US Nuclear timeline

a brief history


Nuclear Weapons Testing

July 1945 - October 1958

First nuclear weapon tests were officially conducted.

Nevada Test Site

January 1951 - December 2012

Nuclear tests have been conducted in Nevada, spreading significant amounts of radiation throughout huge areas around the country.


October 1958 - September 1961

A "moratorium" or stoppage of nuclear test announced by president Eisenhower with the expectation that the Soviet Union would follow (secret testing would resume due to the Cold War).

Reprocessing ban

April 1977

Jimmy Carter announced a ban on nuclear reprocessing fueled by fear of "nuclear weapons proliferation" brought on by the ongoing Cold War. This ban was a major setback for nuclear energy and it's growth.

Nuclear Waste Policy Act


Called for Department of Energy to research possible waste repository sites.

Yucca Amendment


Amended Nuclear Waste Act to make Yucca Mountain the only candidate site for a repository.

Obama stops Yucca


President Obama stops the Yucca project indefinitely by withholding funding (Wald).

Washington, SC Sue


In an attempt to free up the project and get rid of their waste, the states of Washington and South Carolina filed suit (Wald).

New repository

January 2013

Department of Energy issued a statement that it would begin a 35 year plan to search for a new repository.