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Totem One test site Information Country United Kingdom Test site Emu Field, South Australia, Australia Period 14–26 October 1953 Number of tests 2 Test type tower Max. yield 10 (42 TJ) kilotonnes of TNT Test series chronology Operation Totem was a pair of British atmospheric which took place at nuclear tests in Emu Field on 15 October 1953. They followed the South Australia test of the first British atomic bomb, which had taken place at the Operation Hurricane a year previously. The main purpose of the trial was to determine the acceptable limit on the amount of Montebello Islands which could be present in a bomb. plutonium-240
In addition to the two main tests, there was a series of five
. These did not produce nuclear explosions, but used conventional explosives, subcritical tests , polonium-210 and natural uranium to investigate the performance of beryllium , which the British called Kittens. neutron initiators
During the early part of the
, Britain had a Second World War project, code-named nuclear weapons , which the 1943 Tube Alloys merged with the American Quebec Agreement to create a combined American, British, and Canadian project. The British government expected that the United States would continue to share nuclear technology, which it regarded as a joint discovery, but the Manhattan Project (McMahon Act) ended technical co-operation. Fearing a resurgence of United States Atomic Energy Act of 1946 , and Britain losing its United States isolationism status, the British government restarted its own development effort, which was given the cover name " great power ". The first British atomic bomb was tested in High Explosive Research at the Operation Hurricane in Montebello Islands on 3 October 1952.