Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mushroom Cloud Blast in Nevada Delayed

The lawsuit, filed April 20 by Reno-based lawyer Bob Hager, accuses the government of skipping public comment and failing to complete required environmental studies before picking a date and place for the explosion.

It claims the planned 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb will kick up radioactive fallout left from nuclear weapons tests conducted from 1951 to 1992 at the Nevada Test Site and irreparably desecrate land that members of the Western Shoshone tribe have never acknowledged turning over to the U.S.

The blast, some 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is expected to generate a 10,000-foot mushroom cloud and a shock wave that officials say will probably be felt in Indian Springs, about 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency claims the explosion will help design a weapon to penetrate hardened and deeply buried targets. Critics have called it a surrogate for a low-yield nuclear "bunker-buster" bomb.

I hadn't thought of the possibility of the blast unleashing radiation from 1950s nuclear tests . . . there might be a real danger there. But no matter; W will get to play with his new toy soon enough.


Kyle said...

Hey Mac -

I'm glad that someone devised a reasonable argument for delaying this ridiculous exercise.

The hypocrisy of nuclear weapons development in this country while we decry the same activities by other sovereign nations will come back to bite us.

This (non-nuclear) test is still part of that nuclear development, as a litmus test for determining the minimum equivalent (nuclear) yield necessary to achieve the (bunker-busting) goal. I suppose that passes for something like "restraint"?

We have accused Iran of supporting terrorism.
We have stated (contrary to prior doctrine) that we can and will pre-emptively attack such nations.
We have actually done so in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So, now we seek to deny them the right to defend themselves?

The genie is out of the bottle, and I think he's pretty pissed. And genies wear turbans...not fedoras.


W.M. Bear said...

I think it's a measure of Bush's quintessential idiocy that he doubtless thinks this sort of device is really, really cool.