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May 20, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-05-20

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Weapons makers unmoved
by nuclear test ban talks

'The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Friday May 20 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
Pass no ban on porn
ITY COUNCIL Republicans want to infringe upon the
First Amendment rights of some Ann Arbor entre-
preneurs by adopting a pornography ordinance.
After the first reading of the ordinance introduced
by Roger Bertola (R-3rd Ward), Council adopted it. But
before the ordinance can become law, it must survive
a public hearing and a second Council reading.,
The ordinance should not slink Into the Ann Arbor
law books for several reasons.
To begin with, a pornography ordinance would not
destroy the market for such materials, but could only
force such a market to operate beyond the discretion of
the police department.
If the pornography ordinance is really aimed at the
obliteration of the degradation of human sexuality, this
ordinance could not solve that problem.
If passed, citizens would have every right to expect
the ordinance to be enforced. Our court system is already
overloaded, and the police force understaffed. The en-
forcement of the ordinance would only clog the system.
And, if the ordinance is not to be enforced, what is the
logic of passing it in the first place?
'BUT, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the civil rights issue: the
adoption of any pornography ordinance would imply
governments have the right to legislate just what kinds
of information the citizenry may disseminate among it-
Freedom of expression is clearly endangered by any
shade of this ordinance.
Council Republicans claim the alleged pornographic
bookstores harm surrounding businesses. The passage of
the ordinance does not preclude the spread of the "Com-
bat Zone" to other parts of the city.
If Republican contentions ring true, more business-
es could be "harmed," if indeed, any are harmed by the
alleged pornographic exchanges now.
The ordinance does not smack of justice. Rather, it
is more apparently an appeasement for Republican con-
stituencies, instead of a serious plan for reasonable
Pornography, although distasteful to many, is still
the right of the remainder. It is a right that neither
Council Republicans nor Supreme Court Justices can
News: Stu McConnell, Ken Letters should be typed
Parsigian, Paul Shapiro and limited to 400 words.
Editorial: Linda Willcox The Daily reserves the
Photo: Christina Schneider right to edit letters for
Arts: David Keeps length and grammar.
Sports: Tom Cameron

While the Carter Administration repeatedly
affirms its commitment to reversing the nuclear
arms race, some -of the nation's top nuclear
weapons scientists have charted a five-year de-
velopment plan, based on Defense Department
needs, calling for a substantial increase in nu-
clear weapons development.
The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory's nu-
clear weapons forecast could return weapons
research and development levels to a pace near
that of the early and mid-60's, when weapons
in the current stockpile were being built.
In sharp contrast to its bucolic surroundings
40 miles east of San Francisco, the one-mile
square laboratory complex is a high-security,
deadly serious center of government-financed re-
search in physics, chemistry and other applied
BUT ITS MAJOR responsibility, along with its
sister institution at Los Alamos, N.M., is to con-
ceptualize, design and develop the nuclear com-
ponents of the nation's nuclear arsenal.
Laboratory administrators, sensitive to public
criticisms of the weapons work, say all weapons
programs must be approved by the President
and Congress.
But despite President Carter's hints of a uni-
lateral nuclear test ban and his appointment of
Paul Warnke, a liberal on arms control, to head
the U.S. SALT delegation, morale among the
nearly 3,400 scientists in the weapons program
is high.
They clearly were not displeased with the ap-
pointment of Harold Brown, a former lab direc-
tor with an expert background in nuclear weap-
ons research, to head the Defense Department.
And they share open admiration for former De-
fense Secretary James Schlesinger, the new en-
ergy chief who will oversee the Energy Research
and Development Administration (ERDA).
WHILE THE LAB is actually managed through
a contract with the University of California, it
is financed through ERDA and the Department
of Defense.
Besides friends in high places, the weapons
scientists have other reasons for optimism about
the future of their jobs.
The lab's fiscal 1977 nuclear weapons budget
represents an 18 per cent increase over the
previous year, reversing a decade-long trend of
stagnation on nuclear weapons research. And if
Defense Department plans for weapons develop-
ment do not change significantly, the lab's "na-
tional security" budget will continue to grow in
real dollars from $156 million in fiscal 1977 to
$202 million in fiscal 1978..
(This portion of the budget includes funds for
both weapons and laser fusion work, which has
immediate applications to weapons testing.)
WHILE THIS IS a small part of the roughly
$2.4 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons
systems (not counting costs for missiles and
bombers), many agree it is the most vital part.
There, and at Los Alamos, the new ideas are
developed that pave the way- for the massive
billion-dollar new weapons systems.
Right now, the picture for nuclear weapons
scientists is probably better than at any time
in the past decade. The lab's current nuclear
weapons forecast through 1982, based on 1976
projected needs, and subject to periodic review,
calls for more money, more manpower, more
facilities and more weapons.
Among the significant features of the lab's
projections, gleaned from public documents and
interviews with top administrators:
* At least one new nuclear weapons system
will be introduced into the nation's stockpile
each year;
" An average of three to five new systems
will be in full-scale development at any given
time, up from none several years ago, to meet
the Defense Department's short-term require-
" Conceptualization and preliminary design of
future weapons systems - those short of actual
engineering and development - will be increased
by at least two-thirds;
* Work will be completed on the giant Shiva
fusion laser, the world's largest, which besides
future civil energy applications will have immedi-
ate applications for simulating some aspects of
nuclear weapons testing in the lab.
ACCORDING TO LAB Director Roger Batzel,
a 70 per cent increase in the future weapons
efforts - now a small if significant part of the
program - is necessary to counter the present

