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NEVADA NATIONAL SECURITY SITE CELEBRATES 65 YEARS 10 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE NEVADA NATIONAL SECURITY SITE 1 2 3 The Las Vegas Bombing and Gunnery Range, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, was selected as the Nevada Test Site (NTS, now the Nevada National Security Site) for its remote location. The site was large enough that unanticipated winds would likely not drop fallout on any nearby town, and the surrounding towns were sparsely populated. South of the range, a government-owned airfield and housing for more than 300 people already existed. The actual nuclear devices being tested at NTS were classified, so scientists assigned each test a nickname that had to be approved by the Office of Military Applications. Early names used the military phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker), but as the number of tests outgrew the alphabet, names included nature terms (Antler, Feather), Native American tribes (Cherokee, Zuni), famous scientists (Galileo, Newton), and New Mexico towns (Bernalillo, Santa Fe). Data collection on nuclear tests went beyond the obvious—yield. One objective for aboveground (atmospheric) nuclear test Annie was to determine what would happen to a typical American home in the event of an atomic blast. A two-story colonial house, located 3,500 feet from the 16-kiloton shot, was more than 90 percent destroyed. Before and after photos of the interior—including clothed mannequins—were printed in the Las Vegas Review Journal with the following statement: “These mannequins could have been real people, in fact, they could have been you.” National Security Science December 2016 3