In September, 1980, a maintenance worker accidentally drops a tool inside an Arkansas Titan II missile silo, which plummets to the floor, ricochets and punctures the fuel tank of an ICBM with a nuclear warhead 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima. A desperate rescue effort ensued to prevent an inevitable collapse of the missile, which would lead to an explosion that could detonate the warhead. This was the second worst disaster the defense department faced that week.
Robert Kenner's new film, Command and Control, adapts this one episode reported in Eric Schlosser's eponymous, Pulitzer Prize finalist book. It's a documentary but, make no mistake, it feels every bit like the suspense story it is.
I sat down with Schlosser at New York's NeueHouse to discuss his reporting, the film and the risk posed to the United States by its own nuclear weapons.
Watch our discussion here: