Nuclear Policy Meltdown

Friday, November 10, 2006

Regarding the Oct. 20 news story "U.S. Plan for New Nuclear Weapons Advances": The United States needs a new nuclear policy rather than new types of nuclear warheads and a revamped nuclear weapons complex.

The Energy Department evidently forgot to mention an essential fact at its press briefing on "Complex 2030" and the "Reliable Replacement Warhead" program: The core nuclear warhead components it wants to redesign and replace are already determined by the nuclear weapons labs themselves to be essentially 100 percent reliable. The misplaced obsession with warhead reliability and the rationale for continuing to maintain thousands of nuclear weapons on high alert are part of an outdated U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

The Cold War is over. The United States should end its nuclear war-fighting doctrine and dramatically reduce the number of its nuclear weapons.

ROBERT NELSON

Senior Scientist, Global Security Program

Union of Concerned Scientists

Cambridge, Mass.


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