The Manhattan Project Resources

U.S. Department of Energy

HSS Office of Classification

Office of History and Heritage Resources

Declassification of Yields of Nuclear Tests

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


Declassification of Yields of Nuclear Tests

Table of Contents

Specifically
Background
Benefits
Who Are the Key Stakeholders?
Contact
Attachments
Questions and Answers

The Department of Energy and the Department of Defense have jointly declassified the yields of certain nuclear tests conducted by the United States. These include atmospheric tests and tests that have released radioactivity detected offsite of the Nevada Test Site.

Specifically

Background

Benefits

Who Are the Key Stakeholders?

Contact

U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Sam Grizzle
(202) 586-5806


Attachments

List of Declassified Yields of Tests Conducted In Pacific After the 1958-1961 Moratorium

List of Declassified Yields of Underground Tests Conducted at the Nevada Test Site That Released Radioactivity Detected Off Site


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. How does this information affect worldwide fallout estimates?

A. This information will be useful to independent researchers interested in worldwide fallout. It is worth noting that the United States has already done extensive monitoring over the years to document contributions to worldwide fallout levels from the United States and other nations' nuclear weapons tests.

Q. If tests were done for weapons design purposes, can you say what the weapons were?

A. No. In most instances the association of specific tests with specific weapons is classified to protect nuclear weapon design capabilities.

Q. What was the effect of fallout from tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site to the surrounding areas?

A. Because of concern that the fallout that resulted from nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site may have affected workers and nearby populations, Congress enacted Public Law 101-426, "Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990." The law specifies the conditions under which individuals who incur certain types of diseases may be compensated. The conditions include living or being present in certain areas of Nevada, Arizona, or Utah during specified time periods. It also covers individuals who participated in the testing operations onsite, and uranium miners.

The Department of Energy conducted the Offsite Radiation Exposure Review Project to collect and archive all information, including the data necessary to reconstruct offsite exposures, relating to the nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site. The methodology developed in the project enabled researchers to estimate thyroid doses for individuals who were included in a cohort study of thyroid disease conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The study, completed in 1992, concluded that the rate of thyroid cancer increased with exposure to iodine-131. Continued followup of this effort is under consideration.


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