NBC Weapons: The Non-Nuclear Nuclear Weapons Test in Nevada

Archives

:

NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICALWEAPONS

April 4, 2006: The U.S. Department of Defense announced a nuclear weapons test will be conducted on June 2nd, in Nevada. The announcement was made so that people in the area would not be alarmed when the explosion occurred, and the mushroom shaped cloud appeared. The Department of Defense emphasized that no nuclear explosion would occur, but that it would be a nuclear size explosion. Some 500 tons of explosives to be exact. That's a .5 kiloton weapon. The test, called Divine Strake, will be to investigate the effectiveness of a nuclear weapon designed to destroy facilities buried deep underground. Nuclear weapons tests are banned by treaty, and apparently computer models of such explosions were deemed insufficient to determine how effective this new weapon would perform. The U.S. has been working on penetrator type nuclear bombs, for several years now. These are intended for military research facilities in places like Iran or North Korea.

Back in the 1950s, real nuclear weapons were tested, above ground, in this part of Nevada. That sort of thing was banned in the 1960s. Above ground nuclear tests put a lot of radioactivity into the atmosphere, and after about fifteen years of such tests, all the nations with nuclear weapons agreed that stopping that sort of thing would be a good idea. As for the mushroom shaped cloud from conventional explosives, that's actually quite normal. Even some industrial accidents (at chemical plants) have produced mushroom shaped clouds. This is because the explosion quickly displaces a large amount of air, and as surrounding air rushes into the vacuum, dust and debris are sucked in as well, and the cloud rises into the air. These distinctive clouds are infrequent because the use of large amounts of explosives above ground is rare. Nuclear weapons made everyone aware of this phenomena.

 


Article Archive

NBC Weapons: Current 2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close