Subcritical nuclear experiment successful at Nevada Test Site


The following article was published in the "Las Vegas Review-Journal", April 6, 2000. It was sent to us by Devin Loving.


Government scientists successfully conducted a subcritical nuclear weapons experiment Thursday at the Nevada Test Site, Department of Energy officials said.

The experiment, Oboe 4, was the nation's 11th subcritical experiment since the United States launched the program in 1997, five years after all U.S. full-scale nuclear weapons tests were put on hold indefinitely.

The experiments are called subcritical because they are designed not to erupt into nuclear chain reactions.

Energy Department spokesman Darwin Morgan said Thursday's experiment at 3:30 p.m. went off as planned in a below-ground complex, 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

He confirmed that six antinuclear activists were arrested Thursday morning for trespassing at the test site's Mercury entrance to protest the Oboe 4 experiment conducted by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. All six protesters were cited and released, he said.

The Shundahai Network, an international anti-nuclear group that organized the protest issued a statement saying, "The world knows that subcritical tests are extending the arms race and forcing millions into starvation while their governments fight to keep, upkeep and make more weapons of mass destruction."

From "Las Vegas Review-Journal", April 6, 2000


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