Oppose New Nuclear Weapons

Oppose New Nuclear Weapons Today

The Bush administration has asked for $8.5 million in the 2006 budget for research on a "Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator" (RNEP). This new nuclear weapon, also known as the nuclear "bunker buster," is being promoted as a useful tool in attacking deeply buried command centers or underground stores of chemical and biological weapons. But numerous scientific critiques, including one by the National Academy of Science, find that in many cases such a weapon would be ineffective. In addition, the nuclear blast and radioactive fall-out could kill millions of innocent people in surrounding areas. In the coming weeks, both the House and Senate will consider funding for this new nuclear weapon. Please tell your Representative and Senators to reject all funding for the dangerous nuclear "bunker buster".

Read the Letter:

I am greatly opposed to the Administration's proposal to budget $8.5 Million for research on a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP). I am deeply disturbed by this proposal. This nuclear weapon is not needed, appears to set the U.S. on a new course of developing nuclear war fighting weapons, and sends a counterproductive message to the international community at a time when we are trying to discourage other nations from developing nuclear weapons. I hope that you will deny all funds for the RNEP or nuclear "bunker buster" program.

As you know, the Administration's FY06 budget requests $8.5 million for RNEP, which is intended to destroy deeply buried bunkers and/or underground stores of chemical or biological weapons. However, a recent National Academy of Sciences study http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11282.html?onpi_newsdoc04272005 concludes that the weapon would be of limited use in destroying deep bunkers or underground stores of biological or chemical weapons, and that its use could kill millions of people.

To illustrate the technical realities of the RNEP weapon, the Union of Concerned Scientists has produced an animation that shows both the weapon's technical shortcomings and the consequences of its use. I strongly recommend that you and your staff consider and use this important resource--it can be found at: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_security/nuclear_weapons/page.cfm?pageID=1781

Finally, I believe that Congress needs to match their words with their actions when addressing the cause of nuclear proliferation. If we are calling on other nations to refrain from building nuclear weapons, we should refrain as well. Our focus should be on decreasing our already bloated and unnecessary nuclear stockpile. The international community is currently meeting at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN. This is an excellent time for the Congress to defund this program and send a strong nonproliferation message.

I look forward to hearing your position on this important issue and hope that you deny all funding for the RNEP program. Thank you.


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Mai 2005

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