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U.S. Lost Nukes And Nuclear Accidents

Nuclear Losses

Oh where have all the lost nukes gone? Yep, you are reading correctly, we have lost nukes, nuclear reactors and nuclear material. The Soviet Union was a secretly run country so it is harder to find out what they lost but to give you a hint, we lost two nuclear submarines and they lost five. At first glance you have to wonder how anyone could lose a nuclear weapon, it seems like you would have to be a total idiot, doesn't it? You would think that even if they fell into the ocean, we would be able to detect them just from their radiation, but apparently this isn't the case. I have no way to verify the following nuclear tales since I am merely a one man operation and not a newspaper but the following nuclear loses are talked about quite often:

In 2004 it was estimated that we had lost at least 11 nuclear weapons of the bomb type. This is not counting other types of nuclear weapons. It was also estimated that 92 nuclear bombs were lost at sea from all nuclear capable countries.

A B-36 was traveling from Alaska to Texas. It developed mechanical problems. The problems got so bad that the crew had to bail out. Unfortunately the plane was carrying a test nuke. The explosive material detonated, not the nuke, over the coast of British Columbia. This is listed as the world's first nuclear accident. This accident was said to have taken place in January, 1950.

Also in 1950 it is said that a B-36 was forced to jettison it's nuclear bomb into the Pacific Ocean where it still remains today.

Forty five years ago a B-47 was flying with a nuclear weapon off the coast of South Carolina, USA. The location is disputed, some say it was off the coast of Georgia and others say North Carolina. The copilot went back to the weapon to install a pin. The pin was necessary for the release mechanism to work. It wouldn't go in. He radioed back to the base and he was advised to jiggle the release mechanism to align the parts so the pin would fit in. When the copilot did this, the weapon dropped out of the plane into the ocean and was lost.

In 1956 a B-47 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The plane was carrying to canisters of nuclear material.

In 1957 a C-124 was forced to jettison two nuclear weapons into the Atlantic Ocean. These weapons remain lost.

In 1961 a very scary thing happened. A B-52 was carrying two 20 megaton nuclear bombs. The plane crashed and five of the six safeties on the bomb failed. The crash occurred near Goldsboro, North Carolina. One bomb was lost. The government states that it never had a bomb larger than 15 megatons.

These are only a few of our loses by plane, but bombs are not the only types of nukes that were lost. We have lost nuclear reactors when submarines sunk and also nuclear torpedoes.

In 1963 the USS Thresher, a nuclear powered submarine, sank. The wreck is 100 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The sub was broken into six pieces but the reactor is said to still be intact and not leaking. It lays at the bottom of the ocean with all its fuel just waiting to cause problems.

The USS Scorpion was another nuclear powered submarine that sank. It sank in May of 1968. Not only is the reactor at the bottom of the ocean, but also two nuclear tipped torpedoes. We are told that no detectable radiation is coming from the wreck. It is luck that the wreck is down very deep. It rests at over 3600 meters deep. This is about 11,850 feet down or over two miles.

We all can see that we have caused safety hazards all over the world. But are there other hazards caused by these lost bombs and reactors? As technology gets better and we develop vehicles that are capable of diving deeper and deeper, might not a terrorist organization get hold of one of these vehicles and try and recover a nuke. Lost doesn't necessarily mean we don't know where they are. Look at the two lost subs. They are just down too deep right now to do anything, or so they tell us. Do you think that the locations are being watched to make sure no one tries to recover the bombs? I doubt it.

Nuclear Accidents

Here are some of our military nuclear accidents in date order:

1950 saw a B-36 drop a nuclear bomb over the state of Washington, the explosive material detonated but the nuclear bomb didn't We also had a crash of a B-29 that was carrying a nuclear payload into the mountains of New Mexico. A B-50 crashed in Ohio setting off its high explosives but not its nuclear cargo. A B-29 crashed in California, again the explosive material to detonate but not the nuclear bomb.

In 1956 a B-47 crashed into a storage area containing nuclear weapons but they didn't go off.

In 1957 a B-36 dropped a nuke in the New Mexico desert. The explosive material detonated but not the nuclear material. A B-47 crashed in Florida with two nukes onboard.

In 1958 a B-47 containing a nuke crashed and burned causing contamination. A B-47 dropped it's nuclear bomb over South Carolina. The high explosive detonated but not the nuclear bomb. A B-47 caught fire while the plane was on takeoff. It contained nukes. The plane crashed and the high explosive detonated but not the nukes. This took place in Texas. A B-47 loaded with nukes caught fire and the its nuke was destroyed.

1959 saw a F-100 go on fire while it had a nuke on board. A C-124 crashed in Louisiana with a nuke but it was destroyed in the crash. A B-52 armed with nukes crashed into a KC-135. The two nukes from the plane were recovered in Kentucky.

In 1960 a fire in New Jersey destroyed a nuclear missile storage facility.

In 1961 a B-52 which contained two nukes crashed in California.

In 1964 a B-52 with two nukes on board crashed in Maryland. A nuclear Minuteman rocket fired in error. A B-58 with a nuclear load crashed in Indiana causing contamination.

In 1965 a C-124 loaded with nukes went on fire in Ohio.

In 1966 a B-52 with a nuclear cargo collided with a KC-135. The high explosive material detonated in two of the four nukes but no nuclear explosion took place. This happened over Palomares, Spain and caused one of the most expensive clean ups.

In 1968 a B-52 with nukes on board crashed in Greenland. We recovered one nuke but it is not know if the other three were destroyed in the fire or lost. Workers who helped with the cleanup died.

In 1980 a Titan II missile had it's fuel tank punctured and took off and traveled a distance of about 600 feet.

Will future generations suffer because of our carelessness? Could be! Imagine a nuclear weapon somewhere in the ocean and after a few hundred years the casing gets so corroded that the nuclear material leaks out into the water. The tides carry the contamination for hundreds or thousands of miles. This would effect the marine life. People would eat the fish and then the mutations and sickness would start. I am sure that this will be denied but I think that we as intelligent people all know better.

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