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- Stop Divine Strake 2007 -

The judge accepted briefs on July 17, 2007 - Plaintiffs filed Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order. Read news from the June 27 Divine Strake Hearing in this Las Vegas Sun Article: Experts: Divine Strake 'mushroom cloud' could have sickened many

Divine Strake Cancelled . . . but smaller tests on the way?

The Pentagon and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) announced that Divine Strake
has been cancelled as of February 22, 2007. Read about it in the Las Vegas Review-Journal article.
Thank you to the many who submitted their comments and lobbied their legislators!

However, the DTRA announced it would be doing smaller, "confirmatory" experiments in place of Divine Strake. Details of these tests have not been released, but they may be cause for concern if held at the Nevada Test Site. You can read about the court case in this Las Vegas Review-Journal article. Also visit idealist.ws for more information.

NDE Statement on Divine Strake Cancellation

Visit the NDE website often or sign-up for our email list to keep informed about the
proposed Complex 2030 nuclear arsenal rebuild.


Cancellation of Proposed Divine Strake Experiment

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has decided to cancel the proposed Divine Strake experiment. "I have become convinced that it's time to look at alternative methods that obviate the need for this type of large-scale test," said DTRA Director Dr. James A. Tegnelia. This decision was not based on any technical information that indicates the test would produce harm to workers, the general public, or the environment.

Divine Strake was a scientific experiment designed to significantly advance the nation's ability to defeat underground facilities that produce and store weapons of mass destruction. The experiment would have entailed detonating a large amount of a common blasting agent over an existing tunnel at the Nevada Test Site. It was to be the largest in a series of experiments that relied on the specific geology at that location.

DTRA will attempt to develop alternative scientific means for obtaining the important data that this experiment would have provided. Such methods to assess capabilities to defeat underground facilities do not currently exist. The agency will develop advanced analysis techniques and conduct confirmatory experiments at a much smaller scale to assist in developing new capabilities to defeat underground facilities.

There is a national consensus on the need to improve conventional capabilities to defeat underground targets that pose a threat to the United States. "DTRA remains committed to help develop non-nuclear means to defeat underground targets. I am optimistic that we will succeed," said Tegnelia.




Matheson: Cancellation of Divine Strake a Victory

Washington D.C.-Congressman Jim Matheson said that with today's announcement from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency that the detonation of a 700-ton explosives pile is cancelled, his efforts opposing it have been vindicated.

"I have stood in the way of this test from day one. From the time last spring when I first learned about the so-called "Divine Strake" experiment, I have opposed it based on both its purpose and its potential ill affects. The prospect of even a non-nuclear 'mushroom cloud' over the Nevada Test Site brings back bitter memories of how the government lied when it said that there was no danger," said Matheson.

Divine Strake was to be the detonation of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. The government's draft Environmental Assessment predicted radiation-contaminated debris would be hurled thousands of feet into air. It acknowledges the likelihood that radioactive dust particles will be carried beyond the boundaries of the test site. DTRA also confirmed that the purpose of the blast is to simulate the ground shock effects of both conventional and nuclear weaponry.

Over the past ten and a half months, Matheson has communicated -through letters and meetings-to DTRA and the Department of Energy (DOE) that questionable science and dubious intent bolstered his concerns.

"If this announcement truly signals the end of Divine Strake, my hope is that DTRA would instead spend time and money on developing a conventional weapon that would actually be useful to our military in destroying deeply buried terrorist targets," said Matheson.

Suggested Talking Points for Your Comments on the Proposed Divine Strake Test
Thanks in part to HEAL Utah

The revised Environmental Assessment for the detonation of the Divine Test Strake states that re-suspension of fallout could travel beyond the test site boundary where it might contribute to the radiological dose of the public. Although the report claims the exposure will be below EPA standards, a National Academies of Science study affirms “the smallest dose of low-level ionizing radiation has the potential to cause an increase in health risks to humans…there is no threshold of exposure below which low levels of ionizing radiation can be demonstrated to be harmless or beneficial….” (“Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation May Cause Harm” June 2005.) With the possibility of a 10,000-foot cloud spewing long-lived radionuclides into the wind, there can be no margin for error—no amount of exposure is safe.

A major concern to us in Nevada is the well-being of our neighbors and friends in other states that are downwind, again. It is unconscionable that our government is again putting these people at risk, some who are still suffering the effects of past bomb tests at the Nevada Test Site. The psychological effects could be devastating. A full Environmental Impact Statement as requested by Governor Kenny Guinn is a first step.

