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Operation Buster–Jangle

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Title: Operation Buster–Jangle  
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Subject: Operation Greenhouse, 1951 in Nevada, Upshot-Knothole Dixie, Operation Roller Coaster, Project 57
Collection: 1951 in Nevada, 1951 in the United States, Nevada Test Site Nuclear Explosive Tests
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Operation Buster–Jangle

Operation Buster–Jangle
Buster-Jangle Dog
Country United States
Test site NTS, Areas 1-4, 6-10, Yucca Flat
Period 1951
Number of tests 7
Test type cratering, dry surface, free air drop, tower
Max. yield 31 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)
Previous test series Operation Greenhouse
Next test series Operation Tumbler–Snapper

Operation Buster–Jangle was a series of seven (six atmospheric, one cratering) nuclear weapons tests conducted by the United States in late 1951 at the Nevada Test Site. Buster-Jangle was the first joint test program between the DOD (Operation Buster) and Los Alamos National Laboratories (Operation Jangle). As part of Operation Buster, 6,500 troops were involved in the Operation Desert Rock I, II, and III exercises in conjunction with the tests.[1] The last two tests, Operation Jangle, evaluated the cratering effects of low-yield nuclear devices. This series preceded Operation Tumbler-Snapper and followed Operation Greenhouse.

United States' Buster-Jangle series tests and detonations
Name [note 1] Date time (UT) Local time zone [note 2][2] Location [note 3] Elevation + height [note 4] Delivery,[note 5]
Purpose [note 6]
Device [note 7] Yield [note 8] Fallout [note 9] References Notes
Able 22 October 1951 14:00:00.0 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 30 m (98 ft) tower,
weapons development
Mk-6 "Petite Plutonium" 0 kg [3][4][5][6] Minimum mass design, fizzle (yield "less than a pound"); yet it yielded a lower bound on viable plutonium mass. October 19 attempt failed due to control wiring problem.
Baker 28 October 1951 15:20:08.9 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 340 m (1,120 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-4 "LT" 3.5 kt I-131 venting detected, 600 kCi (22,000 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7] No uranium tamper.
Charlie 30 October 1951 15:00:29.8 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 350 m (1,150 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-4 "PC" 14 kt I-131 venting detected, 2 MCi (74 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7]
Dog 1 November 1951 15:30:01.6 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 430 m (1,410 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
Mk-4 "NF" 21 kt I-131 venting detected, 3.1 MCi (110 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Desert Rock I, no fallout (air burst). Troops trucked into defensive emplacements from 6 mi (9.7 km) observation point, held maneuvers.
Easy 5 November 1951 16:29:58.2 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 7 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 400 m (1,300 ft) free air drop,
weapons development
TX-7E 31 kt I-131 venting detected, 4.6 MCi (170 PBq) [3][4][5][6][7]
Sugar 19 November 1951 16:59:59.7 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 9 1,280 m (4,200 ft) + 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) dry surface,
weapon effect
Mk-6 "Johnny" 1.2 kt I-131 venting detected, 170 kCi (6,300 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7][8] "Surface" shot, only true surface shot in NTS history. Desert Rock II; maneuvers conducted at a distance due to dirtiness.
Uncle 29 November 1951 19:59:59.7 PST (-8 hrs)
NTS Area 10 1,283 m (4,209 ft) - 5 m (16 ft) cratering,
weapon effect
Mk-6 "Frankie" 1.2 kt I-131 venting detected, 170 kCi (6,300 TBq) [3][4][5][6][7] Cratering shot, meant to simulate 23 kt ground penetrating weapon. Desert Rock III, observed at 5 mi (8.0 km), kept distance in maneuvers. 5000 R/Hr near GZ one hour after shot.
  1. ^ The US, France and Great Britain have code-named their test events, while the USSR and China did not, and therefore have only test numbers (with some exceptions – Soviet peaceful explosions were named). Word translations into English in parentheses unless the name is a proper noun. A dash followed by a number indicates a member of a salvo event. The US also sometimes named the individual explosions in such a salvo test, which results in "name1 – 1(with name2)". If test is canceled or aborted, then the row data like date and location discloses the intended plans, where known.
  2. ^ To convert the UT time into standard local, add the number of hours in parentheses to the UT time; for local daylight saving time, add one additional hour. If the result is earlier than 00:00, add 24 hours and subtract 1 from the day; if it is 24:00 or later, subtract 24 hours and add 1 to the day. All historical timezone data (excepting Johnston Atoll) are derived from here:
  3. ^ Rough place name and a latitude/longitude reference; for rocket-carried tests, the launch location is specified before the detonation location, if known. Some locations are extremely accurate; others (like airdrops and space blasts) may be quite inaccurate. "~" indicates a likely pro-forma rough location, shared with other tests in that same area.
  4. ^ Elevation is the ground level at the point directly below the explosion relative to sea level; height is the additional distance added or subtracted by tower, balloon, shaft, tunnel, air drop or other contrivance. For rocket bursts the ground level is "N/A". In some cases it is not clear if the height is absolute or relative to ground, for example, Plumbbob/John. No number or units indicates the value is unknown, while "0" means zero. Sorting on this column is by elevation and height added together.
  5. ^ Atmospheric, airdrop, balloon, gun, cruise missile, rocket, surface, tower, and barge are all disallowed by the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Sealed shaft and tunnel are underground, and remained useful under the PTBT. Intentional cratering tests are borderline; they occurred under the treaty, were sometimes protested, and generally overlooked if the test was declared to be a peaceful use.
  6. ^ Include weapons development, weapon effects, safety test, transport safety test, war, science, joint verification and industrial/peaceful, which may be further broken down.
  7. ^ Designations for test items where known, "?" indicates some uncertainty about the preceding value, nicknames for particular devices in quotes. This category of information is often not officially disclosed.
  8. ^ Estimated energy yield in tons, kilotons, and megatons. A ton of TNT equivalent is defined as 4.184 gigajoules (1 gigacalorie).
  9. ^ Radioactive emission to the atmosphere aside from prompt neutrons, where known. The measured species is only iodine-131 if mentioned, otherwise it is all species. No entry means unknown, probably none if underground and "all" if not; otherwise notation for whether measured on the site only or off the site, where known, and the measured amount of radioactivity released.


