Broken Arrow Incidents

Broken Arrow Incidents


A “broken arrow” is an accidental event that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear components but which does not create the risk of nuclear war, known as a Broken Arrow in United States military terminology.

Below are documents obtained under the FOIA regarding Broken Arrow incidents.

Declassified Documents

 DoD Instruction 7730.12, “Notification Procedures for Accidents and Significant Incidents Involving Nuclear Weapons, Reactors and Radioactive Materials” [7 Pages, 1.16mb]

 Summary of Navy Nuclear Weapon Accidents (1975, 1976, and 1977 Supplement) [2 Pages, 0.2MB] – This is a bizarre story, and one of the most frustrating situations since I started The Black Vault.  I requested this document in 2009. I fought for a fee waiver, and was GRANTED that fee waiver, which means – I convinced them to waive all fees and declassify this document to me.  It took until March of 2015, for them to tell me AFTER they GRANTED my fee waiver, and they would review the document for declassification; they shredded it.  It’s gone from history, for good.

B-58 Accident, 1964

Remedial Action and Final Radiological Status, 1964 B-58 Accident Site [92 Pages]


General Reports

 ARGX-87 Accident Response Group Exercise, 1987: A Broken Arrow mini exercise [20 Pages, 2.27mb]

 Safety Study – Prime Nuclear Airlift Force (PNAF) Missions Involving the Use of C-130 and C-141 Aircraft [36 Pages, 1.9mb]

 Wartime Missile Strike Intelligence: An Indirect Bomb Damage Assessment System, July 1965 [75 Pages, 5MB]