Lt. Raj Bansal and Capt. Joseph Shannon (right) approach Foxtrot-01, a remote nuclear missile base in Nebraska. Geoffrey Brumfiel/NPR hide caption

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National Security

Welcome To The Nuclear Command Bunker

A small cadre of officers is responsible for keeping America's nukes on alert 24/7. Here's a peek into their world, and what it takes to do the job.

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First Lt. Patrick Romanofski (center) and 2nd Lt. Andrew Beckner (left) practice the launch of nuclear weapons. Promotions are now more strongly influenced by hands-on performance in this simulator. R.J. Oriez/U.S. Air Force hide caption

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Anti-nuclear activists (from left) Gregory Boertje-Obed, Sister Megan Rice and Michael Walli, pictured Feb. 6 in Knoxville, Tenn., were sentenced to prison terms on Tuesday for the 2012 break-in at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. Linda Davidson/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target. LLNL hide caption

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Negotiators at their round table in Geneva, where talks are being held about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Denis Balibouse /Reuters/Landov hide caption

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is given a traditional Maori welcome onto the grounds of the Government House on Friday in Auckland, New Zealand. Phil Walter/Getty Images hide caption

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International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano earlier today in Vienna, after his return from talks in Tehran. Dieter Nagl /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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April 2010: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a sample of the third generation centrifuge for uranium enrichment during a ceremony in Tehran on April 9, 2010. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful. Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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