Semi Truck Slams into Tractor Trailer Built to Carry Nuclear Weapons

The semi truck had been propelled by rockets to make sure the new trailer can safely move nuclear weapons.
Fabienne Lang
Mobile Guardian TransporterSandia National Laboratories

It's not every day you read about a truck slamming into another truck with the use of rockets—all in the name of testing. 

Sandia National Laboratories did just that, however, as the company explained in a press release this month.

It carried out the test to ensure a new tractor-trailer it has built can safely transport nuclear weapons from point to point, and withstand almost any type of accident or incident.


Quite the test

The company's new Mobile Guardian Transporter underwent the dramatic test earlier this summer. It was built as the third generation truck and it's meant to be able to safely move nuclear materials and weapons, per Business Insider.

You can now understand why such a test was carried out. Before being fielded, the truck had to pass a test that proved it can survive a crash. 

"The transportation mission is a critical component of an effective nuclear deterrent," Jim Redmond, a Sandia senior program manager, said in a statement.

"It provides needed assurance to the American public and our allies of the safety and security of our stockpile. You've got to be able to ship nuclear assets safely and securely or you don't have a deterrence program," he continued.

The truck is due to replace the Safeguards Transporter, which has been used since the 1990s. So this recent test was the first one of its kind to happen in approximately twenty years.

The collision about to happen. Source: Sandia National Laboratories

It took the Sandia team around six months to prepare for the test crash, which was then over in a matter of seconds. "I was glad to see the rockets fired; I was glad to see it was successful," Redmond explained. "It was tense."

Unfortunately, for us, very little information about the specifications of the new truck has been shared by the company. 

But what we do know, is that the Mobile Guardian Transporter will be used by the National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Secure Transportation to move nuclear weapons and materials. 

It's not so easy setting off a nuclear weapon, per the WarZone's report. If a serious crash were to happen while the weapons were being transported, potential damage could lead to dangerous materials being released, or even worse scenarios could be pictured.

Better safe than sorry barely sounds as true as now.