Engineer Phil Hoover with a B61-12 nuclear weapon at Sandia National Labs

Originally HELSTAF was a dark satire similar to Stanley Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Right away, two baby nukes have gone missing from Ukraine, just delivered to our protagonist WACO (and his Ukrainian boss BURKOWSKI) in Antarctica, courtesy of the ChinaPeace dissidents.

Ukraine became an independent nation in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union. At that time Ukraine had over 1300 nuclear warheads in their possession.  That was the 3rd largest nuclear arsenal in the world at the time. Ukraine gave the nukes back to Russia as part of  The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assistance (called The Budapest Agreement in the script).

Adding a brief reference to the Trump impeachment trial (where Ukraine and the Budapest Memorandum was front-and-center) in a BBC News broadcast in the opening scenes takes the drama out of a futuristic sci-fi environmental catastrophe flick and puts it squarely into the here-and-now reality.

Originally, Waco was going to use one of the baby nukes to spread a volume of ozone to plug up the Ozone Hole over the South Pole.  The ozone layer is as thick as a piece of paper, so a little bit of ozone goes a long way – if you can spread it out enough, hence the nuclear device. (Burkowski, we find out at some point – was going to blow up HELSTAF with the other one.)

You thought the Ozone Hole was all fixed up?  The latest data say not – because there’s no enforcement mechanism for the Freon Ban.

Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove