Nevada Test Site

The Nevada Test Site (NTS), located in Southern Nevada, sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, is a vast outdoor testing ground administered by the Department of Energy. At NTS many workers were exposed to hazards such as silica dust, diesel exhaust, beryllium, noise, and radiation. The NTS Medical Surveillance Program offers free medical screening to former NTS workers to look for work-related health problems.

Underground and Atmospheric Testing

The Nevada Test Site was the primary location for testing of nuclear weapons in the continental U.S from 1951 until the present nuclear testing moratorium began in September 1992. A total of 928 tests were conducted at NTS, including 100 atmospheric tests between 1951 and 1958. After 1961, almost all tests took place in shafts, drillholes and underground tunnels that were mined, drilled, and constructed for this purpose.

Workers in the construction trades such as miners and laborers, operating engineers, electrical workers, carpenters, pipefitters, ironworkers, and sheetmetal workers mined tunnels, drilled vertical holes, prepared and maintained testing areas and re-entered tunnels to retrieve equipment following nuclear blasts.

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