Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Veterans Day Special 5
PHOTO: ATMOSPHERIC TESTING AT NEVADA SITE AS 'ATOMIC VETERANS' OBSERVE
The Nevada Test Site (NTS) is located in Nye County in southern Nevada; the southernmost point of the NTS is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas. The site contains 1,350 square miles (3,500 square kilometers) of federally owned land with restricted access, and varies from 28-35 miles (45-56 kilometers) in width (east-west) and from 40-55 miles (64-88 kilometers) in length (north-south).
From the end of World War II until 1951, five U.S. nuclear weapons tests were conducted at distant islands in the Pacific Ocean: two at Bikini atoll and three at Enewetak atoll. Testing at those sites required an extensive logistic effort and an inordinate amount of time.
After review of known information about fallout, thermal, and blast effects, it was determined that an area within what is now the Nellis Air Force Range could be used for relatively low-yield nuclear detonations. The Southern Nevada site was selected from a list of five possibilities which included Alamogordo/White Sands, New Mexico; Dugway Proving Ground, Utah; Pamilco Sound/Camp Lejuene, North Carolina; and a 50-mile-wide strip between Fallon and Eureka, Nevada. Although the NTS originally was selected to meet criteria for atmospheric tests, it subsequently also was used for underground tests.
The predominant geological features of this area are the closed drainage basins of Frenchman Flat and Yucca Flat where the early atmospheric tests were conducted. The main Control Point has remained on the crest of Yucca Pass between these two basins. Additional land was added to the site in 1958, 1961, 1964, and 1967, thereby enlarging the site to its present size of about 1,350 square miles (3,500 square kilometers).
SUPPORT ATOMIC VETERANS BY GIVING THEM THE MEDAL THAT THEY DESERVE -CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN!