634: Human Error in Volatile Situations via This American Life

Even the best laid plans can go catastrophically wrong when humans get involved. This week, people bungle simple operations on some of the most dangerous weapons in the world.


In 1980, deep in a nuclear missile silo in Arkansas, a simple human error nearly caused the destruction of a giant portion of the Midwest. Joe Richman, founder of Radio Diaries tells the story.

Eric Molinsky helped report this story. Thanks to Eric Schlosser who was a huge help to us and whose book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety covers this accident and others like it. (35 minutes)work

Read more and listen to the program at 634: Human Error in Volatile Situations

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