Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review: Atomic Accidents - A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters

The quiet of a spring day in 1958 abruptly ended when a 30-kiloton bomb accidentally dropped from an Air Force plane near Florence, South Carolina. Even without the nuclear capsule, the bomb released horrific force gouging a 70 foot wide crater in the earth (satellite image of area at this link).

The good news is that the Mars Bluff family survived the impact. Their vehicles, home, and farm buildings would never be the same.

During this cold war period, planes routinely carried atomic bombs on training missions. This airplane out of Hunter Air Force Base was en route to Great Britain. A lever malfunctioned, and, in an effort to secure the bomb, a crew member accidentally pulled a release handle. He was lucky enough to climb back into the plane as the bomb fell to earth.

This 7-minute video describes the Mars Bluff incident and shows a visit to the area.

James Mahaffey has filled this book with thrilling accounts of atomic accidents occurring worldwide.  It's extremely interesting for anyone wanting to learn about well-known and lesser-known atomic accidents.

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