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Biggest Nuclear Weapons Stockpile in the World- Puget Sound

Puget Sound

text-relevantPuget Sound Is Home to the Biggest Nuclear Stockpile in the World, Truth Out, , 01 August 2016 By Martha BaskinCrosscut The ad pierces your consciousness and catches you by surprise. Plastered on the side of Seattle’s King County Metro it hurls you momentarily back in time, to a time when nuclear weapons were an imminent threat to our survival. Or did the era never end?

The ad — sponsored by activists from the Poulsbo-based Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action — reads: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US.”

Behind this text is a map, depicting the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap, located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal, one of the four main basins in Washington state’s Puget Sound. The base is home port for eight of the US Navy’s 14 Trident ballistic missile submarines as well as an underground nuclear weapons storage complex. Together, they’re believed to store more than 1,300 nuclear warheads, according to Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

This is arguably the biggest single concentration of nuclear warheads not only in the US, but in the world.

King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, until Kristensen confirmed its accuracy. The combined explosive power contained in the base is equivalent to more than 14,000 Hiroshima bombs, he says.

But the most surprising thing to him about the underground nuclear weapons storage complex — known as the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWF-PAC), and completed in 2012 — is the extent to which a $294 million bunker has largely escaped public debate, except for a few industry-related articles.

The small non-profit behind the ad shares a land border with the naval base. It launched when Robert Aldridge, an engineer for Lockheed Martin in California — the arms manufacturer has a facility at the base but only to ensure that Trident ballistic D5 missiles are ready for deployment on the subs — quit his job directing their development when he saw they could be used in a preemptive first strike against the Soviet Union.

According to Glen Milner, an active member of the Center, Aldridge then contacted two peace activists in the area — Catholic theologian Jim Douglas and his wife Shelley — and the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action was formed……..

The US Navy has presented a plan to spend over a trillion dollars during the next 30 years upgrading and maintaining the entire triad of US based nuclear weapons, according to Martin Fleck of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a group that advocates for nuclear disarmament. This includes over $100 billion to replace the base’s nuclear submarines.

The plan was approved by Obama in 2010.

“We and our allies,” says Fleck, “are arguing for sanity with nuclear weapons given that we have enough already to end the world several times over. Why on earth would we invest another trillion dollars in them at this late date?”……http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37052-puget-sound-is-home-to-the-biggest-nuclear-stockpile-in-the-world

August 3, 2016 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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