The country with the most nuclear weapons is also the only country to use them—twice. President Barack Obama—who titled his 1983 undergraduate thesis at Columbia University, “Soviet Nuclear Disarmament”—is surpassing hypocrisy with his Energy Department expanding proliferation while bringing non-proliferation resolutions before the U.N. Security Council. Mr. Obama continues to enable Israel’s covert proliferation of nuclear weapons and the threat to use them against Iran’s international agency-safeguarded low-enrichment facilities for its nuclear energy program while repeating ‘demands’ at the compliant Iran. Matthew Cardinale reports at Inter Press Services (IPS).
by Matthew Cardinale
30 Sep 09 | IPS
Despite statements by U.S. President Barack Obama that he wants to see the world reduce, and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration [NNSA] continues to push forward on a programme called Complex Modernisation, which would expand two existing nuclear plants to allow them to produce new plutonium pits and new bomb parts out of enriched uranium for use in a possible new generation of nuclear bombs.
Initiated under the George W. Bush administration, Complex Modernisation—referred to by anti-nuclear activists as “the Bomb-plex”—would “transform the plutonium and uranium manufacturing aspects of the complex into smaller and more efficient operations while maintaining the capabilities NNSA needs to perform its national security missions,” according to a report by the NNSA in the Federal Register.
“The main purpose of the Complex Modernisation programme is to maintain nuclear production capacity for the U.S.,” Ralph Hutchison of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance told IPS, arguing that the talk of modernisation obscures the real objectives of the programme.
“There are pieces of the modernisation scheme that might address environmental safety or health concerns, or structural integrity of old buildings that might need to be looked at,” he acknowledged.
But the more controversial aspect is the creation of a new nuclear production infrastructure at two sites. First is infrastructure for production of new plutonium pits—the central core of nuclear weapons—at the Los Alamos lab in New Mexico, to replace what the NNSA argues is an aging U.S. nuclear stockpile.