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OPERATION TEAPOT, Nevada Test Site, February-May 1955. Project 34.4. Nuclear Effects on Machine Tools,
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION WASHINGTON DC
To determine the durability of heavy-duty machine tools, 11 such tools of various types and sizes were exposed to the open shot of Operation Teapot. Two engine lathes and two knee type milling machines were installed on a concrete base simulating industrial installations at 2750 ft from Ground Zero. One 200-ton hydraulic press was installed immediately behind a two-story brick dwelling at 4700 ft from Ground Zero. Two vertical milling machines, two pressure vessels, and two drying ovens were placed in typical industrial buildings Butler and Armco at 6800 ft from Ground Zero. Positioning and anchoring of machines were varied to induce damage from breakage and flying debris. Also exposed to the blast were basic lubricating oils for machine tools. Damage was understandably the most severe at the 2750-ft station and was minor at the 4700- and 6800-ft stations. Only one machine was completely demolished, and it was discovered in a postshot inspection that the machines subbase had been broken prior to the blast. Flying debris, not blast, created the major damage to the machines. Vulnerability of machines to damage appears to exist in the failure of fragile external parts and even though none of the 11 pieces used in the test was large enough to be rated as a heavy-duty machine tool, the major castings and forgings were not damaged. The lubricants appeared to suffer no damage under the conditions of the test.