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Threat that Ulster faced from Russia was out of this world

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 30/12/2015

The release of archived public records give a fascinating glimpse into the world of government and what exercised the minds of former ministers and civil servants. Viewed with the gift of hindsight, some seem frivolous if not downright humorous.

In 1988, emergency plans were drawn up in case an out-of-control Russian spy satellite powered by a small nuclear reactor crash-landed in Northern Ireland, or at least spread radioactive debris across the region when it disintegrated on re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

It did cross Ireland but burned up over the Congo. A near-miss then.

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