  1. ^ Operation BUSTER-JANGLE Fact Sheet, Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  2. ^ "Timezone Historical Database". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Estimated exposures and thyroid doses received by the American people from Iodine-131 in fallout following Nevada atmospheric nuclear bomb tests, Chapter 2 (PDF), National Cancer Institute, 1997, retrieved 2014-01-05 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Sublette, Carey, Nuclear Weapons Archive, retrieved 2014-01-06 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g United States Nuclear Tests: July 1945 through September 1992 (PDF) (DOE/NV-209 REV15), Las Vegas, NV: Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, 2000-12-01, retrieved 2013-12-18 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Yang, Xiaoping; North, Robert; Romney, Carl (August 2000), CMR Nuclear Explosion Database (Revision 3), SMDC Monitoring Research 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Hansen, Chuck (1995), The Swords of Armageddon, Vol. 8, Sunnyvale, CA: Chukelea Publications,  
  8. ^ Norris, Robert Standish; Cochran, Thomas B. (1 February 1994), "United States nuclear tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992 (NWD 94-1)" (PDF), Nuclear Weapons Databook Working Paper (Washington, DC: Natural Resources Defense Council), retrieved 2013-10-26 
  • Griggs, D. T., and Frank Press (1961). "Probing the earth with nuclear explosions". Journal of Geophysical Research 66 (1): 237–258.  

External links

  • The short film Nuclear Test Film - Operation Ranger, Operation Buster/Jangle (1951) is available for free download at the Internet Archive
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