Nuclear Nightmares

Abby Zimet

The recent revelation that the US Air Force came that close in 1961 to exploding an atom bomb over Goldsboro, North Carolina - one 260 times more powerful than Hiroshima's - turns out to be just one terrifying slip among dozens of secret or under-reported nuclear mistakes, accidents and near-misses over the past 50 years. Investigative journalist and Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser spent six years, often with the help of Freedom of Information requests, researching Command and Control, his new book documenting over 30 nuclear accidents on U.S. soil described in some 245 pages of official reports. Among his more startling findings: How often stupid little errors -  a busted socket wrench, the wrong screwdriver, rubber cushions catching on fire - led to near-catastrophe. Schlosser believes we have been "very, very, very, very, very fortunate" to not yet destroy ourselves, but his goal goes beyond terrifying us: He wants to halt Americans' "enormous amnesia" about the unthinkable hazard posed by nuclear weapons, and restart a dialogue about how to end it.

FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever

Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

Share This Article

More in: