This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about IND. And just what is IND? Well, funny you should ask. IND stands for Inadvertent Nuclear Detonation. Do you ever wonder about wording? I do. Why “inadvertent”? Why not accidental or unplanned or something else? Do you use inadvertent in your daily language? I don’t. (I’ve used it once in my blog, so I must use every half decade or so.)

Well, the DOE and the DoD mean something very specifc when they use inadvertent. It’s like all oranges are fruits, but not all fruits are oranges. All INDs would be considered accidents, but not all accidents, in fact, zero accidents in the case of the USA, lead to IND. The USSR defined accidents as an IND, so in their fine opinion, there had been no accidents.

    “Nuclear weapons are designed with great care to explode only when deliberately armed and fired. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that, as a result of accidental circumstances, an explosion will take place inadvertently. Although all conceivable precautions are taken to prevent them, such accidents might occur in areas where weapons are assembled and stored, during the course of loading and transportation on the ground, or when actually in the delivery vehicle, e.g., an airplane or a missile.”

    -Atomic Energy Commission/Department of Defense, The Effects of Nuclear Weapons, 1962.

Now you know.