Bill Rankin, 2007
Was the Cold War really so cold? In addition to “hot” conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, the second half of the twentieth century also witnessed a steady stream of nuclear explosions set off by the major powers — where “major power” was circularly defined in terms of nuclear technology. Since World War II almost 2500 nuclear bombs have been detonated, more than 500 of which were detonated in the atmosphere, sending fallout around the globe.
One difficulty with this map is to show both the number and the magnitude of these explosions. At Bikini Atoll, for example, the United States conducted only 22 tests, but these were some of the largest tests ever performed. Many more tests were performed in the Nevada desert, but each test tended to be smaller in scale. Novaya Zemlya and the Semipalatinsk Test Site had a similar relationship in the USSR.