The Argument Makes Sense- But I Don’t Know Enough to Evaluate It

I saw a link (on Instapundit) to an article that explains the damages that occurred to the Nordstream gas pipelines.

The article begins with a photo from  the 1994 edition of CAPP Guidelines for the Prevention and Safe Handling of Hydrates, Canadian Assn. of Petroleum Producers.

Now I have a little experience with pipelines – none so long as Nordstream, and only running water, and generally under 100 psi of pressure.  In short, my experience doesn’t qualify me to evaluate the article – my experience doesn’t include 48 inch steel pipelines with an inch and a half walls.  However, I live in North Lincoln County – some neighbor will have worked the oil patch and gas pipelines and have the ability to say if Lawdog is correct.

My next thought was Putin’s comment that he was willing to use nukes.  Now what I don’t know about nuclear weapons fills books.  Dad knew more about them – he was at Operation Crossroads, but that was before I was born, and, while he knew the physicists, he was the ship’s Warrant Boatswain . . . and maintenance of the bombs wasn’t his responsibility.

Still, despite my meager knowledge of atomic weapons, I got to thinking.  I can maintain water pipelines.  I haven’t got a clue about how to maintain nuclear warheads . . . but I don’t think they are maintenance free.  And I’m a demographer.  And World Population Review lists the number of warheads by country (I know, demographers like to count things).

Which Countries Have Nuclear Weapons?

  1. Russia — 6,257 (1,458 active, 3039 available, 1,760 retired)
  2. United States — 5,550 (1,389 active, 2,361 available, 1,800 retired)
  3. China — 350 available (actively expanding nuclear arsenal)
  4. France — 290 available
  5. United Kingdom — 225 available
  6. Pakistan — 165 available
  7. India — 156 available
  8. Israel — 90 available
  9. North Korea — 40-50 available (estimated)

So, if Russia doesn’t have technicians who are competent to keep a pipeline operational – and I know darned well that some of my neighbors can probably do it, what’s the chance that a bunch of those 6,257 warheads have had equally shabby maintenance?  And if they had, what’s the chance that they won’t explode?  Nuclear physics isn’t my field – but the bombs they used at Bikini were brand new bombs.  I figure most of those on the list have been sitting in storage since Reagan was a president.  And if the Russian technicians have declined in competence at the same rate as our presidents have, those old warheads might not go boom.  I really do want someone capable to evaluate the article – the implication is too great not to.

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