Sedan Nuclear Test & the Plowshare Program in the 1960’s

Event Details


SEDAN NUCLEAR TEST & THE PLOWSHARE PROGRAM IN THE 1960’S — The Mound Science and Energy Museum (MSEM) is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 beginning at 7:00 p.m. the story of the Plowshare Program and the Sedan nuclear test will be presented. Inspired by “Atoms for Peace” speech of President Dwight Eisenhower at the United Nations in 1953, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) began a program called Plowshare led by the University of California’s Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The proponents of “peaceful nuclear explosions” maintained that they could create new elements and isotopes for general use, build storage facilities for water or fuel, mine ores, increase oil and natural gas production, generate heat for power production, and construct roads, harbors, and canals. By using the power of the atom for nonmilitary purposes, Plowshare would protect American security, defend U.S. legitimacy and prestige, and ensure access to energy resources. The Plowshare Program began in 1958 and continued through 1975. Between December 1961 and May 1973, the United States conducted 27 Plowshare nuclear explosive tests comprising 35 individual detonations.

The MSEM Plowshare-Sedan presentation will include:

(1) Viewing of a historic movie “Plowshare” produced in 1973 by the AEC outlining the promise of the Plowshare Program to facilitate major constructions with minimal release of radioactivity. This film highlights a thermonuclear explosion of the Sedan device in 1962 to generate the largest crater created at the Nevada Test Station during the U.S. nuclear testing series.

(2) A brief slide presentation by MSEM’s Dr. Bob Bowman, Monsanto Science Fellow, will cover both the involvement of Mound Laboratory in the Sedan Test by the synthesis of the lithium deuteride-tritide, Li(D,T), material that provided the fusion reaction for the Sedan device and a summary of the environmental consequences resulting from the Sedan thermonuclear explosion.

This presentation will occur on Wednesday evening, November 18, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Mound Science and Energy Museum, 1075 Mound Road, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342. For additional details and a map showing the location of the Museum visit MSEM’s web site at: or call us at: (937) 353-4457. This presentation is free and is open to the public.


Mound Science and Energy Museum Association
E-Mail: msem475 at gmail dot com
Phone: 937-353-4457