Department of Energy Frequencies




I decided to focus on some of the radio systems in use by the Department of Energy at several of their major facilities across the country. All of the radio system listed in this column should be able to be heard on one of the current P-25 digital capable scanners available. Some of the systems utilize encryption on some sensitive talk groups or conventional frequencies, so scanners cannot monitor those.

Here is a listing of known Department of Energy frequency allocations:

30.6500
30.3700
30.3900
30.4200
32.0100
32.0200
32.3200
32.7300
32.9900
34.0300
34.1400
34.8300
34.9800
36.0200
36.0500
36.3300
36.3900
36.9900
38.3300
40.0100
40.3100
40.4300
40.4700
40.5300
40.5700
40.6100
41.0300
41.0900
41.3100
41.6700
41.8100
41.9800
46.6100
46.8100
49.6300
49.6500
49.8000
49.8600
49.8900
49.9200

148.2750
148.3500
148.8750
150.4500
150.7750
162.0250
162.0500
162.1000
162.1250
162.1750
162.2250
162.3000
162.6125
162.6625
162.9750
163.0000
163.0250
163.0500
163.0750
163.1250
163.1750
163.2000
163.2250
163.2750
163.3250
163.3750
163.4625
163.7500
163.8000
163.8125
163.8250
163.8375
163.9000
164.0250
164.1000
164.1750
164.2000
164.2250
164.2500
164.2625
164.2750
164.3000
164.3250
164.3500
164.3625
164.3750
164.4000
164.4250
164.4750
164.5250
164.5750
164.6000
164.6750
164.7000
164.7250
164.7500
164.7750
164.8250
164.8625
164.9375
164.9625
164.9875
165.0125
165.0625
165.2625
165.3125
165.3375
165.4125
165.4375
165.4625
165.5125
165.5375
165.5875
165.7125
165.8500
166.0000
166.0750
166.1250
166.1500
166.2000
166.2250
166.2500
166.2750
166.3250
166.4875
166.6375
166.7500
166.7875
166.8000
166.8250
166.8500
167.0250
167.1250
167.6250
167.8250
167.8375
167.8500
167.8750
167.9000
167.9250
167.9750
168.0000
168.2250
168.2750
168.3000
168.3250
168.3750
168.4500
168.4750
168.5000
168.5750
168.6500
168.7500
168.8000
169.0000
169.0250
169.0500
169.0750
169.1000
169.2000
169.3750
169.5500
169.5750
169.6000
169.6250
169.6750
169.7250
169.9500
169.9750
170.0250
170.0750
170.1000
170.1250
170.1500
170.1750
170.3500
170.3750
170.4000
170.5750
170.6000
170.7250
170.7500
171.0000
171.1500
171.2000
171.2375
171.2625
171.3125
171.3375
171.3875
171.4250
171.5250
171.6250
171.7250
171.7750
171.8125
171.9500
171.9750
171.9875
172.0250
172.1375
172.2000
172.3000
172.4250
172.4750
172.5000
172.5250
172.5500
172.5750
172.6250
172.6500
172.7000
172.7250
172.7750
172.8750
172.9250
173.0000
173.0250
173.0500
173.0750*
173.1000
173.1500
173.1750
173.2750
173.3000
173.4250
173.5125
173.5625
173.6125
173.6375
173.6625
173.6875
173.7125
173.7375
173.7875
173.8125
173.8375
173.8875
173.9375
173.9625
173.9875

