LAS VEGAS — A nuclear weapons test was detonated beneath the Nevada desert today, the 16th announced test since the Soviet Union began a unilateral test moratorium 13 months ago.
The test, code-named Aleman, was detonated without incident at 7:57 a.m., according to Department of Energy spokesman Jim Boyer.
The National Earthquake Information Center in Boulder, Colo., said ground motion from the test registered 3.2 on the Richter scale.
The device was buried 1,650 feet beneath Yucca Flat, 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It had an explosive yield of less than 20,000 tons of TNT. All tests at the Nevada site are classed as having an explosive yield of less than 20 kilotons or 20 to 150 kilotons.
The test was the ninth announced this year, compared to 16 announced tests in 1985. Not all tests are announced, for security reasons. The most recent previously announced test, code-named Cornucopia, was on July 24.
Aleman brings the total number of tests announced at the Nevada site to 655 since testing began there in January, 1951.