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Interview with Lawrence Frerric Krenzien, September 8, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Resident Test Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Krenzien, Lawrence Frerric. Interview, 2005 September 08. 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 Lawrence Krenzien September 8, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Suzanne Becker © 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 Lawrence Krenzien September 8, 2005 Conducted by Suzanne Becker Table of Contents Introduction: birth ( Green Bay, WI, 1933), family background, education ( University of Wisconsin, B. S., physics, 1955) 1 Takes position as mass spectroscopist with Weapons Group, Los Alamos ( 1955), work at Enewetak on Operation Hardtack I ( Butternut and Cactus, 1958), reaction to Cactus 3 Wearing film badges and little concern about radiation exposure 6 Returns to work at Los Alamos, visits to and work at NTS ( Small Boy, 1962) 7 Beginning of underground testing at NTS ( early 1960s) and differences ( Livermore tunnels; Los Alamos and military, vertical shafts); move to North American Aviation ( CA) to work on Apollo ( 1963) 8 Comments on working and living at Los Alamos, relationship with William W. Carter 9 Move to Las Vegas, NV, takes position with J- 8 Division ( timing & firing), Los Alamos laboratory at NTS ( 1964), comments on Las Vegas in the 1960s, family 11 Work in T& F at the NTS and typical work day during testing in the 1960s 13 Camaraderie among workers at the NTS 15 Work in special instrumentation ( mid- 1970s- late 1980s) 16 Work as LANL assistant test director ( ca. 1989) 18 Becomes LANL’s first permanent test director at the NTS; work on Divider ( 1992) 21 Thoughts on the fall of the USSR and the end of testing ( 1992), and maintenance of the weapons stockpile 22 Talks about wife Marjorie’s family background and childhood in India, education in India and the UK, work as a nurse, move to Los Alamos and marriage ( 1959), children, work and retirement from UNLV 23 Reflects on perceptions about and importance of testing from 1955 to 1992, and clearances and confidentiality required to work at NTS 26 Discusses public perception of atmospheric testing during the 1950s and 1960s, and protesters at the NTS 28 Politics surrounding the testing program, thoughts on weapons stockpile stewardship, bunker busters, current weapons needs 31 Nellis AFB, TTR, and Area 51 to test weapons and aviation technology, views on fallout and radiation exposure at the NTS, Enewetak and Los Alamos 33 EPA concerns about offsite radiation, and monitors’ relationships with ranchers and other offsite residents 35 Conclusion: overview of testing at the NTS from the 1960s to the 1990s, increasing complexity of tests, and increase in camaraderie as NTS population decreased 37 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Lawrence Krenzien September 8, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Suzanne Becker [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Lawrence Krenzien: Ready. Suzanne Becker: Go ahead. My name is Lawrence Krenzien, but better known as Larry under working conditions. I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1933. My father was [ in] long lines for the telephone company, long- distance lines. Two sisters, both of which were older than I. Grew up in Green Bay; graduated from high school there and then went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison; I got a degree in physics. Both of my sisters had gone before me to the university and both of them had degrees already. What were their degrees in? One was psychiatry and the other one was a dietician. When my senior year came up, I did not— to go back a minute, I did not intend to go on to graduate school. So when my senior year came up, early in October- November, the Los Alamos Scientific [ now National] Laboratory showed up to interview people, and my thought was, gee, they’re here so early but that’s good because I can go and listen to them and know the answers so that when somebody comes that I really want to go to, I’ll know what the questions are. So I got interviewed by Los Alamos. I’m sorry, I just wanted to back up a minute. So what did you study in? It was a bachelor’s degree in physics. In physics. And what year? Nineteen fifty- five. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 And so this is just revving up. That’s right. And then probably December or so I got a letter saying, We don’t have anything for you at the present time, which I guess was expected because I thought Los Alamos tended to hire the higher- ups in the class and my grades were not in the higher- ups of the class. Now you were familiar with Los Alamos and the work that they were doing at that time? I would say no. I would say probably not. I knew that there was an outfit coming called the Institute of Paper Chemistry. They’re in northern Wisconsin. But Green Bay was very much a paper town, most people work in the paper mills, and I think my mind was along that line. When the Institute of Paper Chemistry came, I would probably try to join that group. They did come and I never even interviewed. That was after the fact. But anyway, probably about February, I received a letter from Los Alamos saying, Can you fly out for an interview here? which I did. First time I’d ever flown. From Madison to Chicago to Albuquerque, and then on a small plane up to Los Alamos. Getting there, I had interviews with three different groups. One was the Van de Graaff accelerator group; the University of Wisconsin was very deeply involved with Van de Graaffs. Another one was with the weapons group and I think there was a third, which I can’t really remember. By the time I was ready to get home, the weapons group essentially said to me, We’re going to hire you. We don’t know what we can offer you but we definitely are interested. So I went back to Madison, finished school, got a letter saying, you’re hired into this weapons group and come after you graduate as soon as you can. I think graduation was early in June [ and] I think I showed up [ the] fifteenth of June [ or] thereabouts. Actually, to go back to my interview, I interviewed up there and I said to myself, I wonder how much I’ll have to pay to work up here. After coming from northern Wisconsin in UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 deep snow and going to New Mexico and even though Los Alamos is seven thousand feet, it still is not— it was not Green Bay. Right. It’s not northern Wisconsin. So I started in a weapons group in Los Alamos, and that was in ’ 55, my first job. And really the main job that I had while living in Los Alamos was [ as] a mass spectroscopist, [ a] mass spectrometer, what that is, is an instrument that separates the isotopes of any particular element, and the elements that [ I] was mainly involved with were uranium and plutonium. So it [ 00: 05: 00] would separate and tell you how much is uranium 234, ’ 35, ’ 36, ’ 37, ’ 38 was in the sample. What we were analyzing is we had one machine that analyzed all the parts that went into a weapon. The other machine was set up to analyze what came out of the weapon at shot time. And those were achieved by the Air Force, [ who] at the time would fly airplanes through the cloud and collect samples— they looked like gasoline tanks out on the ends of the wings, but had filter paper in these tanks. Then that would be done by the chemist and finally come down to you as a sample to analyze. And I was doing that and I think in 1958 my boss decided, Well, you’ve been working so hard, we’re going to give you a gift sort of thing. Why don’t you go to Enewetak for a while? So I went to Enewetak on the first two events from [ Operation] Hardtack I; the first two Los Alamos events from Hardtack I, one of which was Cactus and the other one I think was Butternut, but I could be wrong. Cactus, I don’t know if you looked at the pictures that were in the rotating museum a couple weeks— the last one before this. There was one corner— Before the EG& G [ Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier exhibit at the museum]? Yes, before the EG& G [ exhibit]. I vaguely remember— There was one picture in the corner of a great big concrete dome in which they had— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 Oh, yeah. That was Cactus. That was the Cactus event, the crater from it. And it was domed. Well, no. What they did is in trying to get the Enewetak people back to live on it, they scraped up all the dirt and et cetera and put it in there and then domed it over. Getting them back did not work, though, mainly because the cesium [ Cs] goes down into the soil too far and the trees collected it and brought it back up to the coconuts and it was— So, inhabitable? It was not habitable. And coming back from there was an experience that most people probably never will and hopefully never have to [ experience]. I came back on one of the sample planes from one of the shots. And the sample planes at that time were Boeing Stratocruisers, which are, I’m sure, long before your time, but they had a glass dome in the front; the whole nose was a glass dome. Like [ when] Pan Am [ Pan American Airways] flew them, I think that was the primary seats where you could sit up and watch the world go by. But it was a horrible plane, really, because they always said that if it dropped into the ocean, they didn’t know how long it would last because they never had a chance to time it, it was so fast. That’s not very comforting to hear, flying in— But anyway, coming back on a Boeing Stratocruiser, the samples were so hot. There were about six of us passenger on board. We had to sit on the floor in the navigator’s compartment because the samples in the back were so radioactive that we weren’t allowed to sit back there. I’d have no idea what kind of dosage we got, though. