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20 April 2006. Add site maps and information on Areas 3 and 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites and the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research (JASPER) Facility.

See also: Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2004 Summary (8MB, 392 pages.)

18 April 2006

Nevada Test Site Activities

First three images from: Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2004 Summary (8MB, 392 pages.)

Disposal of low level radioactive waste (LLW) and mixed low level radioactive waste (MW)

The Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) operates as a Category II Nuclear Facility. The RWMC, which includes the Area 3 and the Area 5 RWMSs, is designed and operated to perform three functions:

Dispose of LLW from NNSA/NSO activities performed on and off the NTS and from other offsite generators in the state of Nevada.

Dispose of DOE LLW from around the DOE complex, primarily from the cleanup of sites associated with the manufacture of weapons components.

Dispose of MW from onsite NNSA/NSO activities.

The RWMC receives LLW generated within the DOE complex from numerous DOE sites across the United States, LLW from DoD sites that carry a national security classification, and MW generated within the state of Nevada for disposal or indefinite storage. Disposal consists of placing waste in sealed containers in unlined cells and trenches. Soil backfill is applied over the waste in a single lift, which is approximately 2.4 m (8 ft) thick, as rows of containers reach approximately 1.2 m (4 ft) below the original grade.


Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site

The Area 3 RWMS consists of seven craters making up five disposal cells. Each subsidence crater was created by an underground weapons test. This site is used for disposal of bulk LLW waste, such as soils or debris, and waste in large cargo containers. Disposal operations at the Area 3 RWMS began in the late 1960s. Waste disposal services at Area 3 RWMS will continue as long as the DOE requires such services.

Disposal Operations Personnel Guide
a Forklift Positioning a Cargo Container
of Low-Level Waste in Cell U-3bh at the
Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management
Site Located on the Nevada Test Site.
22 April 2004. Source

Nevada Test Site - Area 3 Disposal
Process Supersacks. 29 February 2000.

Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site,nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.044448,-116.025238&spn=0.007313,0.016994

Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS),nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.044936,-116.02806&spn=0.003657,0.008497

Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site
Workers Guide a Forklift Driver Positioning
a Metal Box Containing Low-Level Waste in
Disposal Cell 10 at the Nevada Test Site Area
5 Radioactive Waste Management Site.
19 May 2005. Source

Low-Level Waste Disposed in Pit 5
at the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management
Site on the Nevada Test Site. 13 July 2000.

This appears to show a subterranean test set-up with about 1,000 feet long data cables connected to instrumentation trailers. It might be a
completed test site that has not been cleaned, or still gathering vestigal data from a test.,nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.081673,-116.045301&spn=0.003655,0.008497

This shows a finished subterranean test with data cables remaining and data trailers removed.,nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.136748,-116.073679&spn=0.003652,0.008497

Who know what this is, perhaps blast protection investigations.,nv&ll=37.096089,-116.093119&spn=0.003654,0.008497&t=k&om=0

This appears to show a subterranean test underway or recently completed.,nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.009064,-116.058605&spn=0.007317,0.016994,nv&t=k&om=0&ll=37.011223,-116.058701&spn=0.003658,0.008497

Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research [PDF , 285 KB]
In 1992, the President of the United States placed a moratorium on underground nuclear weapons testing. As a result, alternate experimental methods for certifying the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile were implemented. Among these experimental methods was the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research (JASPER) Facility, located at the Nevada Test Site. JASPER plays an integral role in the certification of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile by providing a method to generate and measure data pertaining to the properties of materials (radioactive chemical elements) at high shock pressures, temperatures and strain rates. These extreme laboratory conditions approximate those experienced in nuclear weapons. Data from the experiments is used to determine material equations-of-state and to validate computer models of material response for weapons applications. Experiment results are used for code refinement, permitting better predictive capability and ensuring confidence in the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

The Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research (JASPER) Facility is a multi-organizational research facility hosting Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Bechtel Nevada, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory maintains the responsibility for overall project management, physics definition, engineering, health and safety.