U.S. Definitions of Nuclear Incidents

Bibliography:
Army Regulation 50-5: “Nuclear Surety; Nuclear and Chemical Weapons and Matériel” 1 August 2000. (PDF)

PINNACLE (OPREP-3)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

NMCC
Cognizant CINC
Parent Service HQ
Intermediate Commands
(Inform higher level first if all levels cannot be informed simultaneously.)

Type of Transmission

Voice
TTY
FLASH

(FLASH for initial PINNACLEs, as required for follow-up reports. Use IMMEDIATE if FLASH precedence is not available.)

Definition:

Used as a codeword for significant events of national interest requiring immediate or near immediate National Command Authority attention, with actual or potential international repercussions.



PINNACLE NUCFLASH (OPREP-3PNF)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

NMCC
Cognizant CINC
Parent Service HQ
Intermediate Commands
(Inform higher level first if all levels cannot be informed simultaneously.)

Type of Transmission

Clear Voice
FLASH Record follow up

Definition:

Used as a codeword to report the following events that involve or could involve the detonation of a nuclear weapon, or a situation that could lead to a nuclear war.

(1) Accidental, unauthorized, or any other unexplained nuclear detonation, or possible detonation.

(2) Accidental or unauthorized launch of a nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable missile in the direction of, or having the capability to reach, another nuclear-capable country.

(3) Unauthorized flight, or deviation from an approved flight plan, by a nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable aircraft with the capability to penetrate the airspace of another nuclear-capable country.

(4) The detection of unidentified objects by a missile warning system or interference (experienced by such a system or related communications) that appears to be threatening and could create a risk of nuclear war.

Message Notes:

The following information, when applicable, will be included in OPREP-3PNF reports. Include as much of the following information as possible in the initial voice report, but do not delay the report for lack of information.

(a) Time and location of the occurrence and report type (TIMELOC).

(b) Time on target and unit involved (NUCTM).

(c) Weapon type, armament status, and warhead type (NUCTYP).

(d) Detonation location, aim point, travel direction, air speed, flight duration time, and time on target (NUCCRS).

(e) Other pertinent information (GENTEXT).

Example of a Voice Report:

This is an OPREP-3 PINNACLE NUCFLASH from CTR122.2.0 as of 180419Z. At 180415Z, an F106 carrying a Mark 1 nuclear warhead crashed near a Russian battle group.”

Example of a Record Communications Report:

FROM: CTU122.2.0
TO: JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J3 NMCC//
(Other addressees as appropriate)

CLASSIFICATION

MSGID/OPREP-3PNF/CTU122.2.0/001//
FLAGWORD/PINNACLE/NUCFLASH//
REF/A/TEL/CTU122.2.0/180419ZMAR93//
AMPN/INITIAL VOICE REPORT TO NMCC//
TIMELOC/180415ZM AR93/4005N13235E/INIT//
NUCLC/4000N13400E//
NUCTYP/ACTYP:F106/NUCSTAT:Y/MARK: 0001//
RMKS/AIRCRAFT DOWN IN SEA. ESTIMATE 100 MILES OFF COAST. PILOT EJECTED. ADDITIONAL REPORTS WILL FOLLOW.//
DECL/OADR//


PINNACLE BROKEN ARROW (OPREP-3PBA)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

NMCC
Cognizant CINC
Parent Service HQ
Intermediate Commands
(Inform higher level first if all levels cannot be informed simultaneously.)

Type of Transmission

Voice
TTY
FLASH

Definition:

Used to report accidents, incidents, or events involving nuclear weapons or components where a risk of nuclear war does not exist.

Examples are:

(1) Nuclear detonation.

(2) Non-nuclear detonation or burning of a nuclear weapon.

(3) Radioactive contamination.

(4) The jettisoning of a nuclear weapon.

(5) Public hazard, actual or implied.

Message Notes:

The report must be made as quickly as possible after the incident and sent at FLASH precedence. The initial report will contain only as much of the requested information as is immediately available. The initial report must not be delayed in order to gain additional information.

The following information, when applicable, will be in OPREP-3PBA reports. USMTF set identifiers for required information is included in parentheses:

(1) Date and time, location, and report status (TIMELOC).

(2) Quantity and type of weapons or components, and ship or aircraft identification (EVTYP).

(3) Personnel casualties (CASUALTY).

(4) Damages (GENTEXT/DAMAGES).

(5) Cause of accident or incident and description of the event (GENTEXT/INCIDENT CAUSE AND DETAILS).

(6) Radiation information (5RAD).

(7) Fallout prediction data (5STRKWRN).

