US plan to upgrade nuclear arsenal criticised by scientists via Engineering and Technology Magazine

S plan to invest $60bn (£37bn) over the next 25 years into modernising the country’s nuclear arsenal violates international agreements to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons, an independent think-tank has said.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit organisation behind the report, believes the current $60bn investment plan to upgrade US nuclear warheads is only the tip of the iceberg, as further investment into manufacturing facilities and delivery systems like submarines would increase the amount.

Despite signing the New Start treaty with Russia in 2010 committing to decrease deploying nuclear weapons in the future, US President Barrack Obama has recently succumbed to the pressure from Republicans warning about the problems of the aging US nuclear complex.

In June this year, the National Nuclear Security Administration put forward a plan to reconfigure and upgrade the country’s nuclear arms.

“NNSA’s plan violates the spirit if not the letter of the administration’s pledge to not develop new nuclear weapons. It sends the wrong message to the rest of the world,” said Philip Coyle, a researcher at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation who co-authored the report.

The US has ceased the production of nuclear weapons in 1990, relying back then on technology developed in the 1970s. Two years later, underground nuclear testing was halted and replaced with computer simulations. Since then, older weapons have been refurbished to extend their lives.

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