Are ‘Mini-Nukes’ The New Big Thing?

In the modern U.S. Other efforts include developing lasers and computers to simulate aspects of nuclear tests.

Nuclear Stockpiles: President Bush has agreed to dramatic reductions in the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. Others contend that making more bombs is a bad idea if the U.S. Last May, he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to slash their active arsenals by nearly two-thirds, to 1700 to 2200 warheads each, within 10 years. — did not prohibit designing a testing device with a yield below five kilotons, modifying an existing weapon for safety reasons or conducting research and development necessary “to address proliferation concerns.”

CBSNews.com’s Jarrett Murphy takes a look at the prospects for the U.S. has signed but not ratified — the administration says it has no plans to conduct a test. Duncan Hunter, R.-Calif., last May.

However, the administration is paying increasing attention to the possibility that it might at some point have to resume testing if there were a question about the reliability of the nation’s stockpile. spent more in real terms on atomic defense activities than since 1962.

Strategy — In its Nuclear Posture Review last year, the administration identified Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea as countries where “contingencies” could arise that U.S. arsenal, the submarine-launched Mk-5 holds eight W88 warheads of 475 kilotons each.. policy on nuclear weapons, which has included:

Bunker busters — For the second year in a row, the Energy Department is requesting $15 million to study the need for a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP).

Supporters say these weapons might be necessary to deal with so-called “hard and deeply buried targets” in rogue states and terrorist camps, of which there might be 10,000 in the world.

A kiloton is equal to the explosive force of one thousand tons of TNT. conducted its last nuclear test in 1992, and while the White House opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — which the U.S. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, asked recently.

By Jarrett Murphy

The Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima delivered around 15 kilotons. wants to stop proliferation.

The ban — named after sponsors Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., retired, and John Spratt, D-S.C. According to Sen.

“One way you ensure that there are no safe havens is to be able to go deep,” said Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Crouch, the assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, said in a briefing last year.

“Nuclear weapons have a unique ability to destroy both agent containers and (Chemical and Biological Weapons),” reads a 2001 Pentagon study.

But some members of Congress believe conventional weapons could do the same job, and worry that mini-nukes would blur the line between conventional and nuclear weapons. Two had been recovered and three were still missing as of 5 p.m. Nelson.

The Foster Panel, which studied the testing issue last year, recommended improvements that would allow a test within three months to a year of deciding to do so. Edward Kennedy, the administration has budgeted $700 million for studying how testing might resume. “If you were to have a problem with a weapon system that you needed to rectify using a test, you would want to be able to do that faster,” J. arsenal. “nuclear strike capabilities” must be geared towards, according to a leaked copy of the report.

The 1993 low-yield ban that the current defense bill would delete stated that “it shall be the policy of the United States not to conduct research and development which could lead to the production by the United States of a new low-yield nuclear weapon, including a precision low-yield warhead.”

CAROUSEL – People watch as water breaches a rock wall at Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sunday, August 23, 2009. ET Sunday.

AP Photo/Canadian Press/Tim Krochak

But the administration says smaller nuclear arms may eventually be needed to deal with the emerging threat of rogue states hoarding weapons of mass destruction.

Announcing its approval of the bill Friday, the Senate Armed Services committee stressed that nothing in the repeal means it has authorized “the testing, acquisition, or deployment of a low-yield nuclear weapon.”

Copyright 2003 CBS. Five people watching the surf from Hurricane Bill were swept out to sea at Acadia National Park in Maine. But some experts contend that no bomb of any size could go very deep, because the heavier the bomb, the harder the impact — and the harder the impact, the more likely the bomb would explode before it reached sufficient depth.

Testing — The U.S.

At the same time, however, last month the United States produced a plutonium pit — the core of a fission bomb — for the first time in 14 years. According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the move “restores the nation’s ability to make nuclear weapons,” and was needed so the Energy Department could replace pits found unsafe or destroyed through regular check-ups.

Last year, the U.S. development of low-yield nuclear weapons.

The Bush administration may get permission to create kinder, gentler or at least smaller nuclear weapons if Congress overturns a ban on doing so.

The defense appropriations bill now winding its way through the Hill contains a clause revoking the 1993 Spratt-Furse amendment, which prohibits the development of so-called “low-yield” nuclear weapons – bombs that pack a punch of less than five kilotons.

The move to clear the legal hurdles on manufacturing mini-nukes is part of a broad review of U.S. “Unless we do a lot more research and development and we find some quantum breakthrough in conventional systems, to go deep is going to require a nuclear capability.”

