Nevada Test Site

On this page i will go over the roles of the Nevada Test Site, the facilities, locations, and also an insight of the Nuclear tests they did here above ground and underground, illustrated with Official images from the Department of Energy. Some of the tests on this page were carried out by the DoE on Eniwetok and Bikini atolls in the Pacific Marshall Islands.
Although not directly related to Black Projects, the NTS covers most of the Nellis Gunnery and Bombing Range and several areas within the NTS are known to be holding areas for the Area 51 test flights.
This page is very large and may take some time to load but is worth the wait if your interested in nuclear explosions, the results and what NTS does. The images start at the end of this article.


The Nevada Test Site is owned by the Department of Energy and is the largest known energy research area in the world.
Starting from Mercury, Nevada it heads north up until tonopah test range.
The NTS is most famous for the Atmospheric and Underground Testing it done in the 1940's to 1960's.
The NTS ceased the large nuclear tests in 1992 although even today the NTS does test low yield nuclear detonations below ground that are no way harmful to the atmosphere. Aswell as Nuclear testing, the NTS conducts very large conventional explosions for military and peace time uses. Peaceful uses include the use of high yield explosives(including nuclear) for clearing land.
The NTS is also a storage area for its waste, whether it be atomic waste or general NTS made waste, all is stored either above ground or in pits, or even underground.

The Area within NTS that conducts very large explosions is called 'BEEF'.
The Big Explosives Experimental Facility (BEEF) is a hydrodynamic testing facility, located at the Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site in Area 4, about 95 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The need for the BEEF site originated when, due to community encroachment near the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) facility in Livermore, California, DOE was no longer allowed to perform large high explosive experiments at the facilities Site 300, Shaped Charge Scaling Project. Therefore looking at the Nevada Test Site as a location to continue to perform these large high explosive experiments, two earth-covered, two-foot thick steel reinforced concrete bunkers, built to monitor atmospheric tests at Yucca Flat in the 1950s, were located and found to be ideally configured. The facility consists of a control bunker, a camera bunker, a gravel firing table, and associated control and diagnostic systems. The facility has conducted safely conventional high-explosives experiments using a test bed that provides sophisticated diagnostics such as high-speed optics and x-ray radiography on the firing table, while operating personnel are present in the bunker.

In order to conduct large conventional high-explosive experiments on the site firing table while operating personnel are present in the control bunker, it first had to be certified as safe.
To achieve this, scientists conducted Popover -- a series of high explosive (up to 7,800 pounds) tests which were detonated 27-feet from the bunkerís buried outer wall.
The test data was used to develop an effects profile that defined the relationship of the high-explosive charge size and detonation point to blast effects, such as overpressure, bunker wall strain, dynamic response (acceleration), and noise amplitude. Together these results
demonstrated that the bunker would provide a safe working environment.
The Big Explosives Experimental Facility will play a large role in accumulating data supporting Stockpile Stewardship, along with a variety of new experimental programs, that will expand this nation's non-nuclear experiment capabilities. This facility complements the U1a complex and other DOE hydrodiagnostic facilities. (DoE)

The U1a Facility is an underground experimental complex at the U.S. Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site. The U1a complex supports routine test site activities in which high explosives are detonated to test the readiness of equipment, communications, procedures, and personnel.

Test data will help maintain the reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile by allowing scientists to gain more knowledge of the dynamic properties of aging nuclear materials. Of particular interest is data on the behavior of plutonium that can be used in computer
calculations of nuclear weapon performance and safety in the absence of actual underground nuclear testing.

The complex is located in Area 1 of the Nevada Test Site, approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The complex, consisting of horizontal tunnels about one-half mile in length mined at the base of a vertical shaft approximately 960 feet beneath the surface, was mined in the late 1960s for an underground nuclear test which was later canceled. In 1988, the shaft was reopened, and a 1,460-foot horizontal tunnel was mined south at the 962-foot level of the shaft. In 1990, the Ledoux nuclear test was conducted in the tunnel.

The vertical shaft is equipped with a mechanical hoist for personnel and equipment access while another vertical shaft about 1,000 feet away provides cross ventilation, instrumentation, utility access, and emergency egress. On the surface, there are several temporary buildings and instrumentation trailers. The most distinguishable landmark at the complex is the white air building which was used for experiment assembly during Ledoux.
The complex will provide a high degree of safety for NTS workers and the public and will minimize environmental impacts.(DoE)

The HAZMAT Spill Center, located at the Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site near Mercury, Nevada, is a unique, one-of-a-kind facility built to conduct hazardous materials testing and training under controlled conditions. The HAZMAT Spill Center, 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas, can accommodate both large- and small-scale testing. The HAZMAT Spill Center Environmental Impact Statement allows live releases of hazardous materials for training purposes, field-test detection, plume dispersion experimentation, and equipment and materials testing. Tests are conducted from April through September, weather
permitting.  (DoE)

The last image of this page is worth a look as it has an aircraft spotted in the sky, blown up by me it reveals a definate plane with something that has just been released. Please take a look at these fabulous images from the Department of Energy.


Click here for a large map showing every site (allocated Area) of the NTS, including Area 19. Please be aware this map is over 600Kb and takes time to load, depending on your online connection.

Below is an image of the areas where the waste management is carried out.

Image source: Department of Energy

Above you can see open storage of the hazardous waste which includes extremely dangerous chemicals and atomic waste.
Some are buried in pits like above but some hazardous waste is stored in containers and barrels above ground in stacks.
This waste disposal and management site is located in AREA 5 of the Nevada Test Site.


Above is a plan of the waste disposal management areas, included here is the Area 7(frenchman dry lake(flat) location shown in photo form above with contaminants stored in barrels and in a pit.

UnderGround Nuclear Testing in the Nevada Test Site.

Underground testing still goes on at the NTS and still does include low yield atomic devices.

Below is a picture of 'Sedan' Crater. The Sedan Crater was formed in a series of tests called Project 'Plowshare'
This was conducted by the Dept of Energy to see the effects of using Atomic weapons for construction purposes and so the words 'peaceful' tests were evolved.
Sedan is currently 'one' of the largest craters in the NTS and was conducted on Yucca Flat Proving Ground.

Image source: Department of Energy

From this image above you cannot imagine the scale of this crater. In the bottom right hand corner is a road wide enough to take two cars so this gives you a general idea on how large this hole is.  The bottom of the crater is sand and earth fused together by the extreme heat.
Sedan Crater was made by a 100KT device. That is equilivent of 100,000 tons of TNT explosives. The Crater is a massive 320ft deep and 1280ft wide.
The actual detonation occured 635ft deep, so it was infact 315ft deeper than the craters bottom. The resulting detonation displaced over 12 million tons of soil and sand.  Above the Crater are two smaller test sites from low yield Kt devices.

Image source: Department of Energy

Above is the the Sedan Crater being formed by the 100Kt Blast.  Along the ground is an incoming shock wave of dust. Now you can see the 12 million tons of earth being displaced! Image was taken a good few miles away

Below is a photo of the northern edge of Yucca Flat test site where most of the tests were carried out, including Sedan(several hundred)

Image source: Department of Energy

 NTS Part II  -  MORE IMAGES and Information including Above Ground tests and the stages of a nuclear air bursts including effects on people and animals and also buildings!

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