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Topic: Underground nuclear testing

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In the News (Thu 27 Jun 19)

  Nuclear testing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Additionally, nuclear testing has often been used as an indicator of scientific and military strength and many tests have been overtly political in their intention, and most nuclear weapons states publicly declared their nuclear status by means of a nuclear test.
Nuclear explosions which are close enough to the ground to draw dirt and debris into their mushroom cloud can generate large amounts of nuclear fallout due to irradiation of the debris.
Nuclear testing has since become a controversial issue in the United States, with a number of politicians saying that future testing might be necessary to maintain the aging warheads from the Cold War.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Nuclear_testing   (2487 words)

 Underground Nuclear Weapons Testing ? United States Nuclear Forces
Tests in vertical drill holes are of two types: smaller-yield devices in relatively shallow holes in the Yucca Flat area (Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) and higher-yield devices in deeper holes on Pahute Mesa (Areas 18, 19, and 20).
The nuclear explosive and special measurement devices are moved to the hole and lowered to the detonation position; all required diagnostic materials and instrumentation cables are also lowered into the hole at this time.
When an underground nuclear device is detonated, the energy release almost instantaneously produces extremely high temperatures and pressure that vaporizes the nuclear device and the surrounding rock.
www.globalsecurity.org /wmd/systems/nuke-testing.htm   (1854 words)

 Nuclear Weapon Underground Testing
An underground nuclear explosion generates quasi-instantaneously an amount of energy, e, which is then converted into other forms of energy through a series of processes.
Nuclear weapons effects tests are primarily carried out in horizontal mine shafts sealed to prevent the escape of debris; instrumentation cables are connected to the surface through a vertical bore hole.
In both cases, the tests are characterized by the large amount of electronic instrumentation used to study the details of the functioning of the implosion assembly and of the nuclear phases of the explosion.
www.globalsecurity.org /wmd/intro/ugt.htm   (1069 words)

 CMS—Radiochemical Data from Underground Nuclear Tests Declassified   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
For years, the data on the radiation left behind from underground nuclear tests at NTS has been classified because the amount and identity of radionuclides in a nuclear explosion can provide information about the performance and design of a nuclear device.
Nuclear tests conducted above the groundwater table are shown in red; those conducted below the groundwater table are shown in blue.
The availability of this inventory underscores that long-lived radionuclides produced by underground nuclear weapons tests persist for long periods of time, creating the possibility that these radionuclides may be mobilized by groundwater.
www-cms.llnl.gov /s-t/nuclear_legacy.html   (598 words)

 U.S. Nuclear Testing and Proliferation   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
To be sure, the question of U.S. nuclear testing is something of a vampire in domestic politics, rising from the seeming dead on a regular basis.
While troublesome, the delays in the non-nuclear test regime do not, as some have sought to claim, automatically mean there are problems with U.S. warheads, or that renewed underground nuclear testing is now needed.
In fact, even before the 1992 moratorium, underground nuclear testing was not the primary method of certifying stockpile safety and reliability.
www.cdi.org /nuclear/hitchens012202.cfm   (905 words)

 History of Nuclear Weapons Testing
The average pace of nuclear weapons testing is remarkable: Since 16 July 1945 there have been 2,044 tests worldwide, the equivalent of one test occurring somewhere in the world every nine days for the last fifty years.
Of the 2,044 nuclear weapons tests worldwide, there have been 711 in the atmosphere or underwater: 215 by the U.S., 207 by the Soviet Union, 21 by Britain, 45 by France and, 23 by China.
Radioactivity has leaked into the environment from underground nuclear tests, large areas of land are uninhabitable as a result of atmospheric and underground nuclear testing, and indigenous people, their children and their children's children's health and livelihoods have been affected by nuclear weapons tests.
archive.greenpeace.org /~comms/nukes/ctbt/read9.html   (950 words)

