WAPO Such a bomb would be a conventional alternative to a nuclear weapon proposed by the Bush administration, which has run into opposition on Capitol Hill. The Pentagon for several years has sought funding for research into the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) -- also known as the "bunker buster" -- after the administration's 2001 Nuclear Posture Review stated that no weapon in the U.S. arsenal could threaten a growing number of buried targets. Congress, however, has repeatedly refused to grant funding for a study on a nuclear bunker buster, instead directing money toward conventional alternatives.I don't like the name.
The June test will detonate 700 tons of heavy ammonium nitrate-fuel oil emulsion -- creating a blast equivalent to 593 tons of TNT -- in a 36-foot-deep hole near a tunnel in the center of the Nevada Test Site, according to official reports. It aims to allow scientists to model the type of ground shock that will be created, and to weigh the effectiveness of such a weapon against its collateral impact.
"To my knowledge, this will be the largest open-air chemical explosion that we've conducted," said Darwin Morgan, spokesman for the Energy Department's test site. Larger blasts have been carried out at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, including the nation's biggest open-air detonation, in 1985, a Pentagon spokeswoman said.
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Friday, March 31
That's the name of the huge conventional bomb the pentagon plans to test in Nevada on June 2nd. Got a problem with that?