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Swords Into Plowshares An overview of the US Plowshare Program 1958-1975 CPT Nicholas Nazarko.

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Presentation on theme: "Swords Into Plowshares An overview of the US Plowshare Program 1958-1975 CPT Nicholas Nazarko."— Presentation transcript:

1 Swords Into Plowshares An overview of the US Plowshare Program CPT Nicholas Nazarko

2 Outline References Plowshare’s Beginnings Plowshare Program Objectives Plowshare Program Scope The Tests Project GNOME Project SEDAN Project BUGGY

3 US DOE Plowshare Executive Summary References

4 Plowshare’s Beginnings Discussion of the peaceful use of nuclear detonations predates the Trinity test Lewis L. Strauss - AEC Chairmen expresses interest in the idea. November Herbert York, Director LRL-L proposes conference to discuss peaceful uses of nuclear explosions. Herbert York Lewis Strauss Hugh Cronin

5 Livermore conference, held February 1957, discusses peaceful applications of nuclear devices and highlights numerous concerns AEC approves the Plowshare Program June 1957 July LRL-L formally establishes the Plowshare Project RAINIER test (September 19, 1957) first successful underground nuclear detonation. June 6, AEC publicly announces Plowshare Program Seismic Station at Tinamaha, California Plowshare’s Beginnings

6 Plowshare’s Objectives “Use of nuclear explosives for civilian as opposed to military purposes.” Possible applications: Large-Scale excavation and quarrying Underground Engineering Canals Harbors Highway/Railroad cuts Quarry Other construction related projects requiring large amounts of earthwork stimulation of natural gas production preparation of leachable ore bodies fracturing large bodies of oil shale formation of underground storage reservoirs

7 Plowshare’s Scope October 31, Voluntary nuclear weapons testing moratorium Plowshare enters a planning and high-explosive test phase. Pre-GNOME - prediction of nuclear generated seismic signals SCOOTER - crater dimensions, throw-out, dust cloud generation ROWBOAT - effect of burial and separation on crater dimensions TUGBOAT - study of harbor excavation in coral with water overburden December 15th, Peaceful Nuclear Explosives (PNE) branch of the Division of Military Activities established. Dr. Edward Teller, Director of LRL-L, lays out an ambitious program. HE Testing Locations

8 Plowshare’s Scope September 1, Moratorium ends with a Soviet nuclear explosion Plowshare begins nuclear testing in earnest:

9 Nevada Test Site 23 experiments publicly available information various objectives safety first Plowshare’s Scope

10 The End for Plowshare Little confidence in money saving potential Insufficient public and congressional support Environmental and safety concerns The most promising use of nuclear detonations was not excavation, but stimulation of natural gas production through the highly fractured rock produced in an explosion.

11 The Nuclear Tests - GNOME

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13 640’ 290’ The Nuclear Tests - GNOME

14 The Nuclear Tests - BUGGY

15 The Nuclear Tests - SEDAN

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17 Questions? And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.'' - Isaiah 2:4


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