(8) Condition of weapons or nuclear components and safety measures (GENTEXT/WEAPON CONDITION and SAFETY MEASURES).

(9) Actions taken or in progress (GENTEXT/ACTIONS TAKEN OR IN PROGRESS).

(10) News release information (GENTEXT/NEWS RELEASES).

(11) Public and political implications (GENTEXT/PUBLIC AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS).

(12) Corrective action recommended (GENTEXT/CORRECTIVE ACTION RECOMMENDED).

Example of a Voice Report:

"This is an OPREP-3 PINNACLE BROKEN ARROW from CTU1111.3.1 for the NMCC. (a) 170755Z OCT 92. (b) Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (c) One TRIDENT 1 missile, (d) Casualties: two killed, three wounded. Damages: One truck destroyed by fire, one missile exposed to gas fire, did not explode or burn, (e) Missile transport, (f) Truck hauling missile experienced engine flash fire, (g) Driver and assistant killed, three personnel injured in rescue attempt, (h) No nuclear or radiation hazard, (i) Weapon is being cooled by fire hoses, (k) News media is enroute to the scene. No information has been released. (I) No public reaction has been received. Adverse publicity is anticipated, (m) Corrective action recommendation not yet available."

Example of a Record Communications Report:

FROM: USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
TO: JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J3 NMCC//
(Other addressees as appropriate)

CLASSIFICATION

MSGID/OPREP-3PBA/CTU122.3.1/001//
FLAGWORD/PINNACLE/BROKEN ARROW//
REF/ATTEL/CTU122.3.1/170755ZOCT92//
AMPN/INITIAL VOICE REPORT TO NMCC//
TIMELOC/170754ZOCT92/PEARL HARBOR/INIT//
EVTYP/1/TRIDENT 1/
HEADING/CASUALTIES AND DAMAGES//
CASUALTIES/KILLED:2/WOUNDED:3/MISSING:0//
GENTEXT/DAMAGES/ONE TRUCK DESTROYED BY FIRE. WEAPON EXPOSED TO GAS FIRE BUT DID NOT DETONATE OR BURN//
GENTEXT/INCIDENT CAUSE AND DETAILS/TRUCK EXPERIENCED ENGINE FLASH FIRE. DRIVER AND ASST WERE KILLED AND 3 NAVPERS INJURED WHILE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE TRUCK CREW AND RECOVER WPN//
HEADING/RADIATION INFORMATION// 5RAD/1 TRUCK CAB/170810z/0.0/-/-//
GENTEXT/WEAPON CONDITION AND SAFETY MEASURES/MINOR BURN DAMAGES ON EXTERIOR OF WPN//
GENTEXT/ACTIONS TAKEN OR IN PROGRESS/FIRE HAS BEEN EXTINGUSHED. INJURED PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN TRANSPORTED TO LOCAL HOSPITAL. INVESTIGATION CURRENTLY UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE CAUSE OF ACCIDENT AND SAFETY MEASURES FOR FUTURE OPNS//
GENTEXT/NEWS RELEASES/INITIAL REPORT MADE TO LOCAL TELEVISION AND RADIO//
GNETEXT/PUBLIC AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS/LOCAL MEDIA AT SCENE, SPECIAL REPORT AIRING ON LOCAL TELEVISION STATION//
RMKS/ADDITIONAL REPORT TO FOLLOW//
DECL/OADR//


PINNACLE EMPTY QUIVER (OPREP-3PEQ)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

NMCC
Cognizant CINC
Parent Service HQ
Intermediate Commands

Type of Transmission

Voice
TTY
FLASH

Definition:

Used to report the seizure, theft, or loss of a nuclear weapon or component.

Message Notes:

Must include when possible:

(1) Date and time, location, and report status (TIMELOC).

(2) Quantity and type of weapons or components, and ship or aircraft identification (EVTYP).

(3) Casualties and property damage (HEADING/CASUALTIES AND DAMAGES).

(4) Incident cause and details (GENTEXT/INCIDENT CAUSE AND DETAILS).

(5) Weapon condition and safety measures (GENTEXT/WEAPON CONDITION and SAFETY MEASURES).

(6) Amplifying information, including known or suspected route of diversion or escape, composition of recovery force, controlling authority, and communication links established with hot pursuit (recovery) team (GENTEXT/SEIZUREW, THEFT, OR LOSS INFORMATION).

(7) Public and political implications (GENTEXT/PUBLIC AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS).

(8) Assistance required (GENTEXT/ASSISTANCE REQUIRED).

