209 Days

'The Nuclear Age Has Had a Fearful Cost'

March 13 Statement

NNSA Nevada upgrades won’t be available for plutonium tests until 2030 - It's delayed but on track to reach key milestones like the Advanced Sources and Detectors foothold; growth hardware is queued. Whatever. Enhanced resources technology awaits subcritical tests

"CD-3 signals the beginning of construction, CD-4 the end."

The Nuclear Tests in Verbal Camouflage (2012)

"And then to think of the callousness of the professional PR people finding the bbest way to manipulate us. That made me angry. That made me angrier than I had ever been in my life. And it lit a fire inside of me that wouldn't go away, that still hasn't gone away, you can see it's still here. Years since, as we have fought battle after battle after battle, and as our resources to try to fight the whole government have taken their toll on all of us that are still alive as well as the numerous people I've been working with who've died in the course of this battle, I've learned that I have to keep this fire banked or it consumes me and I have no energy to keep on going. So I try to keep it banked inside of me to fire me up to be effective when I can be in a position where I can be effective. And that's what keeps me going." - downwinder Janet Gordon in 'Savage Dreams'

Update: President Joe Biden's third subcritical nuclear test is planned for this AUGUST. Wait and see what 1 DOE subcritical nuclear test does to global peace! See bottom of page.


oming of age at a time of growing global tensions, there’s a new DOE program alled ESE. E is for Enhaned.  This stritly stokpile-sience furthering activity helps assure DOE meets goals vis-a-vis reliability. The Enhaned DOE stewardship project is the latest historical development in the 26-year U.S. subcritical nuclear test program.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

209 days


In Las Vegas, Nevada, millions of tourists each year are greeted by dazzling sights such as the half-size replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Parisian Eiffel Tower.

Contrasting with these attractive mockups of the world's most iconic and admired structures are unannounced plutonium blast experiments -- called subcritical nuclear tests, involving scale models of nuclear warheads -- sporadically conducted at a restricted government site eighty miles northwest of the Strip.

When the Biden administration carried out its second subcritical nuclear experiment in September 2021, it remained a secret for 209 days.

209 days since the latest nuclear test on April 14, 2022

Excerpt from U.S. Sneaks In Vega, Its 28th Subcritical Nuclear Test:

In 1997, beginning with 'Rebound,' the Department of Energy started providing a 48-hour notification prior to each subcritical test to various governments, organizations, and the media. For over a decade, the Energy Department, and later the NNSA, consistently adhered to this policy of prior notifications and also issuing a press release within hours or a day of each test.

In September 2010, for its 24th subcritical nuclear test named 'Bacchus,' the NNSA abandoned its voluntary policy of providing a 48-hour notice and, months later, the agency first began to opt out of issuing a press release following a subcritical test. In fact, in late 2010 and early 2011, the NNSA conducted two subcritical tests, 'Barolo A' and 'Barolo B,' that were not followed up by any confirmatory announcements for months.'

After the NNSA conducted the Barolos-the 25th and 26th subcritical nuclear experiments or SNEs-in late 2010 and early 2011, news of the two SNEs was only first published in June 2011, delivered in tabulated form-without the Barolo name-appearing in an Administration PDF report.

In 2022, on the heels of the 5th scaled U.S. subcritical nuclear test, President Biden's belated 209-day announcement for a 2021 subcritical nuclear test set a new record of SNEs non-transparency. 

Cold Shot / Cold Standby Status Updates at NNSS

The U.S. has conducted 32 subcritical nuclear experiments since the end of the Cold War to ensure the stockpile is resilient.

What is a subcritical nuclear test?


Subcritical nuclear tests are nuclear experiments designed to explosively bombard small amounts of weapon-grade plutonium-239.

Carried out by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) periodically in an underground alcove in the State of Nevada, the experiments, also dubbed ‘subcrits,’ do not reach a self-sustaining “critical” fission chain reaction.  However, several critical problems remain, including the insensitivity of holding subcritical tests in Nevada to local, national and international hibakusha. See my PDF flyer 'What are Subcritical Nuclear Tests?' for more information.

