nuke standards slipping

nuke standards slippingfrom danger room: Last year, a B-52 mistakenly loaded with nuclear weapons took a trip across the United States, sparking concerns about the safety of U.S. nuclear arsenal. The important question, however, is whether this incident was an isolated snafu, or indicative of deeper problems in the nuclear world. Some are arguing it is indeed the latter; safety standards and procedures in the nuclear world have been eroding for years, reports Air Force Times, the same newspaper that broke the original bent spear incident…

“Four Air Force generals who testified about the Minot incident and nuclear security before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 12 said the service has lost its focus on the nuclear mission… That sentiment was echoed in the Air Force’s most recent reviews of its nuclear program.”

The report referred to in the article was done by the Defense Science Board (the full report is available in PDF here 2008-02-Nuclear_Weapons_Surety). The panel appears to place the blame on the declining role of nuclear weapons, relative to conventional ones…