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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Sites and Zones

Existing land use on the NTS is divided into two site categories and seven zone categories. The site and zone category definitions are as follows:

Industrial, Research, and Support Site

    An industrial site is used for the manufacturing, processing, and/or fabrication of articles, substances, or commodities. A research site is used for projects to verify theories or concepts under controlled conditions. Support sites are used for office space, training, equipment storage, maintenance, security, feeding and housing, fire protection services, and health services.

Waste Management Site

    A site used for the disposal, storage, and/or treatment of wastes.

Nuclear Test Zone

    Land area reserved for underground hydrodynamic tests, dynamic experiments, and underground nuclear weapons and weapons effects tests. The stockpile stewardship emplacement hole inventory is located within this zone.

Nuclear and High Explosive Test Zone

    Land area designated within the Nuclear Test Zone for additional underground and aboveground high-explosive tests or experiments.

Research, Test, and Experiment Zone

    Land area designated for small-scale research, development projects, pilot projects, and outdoor tests and experiments for the development, quality assurance, or reliability of materials and equipment under controlled conditions.

Radioactive Waste Management Zone

    Land area designated for the shallow land burial of low-level and mixed wastes.

Critical Assembly Zone

    Land area used for conducting nuclear explosive operations. Operations generally include assembly, disassembly or modification, staging, repair, retrofit, and surveillance. The potential for weapons storage also exists in this zone.

Spill Test Facility Impact Zone

    A downwind geographic area that would confine the impacts of the largest planned tests of materials released at the Spill Test Facility.

Reserved Zone

    Controlled-access land area that provides a buffer between nondefense research, development, and testing activities. The Reserved Zone includes areas and facilities that provide widespread flexible support for diverse short-term nondefense research, testing, and experimentation. This land area is also used for short-duration exercises and training, such as Nuclear Emergency Search Team and Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center training, and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) land navigation exercises and training.

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