Oops! ... Torpedo fired at Plymouth nuclear submarine dock 'posed no danger'
Duped by fake news story, Pakistani minister threatens nuclear war with Israel
A torpedo was inadvertently fired at a nuclear submarine in dock in Plymouth.And, in a separate incident, a dockyard worker in the city breathed in radioactive material, Cobalt-60
(Co-60 or 60
Co) an investigation of incidents involving the nuclear industry has found.
But in both cases, The Times reports, the nuclear safety regulator deemed the incidents as being of no nuclear safety significance.
The decision that these and dozens more apparent safety breaches at nuclear installations around the country pose no danger has alarmed some scientists, who told the newspaper they should have been taken much more seriously.Among the other incidents reported to the Office for Nuclear Regulation but dismissed as no more than 'anomalies' were three road accidents involving vehicles carrying nuclear material, the discovery of radioactive hydrogen in groundwater around the Dungeness nuclear power station in Kent and at least 70 safety incidents on the UK's main nuclear warhead base at Aldermaston in Berkshire.
The Times reports that brief accounts of all the incidents were quietly published earlier this year.
India tests long-range nuclear-capable ICBM
(CNN) A fake news story led to threats of nuclear war between Pakistan and Israel on Christmas Eve.
In an article published by AWDNews on Tuesday December 20, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted as threatening to destroy Pakistan if it sent troops into Syria."We will destroy them with a nuclear attack,"
the article quoted Yaalon as saying. There is no evidence Yaalon ever said those words.Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Asif responded to the fake news article on his official Twitter as if it were real.
He warned Israel that it was not the only nuclear power.
"Israeli (defense minister) threatens nuclear retaliation presuming (Pakistan) role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear State too," Asif wrote late on December 23.
World War Three, by Mistake
Specifically, the development is likely most worrying for China -- with a range of more than 5,000 kilometers (more than 3,100 miles) the Agni-V is India's longest-range and puts Beijing within striking distance.
Pakistan, India's historical adversary, was already in range before the Agni-V, according to IHS Jane's, a military analysis company.
... Today, the odds of a nuclear war being started by mistake are low—and yet the risk is growing, as the United States and Russia drift toward a new cold war. The other day, Senator John McCain called Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, “a thug, a bully, and a murderer,” adding that anyone who “describes him as anything else is lying.” Other members of Congress have attacked Putin for trying to influence the Presidential election. On Thursday, Putin warned that Russia would “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” and President-elect Donald Trump has responded with a vow to expand America’s nuclear arsenal. “Let it be an arms race,” Trump told one of the co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?
... a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.
Diving into the unthinkable cold truths of a nuclear war
General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.
Political consensus over issues like denuclearization has been fairly stable since the 1980s, thanks in part to scientific researchers showing what would happen to a world ravaged by nuclear bombs.
One such study was The Medical Implications of Nuclear War, published by Fred Solomon and Robert Q. Marston in 1986. This rigorous and grim estimate of nuclear war's effects on our planet is written in a bleak manner for good reason: to scare us straight."Our national security for the past 40 years has been based on the perception that nuclear war would be unhealthy," the study begins. "Understanding what the health consequences of a nuclear war would be, as best we can know them, is very important for informed opinions and actions by citizens and by government."It seems we're due for a reminder
Nuclear war offers a multitude of bad ways to die
In an era where our leaders look past the worst possibilities with blind optimism, it’s important once again to wince, read, think, and describe the "unthinkable."
. The bulk of the initial deaths from a nuclear bomb come from the intense heat from the detonation itself, followed by the firestorms triggered by the blast.
... the authors note, “the projected number of injured requiring medical treatment would be drastically reduced relative to that projected by blast scaling, as many injured that would otherwise require treatment would be consumed in the fires.” If not vaporized at the center of a blast, many of those who survive the initial moments would then promptly be burned alive by a raging super-fire extending for many kilometers from the hypocenter of the blast.
Noxious gases from burning things that make up cities will increase the death toll by suffocating and poisoning a significant percentage of those not burnt alive from the initial blast and firestorm.
The nuclear blast and resultant superfires will create massive amounts of black soot (the charred remains of the people, buildings, plants, and other material that made up the city), about 50 percent of which will be injected into the upper troposphere or stratosphere levels of the atmosphere—well above the heights where soot can be rapidly cleared. The remainder will fall as intensely radioactive black rain upon the straggling survivors below. The dark smoke high in the atmosphere will block out the Sun.
Regions below the cloud could see about a 20- to 40-degree Celsius local reduction in temperature within about a week (more during summer months, somewhat less in winter), with the most severe temperature drops persisting for weeks to months. The dramatic change in temperature would then drive winds that would further spread the cloud and the effect. The result is nuclear winter
Exotic chemical changes to the atmosphere are possible, particularly in a larger war over multiple cities, with complex petrochemicals brewing in the upper atmosphere and comprehensive destruction of the ozone layer allowing much more ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface when sunlight returns. This results in a damaging "UV spring" following the nuclear winter.
A survivor of a nuclear war in which many nuclear devices are detonated would then contend with crumbling societies, failing crops, and chaotic, disturbed weather. For a large war, the end of modern life as we know it is probable; the extinction of humans as a species is possible.