Nuclear project isn’t worth it

“It won’t hurt a thing.” The classic line of antagonistic military stereotypes in Hollywood-created doomsday plots has suddenly become an all-too scary reality to desert dwellers in the western United States.

The U.S. military has once again done something unintelligent. They secretly planned a project to test a nuclear propulsion rocket in the Mojave desert without informing nearby civilian residents or their congressmen of the action.

The propulsion rocket, a phase of the “Star Wars” project, is designed to be mounted to the back of the NASA space shuttle design. It is capable of lifting thirty times the weight of the space shuttle. Nuclear power would give the shuttle the design capability to lift heavy objects such as weaponry platforms, space station hardware and mega-satellites into orbit. The engine would also allow the shuttle the needed power to put the first humans on Mars.

Advocates of the project are right in their insistence that nuclear propulsion would create great strides in science, but in reality the project isn’t worth the risk.

When dealing with the known hazards of nuclear reactivity, the risk is too often measured by the military in human lives. Air Force officers are traversing the Nevada-Utah area telling people the engine will not hurt them. However, a worse case scenario such as the 1986 Challenger explosion would spew radioactive contamination over a 200-mile radius, a risk too big to take.