Thursday, November 8, 2012

The New Cold War: WSJ "Candidates Vow to Fund Ohio Nuclear Plant"

The new cold war is a lot like the old one. It involves a nuclear arms race and government support for inefficient and poorly administered private industries happily situated within the "nuclear umbrella":

Wall Street Journal Mon Nov 5, 2012 p. A6 by Ryand Tracy

"The USEC Inc plant under construction would employ about 400 people, making nuclear fuel. The U.S. government says it is crucial to maintaining the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile.

USEC has been on federal life support since June, when the Department of Energy aarranged to give it about $280 million. The company's stock has been trading below $1 a share...."

Majia here: Apparently the USEC was "spun off" (i.e., privatized) from the Dept of Energy in 1992. It is not profitable. The company wants $2 billion in loan guarantees, which both Romney and Obama supported because the Ohio facility will enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and power plants.

Representatives Markey (Dem MA) and Burgess (Rep TX) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking the office to investigate proposed government spending on the Ohio plant. 

There exists a more cost-efficient source for "enriched" uranium in New Mexico.

Nuclear is neither profitable, nor safe.

Nuclear weapons and nuclear plants are neither fiscally responsible, nor environmentally safe.

Unfortunately, there are concerted efforts underway across the globe for nuclear nations to "modernize" their nuclear weapons, as if we didn't have enough nuclear weapons on planet earth to exterminate us all many times over:
Sep 16, 2012
Aging U.S. nuclear arsenal slated for costly and long-delayed modernization. By Dana ... There is no need to "modernize" nuclear weapons when we have quite enough of them to destroy all life on the planet many times over.
Feb 29, 2012
In the fall of 2011 Counterpunch criticized the Obama Administration plan to “modernize” nuclear weapons by building MORE of them. Below find an excerpt from that Counterpunch article. You will see in the Washington Post ...

Read about the push to modernize and why it makes no sense:

Succeeding Where Bush Failed: The Obama Administration's Nuclear Weapon Surge. Counterpunch. By Darwin Bond-Graham
[excerpted] "Obama's first term will go down in history, however, as containing one of the single largest spending increases on nuclear weapons ever. His administration has worked vigorously to commit the nation to a multi-hundred-billion-dollar reinvestment in nuclear weapons, mapped out over the next three-plus decades.At the center of Obama's ambitious nuclear agenda is the expansion of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex via a multibillion-dollar construction program.

...Also, at the center of Obama's nuclear agenda is a commitment of tens of billions of dollars to designing and building the next generation of nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers. Stockpiled nuclear warheads will receive billions more in refurbishment and new components. All of this is now underway. Completion dates for various pieces of this puzzle span the next half-century. Finally, Obama's nuclear policies have been designed to leave the door open to new weapons at some future date..."

Majia here: Hence, the US has actually been building up, rather than down, its nuclear arsenal (especially under Obama), and promoting once again nuclear arms' races and brinksmanship:

Common Dreams: For Nuclear Security Beyond Seoul, Eradicate Land-Based 'Doomsday' MissilesBy Daniel Ellsberg and David Krieger, 28 March 12

[excerpted] "Last month we were among 15 protesters who were arrested in the middle of the night at Vandenberg Air Force Base, some 70 miles north of Santa Barbara, Calif. We were protesting the imminent test flight of a Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile.

The Air Force rationale for doing these tests is to ensure the reliability of the US nuclear deterrent force; but launch-ready land-based nuclear-armed ballistic missiles are the opposite of a deterrent to attack. In fact, their very deployment has the potential to launch World War III and precipitate human extinction - as a result of a false alarm.

We're not exaggerating. Here's why: These nuclear missiles are first-strike weapons - most of them would not survive a nuclear attack. In the event of a warning of a Russian nuclear attack, there would be an incentive to launch all 450 of these Minuteman missiles before the incoming enemy warheads could destroy them in their silos.

If the warning turned out to be false (there have been many false warnings), and the US missiles were launched before the error was detected, World War III would be underway. The Russians have the same incentive to launch their land-based missiles upon warning of a perceived attack.

...This is because smoke from the enormous nuclear firestorms created by even a "successful" US nuclear first-strike would cause catastrophic disruption of global climate and massive destruction of the Earth's protective ozone layer, leading to global famine.

Recent peer-reviewed studies, done by atmospheric scientists Alan Robock (Rutgers), Brian Toon (University of Colorado-Boulder), Richard Turco (UCLA) and colleagues, predict that such an attack would create immense firestorms that would quickly surround the planet with a dense stratospheric smoke layer...."

Majia here: Think again, everyone who thought that nuclear brinksmanship ended with the Cold War.

China is serving as the primary adversary, at least the overt primary adversary, in this new cold war

and Japan seems happy to play also in this dirty game of death

1 comment:

  1. Ah! nuke processing in Ohio, the swing state for the election. How appropriate that nuke dumps its big money into Ohio, emphasis on dump