US Envoy Summoned Over House Remarks on US Nuclear Tests in Sudan

Al Jazirah
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry has summoned the US charge d'affaires in Khartoum and requested clarification regarding statements that the United States had carried out nuclear tests in Sudan. Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Uthman Isma'il said his country has embarked on an investigation into the issue:

"In a hearing session by the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives, a US Defense Department official displayed pictures of nuclear tests by the United States in Sudan in 1962 and 1970. The hearing session was held by the said subcommittee on 2 March 2005. I stress to you that we are eager to have this issue clarified. We are working on that with seriousness proportionate to the potential risks. The Sudanese Government takes this issue seriously and with extreme importance."

Hearing of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee
of the House Armed Services Committee

on the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Request for
Department of Energy Atomic Energy Defense Activities

March 2, 2005


REP. ELLEN O. TAUSCHER (D-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ambassador Brooks, I want to join Congressman Thornberry in thanking you again for the comprehensive nature of your statement and the fulsomeness of your remarks. As usual, I think you have really taken hold as administrator of the NNSA and I'm very pleased to see that. I have -- there's a poster over there. It's difficult to see and more difficult to read, but it's basically a poster of the Sudan [sic] [should be: Sedan] nuclear test site. I want to talk to you about RNEP because it's a study that you're asking for us to fund again.

In 1962 we took 100 kiloton nuclear warhead. We buried it 635 feet under the surface which is deeper than any nuclear buster can dig and we blew it up. As you can tell from the top picture, radiation was not trapped inside the earth and instead was spread above and beyond the target area. As you can see from this picture below, the Sudan [sic] test displaced 12 million tons of earth and dug a crater 320 feet deep in over 1000 feet in diameter. On December 18, 1970 we conducted another test, the Baneberry used a 10 kilotons device, smaller than the Hiroshima weapon and probably much lower than the B83 and that was placed in the bottom of a sealed 900 foot shaft.

The shaft did not contain the explosion. It was released -- released a flow out cloud that rose 10,000 feet in the air and tracked north to Canada. So, Ambassador Brooks, in both of these cases the RNEP was buried and we controlled the environment. You've discussed this before in an unclassified environment. I just want to know is there any way an RNEP of any size that we would drop will not produce a huge amount of radioactive debris?

MR. BROOKS: No, there is not.


[as transcribed by Federal News Service and FDCH Political Transcripts]

Xinhua General News Service
March 10, 2005

Sudan holds US responsible for cancer spread in Sudan

KHARTOUM -- The Sudanese government on Wednesday held the United States responsible for cancer spread in Sudan caused by US nuclear experiments in the African country in 1962-1970.

Sudanese Minister of Agriculture and Political Secretary General of the ruling National Congress (NC) party Majzoub el-Khalifa told reporters his government would launch a public campaign and judiciary procedures on the issue.

The remarks came one day after Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail quoted a senior US Defense Department official as saying that the United States made two nuclear explosions in Sudan in 1962 and 1970.

Khalifa said his government would take steps in coordination with the international community to regain rights of the Sudanese people who suffered from these nuclear experiments.

Suna News Agency

March 10, 2005 Thursday 5:14 PM EST


Khartoum, March 10 -- The government has received assurances from the American Administration that the area where the nuclear experiments and explosions took place was Sedan area in Nevada State in the United States of America and not Sudan.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mustafa Osman Ismail said in a press statement that as a result of urgent contacts made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the American authorities via their embassy in Khartoum and the Sudanese Embassy in Washington on what had been reported that US had conducted nuclear tests in Sudan in 1962 and 1970 assurances were received that there was a mistake concerning the name of the area where the nuclear tests and explosions took place in the American State of Nevada at Sedan area and not Sudan.

The minister added that one of the reasons of the confusion was the spelling mistake committed by an editor of the Armed Forces Committee at the US Congress, when he mistakenly typed the word Sedan as Sudan and put it at the minutes of the committee.

Dr. Ismail said that the government has nothing to make it doubts the explanations it has received from the American administration till now, adding that the investigations began by the government would continue until fully got assured.

Information on public tours of the Nevada Test Site including the Sedan crater is available here.