Sub collision reminds world there's still a nuclear threat

Friday, February 20, 2009 | 11:47 a.m. CST

Loory: Two nuclear powered submarines, one French and one British, each carrying 16 missiles with nuclear warheads, collided in the North Atlantic Ocean early this month. The story was a one-day wonder. Front-page news for a day, then it disappeared. What really happened? Most importantly, what does that collision mean for attempts to reduce nuclear weapons around the world? It reminds us that not only the United States and Russia have long-range missiles at the ready, but so does the United Kingdom, France and China. Despite all the talk about reducing the number of nuclear weapons and convincing such countries as Iran and North Korea not to build them, proliferation goes on. India has negotiated the lease of a nuclear attack submarine and an aircraft carrier from Russia. Delivery of the sub is not far off. Both the Obama administration and Medvedev/Putin government in Russia are getting ready for a new round of nuclear arms reduction talks. Perhaps this near disastrous collision will make both sides more eager for real success. The original report was that the French submarine collided with a floating or  sinking cargo carrier; did the French know what happened in the collision?