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WSMR RANGE-WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

operations, and missile system tests on the Main Post and range areas, which generated
occupational noise levels in excess of 85 dBA (U.S. Air Force 1992).

According to the U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency occupational health surveys,
outdoor noise levels in the WSMR Main Post area range from 55 dBA to roughly 110 dBA in
the near vicinity of heavy vehicle maintenance repair areas. Pneumatic tools peak noise
levels of 125 dBA were recorded adjacent to a vehicle body repair building. Noise levels at
the Main Post area boundaries are estimated at 55 to 60 dBA, and at the outer boundaries
noise levels are estimated at 45 to 55 dBA. Noise levels within the San Andres National
Wildlife Refuge, 19 km (12 mi) north of the WSMR Main Post area, are estimated at 45 dBA
(U.S. Army 1985a). During JTX, Roving Sands 93 and 94 ambient noise levels in the
Refuge were measured at 45 dBA (U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency 1994.)

There have been no recent studies of conventional background noise at WSMR. Typical
instantaneous noise levels caused by everyday common natural and human events are listed
in Figure 4-1. Noise studies have been conducted at nearby populated areas such as at
Holloman AFB and in the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Typical of an urban setting,
outdoor noise levels in Alamogordo range from 55 to 65 dBA.

The WSMR Main Post area noise levels are estimated to fall in roughly the same noise level
ranges as the urban areas of Holloman AFB and Alamogordo, New Mexico. Noise
experienced by personnel on post would be typical of other rural or suburban communities.
Personnel on the WSMR Main Post working in areas where occupational noise levels exceed
85 dBA are required to wear ear protection earplug or headset devices. The U.S. Army
hearing conservation criterion for required wearing of hearing protection is 85 dBA (AR 40
5, Preventive Medicine, 1990).

3.13 RADIATION SOURCES
This section discusses two categories of radiation: ionizing and nonionizing. Ionizing
radiation can be defined as radiation that causes the formation of ions. The term ionizing
radiation is used for particle radiation and high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
Nonionizing radiation does not cause ionization and refers to lower-frequency
electromagnetic radiation.

3.13.1 Ionizing Radiation Sources

This section describes ionizing radiation sources at WSMR.

3.13.1.1 Nuclear Effects Directorate. The NED operates directly under TECOM. Its
mission is to provide the simulated nuclear environments and technical expertise necessary to
perform complete nuclear weapon effects test and evaluation programs on military systems.
NED facilities are available to all branches of the Armed Services and to U.S. Army
contractors. These facilities are sources of ionizing as well as nonionizing radiation and are
discussed in their appropriate section. The ionizing radiation sources at NED consist of the ,

Fast Burst Reactor (FBR), the Linear Electron Accelerator (LINAC), the Gamma Radiation
Facility, and the Relativistic Electron Beam Accelerator (REBA).

Fast Burst Reactor

The FBR is designed to simulate as closely as possible the neutron radiation environment
produced by a fission weapon. It is capable of producing high-yield, short duration fission
pulses as well as steady-state nuclear environments.

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