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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:37 PM
Original message
A Privately Owned Nuclear Weapons Plant in…Kansas City?
A Privately Owned Nuclear Weapons Plant in…Kansas City?
In a last-ditch court hearing, activists seek to block a new Honeywell project.

—By Adam Weinstein


Mon Aug. 29, 2011 3:00 AM PDT

In Kansas City, Missouri, a local zoning fight is going nuclear, literally: A Monday-morning courtroom showdown between activists and politicians could determine whether the city becomes host to the world's first privately owned nuclear weapons plant.

The proposed plant, a 1.5 million-square-foot, $673 million behemoth, would replace an aging facility, also in KC, where 85 percent (PDF) of the components for nation's nuclear arms are produced. The new plant would be run by the same government contractor as the old one—Honeywell—and proponents say the only major change will be more jobs and city infrastructure. But there will be another big difference: The federal government will sublease the property from a private developer, who in turn will lease it from the city for 20 years…after which the developer will own it outright.

The developer that could ultimately own its very own nuclear weapons plant, Centerpoint Zimmer (CPZ), didn't even exist until the deal for the Kansas City facility. It's the product of a union between Zimmer Real Estate, a big swinger in local properties—"Their red signs are all over town," says Ann Suellentrop, a local anti-nuclear activist—and Chicago-based builder Centerpoint, which just happens to own a new 1,000-acre industrial park across the street from the planned production facility. In what it called a "competitive bidding process," the US General Services Administration awarded CPZ a contract to build the new plant—on a soybean field that the company already owned. The Kansas City Council, enticed by direct payments and a promise of "quality jobs," approved the deal and agreed to exempt CPZ from property taxes on the plant and surrounding land for 25 years. It also agreed to $815 million in bond subsidies to build the plant and needed infrastructure.

"It's one thing to be concerned about nuclear proliferation," Ed Ford, a Vietnam-era conscientious objector and the only city councilman to oppose the plan, told the Kansas City Business Journal. "It's another thing to have your city be an active partner."

More:
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/nuclear-weapons...

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CarmanK Donating Member (459 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. REALLY BAD PUBLIC POLICY. Who is policing the operations??
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Why is this such a bad policy?
They are building a factory building that will be leased by the Federal Government. It will save the tax payers a bunch of money. What problem are you concerned about?
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sounds like it could turn into another Kerr-McGee Corp. and "Silkwood" situation.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. They are moving an ongoing operation to a new building
was it a "Kerr-McGee Corp. and "Silkwood" situation" before?
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
10.  Best I could tell nothing with radioactive material is being done there
So it is not comparable
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Because it's billions in corporate welfare
...agreed to exempt CPZ from property taxes on the plant and surrounding land for 25 years. It also agreed to $815 million in bond subsidies to build the plant and needed infrastructure.

So the costs are socialized (goodbye teachers, cops and firemen) while the profits are privatized (hello GOP campaign contributions and private islands.)


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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. I agree with you on that issue. nt
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. +1000
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. It is bad policy because they make parts for nuclear explosives.
Don't we have enough already?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. To keep nukes safe requires constant maintenance and upgrades
there are no plans to increase the size of the US nuclear arsenal. They are simply moving an existing operation to a new building.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. You are missing the point. We have enough nukes to reduce this solar system to rubble.
We need to dismantle our nuclear arsenal, not maintain it. No one in their right mind wants to use nuclear weapons. Those that do, love war anyway. The US is a major stumbling block for peace. MAD was our invention. We need to get away from that mind set.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. There are nine countries with nuclear weapons
dismantling our arsenal will not make us safer with eight countries left with nuclear weapons. Tell me how you plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the entire world and we can talk.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. And several working hard to get them
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. The Clinton Administration was helping Russia dismantle theirs,
and dealing with the nuclear material - Then bu$h was appointed and stopped that program. War is profits, ya know?

If we would stop letting the right wing loons run things, we could restart that program again. The United States is the biggest promoter of war on the planet. The rest of the countries built up their nuclear weapons to counter our MAD bullshit.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Russia was not eliminating their nuclear arsenal - they were merely reducing its size. nt
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. The failure rate of deterrence is about one percent per year
The failure rate of deterrence is about one percent per year: www.nuclearrisk.org
Even a small nuclear war would have drastic effects on climate: http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/nuclear /
"Do the math"
We have to reduce the risk of nuclear war.
A lot of us are convinced we have to get to zero eventually: www.globalzero.org
Some are taking direct action: http://disarmnowplowshares.wordpress.com /

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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. So how does this move increase risk?
it may in fact decrease risk if it contributes to the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons.
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