Atomic Bomb Chronology: 1947-1979

1947.1.1 U.S.A. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) created. In charge of development of nuclear weapons, replacing Manhattan Engineering District (MED).
1947.10 U.S.A. Nuclear weapon arsenal, Atomic bomb 56, B-29 for atomic bomb 35, 30 crews. 150 Atomic Bombs arsenal was proposed.
1947 U.S.A. Statement by Henry Stimson that atomic bomb saved one million human lives.
1947 U.S.A. Confession by Julius Robert Oppenheimer: "In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin, and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.&quot: In the spring of 1946, Oppenheimer said to President Truman, " Mr President, I have blood on my hands."
1947 U.S.A. L. Szilard changes his profession from physics to biology .
1947 U.S.A. Calutron, the 184-inch cyclotron transferred to California University. Later used in discovery of meson.
1948.4.15 U.S.A. Nuclear tests at Eniwetok atoll in Marshall Islands.(Sandstone X-ray test series, a composite-core, levitated implosion device, 37 kilotons yield)
1948.5.1(Yoke, a composite-core, levitated implosion device, 49Kt) 1948.5.15 (Zebra: a levitated all-U235 core, 18kt) A levitated composite core used less than half as much plutonium as a solid core and ten times less U235 than a Little Boy.
1948.6.7 U.S.S.R. Plutonium producing reactor completed, Chelyabinsk 40.(1948.6.22 100,00Kw,may producing 100 grams of plutonium everyday.)
1948.6.24 Germany U.S.S.R. Berlin blockade.
1948.6 U.S.S.R. Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, 27 years old, was recruited for thermonuclear weapon study. [Also, Semyon Belenky, Vitaly Ginzburg, Yuri Romanov]
1948.6 Soviet Union A Reactor for plutonium production completed. Constructed using forced labor of prisoners in detention camp.
1948.8 World Conference of Intellectuals against Application to Military Use of Science met in Poland. Issued warning about the risk of nuclear war.
1948.12 Soviet Union Start of operation of nuclear fuel reprocessing plan after accidental irradiation due to small scale explosion of plutonium.
1948 Soviet Union A new idea of hydrogen bomb (h-bomb) proposed by Andrei Sakharov.
1949.5 Soviet Union 10 kg Plutonium stock available.
1949.8.29 Soviet Union Atomic bomb explosion experiment successful, an implosive type Plutonium bomb. At Semipalatinsk. Called " Joe No. 1" in U.S.A.("Joe" was nickname for Y. Stalin.)
1949.9.3 U.S.A. Radioactivity detected over Kamchatka by a reconnaissance plane (WB-29).
1949. 9.22 U.S.A. FBI commenced research of espionage activity of Klaus Fuchs.
1949.9.23 U.S.A. Statement by President Truman of atomic bomb test by Soviet Union
1949.9 U.S.A. Edward Teller returns to Los Alamos.
1949.10.30 U.S.A. Recommendation by J.R. Oppenheimer and J. Manley against development of H-bomb. E.Fermi and I. Rabi considered H-bomb may promote disarmament.
1949.10 U.S.A. Increase in uranium and plutonium production approved by Dean Acheson, Minister of defense.
1949.10. 1 China People's Republic of China
1949.11.29 U.S.A. Lewis L. Strauss recommends H-bomb development to President Truman.
1949 U.S.A. 200 A-bombs stockpile.
1950.1.24 United Kingdom Klaus Fuchs, confession of leakage of nuclear confidential information. (William Skardon, an M15 officer specialized in handling traitors)
1950.1.31 U.S.A. Statement by President Truman of H-bomb development.
1950. 2.14 China U.S.S.R. Mutual Security Pact, mutual defense with every capability including atomic bomb.
1950.2 U.S.A. McCarthyism begins, a 4-year track of accusations and suspicion. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Harry Gold, and David Greenglass arrested as spies (summer 1950).
1950.2 England Klaus Fuchs arrested as a spy. Sentenced to 14 years prison. Released in 1959 and became a vice director of atomic energy institute in East Germany.
1950.6.25 Outbreak of Korean war.
1950. 8. 1 U.S.A. 10 bombers of Strategic Air Command sent to Guam.
(1950.9.30 Air force returned leaving atomic bombs)
1950. 8. 5 U.S.A. B-29 bomber carrying atomic bomb crash at Fairfield base, California.
1950.10.19 China Entered the Korean war on North Korean side.
1950.10.26 U.S.A. Edward Teller's Family Committee concluded design development of and froze the designs for the Booster and the Cylinder of thermonuclear weapon, the "Greenhouse" Item and "George" shots.
(Booster; fission bomb using DT-gas core to increase its yield. Cylinder; DT and tritium outside an exploding fission bomb to heat by X-ray.)
