|Date:||Tue, 11 Jul 2000 11:38:46 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||Re: [CPEO-MEF] U.S. Sets Stage for New Mini-Nuke Design|
Dear Tara and the CPEO list serve: You wrote: I just received an e-mail on the mini-nukes, and while it is very informative , it is also frustrating that by the end of the email I still do not know who I should be protesting to. It would be much more effective to tell the recipients how to take action. Thanks, Tara Carson Reply: Thanks for your note asking how the provision in the Senate Armed Services Report mandating research and development activity on a new "mini-nuke" can be stopped. I have appended that article again below for clarity. The mini-nuke language is section 1018 of the Senate Armed Services Committee Report. The "assessment" and attendant R&D for mini-nukes can be stopped in two ways. First, the Senate Defense Authorization has yet to go before the whole Senate for a vote. Folks can call their Senators and ask them to "strike" the language in that section -- meaning take it out. If that doesn't occur, then the second opportunity to "strike" that mini-nuke language will come when the Senate and House have a conference committee (probably in mid to late August) to work out the places where one body's language is different than the other. Since there was no such mini-nuke language in the House bill, the Senators and Representatives who are participating on the conference committee can decide to put it in or strike it out. Therefore, folks can also call their Representative and ask him or her to work with the conference committee to make sure the mini-nuke language is taken out. I hope the above does not sound too esoteric or complicated. In short, it means that both your Senatrors and your Representative have an opportunity to get rid of the mini-nuke language NOW. Calls should be made by constituents in July to give them a chance to get educated on this topic. You may want to send them a copy of the article with your comments. Peace, Marylia The original article: U.S. Sets Stage to Design New, Deep-Burrowing "Mini-Nuke" by Sally Light and Marylia Kelley from Tri-Valley CAREs' July 2000 newsletter, Citizen's Watch The Senate Armed Services Committee Report includes a provision for Fiscal Year 2001 that would "require the Secretaries of Defense and Energy to assess requirements and options for defeating hardened and deeply buried targets. The provision would expressly authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct any limited research and development that may be necessary to complete such assessments." (Sec. 1018) If approved by the full Congress and the President, this new law would lift certain key restrictions imposed by a 1994 law barring the DOE nuclear weapons labs from conducting research and development that could lead to the production of a precision, low-yield nuclear weapon with an explosive force of less than 5 kilotons. Thus, the change would enable the Livermore and Los Alamos labs to design an entirely new nuclear weapon for the U.S. arsenal, a "mini-nuke" capable of burrowing up to 1,000 feet underground before detonating. In the 1990s, the weapons labs "modified" an existing B61 to create the B61-11, with a variable yield beginning at 50 kilotons and an earth-penetrating capability of about 300 feet. If developed, the new "mini-nuke," would be tailor-made for use in conventional conflicts, and against non-nuclear adversaries. This continues an already insanely dangerous trend in U.S. nuclear policy, one in which various existing nuclear bomb designs are being "modified" or "refurbished" to make them more "usable." As soon as it was deployed, the U.S. considered using the B61-11 earth-penetrator against Khadafy, and, according to one former Pentagon official, the current idea would lead to a lower-yield, "deep penetrator that could hold at risk a rogue state's deeply buried weapons or Saddam Hussein's bunker without torching Baghdad." Design studies for a new "mini-nuke," savage the spirit, not to mention the preambular language, of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and abrogate the disarmament imperative in Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. According to a June 12, 2000, article by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post, support for this new, low-yield nuclear weapon comes from a small group of senior Republican Senators and nuclear weapons lab officials (no surprise). This cadre of Strangeloves also thinks the U.S. should scuttle the CTBT altogether and resume full-scale underground nuclear blasts. As Sandia Lab President C. Paul Robinson explains it, "The U.S. will eventually need a new, low yield nuclear weapon." In a wider context, the Senate authorization for "mini-nuke" research must be seen as part of an overall U.S. plan to keep nuclear weapons forever. Witness, as two more examples, the current push to revive Star Wars and the U.S. Space Command's plan to militarily control the earth from the sky by 2020, using space-based nuclear weapons and exotic laser technology. Public outcry is crucial. What we all do, or fail to do, right now will impact our Mother Earth's future. Call us for copies of the NPT, CTBT or the U.S. Space Command's "Vision 2020" report. See also articles & fliers inside. Marylia Kelley Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) 2582 Old First Street Livermore, CA USA 94550 <http://www.igc.org/tvc/> - is our web site, please visit us there! (925) 443-7148 - is our phone (925) 443-0177 - is our fax Working for peace, justice and a healthy environment since 1983, Tri-Valley CAREs has been a member of the nation-wide Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in the U.S. since 1989, and is a co-founding member of the Abolition 2000 global network for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the U.S. Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the Back From the Brink campaign to get nuclear weapons taken off hair-trigger alert. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can find archived listserve messages on the CPEO website at http://www.cpeo.org/lists/index.html. If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to: email@example.com ___________________________________________________________ T O P I C A The Email You Want. http://www.topica.com/t/16 Newsletters, Tips and Discussions on Your Favorite Topics
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