Texas Tech University


During World War II, the Pantex plant manufactured conventional bombs. The Plant obtained High Explosive (HE) expertise through these initial efforts. After the war ended, the plant closed. But, the Pantex Plant re-opened in the early 1950's to become a location where surveillance of nuclear weapons is conducted, where high explosive components are tested, and where assembly and disassembly of nuclear weapons takes place. Over the subsequent years to the present day, Pantex has worked with the National Laboratories to refine and improve various processes required to assess HE surveillance activities. HE performance testing is conducted on all new production, core surveillance, and one-dimensional time-to-explosion tests. These tests are performed in shot tanks, outdoor pads, high voltage test facilities, and in a high explosive machining over-test facility. These facilities use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment such as digitizing oscilloscopes, laser velocity interferometry, photon Doppler velocimetry, high speed photography, videography, andflash radiography. As the nation's nuclear stockpile continues to age, it is increasingly clear that the methods Pantex uses to test HE ensure safe and reliable nuclear weapon performance.

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JIMMY RAMIREZ became the Manager of High Explosive Performance and Surveillance Operations at CNS Pantex in May 2015. In this position he is responsible for the destructive testing of explosives for baseline performance characteristics, surveillance, sanitization and demilitarization, and to support work-for-others programs. Immediately prior to this position, Mr. Ramirez served as the Section Manager of the High Explosive Performance and Surveillance Operations for the Firing Site and the Section Manager of the High Explosive Manufacturing Department, which included manufacturing high explosives, inert machining, and inspection of these components to support weapon programs.