Reading Room

Nuclear Bomb Hearing: Will Congress Ask the Hard Questions?

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Strategic Forces Subcommittee will hold a hearing soon on the soaring cost of the B61-12 nuclear bomb and other nuclear weapons projects.

Scheduled to testify on October 29 are Donald Cook from the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration, Ass't Secretary Madelyn Creedon from the Pentagon, General Robert Kehler from StratCom, and Director Paul Hommert from NNSA's Sandia National Lab, which has the lead role in the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP).

The NNSA's nuclear weapons Life Extension Programs (LEPS) are rapidly expanding in their scope, severity of design change undertaken, budgetary cost and negative impact on global non-proliferation aims.

This is a trend in the wrong direction entirely! Tri-Valley CAREs is working to simultaneously constrain the scope and cut the funding for the B61-12. The cost estimates for re-designing this nuclear bomb have risen from $3.9 billion to more than $10 billion for the bomb and another $1 billion or so for a new tail kit to make this nuclear bomb more accurate, usable and lethal.

Will the House Armed Services Committee ask these witnesses the right questions? Will Congress challenge the "need" for making radical design changes to this bomb? Will there be questions about the Cold War strategy that prompted this U.S. bomb's deployment in NATO - and whether it is obsolete in the 21st century? Will there be any discussion of the growing opposition to the B61-12 in several of its European host nations?

Click here for the Armed Services Committee website about the hearing

And, check back with Tri-Valley CAREs often for continuing updates on our efforts to stop the B61-12 and other "new and modified" nuclear weapons.