Resources

McCain addresses the high cost of nuclear weapons26 May

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2016/05/19-national-defense-authorization-act-mccain?cid=00900015020089101US0001-051901

Resources

GAO questions nuclear weapons budget requests14 Mar

http://amarillo.com/news/latest-news/2016-03-08/report-casts-doubts-nuclear-spending

Amarillo Globe News
Report casts doubts on nuclear spending
Posted: March 8, 2016 – 8:50pm
By AARON DAVIS
aaron.davis@amarillo.com

The Government Accountability Office released a report last week citing concerns about the increasing budget for nuclear weapons and that budget’s potential to be inaccurate

The GAO report, titled “Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise,” looked at issues facing the National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget projections for nuclear weapons.

“This is the fifth year doing this review of modernization plans and the main finding in the report is that the budget estimates may not align with anticipated costs,” said David Trimble, director of the U.S. and International Nuclear Security and Cleanup department of the GAO. “Their ability to execute large contracts and large projects is of concern because of the historical problems.”

GAO officials cite a cost projection for weapons modernization at $297.6 billion, which is $4.2 billion higher than the administration’s budget figures. The low-range cost estimates for four programs to extend the life of nuclear warheads were also above the budgeted amount in years past.

Most of the physical work on warheads and bombs for life-extension programs is done at Pantex, which does assembly and disassembly of the warheads and bombs, and at the Y-12 National Security Complex, which manufactures, assembles and disassembles certain key components. Both sites are managed by Consolidated Nuclear Security.

These projections come at an increasingly complex time for the NNSA, as it is ramping up to juggle four major refurbishment programs on four separate warheads: a submarine-launched ballistic missile, a tactical “smart bomb,” a submarine-launched ballistic missile and an air-launched cruise missile.

“In our view, the NNSA has enormous responsibility that is incredibly important and they need to do a lot of work to maintain the U.S. stockpile,” said Stephen Young, senior analyst in the Global Security Program with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “However, they keep planning to go big and do everything perfectly at once in the best possible way. They simply can’t manage that. They need to think small and do what they have to get done to maintain the stockpile or we risk a real problem.”

The NNSA, under the umbrella of the Department of Energy, still remains on the GAO’s Major Program High-Risk List for a record of mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse. Although the department has made progress in managing work on projects that cost under $750 million, a pattern of waste in large projects continues.

Testimony from the GAO to the U.S. Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee highlighted three major challenges facing the Department of Energy: management of the life-extension programs, oversight of contracts and major projects, and budgetary issues.

Of the life-extension programs that are concerning, the “smart bomb” program has a shortage of staff and is proceeding on a constrained schedule with little margin for program risks. Another warhead, the Interoperable Warhead 1, is scheduled to begin modernization in 2020, but the budget is based on a plutonium pit production line that isn’t up to capacity yet.

“Some of the programs, like the W76 (submarine-launched missile), make total sense. It’s the bulk of our stockpile, 1,600 warheads, and has a total cost of $4 billion,” Young said. “Now for the B61 (“smart bomb”), they are spending $10 billion to modernize 480 bombs.”

Young pointed out that for the cost of one “smart bomb,” the NNSA could modernize roughly eight of the submarine-launched missiles.

“The NNSA is proposing to make major changes to the warheads, and because they are reaching so far, they risk cost overruns, delays and problems that have always surfaced in their programs,” Young said. “It greatly increases the risk that one of these will fail. They should just do the work required to make sure our stockpile is safe and effective and nothing more than that.”

Young said he also worries about the choice to modernize the “smart bomb,” which would allow it to hone in on precise targets and vary its payload from 0.3 kilotons to 150 kilotons.

“The goal is not to use these weapons. Some argue you need to be able to fight and win a nuclear war in case one starts, but once you go nuclear, all bets are off,” Young said. “There’s no reason to plan for a small nuclear war.”

Resources

Fukushima 5 years on13 Mar

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15852

Resources

Candidates on Nuclear Arsenals04 Mar

Peace Train for March 4, 2016

By JUDITH MOHLING

The United States plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next 30 years to
“modernize” its nuclear arsenal even though President Obama solemnly pledged in his famous “Prague Speech” on April 5, 2009 before thousands of thrilled Czech Republic citizens: “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Whichever of the current presidential candidates wins the presidency will face this reality. How do they feel about nuclear weapons? Not a lot has been said in the debates, but here are a few examples of what some of the candidates have said.

Republican Candidates: According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Ted Cruz would strengthen our nuclear arsenal, especially the nuclear armed submarines. Cruz was asked by Global Zero what he thought the right number of nuclear weapons is, and he responded, “.. .sufficient nuclear weapons to keep this country safe.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, “Senator Rubio is probably the most hawkish presidential candidate. During a debate, he talked about the nuclear triad saying that, “…all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”
Jeb Bush, asked by Global Zero about the vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it was an “incredible objective” and one that he would aspire to advance, but that it would first require nuclear weapons modernization.
All GOP candidates mentioned that our nuclear arsenal “doesn’t work,” including Donald Trump.
Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton was asked, “Would you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?“, Secretary Clinton responded, “I’m going to look into that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bernie Sanders, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-proliferation, has said, “We have a $600 billion military budget that is larger than the next eight countries. Very little of that budget, less than 10 percent, actually goes to fighting ISIS and international terrorism.”
Additionally, Senator Sanders spoke of his support for a world free of nuclear weapons, as President Obama supported when first running for president.

Resources

Do you want 1 Trillion dollars American taxpayer money to do this so called Modernization?03 Mar

Peace Train for March 4, 2016

By JUDITH MOHLING

The United States plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next 30 years to
“modernize” its nuclear arsenal even though President Obama solemnly pledged in his famous “Prague Speech” on April 5, 2009 before thousands of thrilled Czech Republic citizens: “Today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Whichever of the current presidential candidates wins the presidency will face this reality. How do they feel about nuclear weapons? Not a lot has been said in the debates, but here are a few examples of what some of the candidates have said.

Republican Candidates: According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, Ted Cruz would strengthen our nuclear arsenal, especially the nuclear armed submarines. Cruz was asked by Global Zero what he thought the right number of nuclear weapons is, and he responded, “.. .sufficient nuclear weapons to keep this country safe.”

According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation, “Senator Rubio is probably the most hawkish presidential candidate. During a debate, he talked about the nuclear triad saying that, “…all three of them are critical. It gives us the ability at deterrence. All three are critical for the defense of the country.”
Jeb Bush, asked by Global Zero about the vision for a world free of nuclear weapons, said that it was an “incredible objective” and one that he would aspire to advance, but that it would first require nuclear weapons modernization.
All GOP candidates mentioned that our nuclear arsenal “doesn’t work,” including Donald Trump.
Democratic Candidates
Hillary Clinton was asked, “Would you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?“, Secretary Clinton responded, “I’m going to look into that. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Bernie Sanders, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nuclear Non-proliferation, has said, “We have a $600 billion military budget that is larger than the next eight countries. Very little of that budget, less than 10 percent, actually goes to fighting ISIS and international terrorism.”
Additionally, Senator Sanders spoke of his support for a world free of nuclear weapons, as President Obama supported when first running for president.

Resources

Purely coincidental? What’s the message being sent? Pretty expensive telegram!19 Feb

24 hours prior to the opening session of the Open Ended Working Group in Geneva, the U.S. will launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from California to the Marshall Islands.
Rick

—–Original Message—–
From: Launch-Alert [mailto:launch-alert-bounces@mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Launch Alert
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 5:02 PM
To: launch-alert@mailman.qth.net
Subject: [Launch Alert] Minuteman III Launch Scheduled

The following is a media advisory from Vandenberg AFB:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

MINUTEMAN III LAUNCH SCHEDULED

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – – An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled between 11:00 p.m. PST Saturday, Feb. 20 and 5:00 a.m.
PST Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

“This mission continues a long string of vital ICBM flight tests from Vandenberg Air Force Base,” said Moss. “The launch not only demonstrates the capability of the Minuteman III weapon system, but also the tremendous capabilities of Airmen who maintain and operate it. The men and women of the 30th Space Wing are proud to partner with the Air Force Global Strike Command team to conduct this important launch.”

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, includes aircrew members from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and crew members and maintainers from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota.

The 576th FLTS is responsible for installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile, which collect data and ensure safety requirements, are met.
__________________________________________________________
Launch-Alert mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/launch-alert
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:Launch-Alert@mailman.qth.net
Message delivered to rwayman@napf.org

Resources

16,000+26 Jan

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/nine-nations-have-nuclear-weapons-here-is-how-many-each-country-has-a6827916.html

Resources

North Korea, Nuclear Disarmament,20 Jan

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-should-get-its-nuclear-house-order-14963“>This Analysis of US nuclear weapons policy makes clear why it is so hard to move toward the Obama announced goal of Nuclear Weapons Aboltion. Of course it is the Congress that is the stumbling block making it unrealistic for a President to get these treaties ratified and setting up future Presidents to annul commitment to current treaties.

Resources

Action Request — write letters to your local papers–Kill the destabilizing Long Range Stand Off Nuclear Weapon.15 Jan

Here are 4 LTEs from Tri-Valley CAREs folks published over the past 4 weeks on the new, destabilizing Long-Range Stand Off nuclear weapon.

Here is the request. Many of you have key members of Congress in your area (i.e., members who are on the House or Senate armed services, appropriations or foreign affairs committees).

Your letters will sound a bit different from these – because they will have your local context and points. However, some points bear repeating, and so I am offering these four letters as “grist” for your letter-writing “mill.”

Please consider writing a letter to the editor now (and then have someone else from your group submit a second Letter to the Editor later, after the FY 2017 budget request goes to Congress in February).

Thank you! Together, we will put the stink on this new warhead and delivery system.

Peace, Marylia

1. The Independent- January 14, 2016

No to New Weapons

I believe we who live and work in the Tri-Valley have a special duty to pay attention to activities at the Livermore Lab.

In recent years, the Lab lost its authority to use large quantities of nuclear material because it failed to secure them. Consequently, the Lab’s role in the US nuclear weapons enterprise began to diminish.

Rather than committing to civilian (non-nuclear weapons) science, the Lab began pushing for a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile, known as the Long Range Stand Off warhead.

The need for this new weapon is highly questionable at best. In fact, our Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who is the Ranking Member on the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, said earlier this year, “I know of no compelling case” for developing it.

Senator Feinstein is in a position to halt funding for this weapon. I urge people to call her through the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

It is time for Livermore Lab to get out of the nuclear weapons business and to commit its significant scientific prowess to more pressing needs.

Scott Yundt, Livermore

###

2. Union Democrat- December 24, 2015

Cancel LRSO weapon plan

The Pentagon has requested that a new nuclear capable Long-Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon be developed to replace an old air-launch cruise missile. The Air Force has plans to purchase over 1,000 LRSO’s. The development of the LRSO would increase U.S. nuclear air launch cruise missile capacity by nearly 200 percent.

The Lawrence Livermore Lab has been placed in charge of refurbishing the nuclear explosive package and developing detonators for the new LRSO. Sandia Lab, also in Livermore, is responsible for the construction of some non-nuclear parts and for systems integration.

The Federation of American Scientists estimate the full development of the LRSO including the W80-4 warhead to be as high as $20 billion. Here are a few facts about $20 billion:

• Stacking $20 bills, $20 billion would reach over 60 miles high.

• $20 billion could purchase 35 billion bushels of wheat at current market price. Just one bushel of wheat yields roughly 90 one pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

The LRSO is incredibly costly and it is a weapon that the United States can never use. The creation of these weapons is incredibly detrimental to the environment and increases the risk of nuclear terrorism in Livermore. In 2008, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab failed a terrorist exercise. Canceling the LRSO would be a significant first step toward fiscal responsibility and global security.

Joseph Rodgers, Sonora

###

3. Valley Times-Herald, Contra Costa Times

– December 15, 2015

Christmas wish is fewer funds for nasty nukes

All I want for Christmas is fewer dollars for a dangerous, destabilizing nuclear cruise missile.

Current plans call for designing and building 1,000 new nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The estimated cost is $20 to $30 billion. This is an outrage.

I call on President Obama to cancel this new “Long-Range Stand-Off” warhead and the cruise missile that would deliver this nuclear horror when he finalizes the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request later this month.

Further, I call on U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the appropriations subcommittee through which the nuclear weapons budget must pass, to make sure that no funds are used for its development.

Peace on earth and goodwill to all will not be brought into existence by another potential first-strike nuclear weapon, let alone one intended to be a stealthy surprise when it incinerates an unsuspecting target population.

Pamela Richard, Danville

###
4. The Independent, Mailbox- December 17, 2015
Nuclear Tipped

I oppose the development of a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile. Recently, I discovered I have unexpected allies.

William Perry, our 19th Secretary of Defense, and Andy Weber, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense, have written an analysis of this nuclear weapon titled, “Mr. President, Kill the New Cruise Missile.”

The analysis states, “Because they can be launched without warning and come in both nuclear and conventional versions, cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon.”

The estimated cost would be $20-30 BILLION! And you and I would pay for it with our tax dollars.

Fortunately, this new nuclear-tipped cruise missile can be stopped. President Obama can submit his next budget to Congress without requesting money for it.

Also, Congress can refuse to fund it. I called Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and asked them to oppose this destabilizing new nuclear weapon. Call them at (202) 224-3121.

I urge people to get additional information, including the full William Perry/Andy Weber analysis, at www.trivalleycares.org.
Jo Ann Frisch, Livermore

###
Marylia Kelley
Executive Director,

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
2582 Old First Street,
Livermore, CA 94550

Resources

Closer to Midnight. Useable Nuclear Weapons!17 Dec

US Nuke builders lie about B-61 warhead–for instance

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