 [No title]
Those performed prior to the 1963 Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty, such as the Sedan test shown in Figure 4, were buried at relatively shallow depths to maximize the size of the crater produced.
4 The 100 KT Sedan nuclear explosion, one of the Plowshares excavation tests, was buried at a depth of 635 feet.
The major nuclear powers continue to abide by the world moratorium on nuclear testing, and even India and Pakistan appear to have joined the moratorium after their May 1998 nuclear tests.
www.fas.org /faspir/2001/v54n1/weapons.htm   (2753 words)

 IEEE Spectrum: Nuclear Testing Goes Virtual   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
In October, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration officially dedicated two state-of-the-art supercomputers that should allow the United States' nuclear weapons arsenal to be kept in working order without the need for underground testing.
Nuclear scientists will use the two supermachines to run three-dimensional simulations at dizzying speeds to achieve much of the nuclear weapons analysis that was formerly accomplished by underground nuclear testing, capping a long campaign to use virtual testing in place of physical weapons detonations.
The Linpack test is used to determine the performance of the world's fastest computers, which are ranked in the routinely updated Top 500 list.
www.spectrum.ieee.org /dec05/2336   (406 words)

 Greenpeace - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Greenpeace is known for its use of campaigns to stop atmospheric and underground nuclear testing as well as bring an end to high seas whaling.
Taking its name from a slogan used during protests against United States nuclear testing in late 1969, the Committee came together with the objective of stopping a second underground nuclear bomb test codenamed Cannikin by the United States military beneath the island of Amchitka, Alaska.
Some of Greenpeace's most notable successes include the ending of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, a (purportedly) permanent moratorium on international commercial whaling, and the declaration by treaty of Antarctica as a global park, forbidding possession by individual nations or commercial interests.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Greenpeace   (4434 words)

 Nuclear Posture Review [Excerpts]
With respect to the nuclear infrastructure, it needs to be repaired to increase confidence in the deployed forces, eliminate unneeded weapons, and mitigate the risks of technological surprise.
Nuclear capabilities also assure the U.S. public that the United States will not be subject to coercion based on a false perception of U.S. weakness among potential adversaries.
Nuclear weapons could be employed against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack, (for example, deep underground bunkers or bio-weapon facilities)." (p.
www.globalsecurity.org /wmd/library/policy/dod/npr.htm   (9582 words)

 NRDC: Bush Plans Permanent U.S. Nuclear Advantage Under Moscow Treaty
Before giving his or her advice and consent to ratification of the Moscow Treaty, every member of the Senate should have a clear understanding of the U.S. nuclear force structure to be retained under the treaty, and the evolving nuclear strategy and doctrine governing their deployment, alert status, targeting and potential use.
According to the Bush posture review, all DOE nuclear weapon laboratories are working on "advanced concepts," including blowing up hardened and deeply buried targets, creating "agent defeat weapons" to attack chemical and biological warfare sites, and reducing "collateral damage" with improved accuracy and reduced and variable bomb yields.
Rumsfeld's assistant for nuclear chemical and biological defense programs, said that the nation may need hard data to check the weapons: 'As time goes on there will likely have to be some tests performed beyond the small scale...
www.nrdc.org /nuclear/moscow/moscnuc.asp   (1293 words)

 Nuclear Testing at the Nevada Test Site   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
The test device was placed at the lower end of a long (up to 200 feet, 61 meters) cylindrical canister, which also contained many diagnostic instruments.
Shortly after the test, the plug sealing the test shaft from the surface failed and a large quantity of radioactive debris vented to the atmosphere, reaching a height of 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
Underground nuclear tests leave subsidence craters of vary dimensions depending on the yield of the device detonated, the depth of emplacement, and the geological characteristics of the surrounding soil.
www.brook.edu /FP/projects/nucwcost/nts.htm   (630 words)

 CNS - China’s Nuclear Testing Program
Beginning with its first test on 16 October 1964, China conducted a total of 45 nuclear weapon tests -- 23 atmospheric and 22 underground -- ranging in yield from about 1 kiloton to about 4 megatons.
China's largest atmospheric test was 4 MT, conducted on 17 November 1976; its largest underground test was 660 kT, conducted on 21 May 1992.
Other Chinese sources indicate that these tests were also intended to modernize Chinese nuclear weapons in other areas as well, including the development of an MRV or MIRV capability and to develop new warheads for China's next-generation solid-fuel ICBMs.
cns.miis.edu /research/china/coxrep/testpos.htm   (730 words)