1950.12 U.S.A. [U.S.A.] Hydrodynamic lensing design by Stanislaw Ulam.
1950 Atomic Bomb arsenal; USA 298, USSR 5.
1950 U.S.A. Megaton atomic bomb test: Eniwetok atoll.
1950 U.S.A. Start of development of Redstone rocket, a ground-to-ground ballistic missile for nuclear warhead.
1951.2 U.S.A. Teller-Ulam configuration for H-bomb: Radiation implosion by E.Teller and Stanislaw Ulam.
1951.4.5 U.S.A. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg given decision of death.
1953.6.18 execution. 1951.4.6 David Greenglass ,15 years; 1950.12 Harry Gold 30 years.
1951.4.5 U.S.A. Joint Chiefs ordered atomic retaliation against two hundreds Soviet bombers on the air bases in Manchuria in the event of "a major attack" on UN (mainly USA and South Korea) forces. General Douglas MacArthur was fired because of hesitating to follow the nuclear attack strategy. Mark IV nuclear capsules were transferred and in USAF custody.
1951.5.9 U.S.A. Nuclear test for thermonuclear bomb in Eniwetok atoll. Grennhouse #3 test. Cylinder (DT and tritium), 225 kt; Booster (Uranium core, DT + tritium gas) , 45.5 kt.
1951.9.24 U.S.A. Edward Teller left Los Alamos.
(1951.9.17 Marshall Holloway as head of thermonuclear project.)
1951.9.24 U.S.S.R. Atomic bomb tests in Semipalatinsk
(Improved implosion device with an all-U235, probably levitated core, Joe #2, half diameter but twice as much yield as Joe#1, 40 kt. 1. 1951.10.18 Joe #3, an implosion device with a composite core, air-dropped. These two tests led to the design of the first Soviet production of atomic bomb.
1951.10.5 U.S.A. Panda Committee (Theoretical Megaton Group), decision to employ Liquid deuterium for thermonuclear fuel not deuterium ammonia or lithium deuteride.
1951.10 U.S.A. AEC appropriations did increase for FY 1951 and FY 1952. By late 1951, 2 percent of entire American construction force was employed in AEC jobs .Construction and equipment accounted for 3/4 of $2 billion AEC budget. Department of Defense (DOD) and AEC jointly call for further atomic plant expansions (January 1952).
1952.6 U.S.A. Lawrence Livermore Laboratories established in Livermore, California, for production of H-bomb.
1952.8.6 Japan Memorial tower for victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unveiling.
1952.10.3 England A-bomb test at Monte Bello Islands, West Australia.
1952.11.1 U.S.A. The first H-bomb explosion: 10.4 MT, 700 times power of Little Boy, gross weight 65 tons. Elugelap island in Eniwetok disappeared. E. Teller knew the test successful by a seismograph. Two new elements, einsteinium(99) and fermium(100) were discovered in the fallout.
1953.2 U.S.A. Decision by Air Force to develop ICBM: Atlas rocket with 3000lb warhead.
1953.6.26 U.S.S.R. Lavrenti Beria arrested(1953.12 executed). Vyacheslav Malysshev, head of atomic bomb project.
1953.7 Korean war ceased.
1953.7 U.S.A. " Two scorpions in a bottle" analogy by J.Oppenheimer in an essay in the magazine Foreign Affairs.
1953.8.8 Soviet Union A prototype H-bomb test using a sandwich of lithium deuteride and uranium. Yield: 400KT. H.Bethe judged it is not a real H-bomb by analyzing radioactive fallout.
1953.11 Soviet Union ICBM development decided.
1954.1.21 U.S.A. Launch of atomic submarine, Nautilus, using a pressurized water reactor.
1954.3.1 U.S.A. Dry, deliverable H-bomb test, code named Bravo, created by members of Livermore Laboratories, on the island of Bikini near the Marshall islands. Yield 15MT The explosion created a 240 ft. deep and 6,000 ft. wide crater. The bomb was created to produce as much fallout as possible. A Japanese fishing boat was located about 100 miles from the island. Two weeks later all 23 crew members were suffering radiation sickness. One of them, Aikichi Kuboyama, died of liver and blood damage (hepatitis) on Sept.23, 1954. People in Rongelap and Utirik still have not been compensated adequately. They and others have asked the question: Did the U.S. government use the native people as guinea pigs, causing the malignancies (thyroid cancer and leukemia) and reproductive problems.
