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Title: Radionuclide Observables for the Platte Underground Nuclear Test on 14 April 1962

Past nuclear weapons tests provide invaluable information for understanding the radionuclide observables and data quality objectives expected during an On-site Inspection (OSI) for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). These radioactive signatures are complex and subject to spatial and temporal variability. The Platte Underground Nuclear Test on 14 April 1962 provides extensive environmental monitoring data that can be modelled and used to assess an OSI. The 1.6 kT test is especially useful as it released the highest amounts of recorded activity during Operation Nougat at the Nevada Test Site – now known as the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). It has been estimated that 0.36% of the activity was released, and dispersed in a northerly direction. The deposition ranged from 1 x 10-11 to 1 x 10-9 of the atmospheric release (per m2), and has been used to evaluate a hypothetical OSI at 1 week to 2 years post-detonation. Radioactive decay reduces the activity of the 17 OSI relevant radionuclides by 99.7%, such that detection throughout the inspection is only achievable close to the explosion where deposition was highest.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 164:232-238
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Underground nuclear explosion; OSI; CTBT; Platte