The "Mike" test, November 1, 1952

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.

The mushroom cloud formed by the "Mike" test of an experimental thermonuclear device rises above Enewetak Atoll, November 1, 1952. The "Mike" device used liquid deuterium and required extensive cryogenic cooling equipment. It weighed 164,000 pounds (74,546 kilograms) and had a yield of 10.4 megatons.

The above photograph shows five of forty named islands comprising Enewetak Atoll before the "Mike" test (the gray areas surrounding the islands are coral reefs). The test completely vaporized the island of Elugelab as well as portions of Sanil and Teiter (below), leaving a crater 164 feet (50 meters) deep and 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) wide.

Credit: U.S. Air Force