TA-49 Brief Description
4.26.1 Site Description
Because the Frijoles Mesa Site [Table 4-24 and Figure 4-26 (index map of TA-48)] is located near
Bandelier National Monument, activities conducted there are restricted to carefully selected Laboratory
functions. Currently, the Laboratorys Hazardous Devices Team uses the site as a training
area and as an isolated location for blowing up suspect packages. The site is also the location of
the Laboratorys Antenna and Pulse Power Outdoor Range User Facility, where a spectrum of
outdoor tests is carried out on materials and equipment components that involve generating and
receiving short bursts of high-energy, broad-spectrum microwaves.
TA-49 is surrounded by a locked security fence, which prevents accidental intrusion. When experiments
are conducted, personnel install barriers that exclude any individuals from access to
areas where unsafe levels of energy could be encountered.
In 1960 and 1961, a series of experiments involving high explosives and radioactive materials was
conducted at the site. These experiments, which were primarily designed to improve the understanding
of certain safety aspects of operational nuclear weapons, were conducted underground
in large-diameter holes as deep as 120 ft (36.6 m). The Laboratory report, Environmental Status
of Technical Area 49, Los Alamos, New Mexico (LANL 1987), provides more information.