emphasis on development of current weapons for
the stockpile. This emphasis,says Batzel, "does
not allow the flexibility to explore the new areas
in nuclear weapons technology."
Batzel says a sharp increase in demand for
current weapons over the last few years has
drawn funds away from the development of
future weapons systems.
He cites as reasons the need to replace aging
weapons in the stockpile, as well as the Pen-
tagon's perception of a Soviet drive for nuclear
superiority and the need to improve the tactical
nuclear arsenal in Europe.
Among the weapons systems scheduled for
completion by the labs over the next five years
are a new warhead for the Lance surface-to-
surface missile in Europe; a new warhead for
the Army's eight-inch nuclear cannon in Europe;
a new strategic bomb designed for the B-1 bomb-
er and other carriers; new increased-yield war-
heads for the Minuteman III intercontinental bal-
listic missiles (ICBMs); and warheads for the
new Trident submarine-launched ballistic mis-
OTHER WEAPONS expected to move into full-
scale development over the next few years in-
clude warheads for the advanced cruise missile
and the proposed mobile ICBM known as MX.
Both the Army and Navy are also pushing for
development of new warheads for their own sea
and land-based, tactical weapons systems.
Lab directors say a recent emphasis on tacti-
cal nuclear weapons - designed for striking spe-
cific localized targets as opposed to strategic sys-
tems for mass devastation - is in large measure
a result of the lab's own work.
"This (tactical emphasis) in an area where
we did go off without a request from the Defense
Department and do some experiments to estab-
lish the credibility and to establish that indeed
those weapons could be built in reasonable sizes,"
says Michael May, an associate lab director and
former SALT negotiator for the Defense Depart-
"We did that for a number of years and now
they're beginning to be accepted. It's an area
where the lab saw a technical capability which
wasn't being utilized or asked for, and we went
ahead and established its feasibility ... the (De-
fense Department) requirements did come in
after that."
put heavy emphasis on "cleaning up" the un-
wanted side effects of tactical weapons, such as
radioactive fallout, and continuing to reduce size
and weight.
"I think a clean bomb is something we should
develop and push, at least for tactical systems,"
he says. "I think if both sides clean up their
strategic inventory, that would be great, too."
But he concedes the new B-77 strategic bomb
for the B-1 bomber "is not a cleaner bomb" than
its predecessor.
The only blight to the otherwise optimistic
atmosphere among the weapons scientists is the
bomb President Carter dropped in February when
he suggested the possibility of a unilateral nu-
clear test ban.
The scientists, remembering earlier moratori-
ums and partial bans, reacted with a mixture of
concern and disbelief.
"I DON'T THINK the Congress Vould agree
with it and I don't think we could do it," said
May. "It would bring - if not to a halt - at
least essentially to a halt, nuclear weapons de-
velopment ... My own opinion is it shouldn't be
Batzel said a test ban would end any "effec-
tive" nuclear weapons program in the U.S. and
undermine "confidence in the nuclear weapons
stockpile ... It's going to take a few generations
for the world to change that much," he added.
But Batzel acknowledges in the event of a.
complete test ban, the laser fusion technology be-
ing developed at the lab could provide some
aspects of "simulated" nuclear weapons testing
to continue inside the lab.
Mar Gustavson, the lab's assistant associ-
ate director for military systems, recently sum-
med up the lab's confidence in its future: "In
each successive decade or so we've seen a major
innovation, a major change, an addition to our
capabilities. And nuclear explosion technology is
just like that.
Jon Stewvart is a Paicfic News Servie editr
spreiaizing in military and defense affairs.

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