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12/16/2006 12:39 PM ID: 59005 Permalink   

Nuclear Weapon Nearly Detonated in the United States


The Project on Government Oversight, a non-profit organisation, has claimed that a W56 warhead with a 1,200 kiloton yield was nearly detonated last year while being dismantled at a factory less than 20 miles from Amarillo.

The organisation claims to have been told by unnamed experts with knowledge of the incident that a safety device failed when technicians applied an unsafe amount of pressure during three unsuccessful attempts to dismantle the warhead.

The Energy Department fined the plant where the incident occurred, $110,000. The Pantex plant is the only nuclear weapon assembly/disassembly plant in the US. Some of the technicians at the plant are required to work as many as 72 hours per week.

    WebReporter: ixuzus Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  Fine? What fine?  
A measly $110,000 for nearly detonating a nuke? Seems to me that is a grievous breach of safety protocols, one with potentially devastating and lasting effects. This is akin to a mere slap on the wrist.
  by: chaoticvengeance     12/16/2006 01:01 PM     
A detonation there would result in a LOT of radioactive steaks and the fallout would stink of manure!
  by: theironboard     12/16/2006 01:25 PM     
  We're a bigger threat to ourselves  
than the terrorists, it would seem.
  by: fballer23   12/16/2006 07:05 PM     
  i wonder  
if the warhead would have gone off, who would they have blamed it on?the newspaper headlines would have probably looked like this,
"Al-Qaeda terrorists set off N.Bomb"
and since no one from there would have survived to tell any tales, people would have bought the crap.
  by: FunkMan   12/16/2006 09:15 PM     
  and yeah  
if someone any evidence would have been there to tell that it was their own fault, the bush admin would still have went ahead with the al-qaeda headlines....
  by: FunkMan   12/16/2006 09:16 PM     
  Strategical Publicity  
"The Pantex plant is the only nuclear weapon assembly/disassembly plant in the US."

Yea right.
  by: Syphon   12/16/2006 10:25 PM     
  I'm Glad I Live In Vermont  
George Bush came from Texas, need I say more?
  by: tunefreak   12/17/2006 02:50 AM     
  can anyone say  
  by: mkez   12/17/2006 09:22 PM     
With a 1200 kiloton yield? No, this would make Chernobyl look like a firecracker. Keep in mind this one is approximately 100 times the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
  by: ixuzus     12/17/2006 09:37 PM     
Couldn't it have caused a chain reaction with all the other warheads?
  by: chris_sykes84   12/17/2006 09:51 PM     
So exactly what are they supposed to do when they cannot dismantle it by traditional means? Just leave it? It says it took three attempts to dismantle the warhead.

I mean, come on people, give it an answer - what do you do with a nuclear warhead you can't dismantle according to result protocol.
  by: lauriesman     12/17/2006 11:02 PM     
  Who needs terrorists!?  
We are more than capable of blowing ourselves up...
  by: zmethod     12/18/2006 01:09 AM     
I didn't think it was possible to detonate a nuke simply by applying pressure to it.
  by: red_aphex   12/18/2006 12:31 PM     
i think it's a safeguard, incase anyone not supposed to try and take it apart.
  by: pornohippy   12/18/2006 01:23 PM     
Good point indeed. Giving that our government lies to us on a constant basis and knowing that we are the biggest terror to the globe.....we'd be screwed before you could say, "oh sh!t!" :)
  by: definition   12/18/2006 03:58 PM     
This is just crazy!!!
  by: naynay972   12/18/2006 09:02 PM     
  Tick, tock, tick, tock  
April f--- booooooooom!
  by: mr-anderson   12/19/2006 02:55 AM     
  With workplaces like that...  
who needs enemies?
  by: Mister crank     12/19/2006 06:27 AM     
  Just Imagine  
if all similar incidents over the years were known by the general public.
  by: whipd+kreem     12/19/2006 08:57 AM     
  no chain reaction  
Nuclear warheads rely on an extremely precise timing mechanism to properly detonate, making the probability of accidental *nuclear* detonation extremely remote.
The standard explosive plates may detonate, but there wouldn't be a typical nuclear explosion.

Of course, you would still have the radiation to contend with.
  by: winterblade   12/19/2006 03:32 PM     
  No Ka-Boom!  
Someone on digg was saying that these are done under bunkers which are made to absorb all or most of the explosion. So like others have said it wouldn't be nuclear just a dirty bomb which would probably be contained.
  by: ast3r3x   12/19/2006 08:56 PM     
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