The test detonation scheduled Tuesday of a half-million pounds of explosives on the Air Force test range west of the Great Salt Lake has been delayed until next week, according to an Air Force spokesman.
The explosion was tentatively set for Tuesday but has been pushed back to around 3 p.m. Nov. 14, said Hill Air Force Base spokesman Len Barry.And that date is not definite, Barry said. Because of the blast's potential impact, weather conditions play a major part on whether it will be carried out.
The detonation will test a new munitions storage building the Air Force has designed for possible construction at bases around the world.
Two of the igloo-style buildings have been constructed at a site on the Utah Test and Training Range. One, packed with 500,000 pounds of high explosive, will be blown up to gauge the effects of the blast on it and the igloo next to it.
Because of the size of the blast -the largest in the training range's history - the Air Force prepared an environmental assessment. It con-cluded the explosion will have no significant impact on the test range, which has been used for gunnery and bombing practice for more than 40 years.
But under certain conditions, the report concluded, the explosion could send sound shock waves to communities along the Wasatch Front, rattling or even breaking windows from Ogden to Salt Lake City.
A sophisticated weather monitoring system is being used to assess and predict meteorological conditions, Barry said, including temperature, cloud cover, and wind direction and speed.
If conditions are not favorable, Barry said, the test will be postponed until they improve.
The Air Force is also in contact with officials in nearby areas such as the Lakeside Railroad Camp and West Desert Pumping Station to keep them informed about when the explosives will be set off.