Radiation Leak from 2019 Subcritical Test Blamed Mostly on Goofs, Incompetence

by Andrew Kishner, 3.24.2020

In February 2019, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration conducted the "Ediza" subcritical nuclear test, its 29th since 1997. The experiment, conducted in a steel vessel at the U1a complex, beneath the former Nevada Test Site, leaked radiation in an alcove. A root cause analysis was initiated, which has just been completed.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory noted in its completed final report (of the root cause analysis of the accident) that human error can be mostly to blame. An update from the overseeing Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board dated March 6, 2020 noted: "LANL found that the dynamic pressures from the experiment temporarily displaced a radiography exit port and its cover assembly on the confinement vessel. LANL determined this to be the direct cause for the confinement vessel leaking a small amount of radioactive material. In addition, LANL found several contributing causes for the event, which include":

"...personnel responsible for procuring the confinement vessel were not trained and qualified as subcontract technical representatives, which resulted in less than adequate procurement and quality oversight of the manufacturing process;

the vendor responsible for building the confinement vessel did not have prior experience manufacturing vessel weldments to the appropriate American Society of Mechanical Engineers requirements;

the radiographic exit cover and bolt/washer torque were not optimally designed;

and the o-ring seals may not have been adequately exercised for proper seating."

The report added that several fixes or improvements were made.

The Ediza experiment was conducted in Nevada jointly by the U.S. and U.K. on February 13, 2019. A press release announcing the test's occurrence was issued more than three months afterwards. The release failed to mention that an accident occurred.

The news of LANL's final report was mentioned today in an article by ExchangeMonitor, a national security publication that only shows the first forty words of their articles unless you have a subscription, which costs over $2,000 for 48 issues per year.

Transparency from government and attention by journalists to these subcritical tests and their implications remains a severe problem.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus is accelerating across the globe and there are calls for a Manhattan Project--to find a cure. The agency that carries out these tests is the direct successor to the Manhattan Engineer District (an Army Corps of Engineers entity, which, formed in 1942, created the atom bomb really quickly, just three years later--75 years ago this July.) The Manhattan Project was purposed with creating a weapon of mass destruction. The coronavirus needs no help doing that. But a cure is essential.

A step in the direction of a mind-meld of the most brilliant scientists in the world could be hastened by suspending or canceling these experiments and freeing up the talent in U.S., China, and elsewhere to help in that endeavor.

Copyright (C) 2020 Andrew Kishner 

Postscript - When self-described geniuses, national labs, & world-renowned health institutions cannot figure out a novel virus, why won't they just admit that? The reality is that the minds that get paid huge salaries to design warheads and cover up fallout deaths cannot serve public health in a crisis of their or nature's making. Why do we have these brain-drain institutions, or fund them? The novel coronavirus is just beyond their ability to understand and sadly the death toll isn't enough to get them or the actors that spin for them to dedicate themselves to a pursuit of the real truth.

U.S. Subcritical nuclear tests

1997 - present  

2 July 1997, Rebound
18 September 1997, Holog
25 March 1998, Stagecoach
26 September 1998, Bagpipe
11 October 1998, Cimarron
9 February 1999, Clarinet
22 March 2000, Thoroughbred
14 February 2002, Vito 
7 June 2002, Oboe 9 
29 August 2002, Mario 
26 September 2002, Rocco 
19 September 2003, Piano 
25 May 2004, Armando 
23 February 2006, Krakatau
30 August 2006, Unicorn 
15 September 2010, Bacchus 
1 December, 2010, Barolo A
2 February, 2011, Barolo B
Scaled-----5 December, 2012, Pollux 
Scaled-----13 December, 2017, Vega
Scaled-----13 February, 2019, Ediza

Read:  'NNSA Keeps Conducting "Nuclear Tests" and Mentioning Them Well After the Fact'

Scaled-----3 November, 2020, Nightshade A
Scaled-----22 June, 2021, Nightshade B
Scaled------16 September, 2021, Nightshade C

UPDATE: Feb 15, 2023 - Biden's 3rd subcritical test planned - At a deterrence conference (Nuclear Deterrence Summit 2023), where a day earlier Administrator Jill Hruby said that NNSA's subcritical test program's success was hard to overstate, a Livermore lab official disclosed that the first subcritical nuclear test in the new Nimble series would be happening this August, three months after the G-7 Summit is taking place in Hiroshima. It was three years ago in Hiroshima that its Prefectural Governor insisted that deterrence is a myth at the 75th commemoration of the A-bomb attack on that city in 1945. His words were:"nuclear deterrence is no more than a manmade myth.."

Oboe (1) to Oboe 8 - conducted 1999-2001

Next subcritical test series: Nimble (three shot series planned thru 2026)