DOE Nuclear Device Assembly Area

Construction began on the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) in the mid-1980s during underground nuclear weapons testing. DAF's original purpose was to consolidate all nuclear explosive assembly functions, to provide safe structures for high explosive and nuclear explosive assembly operations, and to provide a state-of-the-art safeguards and security environment. Now that the United States is no longer conducting underground nuclear weapons tests, the DAF has other uses that include the building of subcritical experiment assemblies. It is one of the few facilities in the country that can accommodate these activities.

The DAF is a collection of 30 individual steel-reinforced buildings connected by a rectangular racetrack corridor. The entire complex, covered by compacted earth, spans an area of 100,000 square feet.
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cthippo picture
@ 2010-08-22 15:18:07
The white rectangles are what is know as "Gravel Gerties". They consist of large piles of gravel or soil over the assembly bays and in the event of an explosion are designed to collapse, burying any radioactive materials before they can be released into the environment.