INTRODUCTION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS CUSTODIANSHIP RESOLUTION -- HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY (Extension of Remarks - July 23, 1998)
HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, JULY 23, 1998
- Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a resolution to express the Sense of Congress regarding the proper direction of U.S. efforts to maintain the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the post-Cold War era.
- Currently, the Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship squanders billions of dollars on facilities to research and design new warheads, and continue nuclear weapons development as if the Cold War had never ended. In doing so, it bolsters nuclear weapons aspirations of other nations who follow our lead, and puts our real security at risk. It is time to stop this wasteful approach and develop a custodianship program more adequately suited to modern needs. The resolution I am introducing today urges DOE to crease its ill-advised stockpile stewardship program and develop a program that is less costly, less provocative, and less likely to spend billions on facilities with little relevance to the safety of the arsenal.
- Many experts have suggested that there are alternatives to the Department of Energy's current stockpile stewardship program that can maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal at a significantly lower cost. None of these alternatives have been seriously considered by DOE. In reality, many of the projects funded under this program are nothing more than a jobs program for nuclear scientists, but a jobs program with serious non-proliferation consequences. Other nations already look to our massive investment into nuclear weapons research and use it to justify their expanding nuclear programs.
- To promote the kind of curatorship of the arsenal that is really needed with the end of the Cold War, I am today introducing a resolution which expresses support for a program that protects our national security without being a guise for new weapons programs that will further undermine the already unsteady international nuclear non-proliferation regime. This resolution expresses the Sense of Congress that the nuclear weapons stockpile can be maintained with a program that is far smaller, less expensive, and which does not require the facilities or experiments that are likely to be used for warhead design or development. In addition, the resolution urges the Secretary of Energy to direct the Department of Energy program for custodianship of the nuclear weapons arsenal towards less costly and less provocative methods and to cease the current stockpile stewardship plans of the Departments.
- It is my hope that this resolution will serve as a useful vehicle for educating the Congress and the public about the nature of the current stockpile stewardship program and promoting a more informed debate and consideration of less destabilizing and costly alternatives. I urge my colleagues to join in cosponsoring this important resolution.