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An Enduring Nuclear Stockpile: New Bomb Plants New Bomb Plans Big Bucks Jay Coghlan Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico July 3, 2010 Please visit.

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Presentation on theme: "An Enduring Nuclear Stockpile: New Bomb Plants New Bomb Plans Big Bucks Jay Coghlan Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico July 3, 2010 Please visit."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Enduring Nuclear Stockpile: New Bomb Plants New Bomb Plans Big Bucks Jay Coghlan Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico July 3, 2010 Please visit for this presentation and much more on the Los Alamos National Laboratory, nuclear weapons policies and the research and production complex.

2 The Products

3 The Results Badger, Nevada Test Site, April 15, 1953, 23 kilotons Crossroads-Baker, Bikini Atoll, July 23, 1946, 23 kilotons

4 Almost 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the Nuclear Weapons Complex continues to cost over $6 billion/year.

5 How the Complex Works

6 President Obama Prague Speech April 5, 2009 -"I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. This goal will not be reached quickly -- perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change." 6

7 New START Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

8 Biden’s Speech “… our budget proposals reflect some of the key priorities, including increased funding for our nuclear complex, a commitment to sustain our heavy bombers and land- and sea-based missile capabilities, under a new START agreement.” 8

9 The Cost of Nuclear Weapons The U. S. Dept. of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) spends more than $6 billion annually on nuclear weapons research and production. Annual Spending is now planned to increase to $9 billion/year by 2018 Defense Dept. spends an estimated $30 billion annually on force structure and delivery systems. In all, the U.S. has spent an estimated $5.8 trillion on nuclear weapons, or $21,000 per living American. (Source: Cost of U.S. Nuclear Weapons, Steve Schwartz, October 2008)


11 With these new facilities, the US will spend $9 billion and expand its current annual nuclear warhead production capacity from 20 to 80 per year.

12 Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) Oak Ridge, Tennessee Estimated to cost up to $3.5 billion 12

13 New Kansas City Plant Missouri Will cost taxpayers $1.2 billion through convoluted “private” financing scheme 13

14 Kansas City Will Own a Federal Nuclear Weapons Plant Kansas City will own a new federal nuclear weapons production plant. What about schools, hospitals? What about clean up and green jobs at the old Plant? Private development of a nuclear weapons plant circumvents congressional oversight. It also costs taxpayers more - - $1.2 billion in lease and maintenance payments over 20 years for a $730 million building, after which the government still doesn’t own it.

15 Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement - Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) Los Alamos, NM Current estimates are $4 billion 15

16 LANL Efforts to Expand Plutonium Operations Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility at LANL which would directly support pit production and other plutonium programs -$4 bn. Past and planned upgrades to the existing pit production facility ~$300 million Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility Upgrade ????

17 New Production Facilities Are Not Needed The workload of these new plants was originally predicated on new-design Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRWs) and massive Life Extension Programs (LEPs). Congress and the President have rejected RRWs. Current Capability is 20 new warheads per year, but new plants will boost that to 80 per year. 100’s of existing weapons are “refurbished” in LEPs each year.

18 What Makes Up a Nuclear Weapon?

19 Extending the Lifetimes of Nuclear Weapons Life Extension Program (LEP) for the W76 warhead is ongoing ~$4 billion. LEP study & LEP for B61 bomb ~$4.9 billion LEP study & LEP for W78 ICBM warhead ~$4.9 billion LEPs are projected to extend a weapon’s usable life by 30 to 60 years

20 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) “The United States will not develop new nuclear warheads. Life Extension Programs will use only nuclear components based on previously tested designs, and will not support new military missions or provide for new military capabilities.”

21 JASON Lifetime Extension Program (LEP) Report Lifetimes of today's nuclear warheads could be extended for decades, with no anticipated loss in confidence, by using approaches similar to those employed in LEPs to date.

22 JASON Lifetime Extension Program (LEP) Report Found no evidence that accumulation of changes incurred from aging and LEPs have increased risk to certification of today’s deployed nuclear warheads.

23 Ongoing Limited Life Component Exchange Activities Many age-related changes affecting various nuclear warhead components are predictable and well understood. These components are replaced periodically throughout the lifetime of the weapon.

24 W76 LEP Creates a Weapon with New Military Characteristics New Arming Fusing & Firing system being produced now at the Kansas City Plant is believed to endow the warhead with a selectable height of burst.

25 Nuclear Weapons Budgets Estimated to Rise to 2030

26 “Curatorship” Approach is Needed As we head towards zero warheads, NNSA should prioritize nuts-and-bolts surveillance. After all, if one truly wanted to maintain a vintage 1950 automobile today, well beyond its design life, the greatest need would be for excellent mechanics, not a new automobile design team.

27 Please Get Active Why Bother? Because: The nuclear weaponeers want to build up their bomb production complex, not clean it up. But the nuclear weapons industry is (hopefully) a dying business. Real security: clean up to protect public health and the environment; prioritization of funds for the greatest public good (schools, hospitals, infrastructure); local green, sustainable economic development; nuclear weapons nonproliferation leading to abolition. Hassle your congressional delegation, make your opinions known, write letters to the editor, support your local organizations. Protest groundbreaking of the new Kansas City Plant. Sign up at Democracy is a muscle. Use it or lose it! “ DON’T MOURN, ORGANIZE!!!”

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