U.S. Nuclear Missile Officers Have Been Lazy, Dirty Cheaters for Years

Adam Weinstein · 01/20/14 04:05PM

The Air Force has roughly 500 officers in charge of protecting and maybe someday launching America's arsenal of land-based nuclear missiles. Nearly all of them cheat on every exam they take, at every chance they get, according to three veterans of the force.

John Cook · 10/22/13 04:05PM

Some Air Force guys with the launch keys to nuclear warheads accidentally left blast doors open twice this year, but don't worry because the doors are only "intended to help prevent a terrorist...from entering the officers' underground command post and potentially compromising secret launch codes."

Max Read · 06/19/13 09:29AM

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, President Obama announced that he would push for the U.S. to reduce its nuclear arsenal by one-third, calling on Russia to do the same. Remember: We can still kill billions of human beings even if we only have 1,000 nuclear warheads instead of 1,500!

North Korea Restarts Nuclear Reactor as U.S. Moves Destroyer Into Region

Max Read · 04/02/13 07:17AM

Declaring that North Korea's "nuclear armed forces represent the nation's life which can never be abandoned as long as the imperialists and nuclear threats exist on earth," Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un announced today that the country would be restarting a nuclear reactor it had shut down in 2007, reneging on an agreement it had reached in multilateral talks at the time. The news that the Yongbyon nuclear complex would "restart all nuclear facilities" comes a day after the U.S. sent the destroyer U.S.S. John S. McCain on patrol in the region, and reflected the bellicose tone that Pyongyang has taken since its third successful nuclear test in February. Luckily we're still a ways away from war; all threats between North and South Korea have been conditional ("we will turn your country into a sea of fire... if you provoke us"), and the relaunch of Yongbyon is unlikely to make a huge difference to the country's arsenal. Nonetheless, top U.S. commander in South Korea Gen. James Thurman expressed concern on Good Morning America that an "impulsive decision" by the DPRK leadership could cause "kinetic provocation." [CNN, The Atlantic Wire, NBC]

North Korea Threatens to Nuke U.S. in 'Pre-emptive Strike'

Max Read · 03/07/13 09:39AM

North Korea, a famine-ridden kingdom ruled by a chubby 20-something cult leader's grandson, is going to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, its state media announced on Thursday. (It's mad because the UN is prepared to vote for harsher sanctions, aimed at stopping cash transfers into the already impoverished country.) North Korea does not, actually, have the ability to put a nuclear device on a ballistic missile, and if it did it wouldn't use one—it can't afford to alienate its main trading parter, China—but it wouldn't be a Thursday if there wasn't a poetically-worded threat out of Pyongyang:

North Korea Successfully Tests Its Third Nuclear Bomb

Max Read · 02/12/13 08:17AM

North Korea dropped a bomb underground yesterday, conducting its third successful nuclear test since 2006 and creating a small seismic event. The explosion was about twice as large as the last test, in 2009, though the bomb is thought to have been made with plutonium, and not the much scarier uranium. U.S. officials had been expecting such a test, and the president has already issued a statement condemning it—as has China, North Korea's only regional ally—though it likely won't stop North Korea from conducting a fourth test in the coming days. North Korean officials remain unbowed, literally: "The DPRK will never bow to any resolutions," a top diplomat told the Conference on Disarmament.

Ukraine's First Nuclear Missile Museum Opens

Jeff Neumann · 08/25/11 04:26AM

To celebrate its Independence Day, Ukraine yesterday officially opened the first, and most likely only, nuclear missile museum in the world there, the Pervomaisk Strategic Missile Forces Museum. Visitors can check out intercontinental ballistic missiles like "Satan" and "Sandal", as well as have a look around original bunkers. In the ITN video tour above, you also see a Soviet shitter that was used when the present day museum site was an active nuke silo. I'd go.

You Can Make a Fortune Leasing Nuclear Fallout Shelters

Jeff Neumann · 08/22/11 04:51AM

If there's one thing that Americans learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, it's that giving some guy in California $50,000 for a one person space in his nuclear fallout shelter is a good idea. Robert Vicino is CEO and founder of "underground shelter network" Vivos and he's making a lot of money off of stupid concerned people, according to Asahi Shimbun: