Rainier Mesa

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Area 12 within the Nevada National Security Site
Aerial view of Rainier Mesa

Rainier Mesa is one of four major nuclear test regions within the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).[1] It occupies approximately 40 square miles (100 km2) along the northern edge of the NNSS and corresponds to Area 12.[1][2]

The Rainier Mesa area consists of both Rainier Mesa proper and the contiguous Aqueduct Mesa.[3]

At 7,680 feet (2,340 m), the top of Rainier Mesa is the highest elevation within the NNNS.[2]

Nuclear testing[edit]

Test Chamber for Operation Toggle Diamond Sculls, inside Rainier Mesa.

Area 12 held 61 nuclear tests between 1957 and 1992, one of which involved two detonations.[1] All tests were conducted below Rainier and Aqueduct mesas.[3]

Area 12 was the primary location for tunnel tests and used almost exclusively for that purpose.[nb 1] The tunnel complexes mined into Rainier and Aqueduct Mesa include the B-, C-, D-, E-, F-, G-, I-, J-, K-, N-, P-, and T-tunnel complexes, and Q- and R- shafts.[2]

Current Activities[edit]

A 600-bed camp in Area 12 served as temporary housing to Mesa-region workers who didn't want to commute back home.

The Area 12 Camp was renovated and upgraded and provides a secure base camp for military units and other government agencies for conducting counter-terrorism and other exercises in the northern region of the NNSS. It provides an urban terrain setting utilizing existing commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. The camp includes 200 dormitory rooms, a cafeteria, weapons and munitions storage, and numerous operations and support buildings.[2] The Office of Secure Transportation uses it as a training facility.[2][4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Area 12 held 59 tunnel tests. There were a total of 61 tests in Area 12. The U.S. conducted a total of 67 tunnel tests, all at the NNSS.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Department of Energy / Nevada Operations Office, United States Nuclear Tests - July 1945 through September 1992, December 2000, DOE/NV-209 Rev 15
  2. ^ a b c d e National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office, Draft Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement Nevada, ch.2, July 2011, DOE/EIS-246-D
  3. ^ a b U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office (December 2004). "Corrective Action Investigation Plan for Corrective Action Unit 99: Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada". 
  4. ^ Knapp, George (2008-11-07). "I-Team: The Road Warriors, Part 2". Retrieved 2008-11-10. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of Energy.