The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope


NewsWeek, BY  ON 4/18/17 The U.S. has built a better, smarter nuclear bomb capable of replacing all four of its predecessors and, as of last month, it’s ready to fly.

The U.S. Air Force said Thursday it conducted an inert test in March of an upgraded version of one of its primary nuclear gravity bombs, the B61, in an effort to refurbish the nuclear arsenal of the nation with the second-largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world. The long-awaited upgrade comes amid a new effort by President Donald Trump to conduct a massive review of the nation’s nuclear capabilities.

An F-16 dropped the non-nuclear B61-12 over the Nellis Test and Training Range Complex in Nevada, assessing functions such as the weapon’s fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer. The B61-12 was set to replace four current models—the B61-3, -4, -7, and -10, according to theAviationist. The initiative, which hoped to see the weapon in production by 2020, was part of the nuclear life-extension program overseen by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration……….

The life-extension program continued as the Pentagon announced Monday the beginning of its Nuclear Posture Review, according to Defense News. The six-month process was commissioned by an executive order signed January 27 by Trump and would assess the nation’s nuclear forces in light of the current geopolitical scheme. Former President Barack Obama conducted the last review in 2010, and the new administration would likely take into account heightened tensions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Trump has recently feuded with his former political ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who currently commands the largest nuclear force on the planet, and has suggested a harder line on nuclear-armed North Korea.

Modernizing the U.S.’s entire nuclear arsenal would cost $400 billion by 2026, according to a figure released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office. Some military officials have reportedly suggested abandoning nuclear projects such as the Long-Range Standoff nuclear cruise missile (LRSO) in favor of optimized conventional strike options.

April 19, 2017 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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