Summer Quarterly 2018
An angry editorial a recent edition of the Albuquerque Journal is worth quoting at length. “How many billions-with-a-‘b’ of your tax dollars is the federal government willing to waste on bad nuclear decisions? It’s in the tens of billions already, with the meter in overdrive….
“[T]here are real questions about whether the US really needs 80 new [plutonium bomb] pits for an estimated $1.4 trillion-with-a-‘t.’ The magic 80 number comes from an Obama-era vast weapons modernization make-work plan, and Trump is expected to up that ante. Yet, the United States already has 12,000 spare pits and, in storage, those ‘have credible minimum lifetimes in excess of 100 years,’ according to an independent advisory panel cited in The Economist. Making pits also produces a lot of waste, and as mentioned above, the nation can’t dispose of the metric tons it already has—more than 70,000 metric tons of used reactor fuel is in temporary facilities in 39 states and 55 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium is in bunkers at the Energy Department’s Pantex warhead assembly-disassembly plant outside Amarillo and in an old reactor building at the Savannah River Site.…”
—Albuquerque Journal, Editorial, June 5, 2018