The lack of suitable land areas at Bikini made construction of similar installations impractical, even if there had been time. We want ships which are tough, even when threatened by atomic bombs; we want to keep the ships afloat, propellers turning, guns firing; we want to protect the crews so that, if fighting is necessary, they can fight well today and return home unharmed tomorrow This means that they can be operated without expensive fuel enrichment facilities. In the background is the battleship "Arkansas" which, like "Sakawa,' received major damage to superstructure, although the battleship's hull received little injury. Speculation on this subject followed diverse lines. For an explosion to occur, the system must be supercritical i. They represented the two major types [the Gato and Balao classes], light and heavy hull construction, built in recent years by [among others] the three submarine building yards of the Electric Boat Company and the naval shipyards at Portsmouth and Mare Island.
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During operation of the reactor, material in the blanket absorbs neutrons and decays, with products forming new fissionable material. Two nearby destroyers, Anderson and Lamson, were also severely damaged and sank within hours, followed by the Japanese light cruiser Sakawa, which sank on July 2. The purpose of these tests was to determine the effect of the atom bomb against various types of naval vessels. Specially-equipped planes were able to follow the cloud some time longer. At Kwajalein a huge photographic laboratory was built, its atmosphere cooled and dehumidified to prevent damage to film.
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It was desired to learn, for example, how deadly the instantaneously produced gamma radiation would be to personnel below decks and in gun turrets. Cesium Cs A strong gamma ray source and can contaminate property, entailing extensive clean-up. They necessarily slight the technical and scientific lessons learned at Bikini. As July I, Bikini time , the date set for Test Able, drew near—weather permitting— weather forecasters frowned deeper over the inexorable data on their charts, and in the end made a perfect prediction of clear weather suitable for the tests. Since no alpha detectors for general field use were available and the alpha emitters are one of the most poisonous chemicals known, their presence was considered a serious and indeterminate menace
Baker blasts out of the lagoon a second after detonation. Within the next few days, five other landing craft that were damaged in the Baker test were scuttled in Bikini lagoon; another was taken outside of the atoll and sunk. Enyu island view of the Test Able. Simple and complex, the instruments included many that were familiar long before Bikini, many developed specifically for these tests. The submarine Skipjack was successfully raised by divers on September 2, and some instruments were recovered from the sunken ships, but work time was limited by radiation hazards.