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Monument commemorates the site of the Operation Totem pair of nuclear tests conducted by the British government in October 1953.

The site was surveyed by Len Beadell in 1952. A village and airstrip were constructed for the subsequent testing program. Two atomic tests were conducted at the site. Totem 1 was detonated on 15 October 1953 and Totem 2 was detonated on 27 October 1953. The devices were both sited on towers and yielded 9 kilotons and 7 kilotons respectively. The site was also used in September–October 1953 for some of the Kitten series of tests, which were conventional (rather than nuclear) explosions used to evaluate neutron initiators. It was later found that the radioactive cloud from the first detonation did not disperse as expected, and traveled north-east over the Australian continent.

The site at Emu Field was considered too remote for future use, and the search for a more convenient location led to the survey of Maralinga, where a further series of atomic tests was conducted in 1956.

Note : The site can be visited (with the written approval of the RAAF Woomera Test Range who now control access to the area), though the location is still extremely remote.

 

 

Location

Address:Anne Beadell Highway, Emu Field
State:SA
Area:Foreign
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.698356
Long: 132.371379
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government
Sub-Theme:Foreign

Dedication

Front Inscription

TEST SITE
TOTEM 1
A BRITISH ATOMIC
WEAPON WAS TEST
EXPLODED HERE
15 OCTOBER 1953
 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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