‘We don’t know what will happen’: Nuclear membrane test on US coast
A nuclear membrane test at the US West Coast has been delayed and is being conducted without the approval of the Department of Energy (DOE).
The test was expected to occur on Tuesday, but the date has been moved to Thursday due to an ice storm that has shut down the region.
“We have a nuclear test site in California, and we’re continuing to monitor it,” Department of Defense spokesman Lt.
Col. Chris Gorman said Tuesday.
“The testing of the nuclear test-tube is scheduled to occur today and continue through tomorrow.”
“There’s no way of knowing what will come of that,” he said.
The US Department of Transportation said it would provide additional details on Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the DOT said the test was to determine the ability to test the US’s long-term storage of weapons-grade plutonium at sea.
The DOE and the military have been working together to test and evaluate the storage capability of the plutonium repository at the Naval Weapons Facility at Dahlgren, Calif.
A large test would also help the military “determine the criticality of nuclear weapons at sea,” the DOT statement said.
The agency added that the testing would provide a baseline for the future and will be performed without the threat of a “limited response.”
The tests will take place under a temporary permit issued by the Department the previous day.
The test has been postponed due to the ice storm.
The DOT said it planned to resume the test this weekend.
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