1954.4.12 U.S.A. J. Oppenheimer loses security clearance for opposing development of h-bomb.
1955.8.6 Japan The First World Conference Against A-H Bomb in Hiroshima.
1955 Soviet Union Proposal to prohibit nuclear testing at the 4 foreign ministers conference in Geneva.
1955.11.22 Soviet Union H-bomb test success: Dropped by a plane. Yield 1.6MT from a radiation-implosion type.
1955 U.S.A. Nuclear arsenal, 2,422.
1956 England U. S. air force bomber crashes on a nuclear weapon arsenal in Suffolk. 3 Fat Man type bombs were burned.
1957.5.15 England H-bomb test successful at Christmas Island.
1957.6.24 U.S.A. Clean H-bomb proposed by E. Teller and L. Strauss. A primordial tactical nuclear weapon.
1957.9 U.S.A. Underground nuclear test in Nevada. An idea by E. Teller suggested by artificial earthquake experiment.
1957.10.4 Soviet Union Sputnik 1 launched.
1957.10.7 England Windscale (now called Sellafield) accident in Cumbria England. Temperature continued to rise (in excess of 1000 degrees C)in a crude nuclear reactor for producing weapons-grade plutonium. On the 10th it caught fire. Eventually pile was flooded, steam was released, public was told cloud was out to sea, but temperature inversion caused cloud to cover a good part of Britain. Possibly one of closest events to a 'china syndrome' ever. All facts may still not be disclosed.
1957.11.3 Soviet Union Sputnik 2 launched with a Raika dog aboard.
1957.12.5 Soviet Union Atomic energy icebreaker ship, Lenin, launched. 4 accidents of reactor in the nineteen sixties reported in 1989 document.
1957 Soviet Union "Kyshtym" disaster in the Urals. Explosion of nuclear waste in nuclear weapon production plant.
1957 Sign-in by scientists against nuclear tests. The "Clean H-bomb" was denounced as false by Linus Pauling and 9235 scientists in the world. (Received 1962 Novel Peace Prize.)
1958.1.31 U.S.A. Explorer No.1 launched by Jupiter C rocket (IRBM). A 14kg satellite. Rocket fueled by liquid oxygen + kerosene.
1958.3 Soviet Union Unilateral interruption of nuclear testing.
1958.4 U.S.A. Scientific panel committee for prohibition of nuclear tests. " Atoms For Peace" program initiated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower (December 1953). Policy of " massive retaliation" is " New Look" in armaments: decision to cut defense budget by decreasing conventional forces and weapons, and expanding atomic weaponry. Secret threat to use atomic weapons to end Korean War stalemate (Spring 1953).
Verification of underground nuclear tests is possible except for those in a cave.
1958.5 U.S.A. " Clean H-bomb" test at Eniwetok atoll. Miniaturization of igniting A-bomb.
1958.8 U.S.A. Suspension of nuclear tests.
1958.12 U.S.A. Atlas rocket developed using stainless steel tank for liquid oxygen + kerosene.
1958 U.S.A. Polaris rocket developed as Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) using polyurethane solid fuel.
1959 U.S.A. ICBM deployed, the Atlas rocket.
1959 U.S.A. Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems: ABM; Zeus, Spartan, Sprint, and Safeguard ABMs developed (1960s and 1970s); Nike with 5MT class nuclear warhead to explode just upon own head.
1959 U.S.S.R. Nuclear arsenal. 1,050.
1960.2 U.S.A. Limited Test Ban Treaty proposed by D.Eisenhauer. Agreed 1963. Trilateral agreement negotiated by the U.S., U.S.S.R., and U.K. prohibiting tests of nuclear devices in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater. Allows nuclear testing to continue underground, so long as radioactive debris is not allowed " outside the territorial limits" of the testing state.
1960.2 France [France] Atomic bomb test in Sahara desert, a plutonium implosion bomb.
1961.4.12 Soviet Union Bostok 1 launched carying Urey Gagarin. He said "The earth was blue but there was no God". One revolution around the earth in 108 min.
1961.7.4 Soviet Union An atomic power submarine launched. Suffered a reactor core melting accident in the first cruise.
1961.8 Soviet Union Resumes surprise nuclear tests with a 60MT H-bomb. Conducts 50 aerospace tests within 60 days.
1961.9.15 U.S.A. Resumes nuclear tests. Conducts 20 underground nuclear tests within a half year, yields of 20KT or below.
1961 U.S.A. Inquiry by President John F.Kennedy on nuclear test to Atomic Energy Commission. [Stockpiles are now: U.S. 23,200; Soviet Union 2450. Glenn T.Seaborg, AEC chairman, proposed total ban of nuclear tests, but Kennedy suggested small scale tests fewer than Soviet Union.
1961 U.S.A. Air crash of A-bomber loading nuclear bomb in North Carolina. The 24MT bomb just prior to dropping. Avoided explosion by the final safety device out of six.
1961 U.S.A. Titan rocket developed, a rapid fire model ICBM.
1961 U.S.A. & U.S.S.R. Nuclear arsenal; USA:18,638,Soviet:3100.
1962.5.6 U.S.A. SLBM with nuclear warhead launching test at Christmas island from a Polaris A-2 submarine.
1962 U.S.A. Nuclear explosion test using plutonium of reactor. A low yield explosion due to plutonium-240.
1962.7.8 U.S.A. High altitude nuclear test, 400 km high Johnston island of a 1.4MT H-bomb. A large power loss in Oahu island, Hawaii, due to malfunction of electric supply control device caused by electromagnetic pulse wave emitted during bombardment of ionosphere by X-ray and gamma-ray of nuclear explosion. The fact that nuclear explosion destroyed own communication system.
