Divine Strake Experiment Canceled

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency announced today that it has canceled the controversial Divine Strake experiment.

A 700 tons chemical explosion at the Nevada Test Site was intended to provide data for calibration of nuclear and conventional weapons against underground targets. Local fear that the explosion would kick up and disperse radioactive material from the ground – as well concern about Divine Strake’s role in calibrating the use of low-yield nuclear weapons against underground targets – prompted members of Congress to raise questions about Divine Strake.

The Federation of American Scientists was the first to obtain and publish confirmation from DTRA that Divine Strake was the same experiment described in the FY2006 and FY2007 DTRA budget requests as intended to “improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage.” DTRA public affairs officials subsequently denied Divine Strake had any connection to nuclear missions, but were later contradicted by senior DTRA officials saying that it was nuclear related.

Background: Divine Strake

One thought on “Divine Strake Experiment Canceled

  1. SC: Regarding the quote credited to Hans Kristensen in today’s Salt Lake Tribune (see text below comments), the Bush adminstration’s reckless war-mongering has already demonstrated that it is more dismissive of human welfare than the cold-war era government that used the people as nuclear guinea pigs and said the desert Southwest was suitable only for the disposal of used razor blades. One should be surprised that more people are not opposed to the on-going weapons and hazardous-materials testing at the Nevada Test Site.

    SL Trib Exerpt:

    Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said the public’s opposition to Divine Strake was surprising, and it’s fair to assume there would be considerable resistance to any future nuclear tests.
    “In one way, politically, it has certainly made it a very tough sell,” he said. “On the other hand, it all depends on the situation. I think people locally would be opposed to it . . . but that’s not necessarily what drives a decision, and if the nation decides it was necessary because of a serious reliability issue, I think, opposition or not, it would happen.”

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