Skip to Main Content

This is Terrifying: Why Isn’t Anyone Worried?

Sometimes, the federal government’s failures are so extreme that the situation becomes laughable. Case in point–the U.S. government’s handling of its massive nuclear arsenal. Last night, comedian John Oliver listed case after case of mismanagement in the U.S. nuclear program on his television show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

As Oliver explains, the U.S. stockpile currently includes more than 4,800 weapons, “more than enough not just to destroy earth, but to provide Fourth of July fireworks for Martians.” Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars continue to be spent on maintaining the arsenal, yet scandal plagues the program, including drunken generals, doors to silos left ajar, and launch officers cheating on proficiency tests.

Enhancing safety and security of nuclear weapons is one of the Project On Government Oversight’s main goals. Last week, POGO highlighted on our blog an analysis of a previously unreleased report from 1957. The analysis found that the risk of a catastrophe from nuclear weapons is far above any acceptable level. To see the rest of POGO’s work on nuclear security click here.

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman Avery Kleinman is the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Nuclear Weapons Complex Oversight, DOD Oversight, Defense, DOD Nuclear Weapons, Videos

Authors: Avery Kleinman

Submitted by JayDee at: August 2, 2014
One detail not mentioned. When we "eliminated" all those weapons per the treaties with the Soviets/Russia, we eliminated the DELIVERY SYSTEMS. The warheads are in storage at Pantex in Texas. A little shot of tritium from Savannah River, they're ready go again. Which is not to say they wouldn't work without it, they would. Just not up to specifications. Can't get a boost with no booster, now can we? What's a few kilotons one way or the other?
Submitted by JayDee at: August 2, 2014
To DFens : you should deliver that speech to the folks who live in - I mean who USED TO live in Fukushima. I'm sure they'd agree it is environmentally friendly as hell, and well worth the trivial inconvenience of having their hometown rendered uninhabitable for hundreds of years. Of course something like that could NEVER happen HERE. Japanese people are just so inept at technical things, and haven't really mastered some advanced sciences, as we have here in America, otherwise they would have known better than to build nuke plants right next to the ocean in a tsunami zone. And yes, I'm kidding about Japan. They built the plants right where GE advisors suggested, I'll wager. But nobody considered extensive damage could come from a tsunami? In Japan? The place where the word was invented? That just boggles the mind.
Submitted by JayDee at: August 2, 2014
To DFens : you should deliver that speech to the folks who live in - I mean who USED TO live in Fukushima. I'm sure they'd agree it is environmentally friendly as hell, and well worth the trivial inconvenience of having their hometown rendered uninhabitable for hundreds of years. Of course something like that could NEVER happen HERE. Japanese people are just so inept at technical things, and haven't really mastered some advanced sciences, as we have here in America, otherwise they would have known better than to build nuke plants right next to the ocean in a tsunami zone. And yes, I'm kidding about Japan. They built the plants right where GE advisors suggested, I'll wager. But nobody considered extensive damage could come from a tsunami? In Japan? The place where the word was invented? That just boggles the mind.
Submitted by Avery at: July 30, 2014
Hey Dfens, This post is actually about nuclear weapons, not nuclear power. Very different things!
Submitted by Dfens at: July 30, 2014
Maybe no one is worried because coal mining kills more people in a year than all of the people killed in all the nuclear accidents in the free world combined. Hell, most years those killed mining coal is more than were killed in total if you add in Chernobyl. Nuclear power is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly source of power available to humans on the planet earth. It produces no greenhouse gases. It does not destroy river ecosystems. It does not kill birds by the millions. It does not block the sun from reaching vast areas of the earth. Nuclear plants produce far more power than it takes to build them. If we would allow it, we could reduce the amount of waste produced by nuclear plants to a small fraction of what they produce now. Instead we run around screaming "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" while ignoring the best power source available to human kind, now and for the foreseeable future.
Submitted by steveo at: July 29, 2014
No more important issue. i have always felt the risk of catastrophic "accidents" was as great or greater than deliberate use of nukes.
Submitted by SEABEE WWII at: July 29, 2014
Another case of failed oversight by those we voted for to watch over our governmental affairs
Submitted by angry at: July 28, 2014
I guess people think they should just deposit them in the battery recycle bin at Home Depot - no problem.

Leave A Comment

Nickname
Comment
Enter this word: Change

Related Posts

Browse POGOBlog by Topic

POGO on Facebook

Latest Podcast

Podcast; Social Media, Internet Provides Opportunities, Challenges for Lawmakers

The Congressional Management Foundation offers the Gold Mouse Awards annually to members of Congress who make the most of the opportunity the digital world offers them. POGO spoke with members of Rep. Mike Honda's communications team about their award.