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Interview with Patrick Rowe, November 5, 2004


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Narrator affiliation: Drilling Engineer, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo)

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Rowe, Patrick. Interview, 2004 November 05. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Patrick Rowe November 5, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Joan Leavitt © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Patrick Rowe November 5, 2004 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: born Denver, CO, raised Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM 1 Comparison of relationships: Las Vegas, NV and the NTS with New Mexico and the Los Alamos and Sandia laboratories 2 Family background, education ( University of Oklahoma, engineering), recruited by REECo as drilling engineer at NTS 8 Talks about Limited Test Ban Treaty ( 1963), early underground testing ( Rainier and the advancement of diagnostics), and the moratorium on testing 9 Resumption of testing in competition with the USSR, and emphasis on safety in development of weapons and delivery systems 11 Differences in Soviet and U. S. development of weapons systems 13 Limited Test Ban Treaty and comparison of U. S. and USSR safety standards 16 Early history of the NTS: reasons why the site was chosen 18 Work on the Joint Verification Experiment [ JVE] in the USSR ( 1988- 1989): drilling the hole at Semipalatinsk 21 Drilling methods at the NTS and discussions with Soviet counterpart 23 More detail on drilling of hole and satellite hole for JVE in USSR 26 Cooperation between U. S. and Soviet drillers—“ blue collar to blue collar” 29 Work on the JVE in the USSR ( 1988- 1989): relations between Americans and Soviets in Kazakhstan and the U. S. 31 Security escort of Soviets for JVE work at the NTS, shopping at Smith’s grocery 37 Thoughts on differences between Soviet and U. S. postwar technical developments 41 More details of experiences in USSR for JVE 44 Story: U. S. flag flying over Semipalatinsk, Soviet flag flying over NTS 50 Importance of Yucca Mountain Project 57 Dedication and can- do attitude of workers at the NTS 58 Story: painting the NTS drilling equipment red, white, and blue for Soviet visit 63 Conclusion: strong working relationships at the NTS 66 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Patrick Rowe November 5, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Joan Leavitt: OK. I’m sitting here with Pat Rowe, and will you just go on ahead and talk about your life leading up to working at the test site. Patrick Rowe: I was born in Denver, Colorado. Shortly after Denver, we moved to Southern California, Southern California to Dallas- Fort Worth area, and eventually we ended up about 1965 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pretty well raised in Santa Fe. As a result of that, we used to take annual school trips, field trips, up to Los Alamos and visit their museum. So I was quite knowledgeable, even at the age of five or six, about Los Alamos, what they did and what their involvement was in the Manhattan Project. Now that was in 1965, ’ 66, so you were knowledgeable about it because you lived in that area? That’s correct, just because of growing up there. Eventually, just before I graduated from high school, we moved to Albuquerque. When we moved to Albuquerque, we started finding a little bit more about Sandia’s involvement in the weapons environment and their conditions. Was New Mexico quite proud of Los Alamos? Oh, very much so. They are quite proud of both Sandia and Los Alamos, and they used to be considered almost one laboratory. It was almost Los Alamos South and Los Alamos North. Over time, Sandia branched out into some other areas and they became their own separate laboratories. They have some close ties even today. Are they still very proud of that history? Very much so. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 So they haven’t experienced this metamorphosis that Las Vegas has towards the [ Nevada] test site? I think the metamorphosis that you’ve seen here in Las Vegas that’s occurred over the years is relatively recent, and I think it has been because of the large influx of the folks that have come from other places into Las Vegas who were unaware of the fact, even if they had been here on vacation before, that the test site even was in operations and that we were conducting weapons tests out there, even though some of the casinos would announce that there would be a test and people would walk outside and watch the northern light kind of light up, and then they would go back to gambling. But I think for the most part there was not a lot of general knowledge that it was here. I do know that having been the last REECo [ Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company] employee after forty- four years and over 160,000 employees, when I first got here it was not unusual when people would ask you, Where do you work? That we weren’t allowed to talk that much about what we did. When they would ask, Where do you work?, we could turn and say, We work at the Nevada Test Site. It was not uncommon— in fact, I would say that probably nine contacts out of ten – they had someone that they knew, whether their fathers or brothers, aunts, uncles, whatever, had worked or did work at the test site. And so it was like, Oh yeah, yeah, we know about the test site. OK, we were talking about Las Vegas attitude towards the test site, comparing that to New Mexico. In several instances, it wasn’t uncommon to have— for instance, at that time Las Vegas was a town of two hundred thousand people, of which approximately between ten and twelve thousand people crossed the gate each day. So it was not uncommon to have folks that had worked at the test site previously with the laboratories. So it was much more accepted. It wasn’t the same UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 attitude that just recently we experienced related to the license plate [ mushroom cloud design proposed for Nevada license plates] that we were trying to