Nukes Go Bump in the Night

Last week I noticed a minor item about a French nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed submarine, Le Triomphant, that had been forced back to port after colliding with a submerged object, which the Defense Ministry suggested could have been a “container.” I’m not a naval expert, but that struck me as very odd, since the sub was cruising beneath the surface, but not scraping bottom where I’d imagine a lost container would wind up.

Today, the AP is reporting that the “container” the Triomphant struck contained another nuclear reactor and more nuclear weapons, because it was none other than the British nuclear sub, the HMS Vanguard. Activists are raising the alarm about the danger of radioactive spills, while both defense ministries hastened to declare that the collision did not undermine either country’s nuclear deterrent capacity. Different priorities, I suppose.

Last week seemed to be the week where things — subs and sats, anyway — just happened to bump into each other. As I said, very odd.

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