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NATION : Ocean Floor Littered With A-Arms

June 06, 1989|From Times wire services

WASHINGTON — U.S. and Soviet naval accidents have littered the ocean floor with at least 50 nuclear weapons and 10 nuclear reactors since World War II, according to a report released today by the Greenpeace environmental group.

Forty-three of the 50 weapons and six of the nine reactors are Soviet, and the real number may be much higher because so few details are known of secretive Soviet navy operations, said William Arkin, an analyst who worked with Greenpeace on the project.

Perhaps the most serious accident was the sinking of a Soviet Yankee-class submarine Oct. 6, 1986, with 32 nuclear warheads and two nuclear torpedoes aboard 600 miles northeast of Bermuda.

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