Divine Strake explosion cancelled

Divine Strake explosion cancelled | KTVB.COM | Boise, Idaho News, Weather, Sports & Traffic | IDAHO NEWS

KTVB.COM BOISE – The Defense Threat Reduction Agency announced it would cancel a large-scale explosive experiment in the Nevada desert.

The so-called “Divine Strake” test would have involved a non-nuclear high explosive experiment at the Nevada Test Site northwest of Las Vegas later this year.  The test would have detonated 700 tons of ammonium nitrate fuel oil explosive.  Divine Strake would have generated a 3.1 to 3.4-magnitude earthquake, and pushed debris 10,000 feet in to the air.

“I have become convinced that it’s time to look at alternative methods that obviate the need for this type of large-scale test,” DTRA Director Dr. James A. Tegnelia said in a prepared statement.

DTRA says the cancellation decision was not cancelled because the agency thought the test posed a public danger.

The Divine Strake project was designed to help develop methods to destroy underground stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Some opponents of the project feared the explosion would kick up soil possibly contaminated with nuclear remnants from testing at the site more than 50 years ago.

The National Nuclear Security Administration says soil samples have been tested in the area and a computer model was used to calculate the level of radiation that would be released into the air from Divine Strake.  A spokesperson with the National Nuclear Safety Administration said that a person standing at the border of the test site would be dosed with roughly the same amount of radiation as you would from your home smoke detector.

A public comment period and a series of hearings wrapped up earlier this month.


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