Example of a Voice Report:

"This is an OPREP-3 PINNACLE EMPTY QUIVER from USS BULLET for the NMCC. 151000Z OCT 92. Norfolk, VA, Two TLAM-N missiles. Casualties: none killed, three wounded. Damages: Two TLAM-N missiles damaged, warheads removed by terrorists. Incident Cause and Details: USS BULLET boarded by 10 armed terrorists, who removed warheads from 2 TLAM-N missiles. Three crew members wounded in attack. Seizure Information: Terrorists departed by helicopter and are headed for Mexican coast. Attempting to notify Mexican Government."

Example of a Record Communications Report:

FROM: USCINCACOM NORFOLK VA
TO: JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J3 NMCC//
(Other addressees as appropriate)

CLASSIFICATION

MSGID/OPREP-3PEQ/USS BULLET/001 B//
FLAGWORD/PINNACLE/EMPTY QUIVER//
REF/A/TEL/USS BULLET/151000ZOCT92//
AMPN/INITIAL VOICE REPORT TO NMCC//
TIMELOC/151000ZOCT92/NORFOLK VA/FOLUP//
EVTYP/2/TLAM-N/DDG/ HEADING/CASUALTIES AND DAMAGES//
CASUALTY/KILLED: 0/WOUNDED: 3 MISSING: 0//
GENTEXT/DAMAGES/TWO TLAM-N MISSILES DAMAGED, WARHEADS REMOVED BY TERRORISTS//
GENTEXT/INCIDENT CAUSE AND DETAILS/USS BULLETT BOARDED BY 10 ARMED TERORISTS, WHO REMOVED WARHEADS FROM 2 TLAM-N MISSILES. THREE CREW MEMBERS WOUNDED IN ATTACK. TERRORISTS DEPARTED BY HELICOPTER//
GENTEXT/SEIZURE INFORMATION/HELICOPTER HEADED FOR MEXICAN COAST. MEXICAN AUTHORITIES NOTIFIED. SHORE-BASED MILITARY AND CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES NOTIFIED. AIR SEARCH IN PROGRESS//
GENTEXT/PUBLIC AND POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS/MEXICAN GOVERNMENT NOTIFIED AND PROMISE FULL COOPERATION//
GENTEXT/ASSISTANCE REQUIRED/REQUEST MEDEVAC OR INJURED CREW MEMBERS//
RMKS/ADDITIONAL REPORT WILL FOLLOW//

DECL/OADR//


BENT SPEAR (OPREP-3BS)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

NMCC
Cognizant CINC
Parent Service HQ
Intermediate Commands
(Inform higher level first if all levels cannot be informed simultaneously.)

Type of Transmission

Voice
TTY
FLASH

Definition:

This report is for an unexpected occurrence involving nuclear weapons or nuclear components that does not fall under the NUCFLASH or BROKEN ARROW categories, but:

(1) Results in damage to a nuclear weapon or nuclear component to the extent that major rework, complete replacement, or examination or recertification by the DOE is required.

(2) Requires immediate action in the interest of public safety, nuclear weapon security, or may result in adverse public reaction (national or international) or premature release of information. (This requirement includes any damage to nuclear weapon carriers such as submarines or aircraft that could lead to loss of or damage to nuclear weapon components.)

(3) Raises suspicion that a nuclear weapon has been partially or fully armed.

(4) Could lead to nuclear weapon accident category events and warrants the informational interest or action of any of the following officials or agencies:

(a) Joint force commander.

(b) Appropriate Military Department or Service.

(c) Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy).

(d) Assistant Secretary of Defense (Regional Security Affairs).

(e) Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs).

(f) FEMA (incident in USA).

(g) DOE.

Message Notes:

This report format is the same as the OPREP-3PBA


FADED GIANT (OPREP-3FG)

Submitted by

Lowest Level of Command

Submitted to

Service Headquarters

Type of Transmission

Voice
TTY
FLASH or IMMEDIATE

Definition:

Nuclear Reactor or radiological accidents/incidents. Included in this category are:

(1) An uncontrolled criticality resulting in damage to the reactor core or an event such as a loss of coolant that results in significant release of fission products from the reactor core.

(2) The uncontrolled release of radioactive material which presents a hazard to life, health, or property, or which may result in any person exceeding the acceptable limits for exposure to ionizing radiation.

(3) Any expected event involving radioactive materials or radiation exposure that prudence dictates to be of such consequence to warrant the informational interest of higher level officials. Included in this category are those events, which could have domestic or international implications, and those which could be of significant interest to the public.

Message Notes:

The flagword PINNACLE may be added at any level of command to expedite forwarding of this message to the NMCC.