An Israeli research institute will identify nuclear testing in Iran – Tuesday afternoon will see a series of three controlled explosions in the Negev desert in an effort to improve the ability of the geophysical monitoring facility stationed near Eilat.
The explosions will be used to calibrate the sensitive equipment used at the facility, which is designed to be sensitive enough to pick up on nuclear testing even in Iran – this according to Yedioth Aharonoth.
Researchers will detonate 15 tons of explosives near the Oron phosphate quarry in the northern Negev desert, creating the comparative effect of an earthquake measuring 2.4 on the Richter scale.
Though the tremor will only be felt in the immediate vicinity of the site, Israel has sent word of the experiment to neighboring countries in advance.
The facility is operated on behalf of the United Nations, which enforces the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Operating from the belly of the earth it is equipped with a plethora of fine-tuned devices. The facility directly transmits incoming data to the corresponding UN center in Vienna.
Dr. Rami Hofstetter who heads the Geophysical Institute of Israel explained the objectives of the experiment to Ynet. "One of our goals is to examine the influence of post-earthquake tremors and see how we can determine the potential damage that might be caused by them.
We're seeking to research the behavior of the tremors, which can be caused not only from an earthquake but also a nuclear explosion or anything similar to it."
Dr. Hofstetter added that the facility in question was built in 1974 and its purpose is far from classified: "Our station is open to everyone.
Anyone can come and visit, no authorizations are necessary. People who are interested in our work can come and observe, thousands of residents from Eilat have been to the facility."