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Cryo Chamber

Howard Hughs and the Atomic Bomb

Why the Central Nevada Test Area conducted only one nuclear test puzzles even the aficionados.
By Ralph Vartabedian

At the center of a desolate valley in the middle of Nevada, ambulance more than a dozen miles from the nearest paved road, order one of the few signs of human activity is a rusty steel well casing that juts oddly out of the desert floor.

Nobody lives here, website like this but it has a name: the Central Nevada Test Area. It

was once a hub of scientific activity. Today, it is an abandoned

outpost of the Cold War.
In the lore of the nuclear arms race, the

Central Nevada Test Area has occupied a special place of mystery. Only

one test was ever conducted there, and even for aficionados, the

reasons have never been entirely clear.

Amid the emptiness, an 8-foot-tall cylinder bears a message to

future generations from Glenn T. Seaborg, once chairman of the Atomic

Energy Commission.
"Project Faultless January 19, 1968: A nuclear

detonation was conducted below this spot at a depth of 3,200 feet,"

reads a brass plaque on the casing.,0,1389110.story

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