A newly declassified report says that trident nuclear warheads, which are routinely moved from place to place so they do not make convenient targets, could become involved in a highway accident or plane crash, which could release a lethal dose of radiation.

In New Scientist magazine, Rob Edwards quotes a senior UK government official as saying, “The consequences of such an incident are likely to be considerable loss of life.” The US and the UK both use tridents and both countries move them regularly in order to insure a level of uncertainty about their locations. This was first done to ward off missile attacks from the Soviet Union and is now done to prevent terrorist attacks.

They are designed so that a single blow will not detonate them, but the multiple impacts of a plane or highway crash could set them off.

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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