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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)



Device Assembly Facility

    The Device Assembly Facility (DAF), which is composed of 30 heavily-reinforced concrete buildings covering 100,000 square feet connected by rectangular racetrack corridor buried under earth cover, is a rectangular complex, sitting on 19-acre high-security area in the central portion of the NTS, with only the south exterior exposed. DAF includes five assembly cells (called Gravel Gerties), four high bays, three assembly bays, two radiography bays, five staging bunkers, and two shipping and receiving bays. DAF support buildings include three vaults, two decontamination areas, and an administrative area with office space, a conference area, changing and shower rooms, and a machine shop. Two other buildings provide laboratory space.

    It was originally built in the mid-1980s to consolidate nuclear explosive assembly function and to provide the structures necessary for high explosive and nuclear explosive assembly operations. Nuclear explosives assembly and preparation were conducted at two separate facilities: the Able complex operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Baker complex operated by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The DAF consolidated the activities of the Able and Baker complexes into a single facility for handling nuclear explosives at the NTS. The laboratories took occupancy in February 1996 after construction was completed. Once underground nuclear weapons tests were ended, DAF was used as the site for sub-critical experiment assemblies. DAF now serves as the Criticality Experiments Facility and prepares sub-critical experiments and target chambers for experiments at the JASPER facility. In addition, DAF plays a role in maintaining the underground test readiness capability.

Criticality Experiments Facility

    The Criticality Experiments Facility (CEF) conducts research and training in three primary areas: supporting the Stockpile Stewardship Program, emergency response to support counterterrorism, and arms control and nonproliferation. Originally located at Technical Area 18 (TA-18) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the testing equipment of CEF was relocated to the western part of DAF after a decision by DOE in December 2002 to consolidate special nuclear materials. CEF is the only site in the DOE complex where research and training using Category I level nuclear materials can be conducted.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:42:24 ZULU