Cross-posted from Secrecy News: A new report from the Congressional Research Service takes a detailed look at proposals to significantly restructure the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.
The proposals, offered by a Department of Energy Task Force, include closure and consolidation of various nuclear facilities and production of a newly designed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW).
“Some express concern that Task Force recommendations may be at odds with U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policy,” insofar as they envision the indefinite preservation of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile, the CRS report observes.
Detonating a nuclear weapon in space would not only damage U.S. assets but those of all countries, including Russia. It would set back the use of space for multiple purposes – peaceful and otherwise – by decades.
Satellite images show that the Navy has begun construction of a new nuclear weapons storage and handling facility at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
Russia is in the midst of a decades-long nuclear force modernization program intended to replace Soviet-era missiles, aircraft, and submarines with new systems.
The Sentinel program has been plagued with cost increases, flawed assumptions, and misleading arguments from the beginning; this most recent overrun demands hawk-eyed scrutiny of the program’s next steps.