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Congressman Calls for More Data Before June 2nd Bomb Test

by Julie Rose
"Divine Strake" Could Send Radiation Downwind to Utah

(KCPW News) Should Southern Utah residents stay indoors and worry about radiation on June 2 -- the day federal officials plan to detonate 700 tons of explosives at the nuclear test site in Nevada? Congressman Jim Matheson says without more information, it's hard to know if Utahns will be in danger of downwind contamination. He's requested detailed analysis of the surface soil at the test site to determine if any radioactive material will be blown into the air during the blast. Without that information, Matheson says it's hard to know how dangerous the test will be.
In a meeting with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency last week, the congressman also requested the government monitor the air for radiation in a tunnel under the detonation -- and he wants the information made public. The test blast is scheduled for June 2nd. Officials say it has dual purpose - to measure shock value from a conventional weapon, but also collect data that would reflect a nuclear weapon. If the government provides the data he's requested, Matheson says he'll feel more comfortable with the test, but he'll never be comfortable with quote "where the test is going, which is to develop new nuclear weapons."

In addition to Matheson, Governor Jon Huntsman, Junior and Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett have all asked for better proof that the test known as "Divine Strake" won't hurt their state.



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