The first Atomic test was carried out on the 16th July 1945. The 'Trinity' test plunged humanity into the so-called Atomic Age. The first ever Nuclear bomb was detonated in New Mexico, at the Alamogordo test Range.

So many tests have been carried out by the USA, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

The effects have been catastrophic on the eco-systems, the land, the indigenous populations, the veterans, civilians and the downwinders. The correct number of tests is difficult to calculate, due to secrecy and availability of data. Many sites differ in their calculations


1030 TESTS

The United States conducted around 1,030 nuclear tests between 1945 and 1992, including 216 atmospheric, underwater, and space tests. (data from the arms control association)



The Soviet Union conducted 715 nuclear tests (by the official count) between 1949 and 1990, including 219 atmospheric, underwater, and space tests. Most of them took place at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan and the Northern Test Site at Novaya Zemlya



The United Kingdom has conducted 45 tests (21 in Australian territory, including 9 in mainland South Australia at Maralinga and Emu Field, 3 at Malden Island and 6 at Kiritibati (Christmas Island) in the Line Islands of the central Pacific, and 24 in the U.S. as part of joint test series). Often excluded from British totals are the 31 safety tests of Operation Vixen in Maralinga.



France conducted 210 nuclear tests between February 13, 1960 and January 27, 1996. Four were tested at RegganeFrench Algeria, 13 at In Ekker, Algeria and the rest at Moruroa and Fangataufa Atolls in French Polynesia. Often skipped in lists are the 5 safety tests at Adrar Tikertine in Algeria



The foremost list of Chinese tests compiled by the Federation of American Scientists skips over two Chinese tests listed by others. The People's Republic of China conducted 45 tests (23 atmospheric and 22 underground, all conducted at Lop Nur Nuclear Weapons Test Base, in Malan, Xinjiang)



India announced it had conducted a test of a single device in 1974 near Pakistan's eastern border under the codename Operation Smiling Buddha. After 24 years, India publicly announced five further nuclear tests on May 11 and May 13, 1998. The official number of Indian nuclear tests is six, conducted under two different code-names and at different times



Pakistan conducted 6 official tests, under 2 different code names, in the final week of May 1998. From 1983 to 1994, around 24 nuclear cold tests were carried out by Pakistan; these remained unannounced and classified until 2000. In May 1998, Pakistan responded publicly by testing 6 nuclear devices



North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009, 2013, twice in 2016, and in 2017.

There have been a number of significant alleged/disputed/unacknowledged accounts of countries testing nuclear explosives. Their status is either not certain or entirely disputed by most mainstream experts.


On April 15, 2020 U.S. officials said China may have conducted low-yield nuclear weapon tests in its Lop Nur test site.


Hitlers Bmbe, a book published in German by the historian Rainer Karlsch in 2005, has alleged that there is evidence that Nazi Germany performed some sort of test of a "nuclear device" (a hybrid fusion device unlike any modern nuclear weapons), allegedly on 4 March 1945 near the Ohrdruf concentration camp, though the evidence for this has not yet been confirmed, and has been doubted by many historians.


Israel was alleged by a Bundeswehr report to have made an underground test in 1963. Historian Taysir Nashif reported a zero yield implosion test in 1966. Scientists from Israel participated in the earliest French nuclear tests before DeGaulle cut off further cooperation.

North Korea

On September 9, 2004, South Korean media reported that there had been a large explosion at the Chinese/North Korean border. This explosion left a crater visible by satellite and precipitated a large (2-mile diameter) mushroom cloud. The United States and South Korea quickly downplayed this, explaining it away as a forest fire that had nothing to do with the DPRK's nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009, 2013, twice in 2016, and 2017. The 3 September 2017 test, like their January 2016 test, is claimed to be a hydrogen bomb (but may only be a boosted fission weapon rather than an actual staged Teller–Ulam thermonuclear weapon).


Because Pakistan's nuclear program was conducted under extreme secrecy, it raised concerns in the Soviet Union and India, who suspected that since the 1974 test it was inevitable that Pakistan would further develop its program. The pro-Soviet newspaper, The Patriot, reported that "Pakistan has exploded a nuclear device in the range of 20 to 50 kilotons" in 1983. But it was widely dismissed by Western diplomats as it was pointed out that The Patriot had previously engaged in spreading disinformation on several occasions. In 1983, India and the Soviet Union both investigated secret tests but, due to lack of any scientific data, these statements were widely dismissed. 

In their book, The Nuclear Express, authors Thomas Reed and Danny Stillman also allege that the People's Republic of China allowed Pakistan to detonate a nuclear weapon at its Lop Nur test site in 1990, eight years before Pakistan held its first official weapons test.

However, senior scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan strongly rejected the claim in May 1998. According to Khan, due to its sensitivity, no country allows another country to use their test site to explode the devices. Such an agreement only existed between the United States and the United Kingdom since the 1958 US–UK Mutual Defense Agreement which among other things allows Britain access to the American Nevada National Security Site for testing. Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, another senior scientist, also confirmed Dr. Khan's statement and acknowledged that cold tests were carried out, under codename Kirana-I, in a test site which was built by the Corps of Engineers under the guidance of the PAEC. Additionally, the UK conducted nuclear tests in Australia in the 1950s.



The Yekaterinburg Fireball of November 14, 2014, is alleged by some to have been a nuclear test in space, which would not have been detected by the CTBTO because the CTBTO does not have autonomous ways to monitor space nuclear tests (i.e. satellites) and relies thus on information that member States would accept to provide. The fireball happened a few days before a conference in Yekaterinburg on the theme of air/missile defense. The affirmation, however, is disputed as the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations claimed it was an "on-ground" explosion. The Siberian Times, a local newspaper, noted that "the light was not accompanied by any sound".

Vela Incident

The Vela Incident was an unidentified double flash of light detected by a partly functional, decommissioned American Vela Satellite on September 22, 1979, in the Indian Ocean (near the Prince Edward Islands off Antarctica), other sensors which could have recorded proof of a nuclear test were not functioning on this satellite. It is possible that this was produced by a nuclear device. If this flash detection was actually a nuclear test, a popular theory favored in the diary of then sitting American President Jimmy Carter, is that it resulted from a covert joint South African and Israeli nuclear test of an advanced highly miniaturized Israeli artillery shell sized device which was unintentionally detectable by satellite optical sensor due to a break in the cloud cover of a typhoon. Analysis of the South African nuclear program later showed only six of the crudest and heavy designs weighing well over 340 kg had been built when they finally declared and disarmed their nuclear arsenal. The 1986 Vanunu leaks analysed by nuclear weapon miniaturization pioneer Ted Taylor revealed very sophisticated miniaturized Israeli designs among the evidence presented. Also suspected were France testing a neutron bomb near their Kerguelen Islands territory, the Soviet Union making a prohibited atmospheric test, as well as India or Pakistan doing initial proof of concept tests of early weaponized nuclear bombs.