At the same time America is lecturing N. Korea and Iran about abandoning their nuclear weapons programs, the U.S. is pressing ahead with plans to build a new stockpile of 2,200 deployed nuclear weapons.
The United States took another step yesterday toward building a new stockpile of up to 2,200 deployed nuclear weapons that would last well into the 21st century, announcing the start of a multiyear process to repair and replace facilities where they would be developed and assembled and where older warheads could be more rapidly dismantled.
Thomas P. D’Agostino, head of defense programs for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), told reporters that the “Complex 2030” program would repair or replace “inefficient, old and expensive [to maintain]” facilities at eight sites, including some buildings going back to the 1940s Manhattan Project that built the first atomic bombs. He said the sites—primarily in California, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee—“are not sustainable for the long term.”
Yesterday’s announcement comes as the Bush administration is pressing its allies to take harsh steps to halt nuclear weapons programs in both North Korea and Iran that it says are violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That same treaty calls for the United States and other members of the nuclear club to eliminate their own stockpiles, but it gives no deadline by which that should take place.