WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, spoke on the Senate floor about the need for more plutonium pits in the U.S. to bolster America’s national security and promote peace among nations.
Key excerpts of Kennedy’s statement are below:
“Here’s where the United States finds itself today: The United States must now counter nuclear superpowers in both China and Russia while also deterring the itchy trigger fingers of unstable dictators like Kim Jong Un and the Ayatollah in Iran. We should be innovating and preparing our nuclear arsenal for this new global dynamic, but instead, our nuclear stockpile remains stuck in the Cold War.
“Simply put: America’s nuclear stockpile is old and shrinking. And while modernizing our nuclear arsenal should be a top priority, our effort to restart nuclear weapon production has been riddled with delays and poor planning. And we don’t have time to waste.”
. . .
“Today, we are so far behind in our nuclear revitalization that we cannot even produce plutonium pits—an essential component of every nuclear weapon.”
. . .
“During the Cold War, Mr. President, the United States could produce more than 1,000 plutonium pits per year—and without plutonium pits you can’t have a nuclear weapon—but the United States has not regularly manufactured plutonium pits since 1989. In fact, the United States has not produced a single warhead-ready plutonium pit since 2012.”
. . .
“Our ability to deter unstable nuclear powers and maintain a peaceful world relies on our ability to continue innovating in ways only freedom-loving Americans can. But these vital projects rely on our plutonium pit production. And failing to produce pits at full capacity is just not acceptable.”
Kennedy’s full statement is available here.