example, the horizontal line-of-sight pipe system, used to transmit a radiation pulse from a nuclear device detonation up to 1,350 ft from a ground-zero point, requires an immense underground facilities support plant. This plant must support the containment features in the tunnel complex and those installed in the pipe, the pipe's complex vacuum system, and a massive array of experiments. From this limited description, one may grasp the scale and complexity of the facilities required for the DNA Weapons Reliability Test Program.
A typical event or test has several phases, all of which can be in progress simultaneously within a given tunnel facility. These phases are planning, design, exploration, construction, operation, and execution.
It has been proposed that the Yucca Mountain ESF be developed similar to DNA underground scenarios for facility development. The implications of this type of facility development are addressed below. However, two additional issues merit attention. First are concerns that the emphasis at Yucca Mountain is on tunnel excavation, while other areas related to facility development may not receive appropriate attention earlier in the project and during construction and operating phases. Second, the various legal codes regulating both construction and facility operations in the underground environment must be addressed. DNA's experience has demonstrated that codes are not necessarily compatible with each other. They do, in fact, present conflicting information at times, resulting in confusion and misinterpretation in the application of requirements for construction versus preparation for beneficial occupancy of underground facilities. In practical application, such misinterpretations proved incompatible with the codes as written.
The need to construct a facility implies special design requirements ensuring the ability to safely conduct sustained operations for an indefinite period. In addition to its structural boundaries and layout, a facility includes essential functional systems and equipment, site development features (e.g., storage areas, traffic ways, receiving points, etc.), utilities supply and distribution systems, central utility plants, lighting and communications systems, and other physical plant features (see DOE Order 4700). The Nevada Test Site Underground Construction Standards as applied to tunnel facility construction were developed jointly by the test site community and included DOE, DNA, Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Company (REECo), Raytheon Services of Nevada, EG&G Energy Measurements, and other site participants.