Blast at Nevada Test Site helps scientists learn about explosions

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A high-explosive detonation was conducted Saturday at the Nevada Test Site to give government scientists a chance to test new equipment for detecting explosions.

The explosion had the blast power equivalent to 37,000 pounds of TNT, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration, which operates the Test Site.

Scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico conducted the experiment.

Raffi Papazian, Los Alamos director for Test Site activities, said Saturday that the blast allowed scientists to make sure old and new technology to detect explosions was working properly.

"We're measuring the vibrations in the ground as you measure something like an earthquake and measuring low frequency sound waves that go through the air," Papazian said.

The experiment allows scientists to better understand and detect explosions such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and determine how much explosives are used.


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