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A Dubious Bargain. How Nuclear Stockpile Reductions Are Being Held Hostage. By Jay Coghlan Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico July 3, 2010. Visit www.nukewatch.org for this presentation and much more on nuclear weapons policies and the nuclear weapons complex. Labs Seek Leverage.
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A Dubious Bargain How Nuclear Stockpile Reductions Are Being Held Hostage By Jay Coghlan Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico July 3, 2010 Visit www.nukewatch.org for this presentation and much more on nuclear weapons policies and the nuclear weapons complex.
Labs Seek Leverage • U.S. nuclear weapons labs (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia) are explicit about wanting formal “Safeguards” attached to the Test Ban Treaty during ratification, which can turn an “arms control” treaty on its head. • From Los Alamos documents: “Technically: there is little difference between a ratified CTBT and the current testing moratorium.” • The risk from a ratified CTBT is that “attention to the nuclear deterrent will likely erode.” • "There are several ways to sustain capabilities… Get more money." • The Labs are winning!!!
Stockpile Stewardship Program • Born from the previous bargain for the CTBT; 1999 ratification failed. • Sold to Congress because of the loss of underground testing. However, testing was used to advance nuclear weapons designs, not for ensuring safety and reliability. • ~$100 Billion to date. Despite that, Labs said Stewardship is not sustainable w/o new design Reliable Replacement Warheads. • RRW rejected by Congress, but Labs are coming back with escalating “replacements” of components to reach RRW-like objectives.
Stewardship… first of the weaponeers, then the weapons Stockpile Stewardship Plan states NNSA will: • put federal and contractor work force first • then will “balance” between the existing stockpile and nuclear weapons complex • planned infrastructure to support 3,000 to 3,500 total warheads • new facilities for expanded production capabilities of 80 plutonium pits at Los Alamos, 80 secondaries at Y-12, and a new Kansas City Plant
Nuclear Posture Review NPR excludes a conservative “curatorship” approach to maintaining the existing, extensively tested arsenal. It calls for a full range of Life Extension Programs, including any combination of: • refurbishment of existing warheads • reuse of nuclear components from different warheads • replacement of components, including nuclear (pits and secondaries) NPR states a preference for the first two, but expects Lab Directors to assess which of the three R’s is best. But Lab Directors wear two hats, as Lab Directors and Presidents of for-profit LLCs that are subsidiaries of Bechtel and the University of California (Los Alamos and Livermore) and Lockheed Martin (Sandia).
New START Bargain • Good news: resumption of arms control, modest warhead reductions, substantial reductions in delivery systems, inspections and verifiability, all important steps toward a nuclear weapons-free world. • Bad news: All Republican senators told Obama no ratification without “modernization.” Originally this fight was expected for the CTBT, which is going nowhere. • Obama rolled - - funding for NNSA nuclear weapons programs is increased by 14% in his proposed FY 2011 budget (the most of any federal agency, while increases for education, environmental protection, etc. are frozen). • “Modernization” means new bomb factories.
GAO: Where is the Bottom Line? • Auditors say NNSA does not know the total costs of running its facilities. • Nevertheless, NNSA and the Labs want more money. • The Labs supplement authorized funding with “Work for Others.” • LANL and Y-12 tell auditors they cannot identify total from other sources. • What are true total costs of the investments in infrastructure required in exchange for stockpile reductions and treaty ratification?
Life Extension Programs (LEPs) • LEPs extend the service lives of nuclear weapons by 30 to 60 years. • Enhanced “surety” is the cause du jour. Who can be against that? • Ongoing sub-launched W76-1/MK4A Life Extension Program ~$4 billion • Steerable reentry vehicle and new warhead fuze that gives selectable heights of burst. • Significantly improved military capability despite U.S. govt. denials. • Future LEP for B61-12 gravity bomb (“Frankenbomb”) ~$4.9 billion • Parts from previous models (-3, -4 & -10) and “reused” plutonium pit • New radiation-hardened microelectronics from Sandia • Digital interface with future F-35 Joint Strike Fighter • First production slated for 2017 despite uncertain forward deployment mission in Europe • Begin study of life extension options for W78 ICBM warhead ~$4.8 billion • Possible cross-platform use on both land and sub-based missiles
Resistance Is NOT Futile The new Kansas City Plant will be the first major new bomb production plant in 35 years. • Civil resistance against groundbreaking (expected mid- or late August) is being organized at: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/kcnukeswatch • You can join and participate in the Facebook Cause “Stop New Nuclear Weapon Production Facilities” at: http://www.causes.com/causes/486721?m=0d43bb06 • Keep abreast of issues regarding the Nuclear Weapons Complex at www.nukewatch.org/watchblog/
Endnotes and Resources NNSA viewgraphs on Safeguards to be enshrined in ratification of CTBT http://www.nukewatch.org/importantdocs/resources/SafeguardingModernization.pdf Nuclear Watch chart of U.S. nuclear weapons budgets http://www.nukewatch.org/facts/nwd/FollowTheWeaponsMoneyChart.pdf. Nuclear Watch factsheet on new production facilities http://www.nukewatch.org/facts/nwd/NewUS-productionfacilities4-29-10.pdf Nuclear Watch factsheet on the CMRR-NF http://www.nukewatch.org/facts/nwd/CMRR-FS-04-29-10.pdf GAO-10-582, June 2010 Report, “Actions Needed to identify Total Costs of Weapons Complex Infrastructure and Research and Production Capabilities” http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-582 Listserv for organizing resistance to the new Kansas City Plant http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/kcnukeswatch