406.0250
406.1125
406.1375
406.1500
406.1625
406.1875
406.2250
406.3000
406.3500
406.3750
406.4000
406.4250
406.5000
406.5250
406.5375
406.5500
406.5625
406.5750
406.5875
406.6000
406.6125
406.6250
406.6500
406.6750
406.7000
406.7500
406.7875
406.8000
406.8250
406.8500
406.8750
406.9000
406.9125
406.9250
406.9500
406.9750
406.9875
407.0000
407.0250
407.0500
407.0625
407.1000
407.1500
407.1750
407.1875
407.2500
407.3500
407.3625
407.3875
407.4000
407.5500
407.5875
407.6000
407.6250
407.6500
407.7875
407.8125
407.8625
407.9500
407.9750
407.9875
408.0000
408.0250
408.0500
408.1000
408.1250
408.1500
407.1750
408.1875
408.2000
408.3500
408.3625
408.4250
408.5250
408.5500
408.7500
408.7750
408.8000
408.8250
408.8500
408.9500
408.9625
409.0250
409.1000
409.1250
409.1500
409.1750
409.2000
409.2250
409.2500
409.2750
409.3000
409.3250
409.3500
409.3625
409.3750
409.4000
409.4250
409.4500
409.4750
409.5000
409.5250
409.5750
409.5875
409.6000
409.6375
409.6875
409.7500
409.7750
409.7875
409.8000
409.8250
409.8500
409.9000
409.9500
409.9750
410.0000
410.0250
410.0500
410.1250
410.1500
410.2000
410.2500
410.3500
410.3750
410.5625
410.7750
410.8000
410.8125
411.0250
411.0750
411.1500
411.2000
411.2500
411.3500
411.5750
411.6000
411.6375
411.6500
411.6625
411.6750
411.6875
411.7000
411.7125
411.7375
411.8250
411.8500
411.8750
411.9500
412.0000
412.0500
412.1250
412.2250
412.3000
412.3500
412.3750
412.4250
412.4750
412.6500
412.7000
412.7500
413.8000
413.8250
413.8500
413.8750
413.9250
413.9500
414.7250
414.7500
414.7750
414.8250
414.8750
414.9250
414.9750
415.0750
415.1500
415.3500
415.5500
415.5625
415.6250
415.7750
415.8250
415.9500
416.0000
416.0500
416.0750
416.1000
416.1500
416.2000
416.2250
416.2500
416.3000
416.3500
416.4000
416.4250
416.4500
416.4750
416.5000
416.5375
416.5500
416.5750
416.6000
416.6250
416.6500
416.6625
416.6750
416.6875
416.7000
416.7125
416.7500
416.8500
416.9250
416.9500
416.9750
417.0000
417.1500
417.2250
417.2500
417.3750
417.4250
417.4500
417.4750
417.5250
417.5500
417.6000
417.6250
417.6500
417.6750
417.7000
417.7250
417.7500
417.8500
417.9250
417.9500
417.9750
418.1000
418.1750
418.3500
418.5000
418.5500
418.7000
419.1250
419.1500
419.1750
419.3500
419.5500
419.6500
419.6750
419.8250
419.8500
419.8750
419.9750

*The frequency of 173.075 MHz is used by the “Lojak” nationwide auto theft tracking system, but it is a shared allocation. The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) has been confirmed as using this frequency for simplex work crew operations.

Now, here are some specific systems located at the various Department of Energy facilities around the country:

NEVADA NATIONAL SECURITY SITE

https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/national-nuclear-security-administration

Formed in 2000, the National Nuclear Security Administration is a division within the Department of Energy. The NNSA is charged with the security of the nuclear weapons and nuclear materials in the United States. Several of the DoE sites I note in this column are operated under direction of the NNSA due to the materials produced and handled there.

In Nevada, the NNSA runs the Nevada National Security Site, where testing and designs of US nuclear weapons as well as testing facilities for nuclear reactor technology, https://www.nnss.gov

The Nevada National Test Site operates a wide-area UHF trunked radio system. It is currently still a Motorola SmartZone system using P-25 digital voice, so you can listen to unencrypted transmissions. System information can be found here: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=3265

HANFORD SITE

http://www.hanford.gov/

The Hanford Site, or Hanford Reservation is an historic Department of Energy facility that helped start the atomic age. Hanford was one of the two facilities that the United States had during World War II that was able to produce enough radioactive material for the first atomic bombs. Since the height of the Cold War, Hanford has now assumed the role of a research facility dealing with the environmental problems of nuclear materials storage and disposal.

