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Say No to a New Nuclear Bomb Plant

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Forreaders within driving distance of Oak Ridge, I ask you to get out to one of two public meetings and, in your own words, tellthem we don't want more nuclear bombs--we have thousands already--especially at a time when we're trying to convince Iran and others not to build them.

In case you missed it--and I've seen little about this in the media--the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will build a new, $3.5 billion bomb plant in Oak Ridge unless we stop them. NNSA published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register several years ago to build such a plant, and Congress has budgeted startup funds.

Although the program is being sold as a way of shrinking the nuclear footprint in this country--consolidating and streamlining much of the nuclear weapons stockpile--the plant would create scores of new nuclear weapons per year, ensuring their viability into the 22nd century! by concocting new thermonuclear devices from a variety of materials. Further, it would have the capacity to create new kinds ofnukes in keeping with the pea-brained visions of Cheney/Bush.

In order to move forward, the NNSA is required by law totake comments from the public as they prepare their final Evironmental Impact Statement.The first hearing is 6:30 to 9 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 17) at the New Hope Center in Oak Ridge, TN, with a repeat performance 10 to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 18.

Other Ways To Comment:

As mentioned above, comments from across the country can also be submitted on-line at www.y12sweis.com, by fax to 865-483-2012, or in writing to: Pam Gorman, Y12 SWEIS Document Manager, 800 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Suite A-500, Oak Ridge, TN, 37830.

To maximize the impact of your comments, send them also to:

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President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500

or on-line at www.whitehouse.gov/contact

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or call the contact line at 202-456-1111

Also send your comments to your Senators and Representatives, and send a Letter to the Editor version to www.knoxnews.com and to your local newspaper. Why? Letters to the editor put an issue "on the map," said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, a highly respected watchdog group."If you mention your Senators and Congressperson, their staff will clip it and it will land on their desk."

"The idea that the United States should invest two or three billion dollars to build more bombs when the President has declared a firm commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons is as preposterous as it is perilous," said Hutchison. "Who's making policy in the United States these days? What we need in Oak Ridge is a realistic plan to maintain our nuclear arsenal in a safe and secure manner while the stockpile is reduced to zero. Building a new bomb plant now, under the guise of 'modernization,' corrupts the President's vision and negates all our efforts to constrain nuclear proliferation. It will place the US at the forefront of a new global nuclear arms resurgence. That's not modernization, it's throwback--and it's clearly the wrong direction for the country."

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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, short story writer, freelancer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the (more...)

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