Tuesday, July 05, 2005


At the same time the U.S. is negotiating with North Korea and Iran over nuclear weapons, we are expanding our nuclear arsenal. Of particular interest to the Bush Plan (under the aegis of the Department of Energy) are smaller nukes that can be pinpointed for more surgical use which also don't require testing. Nukewatch gives us the rundown and warns us about new developments:
    Perhaps even more sobering, there are growing indications that DOE and the weapons labs are working on completely new designs. These are likely to involve low-yield weapons ("mini-nukes" in the 5 kiloton or below range), which are inherently more dangerous because they are more likely to be used. There is now proposed Senate legislation that will require DOE to undertake mini-nuke research and development, a direction that has been legislatively barred since 1994. LANL Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons Steve Younger has argued that "reliance on high-yield strategic weapons could lead to 'self-deterrence.'" He has posed as a possibility the design and deployment of "a new set of nuclear weapons that do not require nuclear testing to be certified. Such weapons might be, but do not need be, based on simple gun-assembled uranium designs [like the Hiroshima bomb] that do not require a plutonium infrastructure......." Sandia National Laboratories Director Paul Robinson has publicly stated that the U.S. will someday need a mini-nuke.

It would seem that the current government wants others to do what they say, not what they do. We are the Good Guys, but we are also the only country to ever use nuclear weapons. We have learned that we really can't use the large megaton weapons without drawing a similar response. This is why it is so disturbing to see our leaders developing more "usable" weapons.


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