Defense officials said in 2002 that at present, the U.S could go from the decision to test to a trial run in two to three years. A bomb of just one kiloton, detonated 30 meters below the earth, can open a crater wider than a football field, according to Princeton physicist Robert W. D. All rights reserved.

A memo obtained by a British newspaper indicates that at a conference this summer, Defense and Energy department officials will consider questions like: “What is the uncertainty in confidence and potential risk threshold for a test recommendation–what would demand a test?”

“How can we effectively seek to dissuade others from developing nuclear weapons while we are going forward with the development of new nuclear weapons ourselves?” Sen

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Obama proposes shifting funds from nuclear nonproliferation to nuclear weapons | The Center for Public Integrity

programs for securing, reducing and eliminating weapons usable nuclear materials are a critical part of our strategy for combating nuclear terrorism and preventing the proliferation of these deadly dangerous materials…A decision to significantly cut these programs, including our near-term ability to dispose of excess plutonium, would be a setback to our ability to reach critical security goals.”

To cover the $10 billion total cost overrun, the Energy Department and its National Nuclear Security Administration agreed to transfer roughly $3 billion into weapons work from management accounts and other internal savings. These programs have experienced billions of dollars in cost overruns in recent years, forcing the administration to look elsewhere in the DOE budget to find the money it needs to keep them alive.

Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz, speaking at a Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, ducked multiple questions from Sen. But he said officials may have calculated that they cannot win congressional support for further cuts in nuclear arsenals with Russia without spending billions more to refurbish America’s remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons, under a bargain Obama struck during his first term.

Specifically, officials said, the Energy Department determined in consultation with the Pentagon that it would likely need $10 billion in new funds to fulfill all of its promises to the military for the production of modernized warheads, over the next decade alone.

One, who asked not to be named, said the DOE shortfall had set off “months of wrangling” about the issue, not only within the department but at the highest levels of the administration. A Pentagon spokeswoman, Jennifer D. At the end of it, a $250 million DOE “nuclear counterterrorism incident response” program previously considered a weapons activity was shifted to the nonproliferation budget account, a change that has the effect of making the bottom line for that account look better than it otherwise would have.

Asked for comment, NNSA spokesman Robert Middaugh said he could not respond until the budget has been formally released. Elzea, declined to address the issue in detail but confirmed that “over the past year DOD and DOE carried out a joint study regarding DOD’s nuclear weapons requirements and funding options for those requirements. Moniz, in his confirmation hearing, tread carefully around the topic of what the department should be spending on nonproliferation. But that still left a $4 billion gap between DOE’s nuclear weapons-related promises to the military and its ability to complete that work, forcing a scramble during the department’s budget deliberations to cut from other programs, officials said.

Much of the reduction in nonproliferation spending – around $183 million – would come from a controversial plant designed to transform excess plutonium from the U.S. because our national security depends on it.”

The department also needs more funds than anticipated for improvements to the W76 warhead, which is carried by Trident submarine-based missiles.

The Center for Public Integrity has previously reported administration officials had agreed that the number of nuclear warheads the U.S. The study determined that the modernization program was underfunded, and steps have been taken to ensure adequate funding for essential modernization needs moving forward.”

Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit arms control group founded by Ted Turner and former Sen. That would include a 16 percent cut in spending on efforts to halt the use of fissile material in civilian nuclear reactors and collect or secure weapons-usable fissile materials in other countries; an 8 percent cut in spending on policy to control the spread of nuclear weapons-related technologies; and a 36 percent cut in efforts to monitor potential illicit commerce in fissile materials.

But then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, after hearing from aides that these overruns were due in part to poor management and inaccurate cost accounting at DOE, initially said the department would not provide any new funds to DOE, on top of the $4.5 billion it previously promised to cover earlier overruns, according to two government officials privy to the deliberations.

Under the 2014 proposal, the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons activities funding — which includes modernization efforts for bomber-based and missile-based warheads – would be increased roughly 7 percent, or around $500 million, above the current level of $7.227 billion for these activities.

Tom Collina, research director for the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based nonprofit group, said “in a way,” it seems inconsistent for the administration to promote arms control while cutting the DOE’s nonproliferation budget. “If confirmed, I intend to make sure that [DOE laboratories and intelligence experts] … “These cuts are going to be huge,” and will be particularly problematic amid budget boosts for weapons programs that many lawmakers believe “have been mismanaged for the last five to six years.”

Under the Obama administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2014, spending for the MOX plant would be around $330 million, or 47 percent of the budget it was supposed to get next year. It then asked the Pentagon to provide the additional $7 billion.

