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Are US nuclear test sites still radioactive?

Are US nuclear test sites still radioactive?

Very little radioactivity from weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s can still be detected in the environment now. The United States conducted the first above-ground nuclear weapon test in southeastern New Mexico on July 16, 1945. Between 1945 and 1963, hundreds of above-ground blasts took place around the world.

Where was the atomic bomb tested in Nevada?

The Nevada Test Site (NTS), 65 miles north of Las Vegas, was one of the most significant nuclear weapons test sites in the United States. Nuclear testing, both atmospheric and underground, occurred here between 1951 and 1992.

Where did the US get its plutonium from?

The United States Government has used 14 plutonium production reactors at the Hanford and Savannah River sites to produce plutonium for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and DOE research and development programs. From 1944 to 1994, these reactors produced 103.4 [note 12] metric tons of plutonium; 67.4 MT at Hanford, and 36.1 at Savannah River.

What kind of plutonium was produced at Savannah River?

The Savannah River reactors produced primarily weapon grade plutonium with a Pu-240 content of about 6 percent. Starting in 1981, to increase the availability of plutonium for the weapons program, the Savannah River P, K, C-Reactors were operated to produce weapon grade plutonium with a 3 percent Pu-240 content.

Where can I find restricted use plutonium?

Restricted use plutonium is located primarily at the Hanford Site, the Savannah River Site, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory facilities, and the Argonne National Laboratory West. Figure 5shows a comparison of the quantities of plutonium received from the four acquisitions categories that are used in this report.

Why was plutonium used in the nuclear program?

Starting in 1981, to increase the availability of plutonium for the weapons program, the Savannah River P, K, C-Reactors were operated to produce weapon grade plutonium with a 3 percent Pu-240 content. This method of operating accelerated reactor operations, decreased target irradiation time, and increased fuel throughput.