Re: [SystemSafety] USAF Nuclear Accidents prior to 1967

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2013 11:53:22 +0200

While we're indulging in second thoughts....

On 9/21/13 8:10 PM, Nancy Leveson wrote:
> I'm not really sure why people are using an incident that happened 54 years ago when engineering was
> very different in order to make points about engineered systems today.

John Downer pointed out on the ProcEng list yesterday evening that Schlosser also wrote an article for the Guardian a week ago in which he pointed out the relevance of his historical discoveries for the present, namely concerning the UK Trident deterrent.

So he seems to think it is currently relevant.

For those who don't know, Trident is a US nuclear multiple-warhead missile carried on British-built and UK MoD-operated submarines, one of whom is always at sea. The maintenance and docking base is in Scotland, at Faslane on the West Coast. Scotland is to vote on independence from GB (which will become LB if so) next year, and the putative government has said it will close the base at Faslane. Further, the Trident "so-called British so-called independent so-called deterrent" (Harold Wilson) replacement will cost untold amounts of money (we have been told, but no one quite believes what we have been told :-) ). Many senior politicians and a large proportion of the concerned public think that money would not so be well spent.

It is obviously relevant to all these deliberations to assess how dangerous the old kit really is. Given recent events which have shown US and UK government agencies concerned with national security in a light which has resulted in many citizens losing their trust, I would think any technical assessment such as this, independent of government agencies, of matters relevant to renewing or revoking Trident is a welcome contribution to the debate.

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Sun Sep 22 2013 - 11:53:42 CEST

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