China runs new nuclear test

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LONDON - Scientists at Imperial College in London have picked up seismic data which they say shows that China carried out an underground nuclear test last Friday, writes Susan Watts. The test comes at a particularly sensitive moment, since the US Congress is considering its stance on a moratorium on nuclear tests. The Russian moratorium, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev, is due to expire in just two days.

Vipin Gupta, of Imperial College, said it was probably a relatively small tactical nuclear weapon of between one and 20 kilotonnes (the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 12 kilotonnes). China carries out tests once or twice a year. The last one, in May, was much larger.