It seems that the nation's stockpile of W76 nuclear warheads is due for a tune up. According to The Kitsap Sun
, the Navy is moving 1,600 and 1,800 of the warheads from their home at the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base in Washington State to the Texas panhandle for updating. The 100-kiloton are between 23 and 32 years old, and as such, require updates to their aiming, firing and fusing systems. In order to get those updates, the warheads will have to travel by road in special, unmarked tractor trailers. For obvious reasons, the Navy isn't into sharing the travel itinerary for the warheads, but according to The Kitsap Sun
, specially-trained federal agents are tasked with transporting the weapons.
The trucks are forbidden from driving in foul weather, and a host of secure shelters along the way will house the big rigs should the skies turn cloudy. Likewise, the drivers aren't allowed to go for more than 32 hours without sleeping in a real bed, despite the fact that the tractor cabs are sleepers. In addition, the trailers themselves are protected in the event of an accident.
Still, the knowledge that large numbers of nuclear weapons are coursing through the country's interstate system should give us all pause before cutting off that tractor trailer in traffic.
[Source: The Kitsap Sun