2004 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 19 Mar 2004 16:21:48 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: How safe are the missiles on the Bangor Submarine Base?
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How safe are the missiles on the Bangor Submarine Base?
By Glenn Farley
09:20 PM PST on Thursday, March 18, 2004

SEATTLE ? An incident four months ago that only recently came to light
had two Washington Congressmen demanding answers from the Navy Thursday

The U.S. Navy won't talk about how it handles nuclear missiles. But that
silence has raised serious questions with Representatives Jay Inslee and
Norm Dicks about a case that so far has resulted in serious review by
the Navy into safety procedures on the Bangor Base and a meeting
Thursday with the Admiral who heads the Navy's Strategic Systems

Published reports and government sources said a mishap occurred last
November 7 inside a building at the Explosives Handling Wharf.

While one of the C-4 missiles was being extracted from a submarine, a
ladder mistakenly left inside a silo scraped, then punctured a nose
cone. The Navy was so alarmed over the incident, they relieved officers
of their command and are court-martialing several enlisted men.

But no one outside of the Navy was ever informed until recently ? not
the local county emergency management agency, not even Congress.

"There is a better way to do this than the way it's been handled. And
we're going to be insisting the Navy review these policies so the public
can have better information about that," said Rep. Jay Inslee,

"It's essentially a dirty bomb. You'd have plutonium spread," said Glen
Milner, a peace activist, who has tried to pry information out of the
Bangor Submarine Base for years through the Freedom of Information Act,
and even lawsuits.

He doesn't fear a nuclear explosion, but rather an accident involving a
missile's solid propellant that could be deadly, breaking open the
warheads and spreading plutonium.

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