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VIDEO: 1984 Train Collision Tested the Safety of Nuclear Flasks

Are you convinced?

CREDIT: Shutterbug75/Pixabay

In 1984, Operation Smash Hit was conceived as the ultimate test for proving the safety of nuclear flasks being transported via railroad.

The test involved crashing an unmanned train into a nuclear flask at 100mph on an abandoned track to test the integrity of the structure. Although the train was completely totalled, the container not only survived but held strong. This proved once and for all the safety of this practice, silencing even the most vocal of critics. Check out the video below and see for yourself:

According to a blog post on Operation Smash Hit:

Following an eight mile run-up the train hit the flask, which had been laid at an angle in a worst case scenario, and the 22 year old locomotive was almost completely destroyed along with its three carriages. Once the dust and smoke cleared it became obvious that the flask was completely intact, having just lost 0.29 of it 100 pounds of pressure (0.02 bar or practically nothing).

Besides the fact that the entire ordeal was quite the exciting spectacle to behold, the overall purpose of the test was a resounding success. With its safety proven, the Central Electricity Generating Board (predecessor to the National Grid) produced a booklet showing the numerous photos of the crash including the exact moment of impact as well as the scarred metal, yet undamaged flask. Following the test, which was heavily featured on the news and in the paper, nuclear waste continued and still continues to be carried by rail to this day.

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