Major Locales of the Titan I Complex

| Portal | Main Tunnel Junction | Control Center | Power House | Antenna Terminal |

| Fuel Terminal | Blast Locks | Launcher Air Filtration | Propellant Terminals |

| Equipment Terminals | Missile Silos |

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Blast Locks Cont.

Blast lock #1 isolates both launcher areas #2 and #3 from the rest of the complex and constitutes 2 sets of interlocked blast doors.  Once beyond blast lock #2 (which is closer to the entrance than blast lock #1) things get considerably more flooded.

Inside blast lock #1 looking towards launcher area #3.  The odd appearance of the ceiling is from heavy condensation.  The entire area was coated in water droplets.  This area is flooded as shown in the next picture.

Creeping through this area was made considerably easier than it looks by some supports for the steel floor plates which are just a few inches under the surface of the water.

The thoroughly-damp blast lock #1.  If you look closely some of the large conduits are visible beneath the water.  The tunnel beyond slopes upward sharply and is flooded for a short distance.  Further ahead the tunnels are completely dry until you reach the silo and equipment terminal.  Launcher #3 is the most heavily flooded.

When a bunch of Airmen are confined underground for extended periods of time, it is important to provide adequate ventilation.  For the main tunnel junction, power house and control center, air is provided mostly by the air intake tunnel which branches off from the power house.  Most of the air from the powerhouse is consumed directly by the voracious diesel generators and the rest supplies the actual power house, main tunnel junction and control center.  The rest of the complex would not have been adequately supplied by the air intake tunnel alone and so required separate air intakes and handling.  


A separate air handling structure exists to service the remainder of the complex.  The launcher area filtration facility provided a draw of 28,760 cubic feet per minute (Maximum) to supply fresh, filtered (to 10 microns), heated and humidified air to the rest of the complex.  A 2' 6" shaft delivered air from the surface to the filtration facility and supplied it to the blast locks through 2' diameter ducts.  From the blast locks the air was forced to all other areas of the complex.

This is a 24" blast valve in the ceiling of blast lock #1 in the section leading to launcher #3.  Note the heavy condensation visible everywhere.  When a blast was detected, compressed air actuated cylinders would slam the blast valves shut throughout the complex, temporarily sealing it against the destructive force of the blast.  Nearby signs suggested keeping fingers and hands clear of these valves.  Wise advice I should think.

An important question arises from the fact that air was drawn into the complex through open shafts: If the complex needs to be sealed in order to be "hard" and not allow the destructive overpressures of an atomic blast to enter the tunnels or other structures, how is this possible with air flowing freely through the complex?


The answer: Blast valves.


Not to be confused with blast locks, blast valves were designed to temporarily seal all air intakes upon detection of a high-pressure wave.  If a blast was detected, the blast valves, which were located at all air intake and exhaust ports and also in the blast locks, would slam shut very quickly and remain closed for perhaps a few seconds allowing the blast to subside before opening again. 


Unfortunately, the filtration provided in the air intake structures shows no evidence of filtration for nuclear, chemical or biological contaminants.  Radiation detectors were in place, but it is not clear that the airmen were protected in any way from radiation entering via the air intakes.  Once the blast valves re-opened, contaminated air would be drawn into the complex.


Ominously, it seems likely that while personnel in the complex would be protected from immediate destruction from the blast, allowing them to affect a retaliatory strike, they might well succumb to radiation sickness shortly thereafter.  There was no oxygen provided inside the site, and so the complex would need outside air-- contaminated or not.  


The Launcher Air Facility has a personnel access at blast lock #1 allowing maintenance and service of the air handling equipment.  In fact, the access hatch is right above your head...


For my convenience a ladder has been crammed into the access to the launcher air facility (the original was long gone of course).  However, only a man whose ass is narrow may pass into the launcher air facility.  If yours is not such an ass, then you shall not have it.  This "birth canal" is about 20" in diameter and a fair amount of room at the opening is blocked by the soddy ladder.  Once inside there is barely enough room for the average man inside this vertical shaft.  You must pull yourself up with your arms until you reach a foothold about 5 feet up.  Every movement brings a shower of rusted metal flakes raining down on you, so don't look up.  Not a haven for the claustrophobic.  Despite all this, it was well worth the struggle.


From here you can head to the missile launchers, head up to the cramped tunnels of the Air Filtration Facility, retreat to blast lock #2, or select another location below.

Current Location: Blast Lock #1

Blast Lock #1 Blast Lock #2 Main Map Launcher Area Air Filtration Launcher Area Air Filtration Fuel Terminal Power House Air Intake Power House LOX Bay #1 LOX Bay #3 Equipment Terminal #1 Missile Silo #1 Propellant Terminal #1 LOX Tunnel #1 Propellant Terminal #3 Missile Silo #3 Equipment Terminal #3 LOX Tunnel #3 Utilities Tunnel #1 Utilities Tunnel #3 Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels

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