Several newspapers had this or a similar story in it yesterday:
That's strange. Did someone at the airbase from which they were shipped, look at a packing list that said "helicopter battery" and accidentally pack 4 nuclear bomb triggers? I imagine they have a label on the box that reads "WARNING! NUCLEAR BOMB TRIGGER INSIDE. DO NOT USE HOOKS" or something like that. Still I guess mistakes happen.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military mistakenly shipped four nuclear-missile detonators to Taiwan in 2006, then failed to detect the error for more than a year, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Pentagon officials said they didn't know how the detonators had been sent when Taiwan had ordered helicopter batteries or who was responsible. Michael Wynne, the secretary of the Air Force, said the cone-shaped fuses didn't resemble the power batteries that Taiwan had requested.
Wynne said that the misdirected detonators, used to ignite the trigger of a Mark-12 nuclear weapon, didn't pose a security threat. The triggers couldn't be used to detonate other weapons, officials said.
But here's what I really don't understand. The triggers were for Mark -12 nuclear weapons. The Mark 12, nicknamed "Brock" by those who have pet names for atomic bombs, hasn't been part of the nuclear arsenal since 1962. These things have been outdated for 46 years. I think (this is no joke) that a Mark-12 trigger uses vacuum tubes.
So, my question is, why are we keeping so much junk in our nuclear attics? Even my mom finally cleared out her basement (throwing away my collection of vintage Archie comics, but that's another issue.)
No doubt there are still a thousand crates of horse liniment for the cavalry or a million sticks of slowmatch for flintlock rifles piled next to the Mark-12 triggers as well.