This crater, ‘The Sedan Crater’, remains from the Plowshares program, the purpose of which was to test the peaceful use of nuclear explosions. The operating hypothesis was that a nuclear explosion could easily excavate a large area, facilitating the building of canals and roads, improving mining techniques, or simply moving a large amount of rock and soil. The intensity and distribution of radiation proved too great, and the program was abandoned. The “Sedan” device was thermonuclear—70 percent fusion, 30 percent fission—with a yield of 100 kilotons. The crater is an impressive 635 feet deep and 1,280 feet wide. The weight of the material lifted was 12 million tons.
[Taken from the book Nuclear Landscapes, by Peter Goin]