Rainier Mesa is one of four major nuclear test regions within the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). It occupies approximately 40 square miles (100 km2) along the northern edge of the NNSS and corresponds to Area 12.
The Rainier Mesa area consists of both Rainier Mesa proper and the contiguous Aqueduct Mesa.
At 7,680 feet (2,340 m), the top of Rainier Mesa is the highest elevation within the NNSS.
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.
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. The Office of Secure Transportation uses it as a training facility.
- 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.
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- U.S. Department of Energy / Nevada Operations Office, United States Nuclear Tests - July 1945 through September 1992, December 2000, DOE/NV-209 Rev 15 Archived 2006-10-12 at the Wayback Machine.
- National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office, Draft Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement Nevada, ch.2, July 2011, DOE/EIS-246-D
- 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".
- The Containment of Underground Nuclear Explosions (PDF), U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, October 1989, p. 51, LCCN 89-600707, OTA-ISC-414, retrieved 2017-11-01 (Full Document)
- Knapp, George (2008-11-07). "I-Team: The Road Warriors, Part 2". Retrieved 2008-11-10.