"Obama to spend billions on nuclear weapons"
1 February 2010
Administration Budget Plan Contradicts Obama Pledge to Reduce Nuclear Weapons Threat
Billions to be spent on new nuclear weapons production facilities.
Washington , DC - The Administration’s budget, released today, contradicts President Obama’s pledge to reduce the nuclear weapons threat by working toward their elimination, according to a national network of groups in communities downwind and downstream from U.S. nuclear sites. Instead, the spending plan boosts funding for nuclear weapons production facilities by $625 million from last year.
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) said that the Obama budget includes large increases for a new plutonium production facility in Los Alamos , NM , and for a new highly enriched uranium production facility near Oak Ridge , TN , each estimated to cost about $3 billion. The budget also fails to list a new privately financed $700 million plant, which will produce nonnuclear components for nuclear weapons in Kansas City , MO.
“The Administration has argued that the massive increases in nuclear weapons proposed in this budget are necessary to maintain a robust nuclear deterrent,” said Jay Coghlan, Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico , an ANA member group. “This is simply not true. The U.S. currently has a stockpile of 10,000 warheads that are certified as reliable. The new production facilities proposed in this budget will allow the Department of Energy to introduce untested nuclear weapons designs into the previously reliable nuclear stockpile.”
“The plan described in this budget is not about maintaining a reliable nuclear stockpile. It is a multi-billion dollar ‘radioactive pork’ construction plan that will reconstitute the nation’s ability to produce new nuclear warheads,” said Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “Building new nuclear weapons production facilities makes no sense as the U.S. prepares to participate in this spring’s nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, where it will try to persuade other nations to reduce arsenal sizes.”
“We do applaud the budget’s increased funding to secure nuclear materials and support for international nonproliferation treaties, and regulatory controls,” said ANA Program Director Nick Roth. “However, the threats from nuclear weapons include the environmental and health damage to U.S. communities that hosted weapons production facilities over the past 65 years. Yet the budget for the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management budget was reduced nearly $80 million.”
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) is a national network of three-dozen grassroots and national groups representing the concerns of communities near U.S. nuclear weapons sites that are directly affected by 65 years of nuclear weapons production and waste contamination.
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