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President Kennedy Approves Nuclear Explosion for Peaceful Use

Oct. 25, 1961 - President Kennedy gave his approval today for an underground nuclear explosion in the salt caverns of New Mexico as the first step in developing peaceful uses of atomic explosives. This first experiment in non-destructive uses is expected to take place in December in a mine shaft dug to a depth of 1,200 feet in a salt formation southeast of Carlsbad, N.M. The explosion will have a force of 5 kilotons, equivalent to 5,000 tons of TNT. A primary purpose of the experiment will be to determine the feasibility of storing the vast heat of an atomic explosion in an underground cavern and then tapping this heat for the generation of electricity.


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