 Key Issues: Nuclear Weapons: Issues: Testing: Article, Peter Weiss
The tests are designed to shock radioactive plutonium with a high-explosive detonation without producing a nuclear chain reaction.
The cost per test is expected to come down if the labs are allowed to conduct a series of blasts, as originally planned, she said.
Paying so much for the tests is "grotesque," said Christopher Paine of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. On the other hand, high prices are "par for the course" in a program with a history of conducting expensive, full-scale nuclear tests, he said.
www.nuclearfiles.org /menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/testing/subcritical_article-weiss-peter-costs_1999-07-01.htm   (500 words)

 Physics Today November 2003 - Nuclear Bunker Busters, Mini-Nukes, and the US Nuclear Stockpile
Congress is currently considering legislation that would authorize the US nuclear weapons laboratories to study new types of nuclear weapons: Earth-penetrating nuclear bunker busters designed to destroy hardened and deeply buried targets, and agent-defeat warheads intended to sterilize stockpiles of chemical or biological agents.
Exploding a 10-kt nuclear bomb at a depth of 2 m underground, for example, would increase the effective yield by a factor of about 20 and result in underground damage equivalent to that of a 200-kt weapon exploded at the surface.
For a contained explosion, such as the 1.7-kt Rainier test at the Nevada Test Site, the remaining gases are mainly superheated steam and carbon dioxide at temperatures less than 1500 K. Beyond the cavity, the temperature falls off rapidly with distance, reaching the ambient ground temperature within a few cavity radii (see figure 7).
www.physicstoday.org /vol-56/iss-11/p32.html   (2991 words)

 U.S. to Seek Options On New Nuclear Tests   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
But prominent supporters of renewed testing argue that it is necessary to maintain the reliability of the country's nuclear arsenal as the Pentagon refurbishes warheads designed over the past 20 years to last another two decades.
The nuclear review that will be presented to Congress also may discuss the need for preliminary work on new weapons designs to train a new generation of scientists and in case new nuclear devices are needed, according to sources.
Although the threat to resume nuclear testing may stir up opposition from the arms control community and other signatory countries to the test ban treaty, administration officials believe the whole subject of nuclear weapons has receded into the background in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan.
www.commondreams.org /cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/headlines02/0108-01.htm   (896 words)

 The Observer | International | Bush plans new nuclear weapons
The Bush administration is pushing ahead with the development of a new generation of weapons, dubbed 'mini-nukes', that use nuclear warheads to penetrate underground bunkers.
They point to signs that nuclear weapons are being given a prominent role in the post-Cold War world, at a time when many others see them as obsolete.
Since Bush announced a 'nuclear posture review' after coming to office, the administration has taken several steps to develop and modernise its nuclear arsenal to deter a wide range of threats, including chemical and biological weapons and what the review called 'surprising military developments'.
observer.guardian.co.uk /international/story/0,6903,1096298,00.html   (826 words)

 News Update 1/9/02
The report is intended to justify the reduction of the U.S. nuclear stockpile from 6,000 to approximately 1,700 to 2,200 weapons by 2012, as was guaranteed by President Bush last year in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Supporters of the renewal testing argue that testing is necessary to ensure two more decades of reliability of weapons designed more than 20 years ago.
Renewed underground testing would rescind the 1992 moratorium on nuclear testing imposed by George Bush, Sr.
www.nuclearactive.org /news/010902.html   (441 words)

 LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: NEWS: READINESS REPORT: Nuclear testing speculation ris...   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-30)
But the leap from preparing for a nuclear test to actually performing one is enormous, according to Frank Von Hippel, the former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology from 1993 to 1994.
The test site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, served as the location for 100 atmospheric and 828 underground nuclear tests from 1951 until Sept. 23, 1992.
The drive to shorten nuclear test readiness received a hearty endorsement last month in a report by an independent group of experts.
www.lvrj.com /lvrj_home/2002/Apr-07-Sun-2002/news/18447597.html   (907 words)

