Divine Strake Still on Course For June - 8 News NOW

Edward Lawrence, Reporter

Divine Strake Still on Course For June

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Project Site Chief Dave Lower says the military needs at be able to adapt to those types of enemy defenses because a bomb won't directly reach underground tunnels. Project Site Chief Dave Lower says the military needs at be able to adapt to those types of enemy defenses because a bomb won't directly reach underground tunnels.
Environmental Protection Specialist Linda Cohn says the dust will settle before it reaches the Nevada Test Site border. Environmental Protection Specialist Linda Cohn says the dust will settle before it reaches the Nevada Test Site border.

The Department of Defense is on track for a giant explosion at the Nevada Test Site on June 2, and that test, Divine Strake, will use some 700 tons of explosives to blow up a mountain on the site.

The purpose is to find out how much explosives are needed to reach an underground bunker.

Doug Bruder, the director of counter weapons of mass destruction technologies, says 700 tons of explosives will fill the crater on top of the mountain, and the blast is expected to rip through the earth over a man made tunnel. 

"Particularly a charge of this size would be more related to nuclear weapons," Bruder explained.

The reason for the test is so that the DOD can see how the vibration from the explosion will damage the underground tunnel.

"We should be able to diffuse a facility with a different depth and calculate the best charge size that would be best to destroy that facility," Bruder said.

The DOD will use the information on the battlefield and in future development of weapons.

Bruder also says countries like North Korea builds its weapons facilities underground.

Project Site Chief Dave Lower says the military needs at be able to adapt to those types of enemy defenses because a bomb won't directly reach underground tunnels.

"The idea is to figure out what type of pressure we need, and what type of shock we need in order to destroy or dysfunction that area," Lower explained.

That blast is anticipated will produce a shock wave equivalent to an earthquake with a magnitude of about 3.2, and a plume of dust will be kicked up 10,000 feet in the air.

Environmental Protection Specialist Linda Cohn says the dust will settle before it reaches the Nevada test site border.

"Surveys have been completed here as recently as yesterday afternoon," Cohn said. "There is no radioactive contamination adjacent to this contamination site."

Cohn lives in Las Vegas and says she would move if there was a problem.

The test has very strict wind conditions to follow. If the wind is blowing more than 25 miles-per-hour, dust may travel off the test site, and divine strake will then be rescheduled for the following day.

Email reporter Edward Lawrence at elawrence@klastv.com

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