Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nuke Enthusiasts Promote Historic Nuke Park

It is well known that the US gov't works to maintain a world-wide status quo with respect to the number of nuclear weapons states, while also working hard to reduce the number of deployed nuclear weapons. Indeed, over the last 25 years the US has led the world toward a sharp reduction in the numbers of deployed nuclear weapons by entering into a series of carefully crafted agreements with Russia.

 However, it's difficult to see how the US can continue to encourage technically advanced, but currently non-nuclear weapons states, to refrain from developing their own nuclear weapons when the US itself seems ambivalent about the value of nuclear weapons as an element of national defense. I refer here to the fact that the US gov't may soon decide to memorialize the creation of its first nuclear bomb, 70 years ago, by setting up a national park to preserve "relics" from that era.

 This seems to me to be a wrong-headed attempt to stoke national pride, at the risk of moving the gov'ts of non-nuclear weapons states closer toward the development of their own nuclear weapons.

 It also seems to me to be a strange kind of national pride which celebrates the creation of a weapon which snuffed out the lives of ~200,000 innocent non-combatants. In spite of having been propelled by the fierce exigencies of the most destructive war in human history, it seems to me that having created the first nuclear weapon should remain for us more a source of national sorrow than of national pride.

 As reported in the APSNews, issue of April 2014 /

 "Cynthia Kelly, founder of the Atomic Heritage Foundation, remarked recently at an American Physical Society meeting that legislation this year might clear the way for the National Park Service to take over the birthplace of he atomic bomb. The Obama Administration must formally transfer control of the land from the DOE to NPS before the park can move forward. A bill authorizing the transfer got through the House in 2013, but was dropped in the Senate. It would have transferred sites in Hanford, WA, Los Alamos,, NM, and Oak Ridge, TN to NPS. 'It's been almost five years since any park legislation has been passed,' said Kelly."

 I hope that the US Senate will continue to oppose this wrong-headed legislation.

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