But several officials and other sources familiar with the administration’s budget deliberations this year said the DOE nuclear weapons-related cost overruns and the new austerity climate gripping Washington – including the demand under so-called “sequestration” legislation for $54 billion in national security spending cuts each year until 2021 -had upended the administration’s plans to spend more on nonproliferation.

The Energy Department needs at least $3 billion to $5 billion more to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb – meant for deployment aboard strategic and tactical aircraft – than it initially expected, and several billions of dollars more to cover cost overruns in construction of the uranium processing facility. nuclear weapons arsenal into fuel for reactors that generate electricity, known as the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plant in Savannah River, S.C. military deploys could be cut by at least a third, below a limit of 1550 established in a treaty with Russia in 2010. “I will certainly look into this with high priority” if confirmed, he told Scott.

Under the Obama proposal, the budget for other DOE work related to nuclear nonproliferation would also be curtailed by about $277 million. Sam Nunn, said “the U.S. That plant was initially budgeted at $1.8 billion, but the pricetag has ballooned to at least $7.5 billion, provoking widespread criticism and allegations of mismanagement.

The plant is about 60 percent completed, but one senior administration official called it “managerially and programmatically, a nightmare,” with continuously rising costs.. Its construction would be greatly slowed, while the Defense Department and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration study alternative ways to safeguard tons of the excess plutonium.

The Obama administration will propose a deep cut in funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department largely so it can boost the department’s spending to modernize its stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to government officials familiar with the proposed 2014 federal budget to be unveiled Wednesday, April 10.

Only one category of Energy Department nonproliferation work would be increased – research and development, mostly to finance work on a new nuclear detonation sensor to be placed about Air Force satellites.

In the end, the Pentagon was cajoled into contributing $3 billion more. continue to sustain the nation’s nuclear security,” he said, without delving into budgetary issues or specific programs.

The department’s nonproliferation programs, aimed at diminishing the security threat posed by fissile materials in other countries that can be used for nuclear weapons, would be cut by roughly 20 percent, or $460 million, below the current level of $2.45 billion, the officials said.

The half-billion-dollar shift in spending priorities reflects an administration decision that nuclear explosives work the Energy Department performs for the military should be both accelerated and expanded. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and independent arms control groups predicted the decision will provoke controversy and a substantial budget fight this year.

As recently as December 3, President Obama described the government’s nuclear nonproliferation efforts – including some directed by the Defense Department – as “one of our most important national security programs.” Speaking at the National Defense University, Obama said the effort was “nowhere near done. (Work on the facility and its equipment was well along when DOE abruptly realized it would not be large enough to accommodate needed machinery, forcing a costly redesign and lengthy delays.)

The priority shift “is going to be a disaster,” said a Democratic congressional aide, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the budget before its official release. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.) about whether he supports completing the MOX plant. Not by a long shot.” He also proudly said the government has been “increasing funding, and sustaining it … The officials have also decided to discuss a potential agreement for such reductions with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The new weapons-related spending would expand efforts to upgrade the W76, W88, W78, and B-61 warheads, and help fund construction of a new facility in Tennessee for processing uranium, a nuclear explosive used in these and other warheads

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Has anyone ever caught you having sex?

That one was strange because it was my girlfriend walked in on me and I was doing… not her anyway.. So that was also a reason to stop right in the middle of it.. My mom walked in on me and my girlfriend.

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Policing our Community: Race dialogue must include the police side, too

You can count the instances that have inflamed the nation on both hands. So why can’t more people, and not just police authorities with titles and badges, insert it into a meaningful dialogue on race?

Yet isn’t that what is happening?

What is all too often lost in the examination of recent incidents in many American cities is that all of their circumstances were different. What about the police who say thousands of arrests occur daily without incident, often in dangerous situations, and that objectively viewing police work requires that this be considered, too?

Neiswanger’s percentage is modest. Without it, it’s not a dialogue, it’s a trial that could encourage the next Baltimore, not help us avoid it.

So, average people don’t speak up, unless you count the anonymous blogs and social media comments that treat reasonable citizens and blatant racists as equals and help prove the point of the outraged minorities. How many people want to speak up and take that risk?

The Holyoke police chief compares the everyday cop to the soldier who returned from Vietnam and was blamed for an unpopular war.

Their concerns have basis.

“We are not the bad guys,” James Neiswanger said passionately at City Hall, where he participated in an overall state-of-the-city interview with Mayor Alex Morse (with myself posing the questions). Outraged minorities say they are only the tip of a racist iceberg, and they have some data on their side, notably a 2014 report by ProPublica that young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police as whites.

