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The Dangers of More Bomb-Grade Plutonium Awash in the World

July 14, 2021 @ 7:00 PM 8:30 PM

Webinar: Wednesday. July 14, 2021 at 7:00 PM:

Join us to learn about the dangers of the new U.S. breeder reactor and plutonium separation programs for more atomic bombs,  and what we might consider doing about them.

The U.S. government is building a new generation of far more accurate and versatile nuclear weapons, at a cost of well over a trillion dollars over 30 years (we are about 1/10 of the way through).  We have been hearing about the delivery vehicles for the weapons: the New Columbia submarines to replace the Tridents; the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) to replace the Minuteman III missile; and the new Long Range Strategic Missile (LRSO) to augment the guided bombs.  But what about the weapons themselves—the nuclear guided bombs and warheads?

Speaker: Frank von Hippel is co-Director of Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security. One of our foremost academic technical specialists in arms control and nonproliferation issues, he is also a seasoned policy veteran. In the 1980s, as Chairman of the Federation of American Scientists, von Hippel partnered with his Soviet counterpart, Academician Evgenyi Velikhov, in advising Gorbachev on the technical basis for steps to end the Cold War nuclear arms race and, in the process, persuading the Soviet leader to embrace the idea of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.

He will discuss the perils of restarting the U.S. plutonium breeder reactor program, and augmenting the separation of plutonium from spent commercial and military nuclear reactor fuel.  Plutonium forms the hollow sphere fission bombs that are the triggers for the hydrogen fusion bombs with far more explosive force.  Since plutonium is the perfect atom bomb explosive—needing no enrichment—greater production of it, means more atom bomb fissile material abroad in the world.

Sponsor: Massachusetts Peace Action