March 25, 2005

Heyyyyy, Duuuuude, What Does THIS Button Do?

I'm all filled with confidence that Russia can keep proper track of its nuclear arsenal, thanks to this story from the Moscow News:

A serviceman of the strategic missile unit in Russia’s Siberia has been detained for smoking marijuana while on duty and selling drugs to his comrades, the Interfax news agency reported.

A warrant officer at military unit No 28151 of the Glukhov Guards Division of the Strategic Missile Forces was detained on March 23 while selling marijuana to fellow soldiers. He did not resist arrest and military police chose not to place him in custody demanding a written pledge not to leave his unit instead.

During questioning the serviceman confessed that he had smoked marijuana for over a year, both in joints and through a home-made pipe. He also said that he had repeatedly been on combat duty while under the influence of drugs. [emphasis added]

Commanders of the unit were quick to announce that the soldier had no access to the ’nuclear button’. They said the warrant officer served as a technician at a communications post.
OK, maybe that guy didn't have access to The Button, but who else did he sell to?

Posted by Chris at March 25, 2005 08:24 PM

Category: Dangerous Stupidity

I've seen many stories like this, and they suggest a general problem. There must be tons of military jobs, semi-military jobs, and especially jobs related to nuclear plants, that are:
- poorly paid
- unchallengining
- dead end
- boring.

To top it off, the jobs of the people who supervise those jobs have the same problems.
As a result, the jobs are performed very badly, and by drug and alcohol users.

In the 1950's, 60's, '70's (etc.) the nuclear business used to publish analyses predicting how unbelievably unlikely it was that there would ever be a disaster at a nuclear facility. I doubt that they ever included the risk of all the related jobs being done poorly, like the fellow at a nuclear facility in Georgia who started a fire in the control room by using a candle to test for air-currents indicative of leaks.

- The Precision Blogger

Posted by: Precision Blogger at March 29, 2005 12:46 PM