“Everyone is waiting for the next Baltimore,” Neiswanger says grimly. Things are changing in police work, and they should change, and by the end of the day, we’ll be the better for it,” Neiswanger said.

Do those comments have basis? In any honest dialogue about the role of the police, yes.

It was a worthwhile inclusion to the debate, but it should not have been necessary. Some seem like a hideous misuse of police force, but others are not so easy to define.

Can the true leaders calling for racial justice – the responsible figures appalled by police brutality, and not those who use race as a cottage industry for TV gigs and speaking appearances – accept that the vast majority of police officers are not guilty? Would saying so really dilute their case by going off-message?

Yet from Ferguson, Missouri to Baltimore, with others stops (including place like Charleston, S.C.,and New York in between), they are being bound into a single scrapbook detailing the miserable state of race relations in the United States. At a recent community forum, Barbieri brought up Kevin Ambrose, a white patrolman killed while attempting to protect a woman of color in a domestic abuse case.

Very few minority leaders have made a call to avoid doing just what they decry – stereotyping, in this case with police. The media gets blamed for this, but that’s what a lot of average people do, too.

.

If we are serious about engaging in that dialogue, there is a place for that side. Polls say an overwhelming percentages of citizens anticipate more violence, somewhere.

What is unfolding, however, is not a national dialogue. It is left to those in police authority to tell us what should not need saying, which is they are not all monsters.

“We could do more training, and we are. It’s an informal trial of police authority that responds to the validity of one side’s cries but not the other.

What is left are constituencies more divided than ever, and police authorities such as Neiswanger and Springfield Police Commissioner Joseph Barbieri in between. It has been left to other spokesmen (read: white) to do it, making an already racially charged atmosphere even more polarized.

“Do police get it right every time? No, we are human, but we get it right 99 percent of the time,” he said.

No, no and no. Defending police in 2015 America can be interpreted as being racist. “Not all cops are bad” should not be required as a disclaimer to every forum.

Is that so inflammatory or polarizing? Does it whitewash police misdeeds? Is it wrong?

“Police do make mistakes, but for the most part, they are just men and women trying to go out and do the best job they can.”

That’s what worries Neiswanger and, I imagine, millions of Americans. The President has not

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Winter Solstice ~ What it means, its origins and how it is celebrated around the world

Stonehenge was used a s a calendar during ancient times. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals, which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves ostensibly switch places, temporarily reversing the social order.

New Grange, Ireland, dating from about 3,000 BC. On this night, Hors, which symbolizes the old sun, becomes smaller as the days become shorter in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Japan, dating from the 7th century, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu (or Amateras, Hindu) re-emerged from her cave, to bring sunlight back to the world. Originally Celebrated by the Ancient Greeks as Kronia the festival of Chronos, Saturnalia was the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of Saturn, which originally took place on 17 December, but expanded to a whole week, up to the 23 of December.

In Finland, the Saami, which are the indigenous peoples of much of Scandinavia,worship a sun goddes of fertility and sanity. Balls of sticky rice, which symbolize reunion, are eaten during this time.

The earliest recorded Australian midwinter bonfire was lit in  Moonta,  the night leading into  June 24, 1862 by  immigrants carrying on the European Midsummer  tradition.

Inca

Priests also sacrificed llamas and virgins at Machu Picchu.

Sun Celebration,

Use of evergreens, large ongoing fires, feasting and gathering with friends and family, dancing and making merry are hallmarks of the winter solstice celebrations since ancient times, and even since the beginning of civilization.

Fires burned brightly during Winter Solstice in ancient times.

Winter solstice festivals in the Northern Hemisphere have gone on since ancient times, focusing on lights, feasts, town and community gatherings, and many celebrations that are the origins of some of the practices associated during the Christmas holidays.

The sacrifice was to appease the Gods, to convince them to let go of Winter’s cold, cruel grip. Lucy’s Day, and was believed in the Swedish folklore that if Swedish children did not carry out their chores that a female demon would punish them.

In Sweden, and also in many other parts of Europe, tribes that were polytheistic in origin often celebrated a Midvinterblot or mid-winter sacrifice, that often featured both animal and human sacrifice, not unlike the sacrifices of the Incas of the lamb or the virgin by the Priests at Machu Picchu.

In Pakistan, a demigod returns on this night to collect prayers; men and boys, women and children undergo purification baths, after which a great festival follows.

