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United States nuclear surety/Related Articles

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A list of Citizendium articles, and planned articles, about United States nuclear surety.
See also changes related to United States nuclear surety, or pages that link to United States nuclear surety or to this page or whose text contains "United States nuclear surety".

Parent topics

  • Command and control [r]: The combination of lawful authority over people and resources, coupled with the methods of directing their execution of missions and tasks directed at goals set by that authority [e]
  • Strategy (military) [r]: Add brief definition or description
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction [r]: Weapons whose primary effects are from nuclear explosions, chemical poisoning, or biological infection. Often includes radiological weapons that contaminate without blast and heat. [e]
    • Nuclear weapons [r]: A weapon that produces extremely powerful explosions from principles involving subatomic particle reactions, rather than the chemical reactions among atoms that power conventional explosives [e]


Command and control surety

Incident reporting

  • PINNACLE [r]: A U.S. military communications designation for operational reports (OPREP) for individual events (OPREP 3), which needs to be brought to the immediate attention of the National Command Authority, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other national-level leadership; several sub-designations for different contingencies although PINNACLE can be used alone. Differs from FLASH designation, which deals with communications precedence while PINNACLE deals with precedence of the information being communicated [e]
    • PINNACLE-NUCFLASH [r]: U.S. military reporting term, a subcategory of PINNACLE, which indicates that an actual nuclear explosion, of any cause, has taken place and that the National Command Authority must be informed immediately; arguably the single most important communications label to the U.S. government [e]
    • PINNACLE-EMERGENCY DISABLEMENT [r]: U.S. military reporting designation, to be sent to the highest national authorities, indicating that it has been necessary to disable one or more nuclear weapons capable of detonation, to prevent their seizure or to avoid an explosion or contamination [e]
    • PINNACLE-EMERGENCY EVACUATION [r]: A U.S. communications report that it has been necessary, for operational reasons such as avoiding capture of nuclear weapons, to move such weapons not necessarily using the standard safeguarded procedures [e]
  • BROKEN ARROW [r]: In United States military reporting, a serious incident, involving nuclear weapons, which does not present high risk of nuclear war (cf. PINNACLE OPREP 3 NUCFLASH; it can include a nuclear explosion or significant contamination. Term was also used in the Vietnam War as an emergency call that a U.S. ground unit was in significant danger of being overrun by enemy forces. [e]
  • BENT SPEAR [r]: United States military reporting code for significant incidents involving nuclear weapons, but not involving detonation, significant contamination, or theft of weapons or special nuclear material [e]
  • DULL SWORD [r]: An incident involving nuclear weapons, in U.S. military reporting, which is relatively minor in that there has been no explosion, contamination, or loss of custody to outside forces [e]
  • EMPTY QUIVER [r]: U.S. military reporting term for the loss, theft, or seizure of a nuclear weapon capable of detonation [e]
  • FADED GIANT [r]: Designates, in U.S. military reporting, a significant nuclear event that does not involve nuclear weapons; most often an event involving a nuclear reactor [e]

Safeguards at the weapon level

  • Enhanced nuclear detonation safety [r]: Isolating nuclear weapon components essential to weapon detonation from significant electrical energy. This involves the enclosure of detonation-critical components in a barrier to prevent unintended energy sources from powering or operating the weapon’s functions. Penetrations through this barrier are the "strong links" of the weak link-strong link safeguard technology; fail-safe response of components inside it to abnormal events are the "weak links" [e]
  • Environmental Sensing Device (military) [r]: Weapon safety devices that prevent detonation until they detect external conditions consistent with the known mode of delivery, such as changing barometric pressure and radar altitude of a dropped bomb, or the launch acceleration, conditions in space, and reentry of a ballistic missile trajectory; a key safeguard for nuclear weapons [e]
  • Fire-resistant pit [r]: A fire-resistant shell around the plutonium "pit" of a fission device, which will resist prolonged exposure to a jet fuel fire (at 1000 °C) without melting or being eaten through by the corrosive action of molten plutonium; the plutonium will not contaminate the area unless the shell is disrupted; on the B83 strategic bomb and W87 ICBM warhead [e]
  • Insensitive high explosives [r]: Explosives, principally for military use, which have an extremely low probability of detonating accidentally or other than as intended in a specific application; not easily converted to improvised explosive devices, will not detonate when engulfed in fire, and, when used in the high explosive initator of a nuclear weapon, unable to trigger fission unless precisely triggered [e]
  • One-point safe criterion [r]: A design goal for nuclear weapons, to ensure that a single built-in detonator firing, or an external explosive charge fired next to the weapon, could not result in a nuclear yield greater than two kilograms TNT equivalent [e]
  • Permissive Action Link [r]: Built into a nuclear weapon, a component that requires an external code, not known to the crew but provided through the chain of command, to enable detonation in combination with other safety features [e]
  • Weak link-strong link [r]: An architecture for isolating the detonation system of a nuclear weapon inside a electrically and physically rugged barrier; engineered penetrations through this barrier are the "strong links"; fail-safe response of components inside it to abnormal events are the "weak links" [e]

Stockpile testing

Other related topics