Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel
Posted on Wed, Aug. 30, 2006
Associated Press

Owner says no huge bomb test at southern Indiana quarry

MITCHELL, Ind. – A southern Indiana limestone quarry will not be used by the U.S. military as the testing site for a powerful new bomb intended to penetrate solid rock formations, a congressman and the site’s owner said.

Rogers Group’s Mitchell Quarry about 30 miles south of Bloomington had been mentioned as a possible site for a test, named “Divine Strake,” that involves detonating 700 tons of explosives.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency has declined to say whether the site was under consideration for the test, but Greg Gould, a vice president of Nashville, Tenn.-based Rogers Group, said no immense military bomb blasts would take place there.

“We do not intend to have any blast beyond what we typically have for our mining operations,” Gould said. “Rogers Group has not been in contact with the DTRA about Divine Strake, and we do not expect to be.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., said Tuesday he had been told by the agency that the Divine Strake test would not be conducted in Indiana.

The test had at first been planned for June at the Nevada Test Site as part of an effort to design a weapon that can destroy bunkers in which a country might store nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

Environmentalists and some residents had objected to moving the Divine Strake test to southern Indiana. The military has confirmed testing up to 1.5 tons of explosives at the Mitchell Quarry in detonations between July 2004 and March 2005.

Mitchell Mayor Morris Chastain said he was relieved by word that the quarry would not be the large bomb test site.