Lots of News on Nukes

 In Nuclear Weapons

1. President Obama proposes money for new nuclear weapons production facilities

2. Obama also proposes loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants

3. Nuclear Posture Review on the way

4. Vice President Biden to speak on nuclear weapons policy tomorrow (and Peace Action will be there!)

1. In his proposed budget, the President has included funding for a new plutonium bomb plant at Los Alamos in New Mexico, an increase in funding for a uranium processing plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee and a new facility in Kansas City to produce non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons. At the same time, he proposes a decrease in funding for nuclear warhead dismantlement. Obviously this is the wrong message for our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, who advocates a world free of nuclear weapons, to send to the world in advance of the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) at the United Nations in May, and it may at least somewhat undercut the momentum for disarmament that will hopefully be generated by the still-in-negotiations post-START treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals by about one-quarter.

Congress will of course have the last say, and we need to lobby Congresspeople hard, on funding for these programs. For more information on nuclear weapons “modernization”, see Peace Action Education Fund Scoville Fellow Lisa Putkey’s excellent fact sheet.

2. Bad news, the president has signed off on over $8 billion in federal loan guarantees (i.e. our tax dollars) to build two new nuclear power plants in Georgia, and supposedly more down the road. The president of course also supports “clean coal” (he must know there is no such thing) and offshore drilling, and the Administration is trying to frame these overtures not just as necessary for energy production, but also as a way to get Republicans to support green energy technology investements and curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. This is a bad deal all around, and we’ll support the lead of colleague environmental organizations, such as our friends at Beyond Nuclear,  in opposing this initiative.

3.  According to several reports, the Nuclear Posture Review is nearing completion at high levels within the Administration. For more, see our earlier blog and Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares Fund on Huffington Post today.

4. Finally, Vice President Biden will deliver a speech here in Washington tomorrow (it was postponed by last week’s Snowmageddon here) on nuclear weapons policy. Peace Action was invited and our Organizing and Policy Director Paul Kawika Martin will attend, look for a report tomorrow.

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