The Marriott Library is pleased to share information about the new Downwinders of Utah Archive, an interactive geospatial timeline depicting the story of the nuclear fallout related to atmospheric testing of the Nevada Test Site.

Beginning in 1951, the era of nuclear weapons testing was a time of tremendous change at both national and local levelsUtah I-131 Statewide Fallout. In the name of national security, a variety of nuclear weapons were tested in a remote area of the Nevada desert known as the Nevada Test Site. Fallout and radiation from these tests have affected communities across the nation, in many cases resulting in the loss of property, health and life.

The Downwinders of Utah Archive presents and in-depth study of nuclear detonations, radioactive fallout and events that resulted in devastating effects for Utah’s “downwinder” population. Through the creation of an interactive timeline, the archive provides a variety of materials that includes:

  • Individual fallout maps and statistics related to Iodine-131 exposures for all Utah counties geospatially visualized through:
    • Cartographic maps
    • Animated reconstruction models
    • Interactive motion charts
    • A variety of graphics related to testing methods, cloud heights and dispersal patterns
  • Historic photographs and videos of nuclear detonations being conducted
  • Archived newspaper articles and documentation chronologically depicting the impacts and deceptions imparted to residents
  • A collection of oral history interviews from a few of Utah’s surviving downwinders

The archive has been created and designed to bring together information on Utah’s nuclear history in a way that educates the public of the impacts nuclear testing has had throughout the state, while relaying the story of a dark time in the nation’s history. The archive focuses on individuals, families and areas that were affected as a result of nuclear testing. It aids in understanding the events in greater detail, while educating future generations in hopes that the mistakes of the past will never occur again.

The archive is available for viewing at

If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Justin Sorensen