Bits from Abroad

March 2016

USA: The federal government plans to spend $80 million assessing whether its hottest nuclear waste can be stored in 3-mile-deep holes, a project that could provide an alternative strategy to a Nevada repository plan that was halted in 2010. The five-year borehole project has been met with opposition from state and local leaders who want more time to review whether the plan poses any public danger.

Residents of French Polynesia who suffered due to 30 years of French nuclear tests in the Pacific archipelago have a legitimate right to compensation, President Francois Hollande said on his first visit to the region. The sensitive issue of reparations for damage caused by the atomic testing between 1966 and 1996 at Mururoa Atoll is top of the agenda of  Hollande’s tour of French Pacific territories.

 

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USA: Just in the last few years, the Obama administration plans not only to maintain but to modernize the existing nuclear fleet. According to analysts, Obama is proposing to build new weapon systems for each leg of the nuclear triad: allocating roughly $3.2 billion to modernize and recapitalize nuclear submarines, bombers, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, and nuclear-equipped cruise missiles, and putting nuclear weapon modernization on track for an estimated $1 trillion price tag over the next 30 years.

 

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Pakistan: The United States expressed concern on Friday over the security of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons. The statement followed the US announcement about its intention to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. At a State Department news briefing, Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said that tensions between India and Pakistan were equally worrying and urged the two nations to continue their dialogue to alleviate some of those tensions.