Halt the Nuclear Weapons Shakedown

By George Perkovich. George Perkovich is director of the Secure Society program of the W. Alton Jones Foundation. He was formerly a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, and a. fellow .. | The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 1991 | Go to article overview

Halt the Nuclear Weapons Shakedown


George Perkovich. George Perkovich is director of the Secure Society program of the W. Alton Jones Foundation. He was formerly a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, and a. fellow .., The Christian Science Monitor


OUR $11.8 billion-a-year nuclear-weapons complex has turned into an out-of-control jobs and corporate welfare program. For years we have known that to make the bomb, the Department of Energy kept 100,000 people working in dangerous facilities managed by unscrupulous contractors and overmatched bureaucrats.

Now we learn that government managers were in cahoots with the contractors, Westinghouse and Bechtel, to hide multi-million-dollar cost overruns at the huge Savannah River nuclear-weapons facility in South Carolina. Together they worked an elaborate shell game, hoping to swindle "good management" bonuses from the taxpayer. The secretary of energy apparently learned of the debacle only by reading about it in the newspaper. In mid-May the agency's own inspector general said he considers fully 20 percent of the present production budget to be wasted.

Undaunted by this corruption, members of South Carolina's congressional delegation in recent days persuaded their colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to bypass the usual review process and support construction of yet another weapons-production reactor along the Savannah. Reactor sites are supposed to be chosen under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires public hearings. In this case, Congress is ignoring the law it wrote.

South Carolina's motives are revealed in a letter from the state's Development Board to civic leaders. "Thousands of new jobs would be created if the new weapons reactor is built at Savannah River," the bomb boosters wrote, "but as many as 60,000 jobs ultimately could be lost throughout the region if Idaho or Washington state is selected instead of South Carolina." In Idaho, the Chamber of Commerce sent a similar letter to its constituents.

These machinations are lowlights in a decades-long story of billion-dollar boondoggles surrounding the nuclear-weapons industry. It features pork-barrel politics, criminal mismanagement, disregard for environmental laws, and constant danger to worker and community health through sheer carelessness.

Such problems in the weapons complex run so deep, and the political will to correct them is so tenuous, that several top officials have quit the Energy Department in recent months.

During the cold war, these managers could escape the consequences of their disastrous record. Emerging from the mystique of the Manhattan Project, the cold war made their factories and products seem vital no matter what the cost. Today any rationale for an all-out arms race has vanished. Their standoff ended, the superpowers seek to reduce, not enlarge, their stocks of unusable nuclear weapons.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Halt the Nuclear Weapons Shakedown
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.