Here are some of the conventional VHF frequencies that are active at Hanford:

162.1000
164.2250
164.2750         192.8 PL         Hanford Security Operations
164.3250
164.3750         CSQ                Hanford DoE Paging
164.4000         192.8 PL         Hanford Fire
164.5250
164.7500
164.7750         110.9 PL         Hanford Fire
165.0250         192.8 PL         Hanford Fire Dispatch
167.0750
167.8250                                 Hanford Fire Tactical
167.8500
167.8750
167.9250
167.9750
168.2250
168.3000
168.3250
168.4500
169.5000
169.7250
170.0750
170.5750
171.2000
171.8250
173.1000         151.4 PL         Hanford Fire (may be Dept. of Interior Fire Net)
173.7375                                

LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY

http://www.llnl.gov/

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a National Security science laboratory that is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the Department of Energy. LLNL has been managed by the University of California for the U.S. government since its formation in 1952.

The LLNL UHF trunked system is a APCO P-25 system spread out over multiple repeater sites. The system also supports communications for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, north of San Francisco, https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=6781



BETTIS ATOMIC POWER LABORATORY


The Bechtel-Bettis Naval Reactor facility is located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are using a P-25 UHF trunked system for security and operations. System information can be found here: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7445


OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY

https://www.ornl.gov

Like the Lawrence Livermore facility, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed for the Department of Energy by an outside group, in this case UT-Battelle. The Oak Ridge facility includes a National Security Complex called Site Y-12, http://www.y12.doe.gov/

As with LLNL, Oak Ridge is using an APCO P-25 Phase II system to serve the facility. Here is the system information: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=10032


TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY

https://www.tva.gov

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression. TVA's area of responsibility covers most of Tennessee, some portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small sections of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest.

The TVA has recently launched a multi-site P-25 UHF trunked system with sites located at the various power generating facilities. System information can be found here:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7490

In addition to the trunked radio system, the TVA operates a number of conventional VHF and UHF radio systems for operations and security patrols. Here are some of the conventional TVA channels:

168.2250         103.5 PL         Combs Knob
168.2250         110.9 PL         Oswald Dome
168.2250         118.8 PL         Thorntontown
168.5750         103.5 PL
169.6250         183 NAC         Rocky Top
169.6250         418 NAC         Pickwick
169.6250         103.5 PL         Sharps
169.6250         110.9 PL         Sewanee
169.6750         293 NAC         Greentop
169.6750         110.9 PL         Wininger
169.6750         118.8 PL         Colbert
170.0750         225.7 PL         Holston Mountain
171.7500         298 NAC         Raccoon Mountain
172.4750         293 NAC         Roosevelt Mountain
172.4750         418 NAC         Holston Mountain 2
172.4750         118.8 PL         Monte Sano
172.6500                                 Nuclear Preparedness
406.5125         103.5 PL         Chattanooga Security
406.5125         293 NAC         Knoxville Security
408.4625         103.5 PL         Chattanooga Emergency Ops
408.4625         192.8 PL         Chattanooga Facility Maintenance
415.4500                                 Chattanooga Office Complex
418.7125                                 TVA Police Vehicle Repeater 
418.7125         156.7 PL         TVA Police Link

TVA Transmission and Customer Service (TCS) operates on VHF low-band channels, and remains one of the few non-military agencies still using this band of frequencies.

40.3700           203.5 PL         TVA CH 09
40.3100           250.3 PL         TVA CH 05 - Huntsville AL
40.3700           250.3 PL         TVA CH 07 - Johnson City TN
40.4300           203.5 PL         TVA CH 10 - Memphis TN
40.4300           250.3 PL         TVA CH 02 – Cleveland TN
40.4900           250.3 PL         TVA CH 16 - Construction 1
40.5300           250.3 PL         TVA CH 03 - Chickamauga TN
40.5700           250.3 PL         TVA CH 04
40.6100           203.5 PL         TVA CH 14 - Tupelo MS
40.6100           250.3 PL         TVA CH 01 - Bowling Green KY
40.6500           250.3 PL         TVA CH 06 - Jackson TN 
40.6900           250.3 PL         TVA CH 12 - Muscle Shoals AL
40.7300           203.5 PL         TVA CH 15 - West Point MS
40.7300           250.3 PL         TVA CH 11 - Murfreesboro TN
40.7700           250.3 PL         TVA CH 08 - Knoxville TN
40.8300           250.3 PL         TVA CH 13 - Nashville TN
40.8700           250.3 PL         TVA CH 17 - Construction 2

BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION (BPA)

https://www.bpa.gov/Pages/home.aspx

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, services the Pacific Northwest with hydroelectric, wind and nuclear power. The BPA operates a VHF repeater system for servicing their transmission lines and facilities. These repeaters are known to have telephone patch capabilities and are still analog, but P-25 digital upgrades are planned. Here are their known BPA operating frequencies:

172.5000 MHz
172.5250 MHz
172.5750 MHz

WESTERN AREA POWER ADMINISTRATION (WAPA)

https://www.wapa.gov/Pages/Western.aspx

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) markets and delivers wholesale hydroelectric power and related services within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. WAPA is utilizing a number of VHF conventional repeaters that are using P-25 digital mode. Here are some of the WAPA repeaters that I have logged or heard about:

164.2250         N111               South Dakota
164.2250         N293               Arizona
164.2750         N293               Arizona
164.3500         N111               South Dakota
164.3500         N222               North Dakota
164.3750         N293               Arizona
164.7750         N222               South Dakota
166.7875         N293               Arizona
167.6250
167.8250         N293               Arizona          
167.8500         N222               North Dakota
167.8500         N111               South Dakota
167.8750         N111               South Dakota
167.8750         N293               Arizona
167.9250         N111               South Dakota
167.9250         N222               South Dakota
167.9250         N555               Colorado
167.9750         N111               South Dakota
167.9750         N293               Arizona
168.4500         N293               Arizona
169.6250         N293               Arizona
170.3750         N999               Arizona
171.8125         N293               Arizona
171.9875         N999               Arizona
172.1375         N293               Arizona
173.2750         N999               Arizona
173.4250         N293               Arizona          

NUCLEAR EMERGENCY SUPPORT TEAM (NEST)

https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nuclear-incident-response

A division within the NNSA is the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST). NEST is responsible for the preparation, detection and developing response teams to deal with nuclear or radiological terrorism. NEST personnel have often been portrayed in fictional accounts of nuclear terrorism and have often responded to mock alerts across the country. Although it has always been assumed that NEST communications in the field would be secure and perhaps even spread-spectrum or some undetectable method. However, in a few publicized NEST exercises, news footage shows NEST officials with what appears to be standard issue VHF or UHF hand-held radios, plus the ever-present cell phones.

As far as NNSA Nuclear Materials Transport Convoys, they are also hard to pin down. NNSA security and communications teams accompany specially built semi tractor-trailers that may be hauling nuclear materials. I have seen some of these convoys in the field and when stopped at a truck stop, the Department of Energy personnel were very strict about keep a security zone around all their vehicles. Despite the fact these convoys have communications vans with antennas for literally every mobile communications band there is, I have yet to actually catch any confirmed VHF or UHF frequencies, clear or encrypted, from these guys.

As part of the NEST equipment that is deployed in a nuclear emergency, transportable communications gear is undoubtedly a big portion of the “go kit”. There are a number of frequencies that have been rumored to be part of a cache of radio channels available for use anywhere by NEST. Be sure and keep an ear on these frequencies at the next large event and see if anything is active:

163.1000
164.2750
164.8625
167.9750
168.4500
171.2000
171.9500
173.0000

These channels were confirmed as being in some of the DoE transportable radio systems at one time. I suspect they are still current and are P25 digital, with encryption. I also have some information on SECOM, the DoE Albuquerque based HF (shortwave) Secure Communications System, courtesy of Larry Van Horn. This system provides nationwide coverage and tracking information from DoE Nuclear Material transportation convoys:

DOE SECOM Transportation Security Detail/Safeguard Division - Frequencies are in Kilohertz (KHz)
3335.0             Channel 1
5308.0             Channel 2
5751.0             Channel 3
5947.0             Channel 4
7700.0             Channel 5
8013.5             Channel 6
9918.0             Channel 7
11555.0           Channel 8
14657.0           Channel 9
17397.0           Channel 10

Two DoE installations that I do not have any information for are the Pantex Facility in Amarillo, Texas (https://pantex.energy.gov) and the Kansas City National Security Campus in Kansas City, Missouri (https://kcnsc.doe.gov). If any of our readers has any info that they would like to share about what these facilities use for radio systems, please feel free to let me know here at The Spectrum Monitor.

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