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   hoseobyoon (2013-09-21 15:10:46 )
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   米水爆、事故で爆発寸前


1961년, 50년 전 이야기지만,

지금도 달라진 것이 없는 상황이기에
여기에 옮겨 놓습니다.


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1960년대 미국서 '히로시마 260배' 원폭사고 날 뻔"
2013-09-21 18:21


英가디언, 기밀보고서 입수…"공군 전투기 사고로 수소탄 추락"

(서울=연합뉴스) 류미나 기자 = 제2차 세계대전 당시 일본 히로시마에 떨어진 원자폭탄 위력의 260배에 달하는 원자폭탄이 지난 1960년대 미국에서 폭발 직전까지 갔던 것으로 드러났다.

영국 일간지 가디언은 21일(현지시간) 미국인 탐사전문 기자 에릭 슐로서가 정보자유법(FOIA)에 따라 입수한 미국 샌디아국립연구소(SNL) 기밀보고서를 토대로 이같이 보도했다.

뉴멕시코주에 있는 이 연구소는 핵무기 기술 안전성을 책임지는 국책기관이다.

보고서에 따르면 사고는 지난 1961년 1월 23일 미국 노스캐롤라이나주 골즈버로 상공에서 발생했다.

골즈버로 공군기지에서 출발한 B-52 전략폭격기가 순찰 비행 중에 기체결함을 겪게 되면서 꼬리 부분에 싣고 있던 '마크 39'(MARK 39) 수소폭탄 2발이 지상으로 추락한 것이다. 존 F. 케네디 전 미국 대통령의 취임 3일 뒤에 벌어진 일이다.

이 수소탄의 위력은 한 발당 4Mt(TNT 400만t)으로, 이는 실제 폭발로 이어졌다면 수도 워싱턴DC를 포함해 볼티모어, 필라델피아, 뉴욕 등지의 수만 명의 목숨을 앗아갈 수 있는 규모라고 전문가들은 분석했다.

다행히 폭탄의 안전장치 중 하나인 저전압 차단기가 대참사를 막았다.

폭탄에는 만일의 사고에 대비해 총 네 개의 안전장치가 장착돼 있지만, 이중 최후 수단 격인 저전압 차단기만이 제대로 작동했다고 보고서는 지적했다.

사고 발생 8년 뒤인 1969년 보고서를 쓴 파커 F. 존스 SNL 수석연구원은 "MK39탄은 B-52기의 공중비상대기(AA) 임무를 위한 충분한 안전성을 확보하지 못한 상태였다"고 결론지었다.

'골즈버로로의 귀환 또는: 내가 어떻게 수소폭탄을 불신하게 됐나'라는 제목의 이 보고서는 기밀문서로 보관돼오다 핵 군비경쟁의 위험성에 대한 책을 집필 중인 언론인 슐로서에 의해 공개됐다.

슐로서는 취재 결과 지난 1950년부터 1968년 사이에만 핵무기와 관련해 최소 700건의 "중대 사고"가 발생했고, 그 외 자잘한 사건사고도 1천250여건에 이르는 것으로 확인됐다고 주장하고 있다.

신문은 핵무기의 사고 위험성에 대한 지적을 외면해온 미국 정부가 부인할 수 없는 결정적 증거가 나타났다고 일침했다.

minaryo@yna.co.kr


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米水爆、事故で爆発寸前に=61年、広島型の260倍-英紙

【ロンドン時事】米ノースカロライナ州で1961年、B52爆撃機から落下した水素爆弾が爆発寸前に至る事故が起きていたことが、情報公開法により米ジャーナリストが入手した機密文書で明らかになった。英紙ガーディアン(電子版)が20日伝えた。
 この水爆は広島型原爆260個分に当たる4メガトンの威力があり、実際に爆発すれば、死の灰が首都ワシントン、フィラデルフィア、ニューヨークなど大都市まで及び、数百万人の命が危険にさらされた可能性があったという。
 報告書は、エネルギー省が管轄するサンディア国立研究所の核兵器の安全管理を専門とする技術者が事故の8年後に作成。報告書によれば、61年1月23日、ノースカロライナ州ゴールズボロの空軍基地を飛び立ったB52が空中できりもみ状態となり墜落し、水爆2個が落下。うち1個の起爆装置が作動し、四つの安全装置のうち三つまでが解除されたが、最後のスイッチが残り、かろうじて爆発を免れた。
 米調査ジャーナリスト、エリック・シュローサー氏が、核軍備競争などに関する新著の調査の一環としてこの文書を入手した。(2013/09/21-11:13)

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US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina – secret document Exclusive: Journalist uses Freedom of Information Act to disclose 1961 accident in which one switch averted catastrophe


Ed Pilkington in New York
The Guardian, Friday 20 September 2013 17.03 BST  

The bomb that nearly exploded over North Carolina was 260 times more powerful than the device which devasted Hiroshima in 1945.
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.

Each bomb carried a payload of 4 megatons – the equivalent of 4 million tons of TNT explosive. Had the device detonated, lethal fallout could have been deposited over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and as far north as New York city – putting millions of lives at risk.

Though there has been persistent speculation about how narrow the Goldsboro escape was, the US government has repeatedly publicly denied that its nuclear arsenal has ever put Americans' lives in jeopardy through safety flaws. But in the newly-published document, a senior engineer in the Sandia national laboratories responsible for the mechanical safety of nuclear weapons concludes that "one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe".

Writing eight years after the accident, Parker F Jones found that the bombs that dropped over North Carolina, just three days after John F Kennedy made his inaugural address as president, were inadequate in their safety controls and that the final switch that prevented disaster could easily have been shorted by an electrical jolt, leading to a nuclear burst. "It would have been bad news – in spades," he wrote.

Jones dryly entitled his secret report "Goldsboro Revisited or: How I learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb" – a quip on Stanley Kubrick's 1964 satirical film about nuclear holocaust, Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Slim Pickens in a scene from Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Photograph: The Ronald Grant Archive The accident happened when a B-52 bomber got into trouble, having embarked from Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro for a routine flight along the East Coast. As it went into a tailspin, the hydrogen bombs it was carrying became separated. One fell into a field near Faro, North Carolina, its parachute draped in the branches of a tree; the other plummeted into a meadow off Big Daddy's Road.

Jones found that of the four safety mechanisms in the Faro bomb, designed to prevent unintended detonation, three failed to operate properly. When the bomb hit the ground, a firing signal was sent to the nuclear core of the device, and it was only that final, highly vulnerable switch that averted calamity. "The MK 39 Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne alert role in the B-52," Jones concludes.

The document was uncovered by Schlosser as part of his research into his new book on the nuclear arms race, Command and Control. Using freedom of information, he discovered that at least 700 "significant" accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons were recorded between 1950 and 1968 alone.

"The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy," he said. "We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here's one that very nearly did."










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