Project 56 (nuclear test)
|Test site||Nevada Test Site|
|Period||November 1955–January 1956|
|Number of tests||4|
|Max. yield||Very slight|
|Previous test||Operation Wigwam|
|Next test||Operation Redwing|
These experiments were one-point[vague] safety tests. Their purpose was to determine whether a weapon or warhead damaged in an accident would detonate with a nuclear yield, even if some or all of the high explosive components burned or detonated.
Over 895 acres (362 ha) were contaminated with plutonium dust and fragments. This led to Area 11 becoming known as Plutonium Valley. The area continues to be used on an intermittent basis for realistic drills in radiological monitoring and sampling operations.
|Project 56 No. 1||1 November 1955||Zero|
|Project 56 No. 2||3 November 1955||Zero||Plutonium dispersal|
|Project 56 No. 3||5 November 1955||No yield||Plutonium dispersal|
|Project 56 No. 4||18 January 1956||Very slight||Plutonium dispersal|
- U.S. Department of Energy / Nevada Operations Office, United States Nuclear Tests - July 1945 through September 1992, December 2000, DOE/NV-209 Rev 15
- "Operation Wigwam and Project 56". The Nuclear Weapon Archive.
- National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office, Plutonium Dispersal Tests at the Nevada Test Site, April 2010, DOE/NV-1046