US military wants to use aluminum to build nuclear weapons
Axios article US military officials have quietly begun work on a project to use lithium to build a nuclear weapon, according to a top official familiar with the plans.
The development is expected to be completed this year and would give the U.S. the ability to build two of the most advanced nuclear weapons ever, according the official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal discussions.
The official said the plan is to use a highly enriched uranium alloy, known as tritium, to build an atomic bomb that could be launched by an intercontinental ballistic missile or cruise missile.
The effort, first reported by Reuters, could help the U,S.
secure a nuclear deterrent it may never use, said the official.
The project is likely to be a boon to the Pentagon, which needs to reduce the number of nuclear weapons it has and must decide which to use.
The military also needs to keep a lid on tensions in Asia, where Beijing is ramping up its military build-up.
China’s first-generation nuclear submarines have been built, and China has been building nuclear weapons of its own since the 1970s.
China says its nuclear weapons are for deterrence, not a threat.
The plan could be a key element of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
The White House has repeatedly expressed frustration with China over its nuclear program, with Trump recently criticizing Beijing’s military build up and its repeated threats to use nuclear weapons if it ever sees a threat to its national security.
Trump has also called on China to stop its “massive cyber-attacks” against the United States, a move that China says it will counter.
In recent weeks, China has conducted massive cyberattacks against the U:S.
and its allies, including the U., targeting critical infrastructure, energy companies, universities and media companies, among other targets.
Trump also called for an end to Beijing’s support of separatists in eastern Ukraine, saying he was concerned about the growing risk of a Russian attack on a NATO ally.
China has called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and has accused the U of being responsible for destabilizing Ukraine.
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said last week that China has the capacity to strike at any time and in any place in the world.
The Associated Press has more.