Accidents and “near-misses” with nuclear weapons occur often.

The government wants the public to think that safety precautions are adequate to protect us from nuclear weapons accidents and “near-misses,” but actually accidents and “near-misses” occur much more often than people realize.  Since the 1940s, a great many accidents and near-misses have nearly caused horrible destruction, but the government and news media refuse to report them honestly.

• Search the internet for “nuclear weapons accidents” and see startling information about a great many accidents that easily could have caused horrible destruction. See much information at and even more examples at

• Since 1950 there have been 32 accidents (referred to as “broken arrows”). In these, 6 nuclear weapons have been lost and never recovered. Some were from the U.S. and some from the USSR. They have occurred in many locations throughout the world.

• The nuclear accident nearest to our local community occurred on Sept. 25, 1959, when a Navy airplane with an unarmed nuclear depth charge crashed into Puget Sound near Whidbey Island WA. The nuclear weapon was never recovered.

• On January 24, 1961, a B-52 carrying nuclear weapons broke apart while flying 2,000 feet over North Carolina. It dropped two nuclear weapons. Each nuclear bomb had 7 switches that needed to be switched in order for it to detonate, and 6 of those 7 switches were switched when it landed. Only 1 switch prevented much of North Carolina from nuclear destruction.

• Olympia’s committee (see below) showed the film “Command and Control,” which is based on Eric Schlosser’s book by the same name. It documents the frightening accident that occurred in Arkansas in 1980. A Titan II missile exploded in its silo and blew a live nuclear warhead more than 600 feet away into a ditch. The disaster’s complexity and problems and dangers were amazing.

• Accidents do happen, despite safety precautions. Anything as complicated as nuclear weapons has many, many things that can go wrong. An accident can destroy us all.

Connect with the Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

We meet monthly to organize a good variety of strategically smart, useful activities.
We reach out to educate and mobilize the public, and we urge the government to abolish nuclear weapons.
Contact us at (360) 705-2407 or (360) 491-9093.
Our statewide coalition is Washington Against Nuclear Weapons, (206) 547-2630.



About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093