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Pantex neighbors get rare chance to see high explosives test


For homeowners around the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, occasional shockwaves and loud booms from test explosions are a normal part of life.

A group of those neighbors got a rare chance last week to visit Pantex and find out how high explosives (HE) testing helps Pantex accomplish its critical mission of ensuring the capability of the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile.

Pantex officials invited the neighbors as part of the Plant’s ongoing efforts to maintain positive relationships with nearby landowners. Pantex regularly conducts test shots of HE to ensure that HE in the nation’s stockpile remains reliable. Neighbors are informed when test shots are scheduled, but they’ve never gotten to see one up close before.

Explosives experts had already planned a demonstration as part of an ongoing effort to train new employees on the capabilities and characteristics of HE. Neighbors were allowed to observe the demonstration, then talk to experts from the Explosives Technology Division about the types of testing that go on at Pantex.

About the photos:
Pantex neighbors got a rare chance to visit Pantex and find out about how high explosives testing helps Pantex meet its mission.

Bottom: Monty Cates, Division Manager for Explosives Technology at Pantex, discusses the High Explosives work done at Pantex during a lunch with visiting neighbors of the Plant.