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US conducts limited nuclear test at underground site

Published on Dec 7, 2012 1:21 PM
 
A double rainbow appears after a heavy monsoon storms over Nipton Road in Searchlight, Nevada, July 13, 2012. The United States said Thursday it has conducted a “subcritical” nuclear test at an underground site in Nevada to study the behavior of nuclear materials without triggering an atomic explosion. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Thursday it has conducted a “subcritical” nuclear test at an underground site to study the behavior of nuclear materials without triggering an atomic explosion.

The test, conducted Wednesday in Nevada, aims to gather scientific data that will “provide crucial information to maintain the safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons,” the Energy Department said in a statement.

“Challenging subcritical experiments maintain our capabilities to ensure that we can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile without having to conduct underground testing,” said National Nuclear Security Administration head Thomas D’Agostino.

Staff from the Nevada National Security Site, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories conducted the experiment, known as Pollux.

 
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