Print 43 comment(s) - last by Snuffalufagus.. on Jun 15 at 3:40 AM

The race is on!

The arms race during the Cold War featured the US and Soviet Union competing against one another to have a greater military force.  It looks like another arms race, except on a much more relaxing level, is on again.  The Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are competing to see which lab will be able to construct the first new nuclear bomb made in the United States in two decades.  In 2005, the "reliable replacement warhead" program was started to try and replace aging, unreliable bombs.  The new nuclear bomb has been under development for around a year in both labs. 

The designs from both labs must have the same explosive power as existing warheads in the US arsenal.  One of the goals of the contest is to have a new weapon that will not be as likely to accidentally detonate and one that will be much more secure than the weapons the US currently possesses.  Each laboratory's plans will be presented to the Nuclear Weapons Council with the council choosing a winner before 2007.

Interestingly enough, LANL also recently put out an announcement that the national laboratory is accepting proposals for the fastest supercomputer in the world, capable of operating at one petaflop -- significantly more than even the fastest supercomputers are capable of today.

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RE: Not really
By masher2 on 6/14/2006 11:35:18 AM , Rating: 1
> "There were many more countries involved in a potential sale of nuclear technology (not specifically nuclear weapons technology) to iraq."

But the US was not among the ones transferring nuclear weapons technology to Iraq. France wasn't the only culprit...but they were the primary one. And the fact other nations were involved as well makes my point for me.

> "At least you mention israel and the fact that the US gave them ready to use WMDs."

No we didn't. We gave them vast amounts of technology, raw materials, and turned a blind eye to their efforts (and their theft of what little we held back)....but we didn't give them "ready to use WMDs".

> "Nixon still had plans in the drawer to nuke away on north vietnam. "

Contingency planning means nothing. I'm sure the US military has drawn up plans for everything from a sea invasion of Ireland to a nuclear attack on the Panama Canal. That doesn't imply such plans were ever seriously considered, much less about to be deployed. Comparing Nixon's bandying about of a possible nuclear option in Vietnam to Israel's decision to roll out armed missiles in the heat of a battle-- with given field-level commanders launch rights in case of disrupted communications-- is far off the mark.

> "Anyhow, my original point was responsible use (or lack thereof) of WMDs. Too bad you didnt comment on that"

Too bad you ignored the original point entirely, which is regardless of our own use of WMDs, it behooves us to restrict their widespread proliferation.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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