nevada proving grounds

Complete destruction of House No. 1, located 3,500 feet from ground zero, by an atomic blast on March 17, 1953, at Yucca Flat at the Nevada Proving Ground. The time from the first to last picture was 2.3 seconds. The camera was completely enclosed in a 2-inch lead sheath as a protection against radiation. The only source of light was that from the bomb. In frame 1, the house is lit by the blast. By frame 2 the radiating energy has set it on fire, and the remaining frames show the rapid disintegration of the house by the blast wave. (U.S. Department of Defense)

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The Nevada proving ground was the main nuclear testing site for America during the Cold War. The test site was situated in a flat region of the Nevada desert. This test site was only about 50 kilometers away from the thriving metropolis of Las Vegas. The mushroom clouds were so large they could be seen from the city centre. The brilliant flashes and thunderous noise from the explosions was a regular sight in Las Vegas. It eventually became a regular tourist attraction. Tourists would rush to Las Vegas to watch these brilliant ‘fireworks’… or plasma works. The flashes from these detonations cold still cause temporary blindness or vision impairment if looked at directly, even from that distance.

How weird would that be to walk out of you hotel, suddenly a flash, a mushroom cloud lifting into the sky, followed by a tremendous roar?

To this day, Las Vegas and for hundreds of kilometres surrounding the test site are contaminated with Plutonium, Uranium, Cesium and many other radioactive elements and isotopes.