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Saturday, April 22, 2006

June 2nd Bomb Testing

Hidden from public knowledge until a few days ago, the Pentagon is preparing to test a gigantic open-air explosion at the Nevada Test Site, location of most of America's prior nuclear testing. The explosion in Area 16 of Yucca Flat is expected to create a mushroom cloud visible from Las Vegas. The 'bomb' is being constructed of chemical fertilizer and diesel fuel, the same ingredients as the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, placed into a 30-foot deep hole.

The code name for the test is 'Divine Strake'; the name alone is enough to make anyone worried. ('Strake' is the term for a plank on the hull of a ship or boat, as in the lapstrake hulls of Viking sailing ships; modern usage is for certain devices on an aircraft fuselage to increase air-speed.)

The Nevada Test Site is located roughly 65 miles (north & west) from Las Vegas and roughly 35 miles (south & east) from the controversial Yucca Mountain storage facility – the tunnels intended to house spent fuel rods from nuclear energy plants along with all manner of other radioactive waste for all of eternity.

  • The explosion is rated at 700 tons, which is 700 times larger than the biggest conventional (non-nuclear) bomb in the U.S. arsenal.
  • The maximum payload of the workhorse B-52 bomber is only 35 tons, the C-5A cargo plane carries only 145 tons, so there is no way to deliver such a gigantic conventional bomb.
  • The explosion is expected to stir up kilotons of dust & dirt, likely containing radioactive fallout from all those Cold War nuclear experiments – which is of course denied by the Pentagon.

  • This test is using conventional weapons to see how much damage will occur from a small 'tactical' nuclear weapon, as is planned for Dubya's upcoming unprovoked assault on Iran.
  • You can expect that the attack on Iran will be timed to skew the Congressional elections in November, and the term 'October Surprise' (invented by 'Tricky Dicky' Nixon) is most apt.

    When George Dubya Bush was a child, he took pleasure in stuffing firecrackers up the anus of live frogs and then lighting the firecracker. 'Divine Strake' is more of the same pathology.

    UPDATE May 10
    Members of the Shoshone Tribe and others living east of the Nevada Test Site – 'downwinders' – filed suit in Las Vegas federal court to halt the 'Divine Strake' bomb test; the test has been postponed until June 23rd. The protest group is the Western Shoshone Defense Project.

    UPDATE May 27
    The National Nuclear Security Administration has buckled, since they cannot provide evidence to back up the Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposed mock atomic test. 'Divine Strake' is indefinitely postponed until a revised Environmental Impact Report can be produced.

    UPDATE August 3
    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency announced that the 'Divine Strake' non-atomic bomb test is postponed until at least 2007, possibly in a different location.

    {For a historical perspective on America's atomic past,
    visit the Atomic U.S.A. Page at Spirit of America Bookstore}
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