Brace for a Big, Big Boom:

Defense Threat Reduction Agency chief James Tegnelia told reporters Tuesday that his agency will be conducting an unprecedented conventional weapons test in the Nevada desert this summer—using a 700-ton explosive. The aim, said Tegnelia, is to find a means to defeat a hard, deeply buried target. He noted, “It’s a lot easier to dig a tunnel 50 feet deeper,” than it is to develop a weapon that will defeat the physics of 60 feet of granite. The Tegnelia called the 700-ton explosively formed charge that, in a few months, will be placed in a tunnel in Nevada for a June 1 test, “the largest single explosive we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem.” He added that, for the first time since nuclear testing was suspended in Nevada, people might see a mushroom cloud outside Las Vegas. DTRA has given the project the code name “Divine Strake” and expects it to determine ideal conditions for use of a large conventional weapon and how well one would work against buried granite structures.