First Nuclear Weapon Tests By Nine Countries - Eastern Mirror
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First nuclear weapon tests by nine countries

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: May 21, 2023 2:32 pm
The world’s first nuclear weapon was tested by USA on July 16, 1945

Nuclear weapons represent an unparalleled level of devastation, capable of causing widespread destruction within mere seconds. At present, the global nuclear landscape encompasses a limited number of nations, precisely nine, which possess these formidable weapons. These nine countries include the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.


The world’s first nuclear weapon was tested by USA on July 16, 1945, at a site located 210 miles south of Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the plains of the Alamogordo Bombing Range, known as the Jornada del Muerto and the code name for the test was “Trinity.”

During World War II, the United States stands as the sole nation to have deployed nuclear weapons in a military conflict. On August 6 and 9, 1945, these devastating weapons were unleashed upon the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These tragic events marked the first and only instances of nuclear weapons being used in warfare.


On August 29, 1949, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which is now known as Russia, became the second country to successfully conduct a nuclear weapon test. This historic event took place in Kazakhstan, and the code name assigned to the test was “First Lightning.” The USSR’s development and testing of nuclear weapons signaled a significant advancement in the global arms race and had far-reaching implications for the geopolitical landscape during the Cold War era.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom became the third nation to successfully test nuclear weapons on October 3, 1952. Following the footsteps of the United States and the Soviet Union, the UK detonated an atomic bomb in the Monte Bello Islands, located off the coast of Australia. This event demonstrated the UK’s entry into the exclusive club of nuclear-armed nations.


The codename “Gerboise Bleue” stands as a significant moment in history, as on February 13, 1960, France became the fourth nation to conduct a nuclear weapon test. This test involved the detonation of a plutonium-filled bomb at Reggane, located in Algeria. France’s successful nuclear test marked its entry into the exclusive group of countries possessing atomic weapons.


On October 16, 1964, the People’s Republic of China achieved a significant milestone by conducting its first nuclear weapons test, codenamed “596.” This test, conducted at the Lop Nur test site, marked China’s entry as the fifth nuclear power in the world and the first Asian nation to possess nuclear capability.


Israel’s first deliverable nuclear weapon is thought to have been completed in late 1966 or early 1967, which would make it the sixth country in the world to have developed them. However, Israel maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity, never officially denying nor admitting to having nuclear weapons, instead repeating over the years that “Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East.”


India became the second in Asia and seventh nation in the world to successful test nuclear weapons on May 18, 1974. The detonation of the nuclear device took place at the Pokhran Test Range (PTR) in Rajasthan, by the Indian Army under the supervision of several key Indian generals and the operation codenamed was “Smiling Buddha,” also known as Pokhran-I. This historic event showcased India’s nuclear prowess and marked a significant step in its national defense capabilities


On May 28, 1998, Pakistan made a significant stride in its military capabilities by conducting its first nuclear weapons test. This historic event took place in the Chagai district of Balochistan. Pakistan’s successful nuclear test marked its official entry as the eighth nation in the world to possess and demonstrate nuclear weapon capabilities and the operation was codenamed “Chagai-I,” symbolising the region where the test was conducted.

North Korea

On October 9, 2006, North Korea demonstrated its nuclear capabilities with its first underground nuclear test, detonating a plutonium-based device at Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site in North Hamgyong Province and this milestone marked North Korea becoming the ninth country to conduct nuclear test.

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By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: May 21, 2023 2:32:56 pm
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