Sunday, September 26, 2010

Semi-contained nuclear test (Shot Sedan)

Boy this was a big one for a continental test! The fallout radiation must have been severe.

"Storax Sedan was a shallow underground nuclear test conducted at the Nevada Test Site at 37.177048° N 116.046653° W by the United States on July 6, 1962 as part of Operation Plowshare program to investigate the use of nuclear weapons for mining, cratering, and other civilian purposes.

The blast had a yield of 104 kilotons (435 terajoules) and displaced more than 11 million tonnes (12 million short tons) of soil and resulted in a radioactive cloud that rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 feet). The radioactive dust plume headed northeast and then east towards the Mississippi River. It created a crater 100 m (320 feet) deep and has a diameter of about 390 m (1,280 feet). It is about 21 km (13 miles) away from Groom Lake.

On March 2, 2005 Ellen Tauscher, a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the state of California, gave congressional testimony on the containment of nuclear testing debris, using the Sedan test as an example of one which produced a considerable amount of radioactive fallout. A reporter mistook the word Sedan for the Sudan, an east African nation, and this mistake was placed into the Congressional Record. Within days of this error, the international community took notice. Sudanese officials responded to this stating that "the Sudanese government takes this issue seriously and with extreme importance," and China's Xinhua General News Service even went so far as to publish an article claiming that the Sudanese government had blamed the U.S. for raising cancer rates among the Sudanese people. Despite the U.S. embassy in Khartoum issuing a statement regarding the error, the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, stated that they would continue investigating."

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