Tuesday 9 May 2023

Houston hosts nuclear incident training exercise amid growing NUKE THREATS

 Houston recently hosted a weeklong large-scale, multi-agency nuclear incident training exercise led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), featuring various military personnel and aircraft in Harris County and southeast Houston. The training exercise that ended Friday, May 5, sought to prepare the city for a possible nuclear attack.

A map released by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 2002 showed that Houston could be a prime target for a nuclear attack due to its dense population and vast essential infrastructure. 

The training exercise came after the state visit of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol last month. During the state visit, President Joe Biden warned North Korea about the consequences if it is planning to launch a nuclear attack.

The West also faces a growing nuclear threat from Russia amid escalating tensions in the Ukraine war. Last month, a top Russian security official warned that the threat of nuclear war has increased due to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) providing military assistance to Ukraine.

Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said: “Every day when they provide Ukraine with foreign weapons brings the nuclear apocalypse closer.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin also does not shy away from the possible use of nuclear weapons and has observed nuclear exercises involving submarines, bombers and ballistic missile launches inside Russia.

Meanwhile, China has begun the largest-ever period of expansion of its nuclear arsenal. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden, China’s current stockpile of nuclear weapons is estimated to be around 350 nuclear warheads.

FBI: Training exercise should not alarm the public

In a tweet prior to the event, the FBI emphasized that the presence of military personnel, aircraft, and individuals with protective equipment during the training exercise should not alarm the public. The primary objective of the exercise was to enhance the response capabilities of participating agencies in the event of an actual nuclear incident. 

In May last year, the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department of Energy (DOE) led a major radiological exercise in Austin, Texas, known as “Cobalt Magnet 22.” Over 30 local, state and federal agencies participated in the exercise.

According to the FBI, last week’s drills were part of a series of routine U.S. government biannual exercises.

Numerous local and state agencies participated in the drills, including the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Houston Police Department and various other law enforcement, fire, emergency management and public health agencies.

“The exercise is an opportunity for participating entities to practice and enhance operational readiness to respond in the event of a nuclear incident in the United States or overseas. The training exercise will not pose any risk or interference to the public,” the FBI said in a statement.

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