get across, and we actually had state representatives that made comments about, There’s some things that are better forgotten, et cetera, which upsets me quite a bit. I think that’s more of an attitude of other folks that have moved into Nevada versus the people that were here at that time and have grown up with the site. Well, I’m curious. In New Mexico, was it a large part of the economy, the workers who worked there? It is, just because of the fact that Los Alamos itself is almost like a company town. There’s not a lot of land up there, and so most of the people that are up there work for the laboratories, or their spouse or siblings work for the national laboratory there. So they can see thatt as an important part of their industry and livelihood. In fact, the city itself, when it was originally developed, was a closed town, and so people would go into Espanola or they would go into one of the other surrounding areas for dinner, and their license plate didn’t say Los Alamos. It was a town that essentially didn’t exist. Even today, you can look at Santa Fe which has grown significantly since that time, as well. A large number of the folks who are on the managers’ aspects of the city and that provide counsel to the city, et cetera, are folks that live in Santa Fe but work at Los Alamos. When you have a group or you have a huge number of very strong scientists, doctorates in almost anything, it’s a tremendous scientific basis, and as a result, Santa Fe and Los Alamos both have very, very strong science programs within their public schools. In fact, out at Los Alamos it’s typically a Los Alamos child who wins the mathematics award for the United States because there’s a good chance that their mother or father or both have their doctorates, and there’s a tremendous emphasis on education, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 and that��s kind of gone in— and they are well- paying jobs, generally, but they’re the same thing here. If you look at the difference in unions, we have a large number of unions. It’s a union house up there at the test site; it’s a union house pretty much here in the city of Las Vegas. The prevailing wages are essentially the same. One of the big differences is if you look at, for example, a casino that hires ten, fifteen thousand people. That’s a lot of people, but the average pay for those folks would be lower on than average than for those folks that would work at the test site because of the technical basis, the scientific, the engineering, the construction work. So when you have a town of two hundred thousand people, their contribution back into the city was fairly significant. It’s not near as significant today as what it was then. Now we have a valley of 1.6 million people. We have a casino that [ employs] fifteen thousand people. The test site, we may have, between both Yucca Mountain and the weapons site, close to— it varies, but somewhere around fifteen hundred to two thousand people up there. And you— So it’s a much smaller part of the overall— It’s a much smaller part, and it’s kind of a shame because some of the secrecy issues of what we did at the test site, I would’ve hoped that there was much more of an impact into our local education processes and elements, as well, and I don’t think it has been near as significant as it is within— The interest in science hasn’t been there kind of like it was in New Mexico, has it? That’s correct. Well, even in Albuquerque, with Sandia National Laboratory, it still— and at that time, Santa Fe being smaller than Albuquerque, but Albuquerque was about the same size as Las Vegas here, and even with that, the scientific community of Los Alamos and Sandia had a much larger impact on the community there. And I know that for a fact of having gone to high school UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 there that they would take kids and they would put them in the science program at the national laboratories there at Sandia. So are you saying there was more interaction into the community? [ 00: 05: 00] Much, much more. Much, much more. And that’s lacking here at the test site. And I think a lot of it has to do with because of the distance. If the test site was right up next to the city, well then I think it would be much easier for folks to go over or to involve their kids and go. But since the fact that it’s sixty miles to the border, it��s another thirty- five to forty miles to the edge of where we did the testing— Well, isn’t the problem, though, with the labs you’re not having the sense of the danger of the radiation. The lab isn’t as dangerous a place, perhaps, as the test site? I don’t think that’s the case because I think the test site as a whole is a very safe place. I think it has more to do with the fact that you have a larger concentration of scientific people in a small area, and not every one of those people in the national laboratories work on classified programs. There is obviously a substantial number that do, but there’s also folks that work within the environmental fields. There’s other folks that work in— I mean you name it, such a myriad across the board, and as a result of that��� Do we have so many scientists, I mean in our community, as Sandia would? That come and go. But are not residents. That is correct. OK, so that would be one difference, is that they would be residents in New Mexico, whereas they would not be long- term residents here. