SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 15
February 8, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

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RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD TO BE ADOPTED AS US STRATEGY

The interagency Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC) has formally decided to endorse the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) concept as the basis of the future U.S. nuclear arsenal, a new report from the Congressional Research Service revealed.

In November 2006, "the NWC determined that the RRW is to be adopted as the strategy for maintaining a long term safe, secure and reliable nuclear deterrent," the CRS report stated, quoting from new Department of Energy budget documents (at page CRS-26).

It is a momentous decision on which Congress might be expected to weigh in.

Not only that, but RRW development will be funded at the expense of existing nuclear weapons programs, budget documents say, "through reductions in resources required to support legacy weapons" (at page CRS-27).

Defunding work to extend the functional lifetime of existing weapons would tend to foreclose efforts to avoid new nuclear weapons development.

According to a CRS calculation (and subject to future adjustments), the projected budget for the RRW program from FY 2008-2012 would be $725.1 million, including NNSA and Navy funds.

The Congressional Research Service does not release its publications directly to the public. A copy of the new report was obtained by Secrecy News and posted on the Federation of American Scientists web site.

See "Nuclear Weapons: The Reliable Replacement Warhead Program," updated February 8, 2007:


MORE FROM CRS

Some other noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service that are not readily available in the public domain include these.

"Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 110th Congress," updated February 1, 2007:

"Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy and Implementation," updated January 8, 2007:

"Earthquakes: Risk, Monitoring, Notification, and Research," February 2, 2007:


VARIOUS RESOURCES

It is the policy of the United States to develop medical countermeasures that could be used in response to an attack involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, according to a new Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-18) issued by President Bush on Medical Countermeasures Against Weapons of Mass Destruction:

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would "prohibit the use of funds to carry out any covert action for the purpose of causing regime change in Iran or to carry out any military action against Iran in the absence of an imminent threat...":

The U.S. Navy says that its declassification programs are on track to meet all current and future milestones, according to a January 24, 2007 briefing to the Secretary of the Navy Declassification Oversight Committee:

The American Library Association is seeking nominations for its James Madison Award, presented to "individuals or groups that have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public's right to know." See:

Ulysses, a joint NASA-European Space Agency spacecraft launched in 1990, passed beneath the south pole of the Sun yesterday (at a distance of 200 million miles). See:

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Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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