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 Now I actually have a couple of questions at this point. Well, two things. Obviously you’ve seen some atmospheric tests. Only at Enewetak. At Enewetak. And I guess first, I’m wondering, back in Los Alamos when they told you, we’re going to send you out to Enewetak, if you knew more or less what was going on, or you knew what you were going to be doing out there? I knew, yes, because the group that I was in, those mass spectrometers should not have been in there in the first place. They should’ve been in a chemistry group. And the group that I was in was purely part of a weapons group that had a particular function with both the detonation and what goes into the stockpile, et cetera. So they were purely weapons groups. And so as a result, yes, I knew. And what— a couple of things. When you were out at Enewetak, you were still collecting and testing samples? No, I was doing the work that that group did, and I’m not going to say what that exactly was. That’s all right. [ 00: 10: 00] But their function— there was I think about six of us— had to deal with the weapon. Also seeing that I had worked mass spectrometers, which require a real good vacuum system— Cactus required a good vacuum system— so I got designated because of weather delays to sit up on the island and go over to the building that Cactus was in and pump it down about every six hours or something, pump down some of the experiment. So, I stayed on the island by myself for that with, oh, probably about thirty mostly military people who are still on the island prior to the event, and then got evacuated like the night before. And so when you witnessed this atmospheric test— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 Fantastic. Yeah? Enewetak is an atoll. Cactus was up at the very I’d say northern end, and the place where people lived was on the southern end, and so you could stand on the piers and watch it. I’m not sure distance- wise, my rough guess is twenty- some miles. But it was spectacular. Everybody wore glasses. Looking at the water in the bay inside of the atoll, you could see that wave coming at you that the shock wave had put into the water. A later- on statement, in here, in Las Vegas, if I knew when [ Lawrence] Livermore [ National Laboratory] was shooting, I could sit in my back yard and watch the water in the swimming pool, and I could see that shock wave come, even though, you know, it wasn’t much, but you could see it if you knew the time and knew what was going to happen. That was quite a distance. That’s right. But anyway, it was fantastic, and pretty- wise, et cetera. Other than that, those were the only two atmospheric events that I participated on directly. Now— you had some more? Well, just curious talking about the traveling back with the samples that were so hot, I’m wondering if you ever thought much about exposure to any of this, or if they or you talked about it or they talked to—? You always wore your film badge. They got developed every month. I never really ever had any gross radiation— oh, what’s the proper word? Exposure. And so no, I did not worry too much about it, no. So you didn’t think about it too much. No. The samples that I was using in that, they would come in vials about that big [ indicating size] and they would be a little— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Just a couple inches tall? Oh, not even that. Maybe about an inch tall; in some cases it was almost drops in the bottom rather than any— OK, so barely— Yes, it was very small amounts on the post- shot stuff. The pre- shot stuff was larger, but the post- shot, there was a special instrument that had been made for that, to be able to— because the sample size that we were running was 10- 9 gram, something like that. Very small. That’s very small. But anyway, to get back. Thank you for filling in the details. Came back to Los Alamos, again restarted doing what I’d always done on atmospheric testing. And then at times started to come out to the [ Nevada] test site [ NTS] to help with, again, mainly with vacuum systems. And there was one test in Area 5 called Small Boy. There was a pedestal in the center that a device would be put on to go off, and then it was a large circle all the way around. It was a Los Alamos device, but each group had sort of like a pie- shaped section, and Los Alamos was doing a particular experiment in the pie- shaped section, and again it involved vacuum systems so that was my main reason to be there. But the military would have a pie shape and I think Livermore and Sandia [ National Laboratories], the Navy, everybody had a pie shape around this place. But I got my work done and then went back to Los Alamos. Did not actually see the event itself. So you came out there to set up—? [ 00: 15: 00] Correct, set up is probably right, and then fly back because I wasn’t involved in the final arming anymore. