100 atmospheric nuclear tests were detonated at the Nevata Test Site through July 1962. The fallout from these explosions blew across the region, and, in one notable case, onto the set of the movie The Conqueror. The cast and crew were assured that the fallout was harmless, and all of them rolling around in clouds of radioactive dust. A few tons of radioactive dirt were even shipped back to Culver City for use on the set. Many of people who worked on the movie died of cancer, including the movie’s star, John Wayne. Howard Hughes, the producer of the film, was wracked with guilt over their deaths, and in his later years, is said to have watched The Conqueror over and over, along with the movie Ice Station Zero — which does not have an apparent connection to the NNSS.

On August 5, 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty formally banned atmospheric nuclear testing. From that point, 828 underground tests were conducted at the NTS, with the last one on September 23, 1992.

Now that they don’t do actual explosions, the facility is called the National Security Site. They do security things.

The facility is in run by the Department of Energy. As of 2017, the nuclear arsenal and testing facilities were under the management of Rick Perry,