Science: At Elm & Main

On the grey-green desert basin at Yucca Flat, Nev., some 1,500 G.I.s and technical observers huddled face down in deep, narrow trenches. If they were tense and nervous, they had reason. Never before had willing men waited so near the site of an imminent atomic explosion. Only two miles away, an A-bomb (officially called a "Nuclear Diagnostic Device") was perched on a tall steel tower, 300 feet above "Ground Zero."

To the east, the Federal Civil Defense Administration had built a simulated suburb: two typical frame houses, looking prim and white among the yucca...

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