Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Divine Strake blast halted? 

old postcard
"It is abundantly clear, at least to me, that the military has not given up the idea of a nuclear penetrator," said Christopher Hellman, a policy analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington.

From Scripps Howard News Service (bold emphasis below mine):
Bush's denial of plans for Iran hit wrong chord before Test Site blast
Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS -- Critics are scoffing at the Bush administration's claims that its massive test blast scheduled for June at the Nevada Test Site is unrelated to the effort to build a nuclear bunker-buster.

"It is abundantly clear, at least to me, that the military has not given up the idea of a nuclear penetrator," said Christopher Hellman, a policy analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington. He noted that Congress last year killed funding for the nuclear bunker-busting program.

Nonethleless, "they want it, and they are going to do as much as they can to move that program further along until they feel the situation in Washington is more favorable," Hellman said.

The criticism came as a report in The New Yorker magazine said the administration had made contingency plans to strike at Iran's nuclear program with such a tactical nuclear weapon. [... continues - see link above...]


This from Blogging Vegas - which reports that the Divine Strake test has been halted by the Nevada Enviromental Protection Division:
It looks like cooler heads have prevailed in the case of the 700-ton explosion planned for June 2 at the Nevada Test Site (see our previous post).


Today we learned that Nevada's Environmental Protection Division has halted the Divine Strake conventional explosives test until the National Nuclear Security Administration can demonstrate that the massive explosion will comply with state and federal air quality standards. Hey, there’s a good idea.

They’re also asking that hazardous pollutants be identified before the blast and tracked once it occurs.

Not sure what to make of the Blogging Vegas report since I haven't seen any other reports of a halt to the DS test. And the BV post provides no outside source/links to back up its claim.

8 UPDATE UPDATE - Test Halted

Las Vegas Review Journal:
Environmental officials halt test site explosion
Massive, non-nuclear blast had been slated for June 2

Nevada environmental officials have halted a massive, non-nuclear explosion scheduled for June 2 at the Nevada Test Site until the federal agency hosting the blast shows it will comply with air quality standards and that hazardous particles can be tracked, letters released Tuesday reveal.

The National Nuclear Security Administration "is prohibited from allowing this test to proceed until authorization from NDEP (the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection) has been received," the state division Administrator Leo Drozdoff wrote in a letter sent Friday to test site manager Kathleen Carlson.

The letter refers to an April 28, 2005, request to Carlson from the state Bureau of Air Pollution Control.

"To date, the NNSA has not responded to this information request. NNSA is reminded that no approval was received. ... In order to conduct this test, NNSA needs to provide all information and demonstrations required," Drozdoff wrote.

Kevin Rohrer, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration's Nevada Site Office, said his agency will provide the requested information to the state "within two weeks."

[... continued - see link above ...]




Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin? ~ Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian

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