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Then, oh, time- wise, I’m sorry, I can’t tell the date, but during the early sixties, at the beginning of attempting to test underground, the first ones were really in a hole drilled. But the laboratories did not know how to— Los Alamos in particular, because Livermore insisted that they would fire in tunnels and Los Alamos would fire in vertical holes, and neither laboratory knew how to control the fallout. Livermore’s would come out the front end of the tunnel, and ours would come right up the hole. And it took a number of years. Livermore indeed finally also changed to testing in vertical holes, and the only people that tested later on in tunnels was the military. But it took a while to know how to backfill that hole and with what to backfill that hole and also the depth and all the things considered. But those first ones, they didn’t stay in very well. They didn’t come out like Sedan; I think you’ve probably seen pictures of Sedan coming up, because that was meant to. But they didn’t come out like that; there’d be a big puff of dirt and smoke and everything else and I’d be back and forth doing that work on some things, but still doing the mass spectroscopy. In ’ 63 I was having problems with the boss and he was having problems with me, so I decided I’d better leave and I went to North American Aviation in California, working on Apollo. Mainly it was called special instrumentation, and it was a gas chromatograph, but that was a modern replacement for a mass spectrometer in certain cases, and in particular for analyzing gases. And the gas chromatograph on Apollo was meant to measure the oxygen content of the capsule where the men were, as a warning that it was operating properly. Worked at that for a year. I did not like working for North American Aviation. It was not like working for Los Alamos. I bet. Whole different feel to it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 It was a room full of forty engineers that each had their little desk and most of them didn’t talk to even the guy next to them. What was it like working for Los Alamos? It was great. It was great. I was single at the time, of course, and Los Alamos was a great place for single people because there was a lot of single fellows and they would have dances to try to get the girls [ who] were coming in as schoolteachers and nurses and what have you. In fact, that’s how I met my wife. It was a good place to work. The people that you worked with— I actually liked this boss that I had, at first. When I came into the group he said, Now why don’t you go around and see what everybody’s doing and come back to me if you’re interested in something so we can put you in there where your interest is. And that’s how I got into the mass spectrometer. I’d never done that before, not in university. Well, he left. I know he came to our wedding, which was 1959. He probably left in ’ 61 or ’ 62. And what was his name? W. W. Carter, William W. Carter. He became the scientific advisor to, what’s the German rocket man? I’ll remember it, I hope. But he was the one that had made the German rockets and then came to this country. Wernher Von Braun. So he became advisor to him. He became scientific advisor to Wernher Von Braun. He would come out to the site, too, and one of the last times that— probably within a month or two that I was going to retire— he was out there. We got to talking and he said, You know, when I hired you, your grades were not good. And I said, Boy, I knew that. I wasn’t going to go to graduate school because of that. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 [ 00: 20: 00] And he said, But looking at your resume, in college you were working three jobs at one time to get through college and as far as I’m concerned, that was the most important thing in the world. I actually took care of kids for room and board. Did you really? One year at least. In Madison. In Madison. With my two sisters and myself going to the university, my family did not have a lot of money to pay for all of us, and so I probably paid for 75, 80 percent of mine. In fact, when I came out to Los Alamos, I borrowed from the Snow Physics Fund for money to be able to fly out. That’s great. But anyway, I get off the track once in a while. That’s fine. But anyway, after a year, [ the] biggest problem I had, two biggest problems in California: one is we were living in Anaheim. This [ North American Aviation] was in Downey. Driving, I don’t know, fifteen miles, but it took hours, depending on the traffic. And I’d get home and come the weekend my wife would say, Well, where are we going this weekend? And I’d say, I’m going to stay home. I drove all week. She was ready to go on weekends; I was ready to stay home. The older boy was coming down with asthma almost constantly, spending nights in hospitals, and I think in all the time we were there, September was nice and hot and that was the only month that he really didn’t have any problem. Got a call after Christmastime. I had written some Christmas cards to people that I’d known in Los Alamos. But after Christmas I got a call from a man whose name was Tom UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Scolman. And Tom asked if I was interested in coming back to work at the test site because he really needed somebody permanent. And I went and took the interview and was back. I spent exactly a year— I think it was a year and a day at North American, which was enough. Made it a year. Well, I figured I had to. But anyway, that was the beginning of my permanent party. I was living in Las Vegas, riding a bus out to the site. I was hired into