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Nuclear Targets

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_56356891_hmssheffieldpaOne of the lessons we can draw from the best work on nuclear weapon handling accidents, a lesson available from both the theoretical and the anecdotal accounts, is that the accidents happen due to an accumulation of unexpected errors that interact in unpredictable ways.  A falling wrench tears open a pipe; changes in personnel rotations lead experienced people to ignore weapons loaded onto a plane; and so forth.

I’m not sure that “sending nuclear-armed ships into an area where they’re being fired on by Exocet missiles” counts as this kind of normal accident:

The Ministry of Defence admitted for the first time last night that British ships carried nuclear weapons in the Falklands war.

The disclosure came as the government was forced to concede – after a long-running campaign by the Guardian – that seven nuclear weapons containers were damaged during a series of wartime accidents.

But many of the details of these accidents are still being kept secret by the MoD.

The ministry also refused to say whether any nuclear depth charges were on board HMS Sheffield, which was sunk during the war.

 

 

 

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