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Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958) Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM
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Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)

The Tybee Bomb is a 7,600-lb (3,500-kg) hydrogen bomb containing 400 lb (180 kg) of conventional high explosives and highly enriched uranium. During a simulated combat mission, the B-47 bomber carrying it collided with an F-86 fighter plane and the bomb was jettisoned and lost. It is presumed to be somewhere in Wassaw Sound, off the shores of Georgia's Tybee Island, but recovery efforts have been unsuccessful. Why has the US Air Force elected to leave the bomb at the bottom of the sound? More...
capo403
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 10:44:46 AM
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The bomber pilot maintains that the weapon did not have the nuclear capsule when he took off.

Not to worry, unless it was discovered by an aggressive shark.
MarySM
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 10:53:05 AM
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This is really a “dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t” situation. If left in the ocean, eventually the container will decay and the material will pollute the water of the Wassaw Sound. If they try to remove it, an explosion could occur and the radioactive material could become airborne. If left in the ocean, storms could bring it to shore or divers could happen upon it and cause an explosion. A terrorist might attempt to salvage the radioactive material for “reuse.” I just don’t by the assertion that our military does not know where the bomb is located. Radiation detection equipment is very sophisticated now.
MiTziGo
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 11:42:33 AM
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capo403 wrote:
The bomber pilot maintains that the weapon did not have the nuclear capsule when he took off.

Not to worry, unless it was discovered by an aggressive shark.


Even without the nuclear capsule, the bomb still contained a lot of explosive material.

And what's to stop terrorists from finding the bomb themselves and adapting it to their own purposes?
Chessapprentice
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 1:40:47 PM
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Anyway, it was a totally dilemma situation. The crew of the B-47 carrying bomber had to jettison the bomb as they were going to perform a forced landing because the collision in midair with the F-86 fighter plane.Pray
ladydragon91185
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 5:26:55 PM
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Well it does cause a quandery. If left at the bottom of the Sounds, polution is most likely to occure, but to remove it could cause more damage to the enviornment and the human lives that are there to try to recover it. An explosion of the common materials could cause the Uranium to leak into the water surounding it and further on into the ocean. Plant and animal life would be damaged far more if it were moved and something should happen than if just left there.. Yes the caseing will decay eventually and then there will be further problems, but hopefully by then we will have a way to solve the problem of radiation contamination..
nooblet
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 6:45:09 PM
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Radioactive material decays to a more stable state naturally over time. The half-life is exceptionally long, but the longer it sits at the bottom of the ocean, if the radioactive matter is actually within the bomb, the longer we let it sit, the less harm it will do (although admittedly barely, the half-life on Uranium isotopes range from hundreds of millions to billions of years). And this is before even considering the explosion that could occur if we tampered with the bomb, which would disperse the radioactive material much quicker.
Drew
Posted: Friday, February 12, 2010 5:37:01 PM
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This is an unbelievable military gaffe. But like most people have said already, both options -- leaving it in the sound or attempting to take it out -- could have disastrous results.
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