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Military Participation on BUSTER JANGLE 1951

Military Participation on BUSTER JANGLE 1951

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Operation RANGER was the first continental nuclear test series conducted at the Nevada Proving Ground (now called the Nevada Test Site). With the exception of the Trinity shot in New Mexico, all previous weapons testing was conducted at the Pacific Proving Ground in the Marshall Islands area.

From January through February, 1951, five airdrop tests were conducted. Some of the shots were designed to test trigger devices for weapons to be tested in Operation GREENHOUSE scheduled for the Spring:

Able, January 27, 1 kiloton
Baker, January 28, 8 kilotons
Easy, February 1, 1 kiloton
Baker-2, February 2, 8 kilotons
Fox, February 6, 22 kilotons

Because of the low yields of the devices, the military conducted many tactical nuclear effects tests for the entire operation. Foxholes, textiles, plastics and wood were placed at various intervals to measure the effects of thermal radiation, as well as hundreds of other instruments.

Operation BUSTER-JANGLE, conducted October and November 1951 at the Nevada Proving Ground, was comprised of five shots under BUSTER and two under JANGLE. The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) sponsored all of the BUSTER events, while the Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored the first JANGLE shot, and Department of Defense and LASL jointly sponsored the second event.

The objectives of the BUSTER tests were to evaluate new devices developed by the LASL and to obtain data on the basic phenomena associated with these devices. The DoD Weapons Effects Test Unit evaluated the utility of the five devices for military application, while the AEC Weapons Development Test Unit performed diagnostic tests of the nuclear devices.

The two JANGLE shots provided the first experimental data on the military effects of surface and underground penetrator nuclear detonations, determining response of structures to nuclear bursts, gamma radiation versus time and distance, and residual contamination from surface and underground bursts.

Following are the essential details of the seven BUSTER-JANGLE shots:

Able, October 22, 100-foot tower, less than 0.1 kiloton (a "fizzle" that was excluded from the original film)
Baker, October 28, airdrop, 3.5 kilotons
Charlie, October 30, airdrop, 14 kilotons
Dog, November 1, airdrop, 21 kilotons
Easy, November 5, airdrop, 31 kilotons
Sugar, November 19, surface, 1.2 kilotons
Uncle, November 29, crater, 1.2 kilotons

The height of burst for the four airdrops ranged from 1,118 feet on Baker to 1,417 on Dog.


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