Engineering Question #1673

Melodia, a 19 year old female from Montreal asks on November 3, 2003,

Approximately how many nuclear tests do the americans alone conduct every year?

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The answer

Richard Jones, American Institute of Physics, College Park, Maryland answered on November 12, 2003

No US nuclear tests have been conducted for quite some time. The last nuclear test in USA was September 23, 1992, its 1,030th nuclear test. The Department of Energy is now building the National Ignition Facility in California that would test components of nuclear weapons, but not the actual weapon itself. There is a proposal to shorten the lead time necessary to prepare the U.S. test site in Nevada if it is determined that an actual test would be required of a nuclear weapon. A fuller explanation can be found by searching for "stockpile stewardship" on the World Wide Web. A timeline of world nuclear testing can be found at The Atom Project.

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