For Immediate Release
NRDC Reacts to the Obama Administration's Nuclear Posture Review
Weapons Policy Makes Progress, But Additional Measures Are Needed
WASHINGTON - The White House issued its Nuclear Posture Review today, outlining
the administration’s approach to nuclear weapons.
The administration makes modest but welcome progress on
restricting U.S. use of nuclear weapons. It pledged to refrain from
developing new weapons. But more progress is needed on the larger goal
of nuclear disarmament, said nuclear experts at the Natural Resources
The following is a statement from Christopher Paine,
Director of NRDC’s Nuclear Program:
“This new policy limits the role of nuclear weapons in two
important ways. First, it makes clear that the United States will not
threaten or conduct nuclear attacks against non-nuclear weapons
countries that are in compliance with the international Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, except in cases where the U.S. faces a severe
threat of biological weapons attack. Second, the administration pledges
that it will not develop new warheads or new missions for nuclear
weapons – a major step forward from the prior administration -- but
leaves itself room to develop comprehensively upgraded versions of
weapons ‘based on’ current designs.
“While we welcome these important steps, more is needed to
reduce the dangers these weapons pose.
“First, the United States should pledge that it will not be
the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict or crisis. Second, we
need to dramatically reduce the number of nuclear warheads kept on
alert, ready to be fired in a crisis or, potentially, in error. Third,
the administration needs to scale back its large planned investment in
new nuclear weapon production facilities, on track to cost U.S.
taxpayers more than $10 billion over the coming decade.
“The United States can maintain a credible nuclear deterrent
without the kind of major modernization of the nuclear arsenal that the
report urges. If the administration’s intent is to discourage nuclear
weapons proliferation and additional weapons modernization by the other
nuclear powers, then the president’s massive rebuilding plan for the
U.S. nuclear stockpile and production complex sends the wrong signal to
our friends and potential rivals around the world.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.