So, basically, the United States may not even be able to catch up with modernizing its nuclear deterrent, even if it did decide to wake up to the Chinese and Russian threat and attempt to counter it. There’s so many flaws in every aspect of the entire U.S. national security apparatus, from military purges across all branches to 1970’s hardware being used in the American nuclear deterrent, that a successful Russian or Chinese first strike isn’t implausible.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US government is running short of lithium which will be a key bottleneck in its ambitious plans to replace and expand its nuclear arsenal, a General Accountability Office (GAO) report said.
“The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) has identified various challenges in its lithium production strategy that may impact its ability to meet demand for lithium in the future,” the report, issued on Monday, warned.
“NNSA officials told GAO in April 2015 that, due to additional recent increases in demand, its supply of currently qualified lithium — lithium approved for use in weapon systems in refurbishment — will run out by 2018,” the report noted.
US lithium production operations are carried out at the NNSA’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
However, the GAO warned “the existing lithium production facility and equipment are at risk of catastrophic failure.”
An isotope of lithium is a key component of nuclear weapons and is essential for their refurbishment, the GAO pointed out.
Full article: US Nuclear Weapons Program Faces Disruptive Lithium Shortage (Sputnik News)