is the 282nd day of the year (283rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Whetstone was a series of thirty-six American nuclear tests conducted in 1964 and 1965. ... November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Whetstone was a series of thirty-six American nuclear tests conducted in 1964 and 1965. ... November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Operation Whetstone was a series of thirty-six American nuclear tests conducted in 1964 and 1965. ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year (105 in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 261 days remaining. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... Operation Whetstone was a series of thirty-six American nuclear tests conducted in 1964 and 1965. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in leap years). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... American military history records two operations called Flintlock: Operation Flintlock was the campaign against the Marshall Islands in the Pacific campaign of World War II, from January to February 1944. ... June 25 is the 176th day of the year (177th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 189 days remaining. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... American military history records two operations called Flintlock: Operation Flintlock was the campaign against the Marshall Islands in the Pacific campaign of World War II, from January to February 1944. ... July 11 is the 192nd day (193rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 173 days remaining. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Operation Latchkey was a series of twenty-seven nuclear test explosions conducted in 1966 and 67 at the Nevada Test Site (with one exception). ... November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 55 days remaining. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Operation Latchkey was a series of twenty-seven nuclear test explosions conducted in 1966 and 67 at the Nevada Test Site (with one exception). ... June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Operation Latchkey was a series of twenty-seven nuclear test explosions conducted in 1966 and 67 at the Nevada Test Site (with one exception). ... September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Operation Crosstie was a series of thirty-three nuclear tests mostly conducted in Nevada during 1967 and 1968. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Farmington (Navajo: Tótah) is a city in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. ... Operation Crosstie was a series of thirty-three nuclear tests mostly conducted in Nevada during 1967 and 1968. ... January 26 is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Operation Crosstie was a series of thirty-three nuclear tests mostly conducted in Nevada during 1967 and 1968. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in leap years). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Operation Crosstie was a series of thirty-three nuclear tests mostly conducted in Nevada during 1967 and 1968. ... September 17 is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Operation Bowline was a series of thirty nuclear test explosions conducted in 1968 and 1969 at the Nevada Test Site. ... December 8 is the 342nd day (343rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Operation Bowline was a series of thirty nuclear test explosions conducted in 1968 and 1969 at the Nevada Test Site. ... Rulison was a 47-kiloton nuclear test that took place in the United States on September 10, 1968, in or near western Colorados Grand Valley in Garfield County (39 26 30. ... September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... The Grand Valley is a extended populated agricultural valley, approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) wide, located along the Colorado River in Mesa County in western Colorado in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Denver Largest city Denver Area  Ranked 8th  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... Operation Mandrel was a series of forty-three nuclear test explosions. ... May 26 is the 146th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (147th in leap years). ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... Operation Mandrel was a series of forty-three nuclear test explosions. ... July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Rifle is a city located in Garfield County, Colorado. ...

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Atoms for Peace was the title of a speech delivered by Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on December 8, 1953. ... Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy was a Soviet program to investigate peaceful nuclear explosions (PNEs). ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...

External links

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bread Not Bombs Plowshares - Declaration of co-consipracy (527 words)
In co-operation with a campaign of over 100 other plowshare activists from ten different countries, they are trying to encourage a democratic decision of total disarmament of nuclear weapons in Britain.
The Swedish group Bread Not Bombs Plowshares say nuclear weapons are a part of rich countries' attempt to uphold an unjust economic world order where 30,000 children starve to death each day.
After their disarmament action they took personal responsibility for what they did, since they claim they acted morally by taking their responsibility for the poor that are threatened, starving and trying to escape war and opression.
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