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 That is correct. And then if you take a look at it, for example, but we had engineers out there, we had scientists that are in residence, that live here. The other issue, though, is these folks were more available because they were right there being able to interact within the community. With the test site, just to come in— if you were to come in for a meeting, it’s several hours, and then to turn around and head back out. It just makes— I think it’s more convenient to have a national laboratory right next door, and it’s more convenient for those scientists and the engineers and the other folks that are highly educated to interact with the community in a very positive manner. And it’s a little more difficult because of the fact of the test site and the distance that we have in the test site, and the fact that these folks were working long, long hours. We would catch a bus at between four and five o��clock in the morning. We would not get home until seven, 7: 30 at night. And a lot of that was seven days a week. Just long, long hours put in. It just makes it a bit difficult to communicate and to contribute to the public like they did in the national laboratories. So it sounds like Las Vegas, then, perhaps didn’t get the involvement or maybe even the participation. I mean I’m not saying it was a bad thing because they were focused on doing the testing and they were trying to get a job done within time limits and they were trying not to spend more money than they needed to. I mean there were a lot of reasons, but it seemed like the public relations end of things maybe was not what it could have been. Well, I think part of it, and let’s go back to you made a statement about the monetary aspects of it. The vast majority of those folks that went into the test site each day, between eight and ten thousand, the vast majority of those people live here in the city of Las Vegas. The budget was over a billion dollars per year. The vast majority of that budget came back into this community of Las Vegas and helped build Las Vegas to what it is today. So from an economic perspective— Las Vegas benefited. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Most definitely. Very, very significant. Yes. But it’s just too bad that it didn’t benefit from a public relations point of view. That’s very true. It did not. It did not. But in my mind, it doesn’t deter or take away from the contributions that they did make, both nationally and even in the community. I would have loved to have seen a little bit more effort or ties into like UNLV [ University of Nevada, Las Vegas] to strengthen the engineering school here at the school, do some other activities, and I think there could have been that relationship, but I think that the cloak of secrecy kind of helped keep some of that from happening. In fact, again I was not at liberty to talk about what I did at the time. It wasn’t till Secretary [ Hazel] O’Leary came into office that it became a lot more open in being able to discuss. It made for some very interesting relationships because you would go to a dinner party or other get- togethers and almost the first thing everyone asked you is, What do you do? And of course you weren’t going to lie to them, but on the other hand you really couldn’t tell them that much of what you did. And most of the people here understood it. The minute you said you worked at the test site, then all questions kind of stopped, and they knew that you weren’t at liberty to discuss what you did. Well, I grew up in the shadow of the test site. I knew that something went on out there but, you know, it didn’t really— and it was before the sixties where it was a big party- type acceptance of [ 00: 10: 00] it. But I didn’t ask questions either. The test site, you just kind of said, OK, that’s not an area where we get to inquire. That’s correct. And it allowed us to continue to do our job, and I think we did some pretty remarkable things. Now the underground testing— oh, you know, we didn’t really finish— I got distracted— I distracted you from Albuquerque, and maybe we could— because we’re still trying to get you to the test site. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Sure. When I graduated from school there in Albuquerque, from high school, at the time I was thinking about going into engineering. In fact, I’ve known since I was about nine or ten that I was going to be in the engineering field. It was just a matter of which one. I was thinking about either chemical or petroleum engineering, were the two interests. Well, was your father or mother engineers? No, my father was a geologist. My mother was a nurse. My father, though, hadn’t worked in any kind of programs or anything like this. It was just I’ve always had a very strong background in physics, calculus. Those are the fields I loved. Didn’t really care for English, really didn’t care for some of the other programs. I loved history. But it was really along the scientific and mathematical boundaries that I really found and really excelled. And so about that time I was thinking about going to school there in New Mexico, but as I called some of the major oil companies, because that’s who I thought I would be working for, and asked them where they recruited from, they didn’t recruit from any of the New Mexico state schools. There’s a little school just outside, just south of Albuquerque, and it’s a technology center, and even that, which had a program in mining and petroleum engineering, they didn’t recruit there. The big companies also did not recruit for chemical engineers from New Mexico State, which I felt at that time had a pretty strong engineering school. And in doing so, when I asked them, I said, Where do you recruit from? It came back that they recruited from Texas, Texas A& M [ Agricultural and Mechanical], and the University of Oklahoma. And so I decided to apply and was accepted to the University of Oklahoma, which as it turns out, that’s where my father got his geology degree from. And so I went back there. I put myself through school— I worked in the oil fields of Texas and Louisiana, Oklahoma— and graduated, and about the time just before I graduated— I was going to graduate in December, and the summer prior to, REECo, Reynolds Electric and UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 Engineering Company, were recruiting for interns, for engineering interns, in the drilling department and other areas. And this is about the time the oil field had taken a major nose dive, so this is early eighties, and the oil field, everything’s drying up, the jobs that I actually had preliminary contracts with, everything died, and I could see the writing on the wall. And so I went to an interview with Bill Flangas, and Bill showed this movie about big hole drilling and asked if I wanted to come out and drill big holes, and