 The Straight Dope: What is the purpose of underground nuclear testing?
The purpose of underground nuclear testing is to: (1) help build better bombs, (2) test the old models to see if they still work, and (3) see what happens to something if you drop an atom bomb on it.
The U.S. is thought to have conducted more than 900 nuclear tests since 1945, all but 10 of them at the Nevada Test Site, a vast federal reserve about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.
As a consequence of testing, the problem was headed off at the pass.
www.straightdope.com /classics/a3_312.html   (1000 words)

 UAF Newsroom: Feature Story: Amchitka's nuclear legacy
But while the nuclear tests have ended, concern that the island may be leaking deadly radiation has lingered among Aleut Natives, fishermen, environmentalists and scientists.
Ensuring the island is safe from nuclear contamination is important for re-settlement efforts, and for the environment as well.
The hunters kept the meat, while scientists took tissue and organ samples to be tested for nuclear contamination.
www.uaf.edu /news/featured/06/amchitka   (1695 words)

 U.S. Nuclear Accidents
The nuclear weapons complex generated waste, pollution, and contamination that pose unique problems, including unprecedented volumes of contaminated soil and water, radiological hazards from special nuclear material, and a vast number of contaminated structures.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released a warning to the operators of 34 nuclear reactors around the country that the instruments used to measure levels of water in the reactor could give false readings during routine shutdowns and fail to detect important leaks.
An underground nuclear test in Nevada resulted in a cloud of radioactive steam to be thrust 8,000 feet in the air over Wyoming.
www.lutins.org /nukes.html   (6381 words)

 Democratic Underground Forums - "Underground Nuclear Testing"
The halting of all nuclear testing by Bush I about a decade ago was quite a landmark.
When you're actively testing weapons, the clear signal is that you actually plan to use them someday.
Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.
www.democraticunderground.com /duforum/DCForumID5/12640.html   (749 words)

 deseretnews.com | Nuclear test pressure mounts
WASHINGTON — In another sign that pressure is mounting to resume underground nuclear testing in Nevada upwind from Utah, a British think tank now worries aloud that Britain may want to join such testing to modernize its aging nuclear stockpile.
Nigel Chamberlain, BASIC's nuclear analyst, said renewing it without close questioning and outlining of goals may suggest to the world that Britain and America are working on new and better nuclear weapons while they are trying to prevent other countries from developing any at all.
Chamberlain's group is concerned that with the Trident nearing the end of its intended life span, British scientists — if the Mutual Defense Agreement is extended — may tap into the development of smaller more usable weapons such as the mininukes and bunker-busters receiving early study now by the Bush administration.
deseretnews.com /dn/view/0,1249,595074077,00.html   (734 words)

 deseretnews.com | Pressure mounts for nuclear tests
Steve Erickson, spokesman for the Utah-based Citizens Education Project anti-testing group, notes that the Nevada Test Site was home to 24 joint British-U.S. underground nuclear tests between 1962 and 1991.
Before that, Britain conducted 21 open-air nuclear tests, primarily in Australia and the Pacific.
All that is among many signs worrying Utah politicians and activists that more nuclear testing upwind could be around the corner.
deseretnews.com /dn/view/0,1249,595074120,00.html   (734 words)

 Nevada Division of Environmental Protection - Bureau of Federal Facilities - Underground Nuclear Testing
Since July 1962 all nuclear tests conducted in the United States were conducted underground at the Nevada Test Site (NTS).
Many of the underground tests left subsidences craters varying in diameter and depth.
The tower served as infrastructure for holding and inserting the nuclear test devise in the underground shaft.
ndep.nv.gov /boff/photo02.htm   (244 words)

 Key Issues: Nuclear Weapons: Issues: Testing
Consequences of Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands
Preliminary Report Following the Second Atomic Bomb Test Report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Evaluation Board for the Atomic Bomb Tests 30 July 1946, August 2,1946
China's Reaction to U.S. Resumption of Nuclear Testing, July 3, 1997
www.nuclearfiles.org /menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/testing   (154 words)

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