In 1949, an area of the fringe of the NRTS property named "Test Area North", or TAN, was developed by the U.S. Air Force and the Atomic Energy Commission to support the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program's attempt to develop a nuclear-powered aircraft. The programs' Heat Transfer Reactor Experiments (HTRE) were conducted here in 1955 by contractor General Electric, and were a series of tests to develop a system of transferring reactor-heated air to a modified General Electric J47 jet engine. The planned aircraft, the Convair X-6, was to be test flown at TAN, and a large hangar with radiation shielding was built on the site. The program was cancelled, however, before the accompanying 15,000-foot runway was built.
Category: Power - Nuclear