applied, and was accepted, so I came out as a summer intern for REECo, and absolutely loved it. The test site was fantastic. We were doing things on an everyday basis that the rest of the world was trying to do for the first time. It was exciting. It was fast. I was using engineering aspects that you weren’t— you couldn’t— you essentially were writing the book on engineering limits. Now was it mining engineer? Oil engineering? What was it that you started out with? In drilling engineering, in petroleum. Drilling engineering. And you were going to use that in oil. That’s correct. And then they transferred…. Now there seemed to be a lot of mining and drilling specialties that came together to solve the various problems of nuclear drilling, is that right? In both of them, and really it’s how to build test beds. We signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty [ LTBT]. In the Limited Test Ban Treaty, it said that you could no longer— and by the way, there’s a background on— we were actually showing that across the world, the strontium level— strontium and calcium are absorbed into your body, and your body has a greater affinity for strontium than it has for calcium. And so we were showing slightly elevated levels of strontium worldwide in the bones of the folks. And so it was decided that we could no longer release— and this was, by the way, Great Britain, Soviet Union [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR], UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 and ourself decided that we had to ban and we could no longer test in the atmosphere, deep outer [ 00: 15: 00] space, under water. So they signed a treaty that made it in 1963 after that there could be no testing. So now we had to look underground. Actually the first underground test at the Nevada Test Site was done in 1957. Early on. Very young. And it was done using— drilling was a vertical shaft a little over five hundred feet in depth, and Pascal- A was its name, and this test, it was done using standard oil field practices to drill the hole. Thirty- six inches in diameter was still pretty much the maximum for the oil field and what they would typically drill. Conducted the test. There was no stemming material in the hole. They put it down at the bottom and they significantly reduced the amount of radiation that escaped, even with no stemming material on top. So they knew that holes was a wave of the future, then? That’s correct. And then we did a tunnel test a month or so later, Saturn B. And so that whole series. And then we entered into a test moratorium in 1958. So when we came out of the testing moratorium in 1961, we were pretty much aware that there were some significant benefits. But it was a whole new culture and a whole new paradigm for the testers because you’re going from measuring primary blast phenomena, pressure, radiation, neutron flux, you’re measuring all these things directly on the blast, to now you’re looking at particle emissions from the device, from very nearby to the device. And so your timing on your diagnostics now all of a sudden changes. Before you had milliseconds and in some cases seconds and others. Now you’re talking about in a couple of milliseconds, everything’s gone. They had to learn a lot very fast, didn’t they? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s what kind of caught the scientists by surprise as we started to resume testing, is it was a completely changed paradigm. The interesting part is during the moratorium, though, there were tremendous advancements in the diagnostics. And these diagnostics were actually set up to where they were more conducive with underground tests than they were in atmospheric tests. Well, wasn’t it because they were able to go back and really analyze it and spend more time? Was that the Rainier, is that what you’re talking about? The Rainier test was one of the tests that we did shortly after we came back, but it’s really the diagnostics of understanding what the device is doing, and that’s where the advancements were done, is we were coming up with some very, very fast diagnostics, and so being very fast, they could be very close to the device and still be able to get the data that they had in time. And in times before— But they’re disintegrating even as the data is being relayed. That’s OK. That’s correct. So it gets the information, it relays it, and as it shoots it down a cable, your instrumentation is destroyed. And so as we got better and better at the diagnostics, they realized that actually underground testing— because not putting anything into the atmosphere, we had the diagnostics to work it with. Well then also underground testing started to be— and there were some reluctancies within the national laboratories of shifting those paradigms. So when the Soviets exited the testing moratorium, and actually over about a four- month period of time conducted fifty- nine nuclear weapons tests, we were very much caught off guard. And being caught off guard, it forced the guys— by the way, during the moratorium, we also had some safety issues to devices that we had actually put into inventory, into our nuclear weapons inventory. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 So as we exited the moratorium, a lot of the scientists were not interested in developing new bombs. They were interested in answering the safety problems related to the devices they already had in the inventory. That was a higher priority. They wanted to do safety tests. That only made the Kennedy administration even madder because we wanted to do these little tests, we wanted to do them, and he wanted to— [ John F.] Kennedy didn’t want to concentrate on the safe tests, is that—? He did, but what he wanted to do is, understand that one of the tests that they conducted off of Novaya Zemlya, their northern test site, is they dropped the SAR bomb. And the SAR bomb was originally designed as a hundred megatons. They modified it just before they dropped it and made it fifty megatons. So they have a nuclear weapon that’s a hundred megatons— understand, that’s five times larger than anything we have ever tested, at a hundred