Vegas PBS Presents The Test, a Local Production Examining Atomic Testing in Nevada

Last Updated by Tammy McMahan on

(Las Vegas) – Vegas PBS’ new production The Test examines the history of atomic testing in Nevada, atomic tourism, and the consequences of being in Nevada’s “atomic backyard.” The Test premieres on Vegas PBS on Thursday, July 23 at 8 p.m. with rebroadcasts on July 27 and July 30 at 10 p.m. For more information, visit The local documentary will air during a week of special programming to mark the 70th anniversary of the detonation of the atomic bomb. Additional new programs from PBS include The Bomb, Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail and NOVA: Nuclear Meltdown Disaster.

The Bomb, which tells the story of the most destructive invention in history and how it shaped our world, is scheduled for broadcast on July 28 at 8 p.m. Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, a two-part series, explores the cultural, scientific and natural history of an element that is both desired and feared. It is scheduled to air on July 28 and July 29 at 10 p.m. NOVA: Nuclear Meltdown Disaster reveals the minute-by-minute story of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan and is scheduled for broadcast on July 29 at 9 p.m.

The Test addresses atomic testing from the Manhattan Project’s secret laboratories to Nevada’s “Doom Towns” and the “downwinders” affected by radioactive fallout. During World War II and the ensuing Cold War, U.S. scientists were racing to keep the nation secure in the nuclear age. They knew the bomb had to be further tested, but the scientists initially lacked a full understanding of atomic weaponry’s destructive scope. Ultimately, atomic testing sites, including one in Nevada, were established. The program delves into the testing in Nevada and the rise of “atomic culture.” Highlights include “atomic tourism,” which describes how nuclear testing became a main event in Las Vegas as residents and visitors alike lined up to watch “the show.” Additionally, the production takes viewers to the present-day Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, for a tour and shows how the site is used to prepare first responders for the fight against terror and other dangers.

The Test is part of our effort to produce programs interpreting significant events in Nevada’s history that help create a sense of place for residents and visitors,” said Vegas PBS General Manager Tom Axtell. “It is a meaningful local production resulting from a collaboration between Vegas PBS and our partners, the Atomic Testing Museum and the University of Nevada Las Vegas History Department.”

Featured interviews include Congresswoman Dina Titus, known for her expertise in the history and policies related to atomic power and the author of “Bombs in the Backyard,” and former Senator Richard Bryan, who in his early career worked at the Nevada Test Site.

About Vegas PBS
Dedicated to enriching the lives of those who call Southern Nevada home, Vegas PBS Channel 10 is one of America’s most watched PBS stations on a per capita basis. Five additional channels are available over the air or on cable and satellite including Create, Vme, Worldview, Rewind and Jackpot!

Vegas PBS expands its television broadcast impact through supplemental materials on,,,, and Vegas PBS also offers extensive online distance education for workforce development and economic diversification through Global Online Advanced Learning (GOAL).

Vegas PBS provides K-12 educational resources to teachers and students in public, private, charter and home schools including TeacherLine professional development courses; One Place, a curriculum-correlated online media service; the Described and Captioned Media Center (DCMC) containing materials for deaf, hard of hearing, blind and vision impaired individuals and those who assist them; and Ready To Learn literacy and health community workshops based on curriculum materials in daytime children’s programs.

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Contact Information:

Shauna Lemieux
Communications & Promotion
Vegas PBS
3050 E. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas NV 89121
702-799-1010 ext. 5352