Given the government’s history of lies and cover-ups regarding testing, the DOE’s flip-flopping on the presence of radionuclides at the site, and the debate as to whether the test is designed to simulate a nuclear blast, the DOE must provide outside, independent corroboration of any data this Environmental Assessment provides.

Finally, I urge you to cancel Divine Strake. It will release long-lived radioactive nuclides and it leads us down the path towards renewed nuclear weapon’s testing. No more mushroom clouds—nuclear or not.

Submit your Comments on Divine Strake
***Public Comment Period Ended 2/7/07

Divine Strake EA Comments
PO Box 98518
Las Vegas, NV 89193-8518



Here We Go, Again!

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has announced plans to detonate 700-tons of chemical explosives at the Nevada Test Site, again!

Last delayed from a June 2006 test, the DTRA completed a revised Environmental Assessment (EA) in the middle of the holiday season and are ready to "drop the bomb." This revised assesment ignores former Nevada Governor Guinn's request for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the valid concerns many people have regarding the safety of the test.

We want to stop this test – because it will kick-up radioactive fallout from the Test Site floor, because it will help to develop a nuclear bunker-buster that will support more warmaking, and because it violates Western Shoshone land rights.

The DTRA held open houses in Las Vegas, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Saint George, Utah. Rather than holding public hearings, these public forums were set up like a trade show with tables, posters, and handouts. DTRA and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) employees hawked the test's safety and necessity, answering questions from individuals. Public comments were taken in written and oral form, but there was no public forum, hearing, or discussion.

Bob Hager, the attorney from Reno who is representing some members of the Western Shoshone and Utah downwinders was on hand in Las Vegas to talk about his case in Federal Court with the press and other interested attendees.

Algirdas Leskys, a data analyst with the Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management for Clark County, Nevada said the Divine Strake test analysis did not consider that particles of dust as small as 2.5 microns would become airborne from the test. The government's assessment only took into account particles as small as 10 microns. He suggests that the smaller radioactive particles could be suspended in the air longer and travel hundreds of miles before falling.

The lack of respect and concern that our federal agencies are exhibiting compares to the heyday of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site, when they assured us it was perfectly safe. It wasn't and Divine Strake isn't!

Please take the time to submit your comments on the Divine Strake test by February 7, 2007. Contact NDE at (702) 646-4814 if you would like further information on how you can help stop the Divine Strake test.

Many thanks,
Nevada Desert Experience
Citizen Alert - www.citizenalert.org
The National Anti-Divine Strake Coalition

Stop Divine Strake website
(has useful background and organizing information)

NDE's Stop Divine Strake 2006 Page

News Articles
(in date order)
Divine Strake Plans Are Moving Swiftly
Las Vegas Sun

Editorial: Test is a Real Bomb
Las Vegas Sun

Scientists say plans flawed for Vegas-area 'Divine Strake' blast
Nevada Appeal

Engineer says bomb test plan incomplete
The Mercury News

Opponents of Nevada Bomb Test Fault Impact Studies
NY Times

Scientists fail to sway residents
Las Vegas Review Journal

Utahns oppose 'Divine Strake'
Las Vegas Review Journal

Divine Strake visitors frustrated
Salt Lake City Tribune

Divine Strake: Hatch, Matheson criticize meetings on blast

Salt Lake City Tribune

Divine Strake Gets Blasted
Salt Lake City Tribune

"Downwinder" opposition to Divine Strake grows

Gov. Huntsman gives the people a voice in Divine Strake
Salt Lake City Tribune

Divine Strake May Kill You
The Spectrum

KVBC Report - Jan. 31 - Telephone conference call hearing on the proposed "Divine Strake" test before
U.S. District Judge Lloyd George

TEST SITE EXPLOSION: Divine Strake blast dead
Las Vegas Review Journal (Feb. 23, 2007)

Divine Strake's legal Issues keeps controversy alive
Las Vegas Review Journal (Mar. 3, 2007)

Ka-boom! Divine Strake critics launch a new fight
against plans to set off blasts in Nevada

Salt Lake City Weekly (May 17, 2007)

Experts: Divine Strake 'mushroom cloud' could have sickened many
Las Vegas Sun (June 27, 2007)

Search recent Divine Strake Articles at Google News


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