On the Risk of an Accidental or Unauthorized Nuclear Detonation (Iklé, Aronson, Madansky, 1958)

post by nathan98000 · 2022-08-04T13:19:19.625Z · EA · GW · None comments

This is a link post for https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM2251.pdf

Nathan's summary:

  1. The article first evaluates the chances of accidental/unauthorized nuclear detonation. Most interestingly, the article lists 16 of the "more dramatic" incidents with live nuclear weapons. (Some incidents are still redacted.)
  2. The article then discusses how nuclear risk was perceived by Soviets and Allies. And what the likely responses would be in case of an actual unauthorized detonation.
  3. The article concludes by discussing potential solutions to mitigate risks of future nuclear detonations, including changes to a) the handling of nuclear weapons, b) the missile command structure, and c) the selection and supervision of personnel.

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