Skip to main content

Underground Facility at Nevada National Security Site

The U1a Complex is an underground laboratory at the Nevada National Security Site used for dynamic experiments with special nuclear material (SNM) and other weapon materials.  The Complex provides an infrastructure of high-bandwidth diagnostics, data acquisition, timing and firing, control and monitor systems capable of supporting experiments designed to acquire information on fundamental materials properties, focused information to address specific weapon issues, and integral performance of weapon-like systems in a scaled geometry.  U1a provides the unique capability of being the only facility authorized to conduct experiments with high explosives mated to weapon relevant quantities of Plutonium that are expended and later safely entombed in the underground environment.

Over the past ten years U1a has employed a suite of dynamic diagnostics including flash radiography using the Cygnus dual-axis radiographic machines.  In 2012, the facility deployed multiplexed, multi-channel Photon Doppler Velocimetry to capture an unparalleled amount of hydrodynamic information from experiments on imploding systems.  Potential future experiment capabilities may include a Large Bore Gun for plutonium equation of state and constitutive models. Also under development is a capability for fielding High Explosive Pulsed Power Experiments to acquire dynamic Plutonium behavior at extremely high pressures.