The following is a list of nuclear test series designations, organized first by country and then by date. For more information on countries with nuclear weapons, see List of countries with nuclear weapons. For more information on nuclear weapon arsenals, see List of nuclear weapons.
The United States conducted around 1,054 nuclear tests (by official count) between 1945 and 1992. Most of the tests took place at the Nevada Test Site and the Pacific Proving Grounds in the Marshall Islands. Ten other tests took place at various locations in the United States, including Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
|Year||Series||No. shots||Total yields||Location(s)||Image||Notes|
|1945||Trinity||1||20 kt||Alamogordo, New Mexico||First ever nuclear explosion.|
|1946||Crossroads||2||46 kt||Pacific Proving Grounds||First postwar test series. First underwater nuclear explosion.|
|1948||Sandstone||3||104 kt||Pacific Proving Grounds||The first use of "levitated" cores. Developed the Mark IV warhead.|
|1951||Ranger||5||40 kt||Nevada Test Site||First tests at the Nevada Test Site.|
|1951||Greenhouse||4||398.5 kt||Pacific Proving Grounds||"George" shot was physics experiment relating to the hydrogen bomb; "Item" shot was first boosted fission weapon.|
|1951||Buster-Jangle||7||71.9 kt||Nevada Test Site||Many shots done in conjunction with troop exercises on ground.|
|1952||Tumbler-Snapper||7||104 kt||Nevada Test Site||Operation "Snapper" tested a number of new devices, and also explored the "rope trick effect".|
|1952||Ivy||2||10.9 Mt||Pacific Proving Grounds||"Mike" shot was first hydrogen bomb; "King" shot was largest pure-fission bomb (500 kt).|
|1953||Upshot-Knothole||11||252.4 kt||Nevada Test Site||Grable shot used a 280mm M65 Atomic cannon.|
|1954||Castle||6||48.2 Mt||Pacific Proving Grounds||Deployable thermonuclears. "Bravo" was over twice as large as expected (most powerful ever by U.S.) and spread fallout over a wide area. Hydrogen bombs that used cryogenic fuel were obsolete.|
|1955||Teapot||14||167.8 kt||Nevada Test Site||First successful designs by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (after two years of trying).|
|1955||Wigwam||1||30 kt||Pacific Ocean||A single shot, 2000 ft underwater, to determine the vulnerability of submarines to nuclear explosions.|
|1955||Project 56||4||.01 to .1 kt||Nevada Test Site||Four 'one-point' safety tests, to ensure the safety of deployed designs.|
|1956||Redwing||17||20.82 Mt||Pacific Proving Grounds||All thermonuclear weapons designs tests, including first "three stage" weapon test.|
|1957||Plumbbob||29||343.74 kt||Nevada Test Site||One of the most controversial test series, release more radiation to continental U.S. than any series. Close proximity of troop exercises to shot "Smoky" produced significantly increased levels of leukemia among exposed soldiers.|
|1957–58||Project 57, 58, 58A||5||0.5 kt||Nevada Test Site||Five 'one-point' safety tests, to ensure the safety of deployed designs.|
|1958||Chariot||Cancelled||Cape Thompson, Alaska||Had planned to create an artificial harbor in Alaska as part of Operation Plowshare using thermonuclear explosions. Was eventually cancelled amid controversy and outcry.|
|1958||Hardtack I||35||35.6 Mt||Pacific Proving Grounds|
|1958||Argus||3||5.1 kt||South Atlantic Ocean||Clandestine high-altitude test series carried out 1,110 miles southwest of South Africa to test whether nuclear explosions could create artificial Van Allen belts in near space.|
|1958||Hardtack II||37||45.8 kt||Nevada Test Site|
|1961–62||Nougat||32||Nevada Test Site, Carlsbad, New Mexico||First all-underground test series. Included Operation Plowshare shot "Gnome" in Carlsbad, New Mexico, which was detonated in an underground salt dome.|
|1962–63||Dominic||36||38.1 Mt||Christmas Island, Johnston Island, Central Pacific Ocean||"Frigate Bird" was the only operational test of a missile "mated" with a live warhead. Series also included three high-altitude tests known as Operation Fishbowl.|