a group which was J- 8. ( That’s just the letter J, not the word Jay.) J- Division was the testing division and J- 8’ s main responsibility was the timing and firing [ T& F], the electronics for the timing and firing. And so I got involved with the timing and firing. I was the only permanent party from J- 8 at that time. There was only a total of— Los Alamos permanent party[ s] on the weapons site was probably never, ever greater than twenty or so. So you worked with about twenty people here? Well, there were twenty Los Alamos people. Most of the people I worked with were EG& G. All the technicians that I worked with were EG& G. Now this was the mid- sixties that you—? This was starting in ’ 64. OK. And so you moved from California to—? To Las Vegas. Now that must’ve been a little bit of a switch. Well, actually you’d been used to the desert, being in New Mexico. Well, Los Alamos is not the desert. It’s seven thousand feet or so. But it really didn’t bother me. I’d been out often enough, of course, to at least realize what I was getting into there. It’s not like UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 some of the people who come here now and don’t realize what they’re getting into. I don’t know, where did you come from? Well, oddly I did go to the University of Wisconsin also, so Wisconsin— Oh, you did? In Madison? Yes. Via Colorado. Oh, OK. But anyway. Yes, it can be a switch if you’re not used to it. It was, and at that time, of course, the population of Las Vegas, if I remember right, was sixty thousand. The last paved street going west was Jones [ Boulevard]. And we lived a block from Jones. That’s where we bought a house. So it was still a nice, pleasant town. And no matter what you say, the Mafia running the Strip was an improvement over what we have these days. I tend to agree. So you’ve seen some pretty significant changes happen in the city, in Las Vegas, since you’ve been here. In the city, yes. I was never unhappy that my sons went to high school here. I felt that they got as good a high school training in Las Vegas as they could have probably anyplace. Maybe [ 00: 25: 00] not Los Alamos because it had high ratings, but over the overall schools. And both of them went on to college, of course. None of them at UNLV [ University of Nevada, Las Vegas]. Probably a little bit due to my influence. The older boy went to Humboldt State in northern California because it was one of the only undergraduate schools that had a degree in oceanography, which is what he wanted. And that’s what he—[ he’s in] the Coast Guard? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 No. That’s the other one. The other went to the Merchant Marine Academy and when he graduated from there, there weren’t any jobs available because the union had shut down the books on officers, so that’s when he joined the Coast Guard. And what are their names? The older one is Kevin and the younger one is Brian. OK, let’s see, where do you want to start now? Well, you’re out here at the test site and you’re now in the timing and firing, and so what— well, why don’t you, just for the record, explain a little bit about what that means. Well, all of the timing signals went through the Red Shack, which was not a very big shack; about two racks of electronics, maybe three in some cases. The main thing in there was a zero rack, which the signals from the CP [ control point] would go through and then be transmitted down to the device to go off. That was mostly signals that were involved with firing the weapon. We did not take much data at that point. The data was in the alpha skid and the trailers. So you were sort of on the front end of the test, so to speak. Yes, and on shot days the T& F man, which is what we were called, the T& F person would be down there before the test director, getting the last cables ready to go. And generally speaking, the test director would show up— he would wait until almost everybody else was out, and we’d do the final cabling. And we were the last people to leave, with the security guards that had been on the hole following us out. So that was the group that did that. And doing this kind of work, what was a typical day for you guys? Now you said you were at this point living in Las Vegas and taking the bus out? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Taking the bus. A lot of people drove and I didn’t like to drive that sixty miles. At that time, the highway was called the Widowmaker because it wasn’t like it is now. It was two lanes all the way, up and down hills and all sorts of things. It was pretty bad. So I was taking the bus. A typical day, you’re always trying to get ready for the next event, and back in the sixties the next events were fairly close between, time- wise. And so you would get together with your EG& G technicians and do preliminary— basically check out of that zero rack in particular, and point- to- point checks, all the electronics, that it would work properly and it didn’t have any bad components in it, et cetera. And then finally set it up in the Red Shack, along with the other equipment that was in there that was more