On This Day — US Detonates First Nuclear Weapon (July 16 1945) [UPDATE : Olympics chief accused of insulting Hiroshima survivors]

“We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”

Robert Oppenheimer

Mushroom cloud seconds after detonation of the Gadget.

July 15 2021 — On July 16 1945, the US detonated the world’s first nuclear weapon, a plutonium-based device, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Trinity, as the test was known, was successful. Three weeks later, a second successful detonation took place — over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“Thomas Bach has always said the Olympics will go ahead no matter what, and it feels like he is using Hiroshima to help his cause.” 

Sueichi Kido — Secretary general of Nihon Hidankyo, which represents survivors of both atomic bombings

UPDATE (July 15 2021) — Olympics chief accused of insulting Hiroshima survivors —

Residents of Hiroshima have called for the cancellation of a visit to Hiroshima by Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president. IOC vice president John Coates is expected to visit Nagasaki and he is not welcome there either.

A majority of Japanese people believes that that IOC forced Japan to have the Olympics and many fear that the pandemic will become more severe after the Games.

“President Bach using the image of ‘a peaceful world without nuclear weapons’ only to justify holding of the Olympics by force under the pandemic is a blasphemy to atomic bombing survivors,” the main opposition group wrote in a statement. “An act like this does nothing but do harm to the global nuclear weapons ban movement.”

The date of the visit — Friday, July 16 — marks exactly 76 years since the Trinity nuclear test took place in New Mexico that led to the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki just weeks later.

Dr. Ran Zwigenberg is a specialist in the history of Hiroshima at Penn State University, who has written several books on Japanese history, including one focused on Hiroshima — “Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture.”

“The problem is the controversy surrounding the Olympics, and it’s being very politicized. The people in Nagasaki and Hiroshima don’t like to have their name or image used by outside bodies, especially when it’s controversial,” Zwigenberg told foreign newspapers.

Bach is expected to visit the Genbaku dome, one of the few buildings left standing after the attack on 6 August 1945.

An estimated 80,000 of Hiroshima’s 350,000 people were killed instantly. By the end of the year, the death toll would rise to 140,000 as survivors succumbed to injuries or radiation illnesses.

The number of deaths across Japan (population 126 millions) caused by COVID-19 topped 15,000 on July 14 2021. Over 80% of the deaths have occurred since December 2020, when the “third wave” of coronavirus infections began to reach its peak in Japan. For comparison, more than 25,000 people died from Covid in Belgium (population 11.5 millions).

END of UPDATE

“Humans destroyed Hiroshima, but humans also rebuilt it. This is a holy site … somewhere people can come to compare the horrors of the past with the city Hiroshima has become today.”

Hiroshima’s mayor Kazumi Matsui

Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. It was conducted by the United States Army at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project.

The test was conducted in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, on what was then the USAAF Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range.

The test was of an implosion-design plutonium device, informally nicknamed “The Gadget”, of the same design as the Fat Man bomb later detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945.

The Gadget’s detonation released the explosive energy of about 22 kilotons of TNT (92 TJ).

The Trinity Test

Elsie McMillan remembers asking her husband Edwin what would happen at the Trinity Test.

REFERENCES

Trinity (nuclear test) — Wikipedia

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On This Day — US Detonates First Nuclear Weapon (July 16 1945)

75 Years Ago — US Detonates First Nuclear Weapon (July 16 1945)

On This Day — US Detonates First Nuclear Weapon (July 16 1945)

On This Day — US Detonates First Nuclear Weapon (July 16 1945) [UPDATE : Olympics chief accused of insulting Hiroshima survivors]

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