The day we nuked Mississippi

Horace Burge, 2 miles from Ground Zero, came home to more damage than expected

The Salmon test on Oct. 22, 1964 and the Sterling test on Dec. 3, 1966, were conducted to help determine whether and how nuclear test yields could be disguised through “decoupling” and how well such blasts could be detected.

After nine years of negotiations, the United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963…The treaty did not address underground testing, because of disagreements and uncertainty over how to verify that nations were not testing weapons underground.

In most cases, seismographs could detect underground nuclear tests. The United States wanted to know more about underground testing and how it could be detected and designed Project Dribble, which included the two Mississippi detonations, to investigate the possibility that cheating nations could hide their underground tests in some way…

The plan called for two detonations. The first, code-named Project Salmon, would be an explosion 2,700 feet down in solid salt.

The second detonation, Project Sterling, would use a smaller bomb in the cavity left behind by the first blast. Scientists hypothesized that the shockwaves of the second detonation would be muffled by the cavity, effectively concealing it from seismographic detection…

The nuclear test was scheduled for September 22, 1964, but the wind direction was not right until October 22. On that date, about 400 residents were evacuated from the area and were paid $10 per adult and $5 per child for their inconvenience…

At the test site, creeks ran black with silt-laden water, and by seven days after the blast, more than 400 nearby residents had filed damage claims with the government, reporting that their homes had been damaged or that their water wells had gone dry…

Within days, the United States government began reimbursing local residents for the damage done to their homes.

Think the silly buggers in Congress could figure out how to react this quickly, nowadays. Republicans would have to get permission from FOX Noise, first.

RTFA for more details … and results.

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