megatons, and now all of a sudden they airdrop this bomb off of their northern test site. What a message to the world: We have a hundred- megaton bomb. In the United States, you don’t have anything near this. So that was an incentive for the nuclear competition to start back up again. Correct. Well, along with the Cuban missile crisis. Correct. That’s the response. Absolutely right. Did we have the capabilities? Were we smart? [ 00: 20: 00] Could we make the devices? Absolutely. And the other part is, but the safety portion is a very important question because all the administrations, whether they focused on that, if you look at it from a worldwide response and say, you know, if you’re doing a small test, is that a message to the Soviet Union that you’re building back up, you’re doing this stuff? The answer is no. Didn’t change the fact that the scientists and the administration were very important. In fact, safety was so important that if you look over time, over 50 percent of our budget went to UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 designing devices that were safer. In other words, they related in safety— for example, we used insensitive high explosives. You could shoot it with a gun. You could burn it in a fire. In other words, they had to be able to survive. These things are on aircrafts. Aircrafts go down. You got fire. You got shock waves. Don’t want the devices going down because these aircrafts not only go down over enemy territory, they go down over friendly air space as well. So you want to make sure that the devices cannot go off until you really want them to go off. So we went through extreme, extreme efforts to make them safe. As we got into later years, we also realized that from a safeguards perspective— in other words, let’s say if you had some in a battlefield and your area was overrun, what was the enemy going to do with your now- captured devices? You didn’t want them to turn around and be able to use them. And so now you put anti- intrusion systems on your devices. Then but the anti- intrusion systems and the insensitive high explosives and everything else we did affects how the weapon goes off, because if you make it to where it doesn’t want to really go off, then how do you get it to go off when you really want it? Because we had to certify the devices. So you got into some very involved changes. Kind of like the twist caps on the prescription labels that, you know, it gets so hard to get it— That’s correct. It’s to protect what’s inside, but in doing so, it protects what’s inside. And that’s exactly what we got into, was that whole evolution aspect on being able to do what we needed to do but also have the devices— as our systems and our rockets and other systems got more and more accurate, we realized that we really didn’t need the megaton bombs, and so we were going into more and more strategic- type devices, et cetera, and then looking at the appropriate systems and how to work with it. And in fact, one thing that’s kind of interesting is the whole philosophy, the differences between the United States and the Soviet Union on developing, let’s say, an ICBM UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 [ intercontinental ballistic missile] system. What we would do is because the nuclear devices we had, we had gone from something that when you look at just the special nuclear materials, the high explosives, we went from a system in Fat Man that was over eight thousand pounds and sixty inches in diameter down to something that was quite small. In doing and making it quite small, we got to the point to where we would develop— they would— the Air Force, it was a longer practice to develop the rocket than it was to develop the nuclear munitions that went with it. So they would say, OK, we need generally this shape, this size, this area, in order for this— for our nuclear warheads, and so they would spend all this time building rockets. And then they would come back to the laboratory and say, OK, I need now a nuclear weapon that goes with this that has this characteristics, this yield, has to be able to withstand this. Here’s the environment, etc., etc. And the laboratories would then go and develop that. The Soviets would develop the bomb and then they would design the rocket around the bomb. So it was a completely different concept on how and what— how our interface— the Department of Energy [ DOE] interface with the military and being able to bring these systems together. And there you get into a lot of the differences between the national laboratories. Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore did a lot of the same general- type activities; that is, developed the devices themselves. Sandia didn’t develop nuclear weapons. They specialized in all the systems to make them go off or not make them go off, and all the systems that were associated, anti- intrusion systems and everything else. So are they more concerned with the safety issues, then? Is that what I’m hearing? They’re both concerned with the safety issues, the laboratories more from using insensitive high explosives, doing safety tests that were related to that, and then Sandia is more interested in how you weaponize this— you’ll hear me use the term “ device.” I don’t use the word “ weapon” very UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 [ 00: 25: 00] often, and the reason is we didn’t test very many weapons. We tested a scientific experiment at the Nevada Test Site. It wasn’t weaponized. There were a few that we did stockpile stewardship tests that really we tested a weapon. Very few of them, you could do that. And the reason is, is because Sandia designed some of those systems to where, for example, if it had to go up, if it was a missile, you have the initial acceleration as it launches, you’ve got the rotation of the missile so you get some acceleration related to that, you get it as it arcs back over, and then you usually get a deacceleration, then you get a reacceleration and it comes back into the atmosphere. The weapon is designed to sense all those, and it has to go through all those steps before the device will arm itself to go down. So the