What is Necessity

What is Necessity

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Investigative Journalist Finds America’s Nuclear Missiles In Need Of TLC

English: Graphic showing relative sizes of var...English: Graphic showing relative sizes of various types of nuclear weapons. Clockwise from upper left: a Fat Man (MK-IV) bomb similar to the type dropped on Nagasaki, Japan; a MK-17 hydrogen bomb of the sort detonated at the Castle Bravo test; a W-87 warhead inside its re-entry vehicle (see MIRV, LGM-118A Peacekeeper); and a W-59 warhead used on the early Minuteman missiles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
World map with nuclear weapons development sta...World map with nuclear weapons development status represented by color. Five "nuclear weapons states" from the NPT Other states known to possess nuclear weapons States formerly possessing nuclear weapons States suspected of being in the process of developing nuclear weapons and/or nuclear programs States which at one point had nuclear weapons and/or nuclear weapons research programs States that possess nuclear weapons, but have not widely adopted them (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The basics of the Teller–Ulam design for a hyd...The basics of the Teller–Ulam design for a hydrogen bomb: a fission bomb uses radiation to compress and heat a separate section of fusion fuel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Schematic representation of the two m...English: Schematic representation of the two methods with which to assemble a fission bomb (see nuclear weapon design). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Investigative Journalist Finds America’s Nuclear Missiles In Need Of TLC
September 13, 2014 4:00 AM
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(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Related Tags: Arkansas Accident, Damascus, Eric Schlosser, Improvement, Minuteman Silos, Nuclear Weapons, US Military
John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience... Read More
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US military still acknowledges having about 4,800 nuclear weapons, but a journalist finds need for improvement in the people, systems and equipment that maintain them.

The book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, is the distillation of six years work by Eric Schlosser and focuses a lot on the way good intentions aren’t enough.

“In the last few years, there have been some remarkable scandals in the Air Force with launch officers being caught using illegal drugs, cheating on exams.”60 Minutes” did a very powerful segment on the aging equipment in our Minuteman silos, computers using 9-inch floppy discs, doors that won’t close, and this is a recipe for disaster.”

The Damascus, Arkansas Accident started with a dropped tool that begin a leak in a silo and eventually an explosion that destroyed the missile and killed an airman, but did not trigger the warhead. Good thing, too, because it contained three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in World War II.

“There was an accident at Minuteman silo where the burglar alarm went off, someone used a screwdriver instead of a fuse puller on the fuse box and created a short circuit and blew the warhead off the missile.”

Although Schlosser would like to see the end of nuclear weapons, he says better training and upgraded equipment are imperative to keep a terrible accident from happening.
Investigative Journalist Finds America’s Nuclear Missiles In Need Of TLC
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