Reading Room

B61 Nuclear Bomb Alert

According to news reports, the U.S House and Senate appropriations committees will be working through the holiday recess to determine the amount of money that will be spent on U.S. nuclear weapons and related programs. We know that the nuclear weapons establishment and its contractors are exerting enormous pressure now to fund dangerous, proliferation-provocative and costly nuclear weapons R&D projects.

At the top of on their wish list is the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP). The B61 is the nuclear bomb based in Europe to repel a Soviet invasion that is not coming. Yet, the U.S. weapons labs and their supporters want to "mash up" parts from four versions of the B61 to create the new B61-12. Further, they want to give it added military precision with a new guided tail kit.

The estimated cost for the B61-12 LEP is $11 billion, which is a per-bomb cost of twice its weight in solid gold according to the Ploughshares Fund.

Now for some good news: A number of key legislators from across the political spectrum are questioning the need and price tag for this new nuclear bomb. Our Senator, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is leading the group that wants to cut funding for the B61-12 Life Extension Program. She is particularly important in this debate because she chairs the Senate subcommittee through which the bomb's funding must pass.

Recently, the Senator said, "...The U.S. has too many nuclear weapons and more can be done to reduce the size of our nuclear arsenal." - Senator Dianne Feinstein, speaking at a congressional briefing, November 13, 2013.

If you agree, please call or email to tell her that you applaud her efforts to cut the B61 nuclear bomb. Call or email today, as the decisions are being made over the holiday recess. Use her web-based email by clicking here or call via the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3141.