News Release

New U.S. Nuclear Weapons

AP has reported: “The Bush administration selected a design Friday for a new generation of atomic warheads, taking a major step toward building the first new nuclear weapon since the end of the Cold War nearly two decades ago.

“The military and the Energy Department selected a design developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California over a competing design by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

“The decision to move ahead with the warhead, which eventually would replace the existing arsenal of weapons, has been criticized as sending the wrong signal to the world at a time when the United States is assailing attempts at nuclear weapons development in North Korea and Iran and striving to contain them.”

ROBERT ALVAREZ
A former deputy assistant secretary of Energy and now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Alvarez said today: “There’s no need to make new nuclear weapons, this is just the labs’way of establishing a niche market. This is also incredibly costly — the environmental liability from past nuclear weapons production is half a trillion dollars.

“While the U.S. government is telling other countries they shouldn’t build nuclear weapons, here the U.S. is leading by exception rather than by example. Particularly since the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review policy is to possibly use nuclear weapons even against countries that don’t have nuclear weapons; U.S. policy is in effect pushing countries to acquire nuclear weapons.”
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JACQUELINE CABASSO
Currently in Washington, D.C., Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, which focuses on nuclear policy issues including Lawrence Livermore. She said today: “Indefinite maintenance of a huge, sophisticated nuclear arsenal, by the only country that has so far used nuclear weapons, is an unreasonable, unacceptable, and unlawful alternative. The only reasonable alternative is nuclear abolition. The United States, in compliance with its obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, should commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2030, by initiating negotiations leading to conclusion of a verifiable treaty, under strict and effective international control.”

Cabasso has written extensively on nuclear policy, most recently the paper “Complex 2030: U.S. Plans for ‘Nukes Forever,'” which is forthcoming in the Information Bulletin of the International Network of Engineers and scientists Against Proliferation.

Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167