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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Zone 11

Pantex is composed of several functional areas, commonly referred to as numbered zones. These zones include an area for experimental explosive development (Zone 11).

Explosives Development - Zones 11 and 12

Buildings 11-17, 11-22, 11-36, 11-38, 11-51, 11-55, 11-56, 12-8, 12-19, 12-59, and 12-62 are part of Pantex's explosive processing and development resources and are located in Zones 11 and 12 of the Plant. These buildings contain laboratories that have been historically used to develop and test new high explosives, examine the morphology of bulk formulated explosives, and perform routine analysis of explosives, pilot activities for new plastic bonded explosives, aging studies on various explosives, and chemical analysis of explosives and associated materials. Their primary current use is for surveillance support. The buildings range in age from 14 to 51 years. The 11 buildings total approximately 90,500 square feet. Requirements for these facilities do not vary with production schedules, and known future missions will not change these requirements. Included are chemical laboratories, a gas analysis laboratory, a metrology laboratory, a stockpile system testing laboratory, environmental laboratories, and radiation monitoring laboratories. [Photo Number: 437 047 001, Photo Date: June 1983]

Explosives Manufacturing

Buildings 11-51, 11-20, 11-50, 12-17 A&B, 12- 63, 12-121, and 12-24 are used for formulating, pressing, machining, gauging, and staging a variety of high explosives. These buildings range in age from 11 to 51 years and total approximately 113,450 square feet. Most of these buildings were con- structed to manufacture explosives main charges and small components for nuclear weapons, and to meet the high explosives research and development mission of the site. Current missions remain the same as efforts continue to remove obsolete weapons from the stockpile. Two-thirds of these buildings were built prior to 1955. They are in poor condition and are rapidly approaching the ends of their useful lives.

Explosives Staging

Buildings 4-45 to 4-75, 11-23, 11-25, 11-37, 11-42, 11-45, 11-46, 12-55, 12-58, 12-65, 12- 68B, 12-71, 12-83, 12-92, 12-95, 16-2, and 16-7A&B are used to store and stage all types of HE and IHE. These facilities will continue to be used for this purpose. These facilities range in age from 8 to 51 years and contain 46 structures covering a total area of approximately 63,300 square feet. The primary hazard in these buildings is explosives. Over 50 percent of the explosives storage facilities were constructed prior to 1950; they are in deteriorating condition and need replacement.

Testing and Evaluation

This key facility includes Buildings 11-5, 11- 16, 11-18, 12-21, and 12-21A and Firing Sites FS-2, FS-3, FS-4, FS-5, FS-10, FS-11, FS- 11A, FS-16, FS-18, FS-21, FS-21A, FS-22, FS-23, and FS-24. The buildings are used for testing and evaluation of both HE and IHE, test firing of explosives, and non-destructive evaluation of explosives (the firing sites are no longer being used for this purpose). The facilities range in age from 8 years to 51 years. The buildings total approximately 68,200 square feet; the Firing Sites are several square miles in size. Many of the facilities have high speed cameras to monitor and analyze tests. Missions are not expected to change until the current effort to remove obsolete weapons from the stockpile is complete in six to eight years.


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