1962.10.22 U.S.A. & U.S.S.R. Cuban missile crisis.
(1962.10.14 A U-2 overflight found MRBM sites in Cuba. 54 SAC bombers carrying thermonuclear weapons joined twelve-plane around-the-clock airborne alert. 136 Atlas and Titan ICBMs for firing prepared. General LeMay pushed President Kennedy to up the ante, bomb Cuba and take out the missile sites. 20 R-12 missiles with nuclear head, 9 nuclear strategic missiles in Cuba.
1962.10.26 U.S.A. ICBM Atlas launched from Vandenberg base to the Pacific. A provocation.
1963.8.5 Limited Test Ban Treaty agreed. The treaty has since been signed by a total of 116 countries, including potential nuclear states Argentina, Brazil, India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Africa. Though two major nuclear powers, France and the People's Republic of China, have not signed. In 1992, China exploded A-bomb beyond the LTBT limits.
1963.12.2 U.S.A. R. Oppenheimer is honored with Enrico Fermi prize by J.F. Kennedy and new president Johnson.
1964.10 China Atomic bomb test: a uranium bomb in Lop Nor. The first guided missile on Oct. 27, 1966, and the first thermonuclear (fusion) device on Dec. 28, 1966.
1964 Soviet Union Demonstration of ABM in a military parade, Megaton class warhead.
1965.2.7 Vietnam Bombing by U.S. Air Force of north Vietnam.
1965.3.23 U.S.A. Gemini No.3 launched on a Titan VA rocket.
1965.12.5 U.S.A. H-bomb-loaded plane sunk 300 km east of Okinoerabu island.
1966 Spain Nuclear bomb-loaded air plane crash. On the 2.5MT weapon, 2 gunpowder ignition out of 4 exploded.
1968 U.S.A. Nuclear bomb-loaded plane crash at Thule, Greeenland.
1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968): Multilateral agreement signed and ratified by the US, USSR, UK, and 133 non-nuclear-weapon states to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to assure that the peaceful nuclear programs of non-nuclear-weapon states are not diverted to weapons production. In May 1995, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was made permanent.
1969.6.12 Japan A nuclear-powered vessel "Mutsu" launching.
1969.7.20 U.S.A. Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Launched by Saturn V rocket.
1971 U.S.A. Spy satellite "Big Bird" launched by a Titan IIID rocket.
1972.5 U.S.A. Laser navigation bomb used in Vietnam.
1972.5 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty I, Interim Agreement: Bilateral agreement between the US and USSR of five-year duration which froze the number of strategic ballistic missiles at 1972 levels. Construction of additional land-based ICBM silos were prohibited, while SLBM launcher levels can be increased if corresponding reductions are made in older ICBM or SLBM launchers. Modernization of launchers is allowed, however, if kept within specific dimensions.
1972 U.S.A. Usual warhead torpedo deployed, replacing nuclear torpedoes which were deployed since 1958, because underwater nuclear explosion interferes with sonar data.
1973 U.S.A. Miniature nuclear warhead developed, yield of 50 tons TNT. Conventional tactical nuclear weapons.
1974.5.18 India Atomic bomb test of a plutonium implosion bomb. At Rajasthan.
1977.6 U.S.A. Design by a student [John Phillip] of plutonium bomb. Approached by Pakistan spy.
1977.7.12 U.S.A. Neutron Bomb development decided by President Jimmy Carter's "Countervailing Strategy". Enhanced deterrence by making victory in any nuclear conflict unattainable or meaningless. The neutron bomb differs from standard nuclearweapons insofar as its primary lethal effects come from the radiation damage caused by the neutrons it emits. It is also known as an enhanced-radiation weapon (ERW).
1979.3.28 U.S.A. Accident at Three Miles Nuclear Reactor: The worst core melting up to that time.
1979.6 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II Treaty: Bilateral, unratified agreement between the US and USSR setting equal aggregate ceilings and subceilings on strategic offensive weapon systems and imposing qualitative restraints on existing and future strategic systems. Specifically, the SALT II equal ceilings include: 2,400 aggregate limit on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs, and bombers) 1,320 subceiling on MIRVed ballistic missiles.(SALT II) No ratification because of invasion to Afghanistan by Soviet Union.
1979.9.22 Soviet Union Flash of nuclear explosion detected offshore to South Africa. Notified to Washington. Suspected nuclear test.
1979 U.S.A. Digital spy satellite launched using CCD camera without film to be collected.

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