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The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned, framing the winter solstice sunrise (New Grange)and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge).

Archeologists and paleontologists believe that solstice festivals may have gone on since neolithic times, since physical remains have been found during Neolithic and Bronze Age archeological sites such as Stonehenge and New Grange.

The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. The axis at New Grange were set for the Winter Solstice.

Cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during winter months; this made for a fresh supply of meat to become available, and one that would have to last until Spring. Other similar formations are scattered throughout Ireland.

The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. In the southern hemisphere it is often celebrated on the winter solstice or some time through early July.

A large and important public festival in Rome, it involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch set in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year.

The actual word solstice derives from Latin and means Sun set still in winter.

Nobody was assured of surviving the cold, bleak winter months with minimal shelter and little food. The midwinter bonfire holiday also began in Burra soon after.

Besides public rituals, there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. Most wine and beer that had been made was finally ready for drinking during this time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lucia_procession.jpg

In China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, the festival that marks the extreme of winter is one of the most important festivals; this festival dates back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance, noting, of course, the shortest day and longest night during the year, during which time the heavens become more in balance. The longer daylight hours are believed to restore energy. Wikipedia commons, free license. colorful, informal “dinner clothes”; and a certain ‘freedman’s hat’ was worn by everyone. The midwinter celebration was known as the last celebration of a feast, before deep winter began.

The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not assured to live through the winter, and had to be prepared during the previous nine months.

Winter Solstice festivals around the world, from early times.

This year, Winter Solstice falls on December 21nd.

Currently, Yulefest is observed by various Australians, often starting on a weekend in late  June.

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In Hawaii, the night of Hoku was a celebration on the full moon closest to the winter solstice.

Sun rising at Stonehenge in southern England during Summer Solstice. Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves during this period.

. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect.

Karachun, Korochun or KraÃ,,Ã,un was a Slavic holiday as a day when the Black God and other evil spirits are most powerful. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). She travels through the sky in a vehicle made of reindeer bones with her daughter; this is believed to signal the return of green to the world.

Of course, one of the most beautiful festivals is that of Santa Lucia, St. In 1967 a thin light showing through a passageway for 17 minutes was first observed during sunset at Winter Solstice. The winter months were also known as the famine months in ancient times. The Slavs celebrate it on the longest night (shortest day) of the year – Winter Solstice. In Russia, this festival was later applied to Christmas Eve but most practices were lost during Communism. Requiems for the dead were performed during the night, as they awaited the sunrise.

Machu Picchu sunrise, Wikipedia public domain

In Slavonic culture, the festival of Kaleda began at Winter Solstice and lasted for 10 days. The Spanish Conquistadores never found Machu Picchu, and so Machu Picchu remains the only extant example of this early Incan practice of using the large stone column, the Intihuatana, to tie the post to the sun, to prevent the sun from escaping.

The contemporary Scandinavian Jul, Julfest, Jol or Joulu is primarily a cultural observance and does not distinguish between the Germanic feast, the Christian Christmas, the secular Yule, the Neopagan Yule, or the pre-indo European winter solstice celebration and is also occasionally used to denote other holidays in December, e.g., “jodisk jul” or “judisk jul” (tr. Missionaries finally convinced many in Europe to abandon this practice around the 13th century in Europe.

The Incans in Peru celebrated the return of the sun in their practice, tying of the sun. Children disguised themselves as Koledari, and visited house and sang songs of good luck. Families made a fire and invited their personal household Gods to join the festival. Winter Solstice is commonly referred to globally as December Solstice.

Solar celebrations in the Southern Hemisphere often occur on December 24.

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Saturnalia, of course, is the Winter Solstice feast that predates most Winter Solstice feasts. They were given gifts in return, much like the old wassailing or mummers tradition.

In Ireland, winter begins on All Hallows, November 1, also known as Samhain, with winter ending and the beginning of Spring celebrating on Imbolc or Candlemas on February 1 or 2.

Yule or Yuletide is also a celebrated secular alternative to “Christmas”, commonly occurring on the winter solstice or December 24th and 25th, in the northern hemisphere. This originated as Lussi Night and was usually occurred on December 13, which was believed to have been the longest night of the year.The Roman Catholic church appropriated this feast and called it Santa Lucia or St. Lucy’s day in Sweden. “Jewish Yule”) for Chanukkah.

Wikipedia public domain

Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu emerging from a cave.

Creative Commons: Fredrik Magnusson

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In the Northern Hemisphere, that means the shortest day of the year.  In the Southern Hemisphere, that day is longer on that day than on any other day of the year

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