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MSR / MSCB Description: Exterior

(Excerpt from Historic American Engineering Record, HAER No. ND-9-B,
Missile Site Control Building, Building 430

Part II. Architectural Information

B. Description of Exterior

1. Overall Dimensions:

The overall dimensions of the MSCB are 127,384 ft2, with the usable area encompassing four major floors (two subterranean and two located within the turret) and several mezzanines.

The underground building volume has dimensions of 231 ft by 231 ft by 53 ft in height, whereas the above-ground exposed antenna turret has outside base dimensions of 136 ft by 136 ft. Turret walls are sloped at an angle of 56 degrees from the vertical, and its height is 79 ft with a 39-foot square roof.

2. Foundations:

The MSCB foundation is a 4-foot thick slab, thickened at outer walls and at concentrations of load-bearing areas. The foundation mat design employed a combination of flat slab, one-way, and two-way slab systems for vertical loads, and is designed as a diaphragm for lateral loads.

3. Walls:

Exterior walls (3 ft thick) were designed for vertical load bearing and as one-way or two-way slabs for dynamic lateral loads normal to the walls. In addition, they were designed as shear walls to resist dynamic loads due to nuclear weapons effects and soil pressures parallel to walls. The walls, including the subterranean portion, were covered with a waterproof coating.

4. Structural System, Framing:

MSCB design considered an average concrete strength of 5,000 psi and reinforcement with a 60 ksi yield and included a considerable number of 18S bars. The concrete was required to have a 28-day strength of 4,000 psi and a 1-year strength of 5,000 psi; MSCB design loads were developed considering the results of dynamic analysis. The reinforcing steel of the MSCB shell allowed for a limited degree of EMP attenuation.

Lightning protection for the MSR site was provided via installation of nine air terminals on the turret roof of the MSCB connected by down-conductors to the buried ground loop and to the MSRPP ground counterpoise grid; air terminals were also provided for each diesel air intake/exhaust stack, cooling tower, and public utility substation. Not only the MSCB but the fences, lighting standards, and radar antennae were all equipped with lightning protection.

Corrosion protection was provided for buried conductors such as electrical/communication conduits, utility piping, exterior steel shielding (as in the Sprint Launch Station) and the grounding counterpoise.

5. Radar:

Attachment for the radar antenna and antenna adaptor consists of a heavy steel antenna support ring installed in each of the four turret faces, consisting of a 30-foot inner-diameter steel ring with 36 shear keys; each was spaced equally about the perimeter to support the load, and the ring itself was embedded in concrete, leaving the inner diameter as the perimeter turret opening. The steel ring does not contribute to the strength or stiffness of the opening. The rings, fabricated of rolled steel plate, were electrically and magnetically continuous, and continuously welded to the building's steel liner plate. The shear keys support the weight of the antenna (over 400,000 pounds), and were designed to resist transient loads due to wind, earthquakes, and nuclear weapons effects. The weight on the shear keys was in directions normal to the plane of the ring, tangential to the ring and radially from the ring centroid.

Three equipment items were exposed directly to the potential of nuclear burst and thus were designed to withstand dynamic pressure and thermal loadings rather than building motions. They are listed as follows:

For each of the four radar apertures, a RF gasket was installed to ensure shielding continuity between the antenna ring, support structure, and adaptor.

6. Openings:

a. Doors:

Two 16-inch-thick emergency escape doors, one on the second floor (No. 278), the other on the third (No. 310), provided egress as well as protection. The door leaves were heavy, blast resistant steel plates with gas seals (to exclude radiation) and conductive gaskets (for shielding continuity). Both were operated manually and pneumatically. Door No. 278 provided egress from an EMP-shielded area into an escape tunnel, and Door No. 310 was located at a third-floor EMP/RFI shielding zone. Both were similar in construction and operation, providing passage openings of 3 ft by 7 ft. Each door was locally operated and provided with a means to permit remote monitoring and securing from the Equipment Readiness Center.

b. Tunnels:

The MSCB has three tunnels: an emergency escape; the Personnel, Equipment, and Utility Tunnel (PEUT); and the Launch Area Utility Tunnel (LAUT).

c. Security Penetrations:

Capped sleeves, welded to the liner plate, were provided with space allocated for installation of appropriate filters; filters were installed in the security circuits at the penetration of the EMP/RFI shielding zones.

d. Other Penetrations:

Numerous penetrations of the MSCB exterior (building shell) surfaces were present. They included:

Piping, tunnels, conduit, and sleeves were welded to ground grid fans. The interface with the tunnels and the PEUT included flexible connections as required for shock strains.

7. Roof Characteristics:

The turret roof was composed of concrete with elastomeric roofing. It is 140 ft2 in plan and designed both to carry vertical loads and to transfer lateral loads to the shear walls. The subterranean roof is concrete with earth backfill.