Watch this rescued footage of U.S. nuclear tests recently declassified and uploaded to YouTube

Posted at 8:14 AM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 09:25:52-04

It's a part of history that was almost lost forever. Film reels of U.S. nuclear testing sat for decades, decomposing in high security vaults across the country.

But now, much of the footage has been rescued.

A team at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, led by weapon physicist Greg Spriggs, has made tracking down this footage their mission, according to the organization.

Between 1945 and 1962, the United States reportedly experimented with just over 200 nuclear tests.

Those tests, LLNL says, were captured on about 10,000 reels of film, and stored across the country.

Over the past five years, the team has worked to hunt down more than half of the decomposing reels, declassify the footage and reanalyze the data, according to the LLNL.

They've launched a channel with some of the incredible film on YouTube.

Now because of the project, the team reports they've learned new things about the detonations and expect it to take two more years to scan the rest of what they have and a bit longer to analyze and declassify it.

The goal, they say, is to preserve this history, and save the data so people will know the power of these weapons and think twice before using them in the future.

"It's just unbelievable how much energy's released," LLNL weapon physicist Greg Spriggs stated in a news release. "We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again. I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them."

More details on the research from LLNL here.