July 11th, 2003

full steam ahead

Dr Strangebush, I presume

I do not want to go back to the nightmares of my teens of a nuclear war and it terrifies me that the US government seems to think that nuclear fallout will just vanish in the face of political expediency.

"This spring, the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to spend $15.5 million to develop a nuclear bunker-buster called the "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator." They also agreed to spend money to make changes to the Nevada Test Site, shortening to as little as 18-24 months the time it would take to resume nuclear tests. (It would take 24-36 months now.)

Congress is hung up on just one element of the Bush plan: a ban on researching and developing a nuclear bomb with a payload of 5 kilotons or less. (A kiloton is equivalent to the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT.) The Senate voted to end the ban, while the House voted to keep it; the two sides are expected to settle their differences in a House-Senate conference committee by August."

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