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Robert Alvarez

Robert Alvarez

Articles by Robert Alvarez

3 November 2017
Americas

Yesterday is tomorrow: estimating the full cost of a nuclear buildup

Robert Alvarez

A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate puts the bill for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and arsenal at $1.2 trillion over 30 years. This new estimate—a significant increase over previous suggestions of the cost for rebuilding the US triad of land, submarine, and bomber-based nuclear forces—has drawn much comment. But the CBO estimate avoids including funds for environmental restoration and waste management of the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons complex—funding that is also in the Congressional Atomic Defense Activities Account that supports the department’s nuclear weapons activities. If these legacy costs are included, then the total price tag goes to $1.74 trillion over three decades.

11 September 2017
AmericasAsia

End the 67-year war

Robert Alvarez

In the end, a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear situation will involve direct negotiations and gestures of good faith by both sides, such as a reduction or a halt of military exercises by the United States, South Korea, and Japan, and a reciprocal moratorium on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing by the DPRK. Such steps will generate a great deal of opposition from US defense officials who believe that military might and sanctions are the only forms of leverage that will work against the North Korean regime. But the Agreed Framework and its collapse provide an important lesson about the pitfalls of the pursuit of regime change.

9 August 2017
Americas

Pushing the storage horse with a nuclear waste cart: the spent fuel pool problem

Robert Alvarez

Key steps need to be taken to reduce the dangers posed by spent nuclear fuel stored in cooling pools. The most important: a reduction of the density of spent fuel assemblies now stored in these pools, and an expansion of on-site storage of used fuel in hardened “dry casks.”

30 March 2017
Americas

Native American uranium miners and the Trump budget

Robert Alvarez

America’s Indian miners were never warned of the hazards of radioactivity in the mines, where they inhaled, ingested, and drank uranium dust.

14 December 2016
Americas

An Energy Department tale: Captain Perry and the great white whale

Robert Alvarez

It appears that the Trump transition team has no clue about how all the elements of the Energy Department fit together.

11 August 2016
Americas

Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste?

Robert Alvarez

Evidence is mounting that spent high-burnup fuel poses little-studied challenges to the temporary used-fuel storage plans now in place and to any eventual arrangement for a long-term storage repository.

11 February 2016
Americas

West Lake story: An underground fire, radioactive waste, and governmental failure

Robert Alvarez

The US government needs to remove radioactive waste from a St. Louis area landfill that's on fire, before contamination spreads further than it already has

27 May 2015
Asia

The Marshall Islands and the NPT

Robert Alvarez

The Marshalls lawsuits and the humanitarian initiative both seek to make the nuclear states comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and seriously negotiate toward nuclear disarmament

23 February 2015
Americas

More bucks for the bang

Robert Alvarez

The cost of the nuclear weapons complex keeps going up, even as the size of the nuclear arsenal falls

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