A project to digitize nuclear test films collected after World War II has been completed, with some of the films being posted on YouTube for public consumption.
The project was undertaken by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which discovered that some of the films were beginning to deteriorate in their cans and were not being stored very carefully, according to CNN.
Some 210 nuclear tests were conducted between the development of nuclear bombs during World War II and 1963, when nuclear tests were banned, according to CNN. Each of the tests were filmed by multiple cameras, resulting in about 10,000 test films.
Scientists are studying the digitized films and discovering new information about the tests, including the weapon’s yield, detonations, and other information that wasn’t possible to calculate when the films were originally made, according to NPR.
The information gathered after the films were initially made is now thought to be 20 percent to 30 percent inaccurate.
The films contain only a code name and are missing dates, locations, and any effects of lingering radiation, NPR reported.
Gregg Spriggs, a weapon physicist who was the project lead, said that the canisters smelled of vinegar when he opened them, which is a sure sign of deterioration, CNN reported.
Spriggs wanted to digitize the films because he hopes nuclear weapons won’t be used in the future. “I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons [is] and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them,” he said, NPR reported.
To see more videos, visit the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's YouTube page.
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