Divine Strake test explosion canceled

Feb. 22, 2007 at 2:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department canceled plans Tuesday to carry out the non-nuclear Divine Strake explosion at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site.

Officials said that the test would be harmless, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

Thousands of residents of Nevada and Utah opposed the test, arguing that even a non-nuclear explosion would release dust contaminated by previous nuclear tests into the atmosphere. The test had been put off from its originally scheduled date of June 2, 2006.

"I have become convinced that it's time to look at alternative methods that obviate the need for this type of large-scale test," Defense Threat Reduction Agency Director James A. Tegnelia told the Tribune.

Plans for Divine Strake called for the explosion of 700 tons of explosives in a tunnel at the test site.

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