“U.S. government has repeatedly publicly denied that its nuclear arsenal has ever put Americans’ lives in jeopardy through safety flaws.” So says an article in the Guardian this week that also revealed that the quote isn’t true.
“The story of Goldsboro, N.C. is well known. It was the Cold War and the U.S. had B-52 bombers in the air as a precaution, ready to strike if the Soviet Union made a move. As Rudolph Herzog explained it in his book A Short History of Nuclear Folly, one of the B-52s was carrying two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs, which are many times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Like the others, the B-52 flew huge circles around the U.S. and the Atlantic, needing to be refueled along the way.
The plane had reported an oil leak in its left motor.
“The third time [it was filled up], a filler neck broke off the plane … and kerosene began pouring from its right wing,” Herzog writes.
To make a long story short, the plane disintegrated and the two bombs fell from the sky onto American soil.”
Obviously the bombs did not go off, but it cleared six of the seven stages of detonation.