OPS, May 2007
Nuclear bomb-makers constantly put forward ideas for “new” and “necessary” models, because — let’s face it — they want to make bombs. Meanwhile, most of the world, and most sane people, believe nuclear weapons are obsolete and useless (hopefully). At the height of the Cold War nuclear arms race, the best rationale for nukes was that they were essential in order to prevent their own use.
In recent years, arms makers — and supporters in Congress — have entertained serious discussions to develop “bunker-buster” nukes to penetrate the earth from space to a depth of up to 100 feet, THEN explode, insuring that underground bunkers are destroyed. Cooler heads have prevailed, and plans for the bunker-buster nuke have been shelved. (Phew!).
A generation of “smaller” nuclear weapons for “theater use” has also been on the table … “little nukes” which would obliterate only a few square miles, thus “limiting” the damage they would wreak (and make their use more likely, of course.)
Now comes the latest proposal: officially called the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). The rationale for the RRWs is that they would guarantee “long-term confidence” in the reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. (Multiple independent studies have shown, however, that the nuclear weapons stockpile will remain “safe and reliable” for at least another 50 years.)
The Council For a Liveable World — www.clw.org — says this new nuclear bomb is part of a larger Bush Administration plan to rebuild the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, the cost of which the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates will exceed $150 billion by 2030. The Government Accountability Office — GAO — believes this estimate is too low and has advised Congress to require that the DOE produce an accurate accounting of the costs.
Meanwhile, the USA still has nearly 6,000 operational nuclear weapons, far beyond any rational need. (And TONS of weapons-grade plutonium, uranium, and other components, are “in storage” in places like Amarillo’s Pantex Nuclear Weapons Facility, 250 miles west of Oklahoma City, just off I-40.)
Opponents of new nuclear weapons successfully stopped development of the “bunker buster” nuclear bomb in recent years. We can’t afford to lose ground now by moving ahead with the Reliable Replacement Warhead. The United States should be showing leadership by DISMANTLING nuclear weapons, not attempting to build new ones.
The victory against “bunker buster” nukes proved that these battles can be won. But the issue requires action from citizens. That’s you.
Page 5 of this newspaper provides addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers of all seven Members of Congress from Oklahoma. Contact our two Senators, and YOUR Representative to say “No More Nuclear Weapons.”
Your letter can simply say, “No more nuclear weapons. The USA should be dismantling nuclear weapons, not designing new ones. Stop development of any and all new nuclear weapons. No “theater-use” nuclear weapons. No Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRWs). No “bunker-buster” nuclear weapons. We must eliminate the perception that nuclear weapons are acceptable, in order to reduce the possibility that they would ever be used.”
You can also find the Council For A Livable World petition at www.clw.org.
(URL for the petition is actually www.clw.org/action/petitions/stop_rrw )