or less what I would call incidental to the event; there were sensors that went on the bottom of the canister to be able to tell when you got to the bottom, I mean without banging it. That makes sense. And then another one is that this was Los Alamos’s, and the little rack that’s in there, in the [ Atomic Testing] museum, is a Los Alamos rack. That lower canister was supposedly airtight and there would be a temperature- humidity instrumentation in there that we could keep track of that. Most events were well above the water level. There was one up in Area 19 that [ they] didn’t realize it was really quite that much water, and it went down into it and that canister leaked and we had to pull that back out again and redo everything. What shot was that? One of the first ones in [ Area] 19 is the best I can tell you. I can’t remember the name. I have real difficulty trying to remember many names because they’ve all blended together. [ 00: 30: 00] Because actually with the mass spectrometer, I worked on essentially every event Los Alamos UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 had. From ’ 55 through ’ 63. Getting in timing and firing, again, almost every event. There were a couple— That’s a lot. And that’s why I can say that yeah, I never sat down to count them but almost every Los Alamos event from ’ 55 to ’ 92, I had something to do with. I can see how they would just all kind of turn into one big event. But anyway, so the day was mainly spent checking out, getting ready, getting things ready. At that time, you probably were working as many as three different events at some different stage at one time, where you’d go from one to the other. The EGG technicians, EG& G technician— I keep calling it “ EGG,” which was the normal nomenclature— we’d have usually two technicians assigned to each Red Shack. And [ we] got along fine. There was never really any problems. They were good workers. You could trust them. Are we doing OK? Oh, we’re doing fine. I just wanted to check our time. But anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, that the biggest thing at the test site was the camaraderieship between the various peoples: the Los Alamos, the EG& G, the REECo [ Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company] people. Yeah, people talk about that a lot. At that time, Sandia actually did one thing on our devices, which in later years they stopped doing and we’d just go ahead and— Los Alamos said to go ahead and do it themselves. But, the same guy would show up every time from Albuquerque and sit and talk and have a beer after hours out in Mercury. So it was just that kind of place. And as I say, even the crafts, in general— there was a dividing line between the crafts and the technicians and the lab, but the people still— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 the technicians would help you if you had a problem, the crafts would help you, although sometimes their union got upset with you. With me, maybe, too. How so? Oh, the main one that almost caused a strike was when we first started using fiber optics for bringing signals back, and I insisted that was not an electrician’s job because fiber optics were not an electrician’s work, they never saw one before. That was EG& G work. And they just about went out on strike over that, but they lost. But that was much later on. Anyway, I lasted at that, and I don’t really know the dates anymore, or even the time, but say about mid- seventies. I got tired with T& F. My statement was that once you learned Ohm’s Law, you knew everything about timing and firing that you could possibly know. So at that time the laboratory in particular was just beginning to attempt to put vacuum systems down hole for the experiments, to pump out the lines of sight, and again, going back to that little rack in there, all those lines of sight, a number of those would’ve been pumped with a vacuum pump to make sure that as much air as possible was out of there so that the particles would have less collisions getting to the detectors. Basically, that’s what the system— and so I got started in pumping vacuum systems down hole. No one really had tried to run a vacuum pump down a two- thousand- foot hole, and there was a learning curve. The type of cabling, everything else, was the learning curve. And in general they were successful. The biggest problem in particular up in Area 19 was the temperature of the holes were so high that you couldn’t run the pump for any length of time, just because of the heat out there. That makes sense, because it gets so hot. So we built timers that would turn them on for fifteen minutes out of every three hours and things like that. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 But anyway, that was the vacuum system business. And so you did that for a while? Oh, probably until the late eighties. And call it “ special instrumentation.” It’s probably a better [ 00: 35: 00] word because it did get involved. J- 8 still was the group. There was timing and firing, but there was also an instrumentation section. They had big trailers doing— if you look at the skids and thing