TA-15 More Details

March 1998 5 9 TA and Facilities Descriptions Facility Hazard Categories
Table 4-8 identifies the facilities at TA-15 that fall into a facility hazard category because of the type
of operations performed in the facility. Nuclear Facility Hazard Categories
No buildings at TA-15 are categorized as nuclear facilities. Non-Nuclear Facility Hazard Categories Buildings Categorized L/RAD
TA-15 contains three facilities (Buildings 184, 203, and 313) categorized as L/RAD. When it
becomes operational, the DARHT Facility (Building 312) will also fall into this category. Pulsed High-Energy Radiographic Machine Emitting X-Rays
PHERMEX (Building 184, Figure 4-10, Sheet 4) is a multiple-cavity electron accelerator that provides
the intense x-rays used for high-resolution flash radiography. The facility is capable of producing
high-resolution x-ray pictures of very dense, fast-moving materials and is used primarily for
studies to investigate weapons functions and systems behavior during non-nuclear tests. It is
used both for full-scale, multidiagnostic hydrodynamic tests and for smaller-scale experiments,
such as the study of high explosives or materials driven by high explosives that might require fast,
high-resolution, high-intensity radiography.
The PHERMEX beam, which is produced by a radiofrequency linear accelerator, is the intense xray
source of choice when high-resolution flash radiography is a principal diagnostic goal, especially
when the test involves dense, fast-moving materials such as those in explosively collapsed pit
mockups. The 30-MeV electron accelerator is housed in a blast-proof structure at Building 184
and is controlled from the adjacent two-story Building 185. As the primary weapons hydrotesting
area at TA-15, the PHERMEX firing site can handle up to 154 lb (70 kg) of explosives on the firing
runway in front of machines. A “bull nose” of blast-shielding material protects the x-ray converter
target of tungsten at the output end of the accelerator. Charge masses up to 882 lb (400 kg) and
more can be detonated at points east of the runway. Immediately to the south of the runway is the
Multidiagnostic Operations Center (Building 310). This blast-proof structure offers protected
space for a variety of fast diagnostics featuring signal-recording equipment, such as transient
waveform digitizers and time interval meters, and serves as the timing and firing control room. During
testing, only Buildings 185, 186, and 310 are occupied. All of the buildings adjacent to the
firing site are constructed of heavily reinforced concrete.
March 1998 6 0 TA and Facilities Descriptions Relativistic Electron Beam Experiment
Building 203 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 1) houses the Relativistic Electron Beam Experiment, which is
conducted by means of an electron injector machine. The machine, which is the engineering
model upon which DARHT’s accelerators are based, is a radiation source surrounded by magnetite-
loaded concrete blocks for shielding. Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility
DARHT (Building 312, Figure 4-10, Sheet 5) is currently under construction near the PHERMEX
firing site. The environmental impacts and alternatives have been addressed in a final environmental
impact statement (DOE 1995). When completed, the DARHT Facility will provide dual-axis,
multiple-exposure radiographs at state-of-the-art penetration and resolution for studying devices
and materials under hydrodynamic conditions. Radiographic Support Laboratory
The existing Radiographic Support Laboratory (Building 313, Figure 4-10, Sheet 3) is the initial
stage of the DARHT Facility. The main functions performed here are developing, calibrating, testing,
and repairing high-energy flash x-ray machines. In addition to supporting ongoing radiographic
testing at PHERMEX, the laboratory is used for developing accelerator technology. Buildings Categorized L/ENS
TA-15 contains 11 facilities (Buildings 41, 42, 43, 183, 241, 242, 243, 263, 285, 306, and 314;
Figure 4-10, Sheets 2 and 3) categorized as L/ENS. HE Magazines and Makeup Buildings
The HE magazines and makeup buildings (Buildings 41-43, Figure 4-10, Sheets 1 and 2) are
small, reinforced-concrete facilities located in TA-15. The Makeup Building (Building 41) is used
for power-loading operations and preparing propellants and ammunition. Buildings 42 and 43 are
used for storing HE charges and assemblies. Laboratory and Office Building
Building 183 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 3), the main office and laboratory structure for TA-15, contains
an access control office, digitizer calibration lab, electronics lab and parts bin, pin fabrication area,
SNM vault, optics lab, an x-ray-film-processing lab, and offices. The basement of this building
houses a laser lab plus a large stock of optical supplies and accessories. HE Magazines and Makeup Building
Buildings 241-243 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 3) are small, cinder block facilities located in Area III of TA-
15. Building 242, a makeup building, can also be used for HE storage and short-term storage of
finished assemblies. Buildings 241 and 243 are used for storing various charges and detonators. Gas Gun Facility
Building 263 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 2), also known as the Gas Gun Facility, houses a high-pressure
gas gun, a target chamber and catch tank, and a velocity interferometer. The high-pressure gun
launches projectiles at stationary target samples, which are instrumented with pins or a velocity interferometer. Power Control Building
Building 285 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 3) is the control facility for PHERMEX. Ector Multidiagnostic Hydrotest Facility
The Ector device (Building 306, Figure 4-10, Sheet 2) is a 30-MeV diagnostic x-ray machine used
when medium-resolution flash radiography is required. Building 306 is used as the weapons-testing
backup facility for PHERMEX. The curved diagnostic room provides nearly a full quadrant of
optical access to Ector's firing runway and houses microwave and laser interferometers, as well as
fast cameras. The Ector device is scheduled to be relocated at the PHERMEX firing site. Metal Shed
At the time hazard categories were assigned, Building 314 (Figure 4-10, Sheet 3) housed a laser. Nonhazardous Facilities
Ninety-one other facilities at TA-15 listed as nonhazardous include administrative and technical facilities,
experimental laboratories, HE storage, general warehouse, and general storage facilities.


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