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NOTICE: The page below has been permenently FROZEN as of January 2000. Due to resource limitations, this section of our website is no longer maintained, so some links may not work and some information may be out of date. We have retained this page for archive reference only, and we cannot vouch for its accuracy. Broken links will not be repaired, and minor errors will not be corrected. You are responsible for independently verifying any information you may find here.

Nevada Test Site

Although there may be useful links here, this page is not actively maintained (after 1997). For new links see our new Nevada Test Site page.

The Nevada Test Site is a Rhode Island-sized testing ground northwest of Las Vegas where the U.S. conducted the majority of its nuclear weapons tests during the Cold War. From its founding in 1951 until the final Divider test in 1992, over 900 atomic explosions were detonated in this barren desert. In the 1950s, atomic tests were conducted above ground and resulted in devastating health effects to the "Downwinders" northeast of the site in Nevada and Utah. Since then, tests were conducted only underground, resulting in a pockmarked "lunar" landscape. The NTS is operated by the Department of Energy, which has become increasingly open about the site's history and its environmental problems. The NTS is bounded on three side by the Nellis Air Force Range and adjoins "Area 51" a secret military base at its northeast corner. Today, the Test Site is under consideration for various storage and processing projects for dangerous materials, and some non-nuclear and sub-critical explosions are still conducted there. [gc 12/5/96]

General Information

The Nevada Proving Ground was created by Pres. Harry Truman on Jan. 11, 1951, and the first atomic test, Operation Ranger, was conducted on Jan. 27, 1951. The final nuclear test, Divider, was conducted on Sept. 23, 1992. In between, there were 99 above ground tests and over 800 below ground tests. The NTS is broken up into numbered areas of varying sizes, from 1 to 30, with the omission of Areas 13, 21, 24 and 28. (Area 13 is an off-site location in the Nellis Range north of Groom Lake.)

Local Documents

External Links

  1. Department of Energy Nevada Operations Office
  2. Searches
  3. Maps: Xerox PARC Map Server. Old boundaries of Nellis range are shown in red. More recent boundaries connect the two large red sections on the north.
  4. Article: "A tour of the Test Site". 11/1/93
  5. NTS Radio Frequencies. Wackenhut Security 9/2/95
  6. Served Agencies
  7. History
  8. Official Information:
  9. Law and Government
  10. Unofficial Information:
  11. Test Site Contractors:
  12. Former Contractors
  13. Adjoining and Affiliated Facilities:
  14. Major Points of Interest:
  15. Test Site Tales:
  16. Misc:


The Dept. of Energy conducts free all-day public tours of the Nevada Test Site. Tours are usually conducted quarterly, and you need to sign up in advance. Contact DOE at 702-295-0941.

For new links see our new Nevada Test Site page.

Original Text Copyrighted © 1994-99 Glenn Campbell
PO Box 30303, Las Vegas, NV 89173

Note: The above page has been frozen as of Jan. 1, 2000. It is retained only for archive purposes. Broken links will not be repaired and some information may be out of date.

The former webmaster, Glenn Campbell, is still active at or @BadDalaiLama on Twitter

Created: 1995
Last Modified: 1/8/97 gc.e