|published Thursday, October 19, 2006 ||4681 Views :: 1 Comments |
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
A national network of organizations working to address issues of
nuclear weapons production and waste cleanup
for further information, contact:
Susan Gordon: (206) 853-6399
or local contacts listed at end of advisory.
for immediate release, Thursday, October 19, 2006
“BOMBPLEX” PROMISES NEW, COLD WAR-SCALE NUCLEAR WEAPONS INDUSTRY
Today, the Department of Ener gy (DOE) is releasing a Notice of Intent to prepare
a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for a massive reorganization
and refurbishment of the nuclear weapons complex. This giant shift in operations is being offered as a supplemental environmental impact statement to the 1996 Stockpile Stewardship and Management PEIS in an attempt to mask the scale of the proposed changes.
In reality, Complex 2030 is a bizarrely inappropriate Dr. Strangelove-esque plan
to revitalize the United States’ nuclear weapons production capability in order to
manufacture the new Reliable Replacement Warhead, which will potentially drive
a new nuclear weapons arms race. Despite the end of the Cold War almost two
decades ago, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which
manages DOE’s nuclear weapons programs, is aggressively pursuing new military
missions and designs to carry out the expanded first strike options envisioned
in the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review.
In his testimony before Congress in April 2006 discussing nuclear weapons
infrastructure, Thomas D’Agostino, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense
Programs stated, “we seek an ability to design, develop, certify and begin production
of refurbished or replacement warheads within 48 months of a decision to
begin engineering development… these timelines would restore us to a level of
capability comparable to what we had during the Cold War.”
Susan Gordon, Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability expresses her
disbelief. “At a time when the Non-Proliferation Treaty is in danger of unraveling,
it is madness to be planning to rebuild the U.S. nuclear weapons program
with new warheads and new military missions. ’Do as I say and not as I do’ is
not a viable foreign policy and will only make the world more dangerous.”
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s Mason Lowe adds, “This is an attempt
by the Department of Energy to secure its own financial future – not secure
America. Given DOE’s track record, the new Bombplex will soar over budget
which is estimated at $155 billion, while failing to achieve its goals.”
The stated goals of Complex 2030 include:
- Production of the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW), a series of new weapons claimed to perform reliably without ever needing nuclear testing
- Increasing the dismantlement of retired warheads
- Consolidation of special nuclear materials used in nuclear weapons to fewer sites in the complex and fewer locations within the sites to reduce the cost of security and the establishment of a consolidated plutonium research and production center
- Introducing more uniformity in technical and business practices to reduce risk and increase efficiency
DOE/NNSA’s past activity has always moved in the direction of increased complexity at greater costs than anticipated. A “curatorship” approach could accomplish the major stated goals of Complex 2030: ensured safety/reliability of the stockpile (consisting of previously tested designs), no return to testing, increased dismantlement, removal of dangerous/vulnerable nuclear materials from many sites, and economic/programmatic
By taking such a step towards diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military doctrine and foreign policy, this country could take the lead in moving all nuclear nations toward the goals of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.
“The DOE’s ‘Bombplex 2030’ offers us dangerous, new nuclear weapons development, testing and production in the guise of consolidation,” said Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs, located in Livermore, CA. “This is a recipe for reviving the arms race. We who live communities next to DOE sites are still experiencing the environmental and health impacts from the first one. We say, ‘Clean up the existing mess, don’t make new ones.'”
Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch of New Mexico, said, “The Notice of Intent calls for a baseline capacity of producing 125 plutonium pit “triggers” per year and at the same time cancels the previously proposed Modern Pit Facility. This sets the stage for the Los Alamos National Lab becoming the nation’s consolidated plutonium production center by default.”
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability is a national network of more than 30 groups, most of whom live downwind and downstream from the U.S. nuclear weapons complex sites. These groups have been working collaboratively for nearly two decades to clean up the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production and stop new nuclear weapons programs.
Seattle Office: 1914 North 34th St., Suite 407, Seattle, WA 98103, 206/547-3175, Fax: 206/547-7158Washington, DC Office: 322 4th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, 202/544-0217, Fax: 202/544-6143www.ananuclear.org The NNSA Notice of Intent is available here.
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
Livermore, CA – (925) 443-7148
Jay Coghlan, Executive Director, Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM – (505) 989-7342
Mavis Belisle, Director, Peace Farm
Panhandle, TX – (806) 341-4801
Ralph Hutchison, Director, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
Oak Ridge, TN – (865) 483-8202
PDF of press release here.
You must be logged in to post a comment. You can login here