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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Key Physicists Say No New Nukes Needed
19 November 2009 5:16 pm
The secretive JASON group of academic physicists have given a thumbs up to the current program of refurbishing nuclear warheads in the U.S. stockpile instead of building new, more reliable ones. The report should bolster efforts by the Obama Administration to keep dead the Reliable Replacement Warhead program, a Bush-era program to build new nukes. Bush's Energy Department and Pentagon officials had argued that flaws in the refurbishment program were a key rationale for new bombs, but Obama disagreed. (Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover, tried to revive the program this past summer, but failed.) The strong endorsement of the status quo by JASON, says Arms Control Wonk:
should drive a stake through the heart of the RRW and warhead “replacement” in general.
They turned back arguments that refurbishment efforts—known as Life Extension Programs— introduced enough changes to the bombs so as to raise questions about their effectiveness:
JASON finds no evidence that accumulation of changes incurred from aging and LEPs have increased risk to certification of today’s deployed nuclear warheads.
This finding is a direct consequence of the excellent work of the people in the US nuclear weapons complex supported and informed by the tools and methods developed through the Stockpile Stewardship program. Some aging issues have already been resolved. The others that have been identified can be resolved through LEP approaches similar to those employed to date.
The Energy Department's nuclear weapons agency endorses the report's recommendations to continue the program.