This is my Political opinion Blog. On it I will write about Nevada / California mostly. My Art site is on which I will post drawings, paintings and sculpture for sale.

Location: United States

I realy have lived in a cave for quite some time, though ive also lived in a franciscan monastary, a log cabin in the mountains, and a completly underground house. I work in stone, clay, wood, glass past (not blown)as well as oil and acryilic. I have also woked a forge (yes the kind with a bellows and anvil) while living on a ranch.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hi Everyone
We have a protest planned against the June 2nd Divine Strake military bomb outside of Las Vegas. As of now we will gather on the street behind the Venetian on Koval Lane around 9am-10am. Bush is expected to arrive at this back entrance at around 11am. So we need to get people out for those several hours.
I will send out info regarding a local community forum led by Tony Guzman of Citizen Alert to discuss the implications of this test and how we can protest or even stop it.

The Department of Energy is readying the Nevada Test Site for a large-scale, open-air, high explosive detonation on a tunnel complex. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the DOE customer which is conducting the test, is stressing that the test is not a nuclear blast and the Russian government reportedly has been notified to avoid misunderstanding about the event. "The test is aimed at determining how well a massive conventional bomb would perform against fortified underground targets," the Washington Post reported on March 31st.

No one - with the notable exception of Andrew Lichterman and John Fleck who first reported on this - seems to have tried to dig deeper than the press release from DTRA. I too have monitored the preparations for Divine Strake; It is much more than was reported (for media reports about Divine Strake after publication of this Nuclear Brief, click here).

Divine Strake is neither a bomb nor conventional. Instead, the test is a detonation of a pile of chemical explosives to simulate a "low-yield nuclear weapon ground shock" effect to "improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage."

Divine Strake, moreover, is an integral part of STRATCOM's new Global Strike mission, which is otherwise said to provide mainly non-nuclear means of defeating time-critical targets. Divine Strake is the first nuclear effects simulation of this kind against underground targets since President George W. Bush in Summer 2004 directed STRATCOM to "extend Global Strike to counter all HDBTs [Hard and Deeply Buried Targets] to include both tactical and strategic adversarial targets." (see guidance overview here)

Update April 4, 2006:

Here is DTRA's confirmation:

"Yes, the event described is Divine Strake. Better predictive tools will reduce the uncertainties involved with defeating very hard targets, and therefore reduce the need for higher yield weapons to overcome those uncertainties. There are no nuclear tests planned or desired."

DTRA Public Affairs, email to Hans Kristensen, 4/3/2006 6:06 PM

The Divine Strake Event

Divine Strake was approved in 2002 as part of the congressionally authorized DOD FY2002 Tunnel Target Defeat Advanced Concept and Technology Demonstration (ACTD). Since then, DTRA has prepared for the event under its Counterforce program. DTRA confirmed today that Divine Strake is the event described in the budget documents. The DTRA counterforce RDT&E (Research, Development, Testing and Engineering) budget for FY2006 described the experiment this way:

"Conduct the Tunnel Target Defeat Advanced Concept and Technology Demonstration(s) (ACTD) Full-Scale tunnel defeat demonstration using high explosives to simulate a low yield nuclear weapon ground shock environment at Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site."

The Divine Strake event involves placing high explosives on the surface similarly to the Misers Gold experiment in 1989.
Source: DTRA

The reference to low-yield nuclear weapons was omitted from the section in the FY2007 budget request, which instead describes the event like this: "Conduct the Tunnel Target Defeat ACTD large-scale tunnel defeat demonstration using high explosives to produce the desired ground shock environment at the Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site." Yet the nuclear reference is used elsewhere in the FY2007 budget:

"The Tunnel Target Defeat ACTD will develop a planning tool that will improve the warfighter’s confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage."

Divine Strake reflects a concern in the Pentagon over what is said to be an increasing number of a underground facilities in potentially hostile countries. The 2001 Nuclear Posture Review warned that the existing B61-11 nuclear earth-penetrator does not have sufficient capability against certain deeply buried targets. The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator was supposed to provide additional capability, but Congress has refused to fund the weapon due to concern that it could lower the nuclear threshold.

The U16B tunnel shown in a 3D simulation of a 10 kt nuclear agent defeat experiment conducted by Los Alamos in 2004.
Source: LANL

Divine Stake is not an RNEP-type experiment because it simulates the use of a very low-yield nuclear weapon against an relatively shallow underground target. Divine Strake follows a previous 3D computer simulation conducted by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2004, which examined the use of a 10 kt nuclear detonation inside the U16B tunnel as an agent defeat weapon. The experiment concluded that the relatively large yield was necessary for radiation to penetrate through the entire length of the tunnel "indicating that such yields might be necessary to guarantee agent destruction stored inside large tunnel complexes."

Divine Strake, in contrast, does not simulate agent defeat destruction but simply envisions using the explosive yield of a small nuclear weapon to destroy or severely damage and underground structure. Also important is that the simulation is not directed against the tunnel entrances, but involves detonating the explosives on top of the surface above the tunnel.

The Divine Strake explosion is half as powerful as the lowest yield option of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb.
Source: SNL

The contract for collecting the seismo-acoustic data from Divine Strake was awarded to Southern Methodist University on March 16, 2006.

The "Weapon"

Contrary to most of the media reports, Divine Strake is not testing a conventional bomb but simply detonates a huge pile (700 tons) of Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil (ANFO). For comparison, the largest conventional weapon in the U.S. inventory is the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) bomb, which contains nearly nine tons of explosives with a yield of approximately 0.012 kt TNT.

The explosive power of Divine Strake will be approximately 593 tons of TNT equivalent, or roughly 0.6 kt. This is about double the lowest yield option on the non-strategic B61 nuclear gravity bomb, and suggests that Divine Strake may be intended to fine-tune use of the B61 bomb. There are three modifications of the non-strategic B61 bomb in the U.S. stockpile with yields ranging from 0.3 kt to 170 kt.

Of course the real problem is detonating anything of any size within miles of Yucca Flats. Conventional or otherwise the clouds of dirt contaminated by the above ground nuclear tests that are going to be thrown into the sky must come down somewhere. Guarantying that Americans will be exposed to the radioactive fallout of our tests and claiming that it's being done to safeguard us from Iran is irresponsible especially in the absence of proof!

"Airblast from Underground Explosions Philip Hookham, Titan Research

Two- and three-dimensional computational fluid and solid dynamics calculations were performed to predict the airblast and dust environment for the DIVINE STRAKE high explosive field test. The DIVINE STRAKE test is planned to be a large-yield, buried burst detonated at the Nevada Test Site. The early-time airblast, crater formation, and ejecta environment were calculated using the two-dimensional CRALE code. This solution was then overlayed onto two- and three-dimensional MAZe code computational meshes. The MAZe calculations simulated the airblast environment as well as the propagation of the dusty environment produced by the ejecta and subsequent dust sweep-up. The airblast environment will be compared to test measurements when they become available, while the predicted dust environment will be used to aid in planning of the test."

I quoted the entire text to show the selections in context. It is from and indicates that the government already knows that glow in the dark leftovers will be served in the days after the test.