|1962–63||Storax||48||Nevada Test Site||Included the "Sedan" test, a cratering experiment as part of Operation Plowshare.|
|1962||Sunbeam||4||2.19 kt||Nevada Test Site||Test of small tactical warheads, including the man-portable "Davy Crockett". Last atmospheric test series.|
|1963||Roller Coaster||4||0||Nellis Air Force Range, Nevada||Storage-transportation safety experiment, measured plutonium dispersal risk.|
|Year||Series||No. shots||Total yields||Location(s)||Notes|
|1964–65||Niblick||41||Nevada Test Site|
|1964–65||Whetstone||48||Nevada Test Site, Hattiesburg, Mississippi|
|1965–66||Flintlock||48||Nevada Test Site, Amchitka, Alaska|
|1966–67||Latchkey||38||Nevada Test Site, Hattiesburg, Mississippi|
|1967–68||Crosstie||48||Nevada Test Site, Farmington, New Mexico||Included "Gasbuggy" Plowshare shot near Farmington, New Mexico.|
|1968–69||Bowline||48||Nevada Test Site|
|1969||Mandrel||53||Nevada Test Site; Grand Valley, Colorado; Amchitka, Alaska||Included "Rulison" Plowshare shot near Grand Valley, Colorado, and 1.2 Mt shot "Milrow" in Alaska.|
|1970||Emery||16||Nevada Test Site|
|1971–72||Grommet||34||Nevada Test Site, Amchitka, Alaska||Included largest US underground detonation, the >5 mt shot "Cannikin" (for the Spartan Missile warhead) in Alaska.|
|1972–73||Toggle||28||Nevada Test Site, Rifle, Colorado||Included Plowshare "Rio Blanco" test for gas stimulation|
|1973–74||Arbor||19||Nevada Test Site|
|1974–75||Bedrock||27||Nevada Test Site|
|1975–76||Anvil||21||Nevada Test Site|
|1976–77||Fulcrum||21||Nevada Test Site||All "weapons related" tests.|
|1977–78||Cresset||23||Nevada Test Site|
|1978–79||Quicksilver||18||Nevada Test Site|
|1979–80||Tinderbox||15||Nevada Test Site|
|1980–81||Guardian||16||Nevada Test Site|
|1981–82||Praetorian||22||Nevada Test Site|
|1982–83||Phalanx||19||Nevada Test Site|
|1983–84||Fusileer||17||Nevada Test Site|
|1984–85||Grenadier||17||Nevada Test Site|
|1985–86||Charioteer||18||Nevada Test Site||Mighty Oak test using the Mk-21 RV warhead. was conducted on April 10, 1986. Containment failed and later radiation was released. Secondary sources put this venting into at 36,000 curies, which is 2000 times greater than the 3 Mile Island incident. Sources: Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Dr. Bonnie Eberhardt, journalist Paul Van Dam.|
|1986–87||Musketeer||15||Nevada Test Site|
|1987–88||Touchstone||14||Nevada Test Site|
|1988–89||Cornerstone||12||Nevada Test Site|
|1989–90||Aqueduct||11||Nevada Test Site|
|1990–91||Sculpin||8||Nevada Test Site|
|1991–92||Julin||8||<460kt||Nevada Test Site||Last nuclear test series. Last shot was "Divider" (September 23, 1992). Exact yields not released.|
A number of shots whose goals were to assess the non-military use of nuclear weapons were known as Operation Plowshare, and done during many different test series.
The United States has not conducted any tests since 1992, though they have conducted a number of sub-critical tests (which do not involve a chain reaction).
The Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests (by official count)  between 1949 and 1990. Most of them took place at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan and the Northern Test Site at Novaya Zemlya. Additional tests were conducted at various locations in Russia and Kazakhstan, while a small number of tests were conducted in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
Some significant Soviet tests include:
The last Soviet test took place on October 24, 1990. After the dissolution of the USSR in 1992, Russia inherited their former nuclear stockpile, but has not conducted any nuclear tests.
The United Kingdom has conducted 45 tests (21 in Australian territory, including 9 in mainland South Australia at Maralinga and Emu Field, many others in the U.S. as part of joint test series). Tests include:
Last test: Julin Bristol, November 26, 1991, vertical shaft.
