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The Loose Nukes is an attempt (by people who should probably be under 24 hour supervised psychiatric care) to bring attention to somewhat serious issues like nuclear weapons, militarism and other seemingly random, unrelated issues through vain attempts at social satire and other futile gestures of total contempt for a fading empire that continues to employ nuclear weapons, the ultimate instruments of an erectile dysfunctional national security state, as instruments of foreign policy. OK, you probably get the idea by now. We are obsessed by run-on sentences, peace and justice, having fun, and don't know when to quit. At any rate, we don't think nuclear weapons are a very good idea, and are most definitely unhealthy for living things. We also think the folks running this Empire should just get over it.

And now the NOT SO FINE PRINT: Read further at your own risk... and remember, DON'T PANIC; this is all SATIRE at its worst (or best, depending on one's mental state)! And some of the stuff in here is even true!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pizza delivery blamed for nuclear safety violations

US Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to long-range nuclear missiles have been caught twice this year leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials said.

The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep – as was the case in both these instances – out of concern for the trouble an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes.

An investigative report by the Associated Press found that the most recent violations involving the blast doors were caused by the chronic cravings of launch control crews for delivery pizza.  A launch control officer who wished to remain anonymous told AP that Domino's Pizza, which has a contract with Global Strike Command as its sole pizza supplier, requires that the blast doors remain open whenever an order is called in so that the company can fulfill its "30-minutes or it's free" guarantee.

The blast door violations are another sign of trouble in the handling of the nation's nuclear arsenal. The AP has discovered a series of problems within the ICBM force, including a failed safety inspection, the temporary sidelining of launch officers deemed unfit for duty and the abrupt firing last week of the two-star general in charge. They also discovered that delivery personnel for Domino's Pizza, the official pizza supplier for the Global Strike Command, are not required to receive security clearances prior to entering the top-security launch complexes.

The problems, including low morale, underscore the challenges of feeding personnel and keeping safe such a deadly force that is constantly on alert but is unlikely ever to be used.

The willingness of some launch officers to leave the blast door open at times reflects a mindset far removed from Cold War days when the US lived in fear of a nuclear strike by the Soviet Union. It was that fear that provided the original rationale for placing ICBMs in reinforced underground silos and the launch control officers in buried capsules – so that in the event of an attack the officers might survive to launch a counterattack.

Today the fear of such an attack has all but disappeared and, with it, the appeal of strictly following the blast door rule.  

The crews who operate the missiles are still expected to follow rules without fail, including the prohibition against having the blast door open when only one crew member is awake or when expecting a pizza delivery.

An unnamed missileer told AP that launch control officers often order multiple pizzas at a time and freeze them for later consumption in the event of a nuclear war after which they would be stuck underground for an indefinite time period.  The officer said that, "There's nothing more comforting than the aroma of re-heated pizza after Armageddon."

A spokesperson for Global Strike Command said that the agency is reconsidering its relationship with Domino's, and is considering changing suppliers to Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza in order to avoid the problem with blast doors.


Editor's Postscript: Material that was plagiarized and embellished in this post was stolen from an article in The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/23/us-air-force-nuclear-missiles-blast-door).

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