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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Slower but more Eco-Friendly ICBMs

This article reveals that the EPA takes its mission very seriously.

In order to comply with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations, and at a cost of about $5.2 million per ICBM, the rocket motors on 500 Minuteman III missiles will be replaced with new ones. These rockets will emit less toxic chemicals when used. But the new, environmentally correct rockets will be heavier than the old ones, and will thus have a shorter range than the original motors. The actual range of the Minuteman III has been classified, but is thought to be nearly 10,000 kilometers, based on where the missiles are stationed and where the original Russian targets were. Thus, if the Minuteman III ICBMs have to be used in some future nuclear war, their rocket motors will not pollute the atmosphere. EPA regulations do not apply in foreign countries, so no changes are being made to reduce the harmful environmental effects of the nuclear warheads.(emphasis added)

Thank goodness all we have to worry about is the mushroom cloud from enemy ICBMs, at least as ours are flying overhead we won't be polluted.

The efforts to make the MMIII more eco-friendly were rewarded: "The ICBM SPO [System Program Office] was selected as 1 of 17 organizations internationally to receive the 1996 EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award for exemplary efforts to protect the ozone layer."

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