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US’ Trinity Test

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US’ Trinity Test

Context:

On 16th July, exactly 75 years ago, scientists tested Gadgetthe world’s first atomic bomb — in what was dubbed as the ‘Trinity Test’.

  • Less than a month later, an identical nuclear bomb called ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing tens of thousands of people.

What you need to know?

The super bomb, nicknamed ‘Gadget’, was developed as part of the US-led Manhattan Project.

Manhattan Project sought to build nuclear weapons to give the allied forces an edge over Germany, Japan and Italy in World War 2.

The super bomb was designed and conceptualised by a team of scientists headed by J Robert Oppenheimer, a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Oppenheimer later came to be known as the “father of the atomic bomb”. 

The test was carried out at the Alamagordo Bombing Range, which was located around 337 km away from Los Alamos. 

What were the repercussions of the Trinity Test?

Residents of New Mexico were not warned about the test.

And the adverse impact of radiation caused by the detonation, was ignored for years after the test.

  1. There was a sudden rise in infant mortality.
  2. Several residents also complained that the number of cancer patients went up after the Trinity Test.
  3. The dust outfall from the explosion was expected to have travelled nearly 100 miles from the test site, posing a serious threat to residents in the area.
  4. Many families complained that their livestock suffered skin burns, bleeding and loss of hair.

It was only in 1990, when the federal government passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), that residents of North Mexico who contracted Cancer and other illnesses due to radiation exposure received compensation.

How many countries worldwide now have nuclear weapons?

Seventy-five years after the Trinity Test, as many as nine countries around the world are currently in possession of nuclear weapons.

  • These include, the US, the UK, Russia, France, India, China, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea.

At least eight countries have detonated over 2,000 nuclear test explosions since 1945.

  • The most recent instance of nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by India, were the series of five explosions done as part of the Pokhran-II tests in May 1998. The first test, code-named Smiling Buddha, took place in May 1974.

nuclear_weapons

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Smiling Buddha?
  2. How many countries worldwide now have nuclear weapons?
  3. Who is known as the “father of the atomic bomb”?
  4. US-led Manhattan Project is related to?
  5. What is US’ trinity test?

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of US’ trinity test on World War 2.

Sources: Indian Express.