Vela Uniform

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Vela Uniform was an element of Project Vela conducted jointly by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Its purpose was to develop seismic methods for detecting underground nuclear testing.

Vela Uniform incorporated seven underground nuclear tests in the continental United States and Alaska from October 1963 to July 1971. Seismic traces from multiple locations were analyzed for each of these events to develop methods for differentiating underground nuclear tests from other seismic events (such as earthquakes) and locating the test site.

These tests were codenamed PROJECT SHOAL, PROJECT DRIBBLE, PROJECT LONG SHOT, PROJECT SCROLL, PROJECT DIAMOND DUST, and PROJECT DIAMOND MINE. The SHOAL detonation took place beneath Gote Flat in the Sand Springs Range of central Nevada. The PROJECT DRIBBLE program involved two nuclear detonations called SALMON and STERLING that were conducted within Tatum Salt Dome (on a tract referred to as the "Salmon Site") southwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The LONGSHOT detonation took place on Amchitka Island, Alaska and the remainder were at the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada. The Vela Uniform program also involved numerous experiments using conventional high-explosives.

The program involved many experts from academia along with those from the sponsoring military agencies and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

The radioactive blast debris from 839 U.S. underground nuclear test explosions remains buried in-place and has been judged impractical to remove by the DOE's Nevada Site Office.

Reference Sources

"United States Nuclear Tests, July 1945 to 31 December 1992" (NWD 94-1), Robert Standish Norris and Thomas B. Cochran, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Working Papers, Natural Resources Defense Council, 1350 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005, 202-783-7800, 1 February 1994.

"Nuclear Explosions and Earthquakes: The Parted Veil," Bruce A. Bolt, W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 1976, ISBN 0-7167-0276-2.

"Focused Evaluation of Selected Remedial Alternatives for the Underground Test Area" (DOE/NV--465), April 1997, Environmental Restoration Division, Nevada Operations Office, U.S. Department of Energy, North Las Vegas, Nevada, 89030-4134.

A Personal Note from Robin

The reason I have included this page on the SM-201 website is because I worked on "Project Diamond Dust" while working at Gulf General Atomics. I designed the instrumentation to measure the speed of the frontal shockwave in an underground nuclear blast.

Also see the page [ Early BackDrop ] and/or [ Project Plowshare ] and/or [ Project Orion ]


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