Nuclear Propulsion Neg

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Politics Link – Spin

The plan will be negatively spun

Grossman 11 (Karl, Journalism prof @ the State U of NY and author of "Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed To Know About Nuclear Power”, 6/29/11 JPG

Nuclear power requires “perfection” and “no acts of God,” we were warned years ago. This has been brought home by the ongoing disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Fukushimi Daiichi nuclear plant complex, the flooding along the Missouri River in Nebraska now threatening two nuclear plants, and the wildfire laying siege to Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of atomic energy. Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fire—these and other disasters will inevitably occur. Add nuclear power with its potential to release massive amounts of deadly radioactive poisons when impacted by such a disaster, and it is clear that atomic energy is incompatible with the real world.

Politics Link – Appropriations

NASA has no more plutonium – producing more is unpopular in the House and Senate

Smith 9 (Marcia, writer @ Space Policy Online, 8/8/9, JPG

The House and Senate have cut the funding requested by the Department of Energy (DOE) to restart production of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) that is needed to power some NASA space science and lunar exploration spacecraft. Pu-238 is needed to fuel radioisotope power sources (RPSs) that supply power for systems and instruments on spacecraft that cannot rely on solar energy because they travel too far from the Sun or land on surfaces with long "nights" or other characteristics that make solar energy a poor or impossible choice. Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, only DOE is allowed to possess, use and produce nuclear materials and facilities. Thus, NASA must rely on DOE to produce these power sources and the fuel. The National Research Council (NRC) issued a report on Pu-238 production for NASA missions in May 2009. It urged the government to restart Pu-238 production immediately or imperil NASA's lunar and planetary exploration plans. The NRC report emphasized that "the day of reckoning has arrived" and immediate action is required, estimating that it would cost at least $150 million to reestablish production. "Previous proposals to make this investment have not been enacted, and cost seems to be the major impediment. However, regardless of why these proposals have been rejected, the day of reckoning has arrived. NASA is already making mission limiting decisions based on the short supply of 238Pu. NASA is stretching out the pace of RPS-powered missions by eliminating RPSs as an option for some missions and delaying other missions that require RPSs until more 238Pu becomes available." Pu-238 does not occur in nature, and the United States has not produced any since the late 1980s. It purchased Pu-238 for NASA missions from Russia during the 1990s, but those supplies reportedly are now exhausted. The NRC based its estimate of NASA's Pu-238 requirements on a letter NASA sent to DOE on April 29, 2008 detailing space science and lunar exploration missions planned for the next 20 years.

Appropriations committee specifically doesn’t want more production

Smith 9 (Marcia, writer @ Space Policy Online, 8/8/9, JPG

The Senate Appropriations Committee report (S. Rept. 111-45) expressed similar reservations. "The Committee recommends no funding for this program at this time. The Committee understands the importance of this mission and the capability provided to other Federal agencies. However, the Department's proposed plutonium reprocessing program is poorly defined and lacks an overall mission justification as well as a credible project cost estimate. Sustaining the plutonium mission is a costly but an important responsibility. The Committee expects the Department to work with other Federal agency customers to develop an equitable and appropriate cost sharing strategy to sustain this mission into the future."
Appropriations committee controls congress – specifically discretionary spending like the plan

Alarkon 10 (Walter, writer @ The Hill, 5/14/10, JPG

By having clout on the Appropriations Committee, the CBC would have a greater voice to be able to push their priorities, said CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). "It's about equity in our federal resources," she told The Hill. Seniority on the Appropriations Committee is a sought-after commodity because of the power the panel wields over the federal budget. Discretionary spending measures -- including those funding wars and each government agency -- are typically considered by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees before they come up for full votes on either chamber. Each federal agency's budget request is first considered by a subcommittee, making the subcommittee chairmen -- known on Capitol Hill as "cardinals" -- far more powerful than junior appropriators. Federal discretionary spending for 2010, excluding the $33 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan war funding expected to pass this month, is expected to be $1.4 trillion. The influence of appropriations can be seen by looking at the list of congressional leaders; Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-lll.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have all been appropriators.

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