Livermore's Experimental Test Site, known as Site 300, is comprised of 7,000 acres in the foothills 15 miles southeast of the main site and was established in 1955 for explosives testing. Site 300 supports the Laboratory's nuclear-weapons research and development (R&D) program by assessing the operation of nonnuclear weapon components through hydrodynamic testing using high explosives. WCI uses advanced diagnostics such as high-speed optics and x-ray radiography to compare the phases of the hydrodynamic flow from nonnuclear high-explosive experiments with computational data in order to assess the performance of components.
The Contained Firing Facility (CFF) at Site 300 is the largest indoor firing facility in the world (unlike other uncontained facilities such as DAHRT) and is an important tool for diagnosing the high-energy prenuclear phase of nuclear weapons. CFF has new capabilities, such as fiber optic photonic Doppler velocimetry for diagnosing hydrodynamic tests. In addition to testing hydrodynamic behavior of parts, CFF is used to assess weapons surety and vulnerabilities.