Atmospheric tests involving nuclear material but conventional explosions:
|Year||Series||No. shots||Total yields||Location(s)||Image||Notes|
|May 28, 1998||Chagai-I||1||30-35 kt||Koh Kambaran, Ras Koh Hills, Chagai District, Balochistan, Pakistan.||One underground horizontal-shaft tunnel tests (inside a granite mountain) of boosted fission devices.|
|May 30, 1998||Chagai-I||1||18-20 kt||Kharan Desert, Kharan District, Balochistan, Pakistan.||One underground vertical-shaft tunnel test of a miniaturized fission device.|
On October 9, 2006 North Korea announced they had conducted a nuclear test in North Hamgyong province on the northeast coast at 10:36 AM (11:30 AEST). There was a 3.58 magnitude earthquake reported in South Korea. There was a 4.2 magnitude tremor detected 240 miles north of P'yongyang. The low estimates on the yield of the test — potentially less than a kiloton in strength — have led to speculation as to whether it was a fizzle (unsuccessful test), or a genuine nuclear test at all.
On May 25, 2009, North Korea announced having conducted a second nuclear test. A tremor, with magnitude reports ranging from 4.7 to 5.3, was detected 233 miles northeast of P'yongyang, within a few kilometers of the 2006 test location. While estimates as to yield are still uncertain, with reports ranging from 3 to 20 kilotons, the stronger tremor indicates a significantly larger yield than the 2006 test.
There have been a number of significant alleged/disputed/unacknowledged accounts of countries testing nuclear explosives. Their status is either not certain or entirely disputed by most mainstream experts.
There is a disputed report about the Japanese atomic program being able to test a nuclear weapon in Korea on August 12, 1945, a few days after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, and three days before the Japanese surrender on August 15, but this is seen as being highly unlikely by mainstream historians. See Japanese atomic program for more information.
In what is known as the Vela Incident, some country may have detonated a nuclear device on September 22, 1979 in the Indian Ocean, according to satellite data. It is not certain whether there was actually a test, or if it was who would have been responsible for it although France, Israel or South Africa are sometimes named. See Vela Incident for more information.
In the their book, The Nuclear Express, authors Thomas Reed and Danny Stillman allege that the People's Republic of China allowed Pakistan to detonate a nuclear weapon at its Lop Nur test site in 1990, eight years before Pakistan held its first official weapons test.
On September 9, 2004 it was reported by South Korean media that there had been a large explosion at the Chinese/North Korean border. This explosion left a crater visible by satellite and precipitated a large (2 mile diameter) mushroom cloud. The United States and South Korea quickly downplayed this, explaining it away as a forest fire that had nothing to do with the DPRK's nuclear weapons program. See Ryanggang explosion for more information.
Hitlers Bombe, a book published in German by the historian Rainer Karlsch in 2005, has alleged that there is evidence that Nazi Germany performed some sort of test of a "nuclear device" (a hybrid fusion device unlike any modern nuclear weapons) in March 1945, though the evidence for this has not yet been fully evaluated, and has been doubted by many historians.
Missiles and nuclear warheads have usually been tested separately, because testing them together is considered highly dangerous (they are the most extreme type of live fire exercise). The only US live test of an operational missile was the following:
Other live tests with the nuclear explosive delivered by rocket by the USA include:
The Soviet Union tested a number of nuclear explosives on rockets as part of their development of a localised anti-ballistic missile system in the 1960s.
The following incomplete list contains nuclear tests conducted with a yield of over 10 Mt TNT.
|Date||Yield||Test mode||Country||Test Site||Remarks|
|October 30, 1961||50 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya||Tsar Bomba|
|December 24, 1962||24.2 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya|
|August 5, 1961||21.1 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya|
|September 25, 1962||19.1 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya|
|February 28, 1954||15 Mt||ground||USA||Bikini Atoll||Castle Bravo|
|May 5, 1954||13.5 Mt||sea surface||USA||Bikini Atoll||Castle Yankee|
|October 23, 1961||12.5 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya|
|March 26, 1954||11 Mt||sea surface||USA||Bikini Atoll||Castle Romeo|
|November 1, 1952||10.4 Mt||ground||USA||Eniwetok||Ivy Mike|
|September 27, 1962||10 Mt||air-drop||Soviet Union||Novaya Zemlya|