50th Anniversary of First British Atomic TestPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Dawn McAullay

The monument commemorates the 50th anniversary of first British Atomic Bomb test on the Monte Bello Islands in 1952. 

Operation Hurricane was the test of the first British atomic device on 3 October 1952. A plutonium implosion device was detonated in the lagoon between the Montebello Islands, Western Australia.

To test the effects of a ship-smuggled bomb (a threat of great concern to the British at the time), Hurricane was exploded inside the hull of HMS Plym (a 1,370-ton River class frigate) which was anchored in 12 metres of water, 350 metres off Trimouille Island. The explosion occurred 2.7 metres below the water line, and left a saucer-shaped crater on the seabed 6 metres deep and 300 metres across.


Address:Second Avenue, Ian Blair Memorial Boardwalk, Onslow, 6710
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -21.633376
Long: 115.111241
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:03-October-1952
Actual Event End Date:03-October-2002


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2002
Front Inscription

In commemoration of 50 years of the first British Atomic Test on the Monte Bello Islands

3rd October 1952

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