Australia Gears Up Tactical Nuclear Program

Whitefinger, Antartica, May 28, 2039 -- The second round of Australian nuclear testing is now underway, with the above ground detonation of a 200 megaton tactical nuclear device yesterday evening in the Whitefinger Proving Grounds near the Rumpled Territories of Western Antartica, a spokesman for the Australian Ministry of Defense announced today.

"The nuclear tests are essential to solidifying lasting peace, friendship and prosperity with our neighbors in New Zealand, whom as we know have maintained and developed an extensive nuclear arsenal over the past few decades," the spokesman said. "The success of this latest detonation demonstrates to our neighbors and the world that Australia is armed and ready in the event of any unpleasantries. We may be Down Under, but we won't be put down," the spokesman continued, invoking the popular rallying cry of the Koala Wars of the 20's.

Australia is now the 94th world power to go public with its nuclear weapons arsenal since the U.S.-led dissolution of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Non-Proliferation Agreements in 2007. Most above-ground nuclear testing is limited internationally, by the Pop Goes The Weasel Compact of 2021, to remote areas of Antarctica, with the exception of the United States Radiant Eagle facility in the Pacific Ocean, 40 miles west of Reno, Nevada.

Limited fallout from the blast is expected to blow inland over parts of Madagascar and Eastern India within the next few days, based on prevailing wind patterns. Residents are urged to remain indoors and, when out of doors, to avoid inhaling dust particles. Possible side effects of inhalation, according the the Australian Public Health, Safety, and Oneness Commission, could include itchy scalp, runny nose, and spontaneous loss of appendages.

"It's all for a good cause," said the Ministry of Defense spokesman. "Peace, even local peace, always comes at a price."

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

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