Search This Blog

Monday, October 22

Holy Sheepshit, Batman

Hard on the heels (in relative time) of the revelation by the US Air Force that it briefly - yeah, 36 godsdamned hours - lost track of six nuclear weapons, comes this little story out of the US Navy:

Nuclear sub crew faked inspection records

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six Navy personnel on board the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton have been punished for forging inspection records for the cooling system of the ship's nuclear reactor, Navy officials said Monday.

The misconduct was discovered on September 17 but was made public after completion of an initial investigation.

One officer and five enlisted personnel received a "non-judicial punishment" after other Navy personnel discovered their actions, Navy officials said.

The crew neither maintained inspection records nor conducted the required inspection of the chemical levels associated with the cooling system, the Navy officials said. The crew then went back and falsified existing records to make it appear the work had been done, the officials added.

"There is not, and never was, any danger to the crew or the public," the Navy said in a statement.

A fact-finding investigation is under way, and further action against Navy crew members is possible, a navy official said.

In all, the $900 million vessel's crew is composed of 13 officers and 116 enlisted personnel.

It is not clear if the disciplined personnel were still on board the vessel. The Hampton remains in port in San Diego.

***

Falsifying records is an old story, no matter if the business you're in is running a Kinko's or the largest and supposedly best-trained military machine on the planet. But there's a huge, staggeringly fucking huge difference between a copier and a nuclear reactor.

A copier is less inclined to give you that healthy glow in the dark if it malfunctions. For the Navy to say that there was no danger to the public or to the crew is a lie. Pure and simple.

Reactor safety is a major problem, as it runs at high temperature and pressure. The fissile material can't blow up, but it can really ruin your whole day if anything bad happens. Skipping safety inspections and then writing false reports can lead to that something bad happening.

You might see a number of people lose their rank and jobs; it's probably a lead-pipe cinch that the captain of the boat will lose his command over this.

No comments: