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There Was Once A Top Secret Plan To Explode A Nuclear Bomb In Yorkshire

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There Was Once A Top Secret Plan To Explode A Nuclear Bomb In Yorkshire

Secret plans by the government to blow up a nuclear bomb in Yorkshire have been brought to light by a YouTube archive expert.

Tom Scott revealed the alarming plan with the help of open government files called ‘Possible Sites for Completely Contained Nuclear Explosions in North Yorkshire’, published in June 1969.

The report, which was secret and restricted when it was written, is now unclassified.


The YouTuber said his jaw completely dropped after discovering that report was 'talking about peaceful nuclear explosions'.

It was discovered that the location for the underground blast was planned to be at a dale in the North Yorkshire Moors, a few miles from Pickering and Whitby.

The cost of the explosion would have been £165,000, or about £3m in today’s money.

Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo
Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo

Scott claims: "They had picked a site, Wheeldale, in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

"The plan was - buy all the land for about a mile around. 

"Drill down 2,000 feet, about 600 metres, with a special extra-wide drill bit, big enough so they could drop a 25 kiloton nuclear bomb down to the bottom of the hole."

Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo
Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo

He added: "That's a big enough bomb to annihilate a city in the open air.

"Plug up the hole, cover the top so nothing comes out, hopefully.

"Evacuate the thousand or so people who live nearby, just in case.

"And then... boom.


"Not much would happen on the surface.

"There'd be a bit of a jolt and a rumble, a few birds startled into the air.

"The local towns of Pickering and Whitby, about ten miles away each, they'd feel a minor earthquake, and maybe a couple of buildings would get a few small cracks in them.

"I'm not kidding, that's what the report actually says, it just phrases it a little bit more delicately than that."

Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo
Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo

He refers to the idea as being 'in fashion among some nuclear scientists and policy makers at the time'.

Scott explained: "Maybe, the theory went, we could create artificial harbours and canals using nuclear bombs.

"No more years of mechanical digging, just put a few well-placed nukes in the ground and, boom, boom, boom, there's your new canal.

"Or maybe we could help stimulate production in gas wells, basically nuclear fracking.

"Or, and this was charitably the most practical idea, create enormous underground cavities for gas storage, instead of having to use big above-ground tanks.

"The US did run a couple of dozen nuclear tests like that under the rather Biblical title 'Operation Plowshare'.

"The Soviet Union eventually ran more than 200.

"But those are stories that have already been told by a lot of other people."

Most importantly, he concluded: "The North Yorkshire Moors, thankfully, were never nuked."

Featured Image Credit: Youtube/TomScottGo/Alamy

Topics: UK News, YouTube

Anish Vij
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