Project Mercury: Foreign 'Dirty Bomb' Responders Will Start Training In ...





Founded in 1998, it was a niche at what was then the Nevada Test Site for emergency responders to learn how to deal with disasters caused by weapons of mass destruction.

Since then, about 180,000 firefighters, police officers, public safety officials and hazardous materials technicians from all corners of the United States have completed courses that teach them how to detect, prevent and react to an unthinkable act involving radioactive or hazardous materials to harm civilian populations.

In a few months this Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training will enter a new, international dimension as police officers from eastern Europe and elsewhere outside the U.S. descend on a one-of-a-kind training facility in Area 1 at the Nevada National Security Site, 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Known as “T-1,” the site is unique because it was ground zero for the Apple-2 nuclear test, a large-scale civil defense experiment in 1955 that used an atomic bomb placed on a tower to blow up buildings and structures in “Survival Town.” The blast delivered an explosive yield equivalent to 29,000 tons of TNT, or 8,000 more than the nuclear blast at Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, the second and last time a nuclear weapon was used in combat.
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