Bush administration wants to make US nuclear
stockpile "smaller and more effective"
Photo courtesy sightsonics.cf.huffingtonpost.com
By Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News Service
October 19, 2006
President Bush has made a commitment to reduce the nation's nuclear
weapons stockpile by 2012 to the lowest level since the Eisenhower
administration in the 1950s, a top U.S. Energy Department official
Thomas D'Agostino, the deputy administrator for defense programs
at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, said at
a news conference in Washington, D.C., that the Bush administration
wants to make the country's nuclear weapons deterrent "smaller
and more effective.''
D'Agostino said federal officials want to dismantle nuclear weapons
in a significant and speedy manner in order to "get us away
from the Cold War nuclear weapons complex to a smaller and more
D'Agostino said that while the government will be downsizing
its nuclear weapons program, there aren't any plans for closing
the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
He said an environmental impact statement released today for
the transformation and moderation of the nuclear weapons complex
"doesn't close the Livermore Lab.'' D'Agostino said, "I
want to be clear about that.''
The public will have 90 days to comment on the environmental
impact. The government will hold 17 public hearings in 12 locations.
In the greater Bay Area, there will be hearings in Livermore
and Tracy on Dec. 12.
Established by Congress in 2000, the National Nuclear Security
Administration is a semi-autonomous agency within the Energy Department
that's responsible for enhancing national security through the
military application of nuclear science.
The NNSA reports it maintains and enhances the safety, security,
reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile
without nuclear testing.
The agency also says it works to reduce global danger from weapons
of mass destruction, provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective
nuclear propulsion and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies
in the U.S. and abroad.
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