Digitized and Re-Analyzed, Atmospheric Nuclear Test Films Could Educate Governments, First Responders

Government Technology: Confronted with the difficult task of creating accurate models to predict yields and shockwaves from the nation’s modern nuclear arsenal, officials at a national lab in California have returned to a surprising source: original post-World War II films of above-ground tests that will be declassified and posted online — and could serve as a resource to state and local governments.

The U.S. stopped testing a quarter-century ago, but it continues to update and modernize its nuclear devices, and needs accurate predictions of how those weapons would perform. At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif., nuclear weapons physicist Greg Spriggs has been tasked for more than a decade with writing and updating computer code to predict fallout.

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