New Book Examines Arkansas Nuclear Weapons Accident of 1980

Sep 17, 2013

The nuclear weapons accident that occurred in Damascus, Arkansas, in September of 1980 is the topic of a new book by investigative reporter Eric Schlosser, known for the bestsellers Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness.

Schlosser discussed his research for the book on The Diane Rehm Show.

He says the story of the Titan 2 missile explosion stuck with him when an air force officer he was with told him about the accident. 

"It was an extraordinary story. It involved the biggest, intercontinental ballistic missile we ever built with the most powerful nuclear warhead we ever put on missile," says Schlosser. 

He says the book provides a minute-by-minute account of efforts by the air force to prevent the possibility of a massive thermonuclear warhead detonating in Arkansas.

The book examines the overall safety of the nation's nuclear weapons program.

Schlosser says it took six years to complete.