Grossman 98 (Karl, Journalism prof @ the State U of NY and author of "Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed To Know About Nuclear Power”, Earth Island Journal, Wntr-Spring, 1999, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6393/is_1_14/ai_n28726032/) JPG
Nuclear-powered activities in space are illegal under the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which the United Nations describes as the "basic framework on international space law." The Outer Space Treaty also specifies: "States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects." On August 18, 1999, NASA's Cassini space probe -- and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide fuel -- will come hurtling toward Earth at 42,300 miles per hour for a gravity-assisted "slingshot" maneuver to gain the extra speed needed to reach Saturn. It's supposed to buzz the Earth 496 miles up, but NASA's Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission concedes that, if the probe wobbles in the upper atmosphere, it will break up, plutonium will be released and "approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population ... could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure." NASA says 2,300 fatal cancers could result.It also outlines its plan: if plutonium rains down on areas of natural vegetation, "relocate animals;" if it falls on agricultural land, "ban future agricultural land uses;" and if it descends on urban areas, "demolish some or all structures" and "relocate affected population permanently."
Orion is basically nothing more than a cheap per unit weight, but highin absolute cost,option that is best used to get lots of stuff off Earth with a lot of nasty side effects. It is a propulsion system, nothing more - it puts stuff into space, and into places around the solar system. Granted this would be nice, but you still have to research and then build the useful stuff, and for any continued operations in space, you have to get more stuff up there somehow to supply it. And in most applications it helps to have a lot of experience before you actually ship all the stuff into space. Orion can't carry a space program by itself - in fact the only real sense of using it isasthe major lift component of a _much_ larger and more extensive space program, which has very concrete long term plans and is very prepared, in which case costs of lifting to Earth orbit aren't so high a proportion anyway, and the budget is big enough that better propulsion systems than Orion could be researched. Orion isn't a "magic bullet" that produces a cheaper better space program. It would have to be part of a space program with much greater funding than our space program historically had, within which it could save money or expand capability in very large-scale operations.
Orion causes international backlash – public hates nuclear power and treaty breaking Schweitzer 9 (Curtis, student at Biola University, Apr 27, [curtisschweitzer.net/blog/?p=2546] AD: 7-9-11, jam)
If amending the treaty proves to be an nonviable option in readying the world for Orion, theUnited States and any partner nations in a potential Orion projectshould withdraw or threaten to withdraw from the test-ban treatyuntil it is either amended or they are given the world community’s blessing to launch an Orion spacecraft. Though it functions with an extremely useful purpose, in the aftermath of the Cold War, the test-ban treaty has become outmoded, and is causing more problems than it solves. Weaponized nuclear detonations for military purposes have long been banned, and should continue to be so. However, launching a city into orbit is clearly worth the risks imposed by atmospheric detonation, but diplomatically, there should be no need to worry about international backlash or protest for a project so obviously peaceful and beneficial to mankind. Ultimately, however, the most important obstacle to remove is the irrational fear and loathing that the worldwide public has toward nuclear devices. Although the strong dislike for and fear of nuclear weapons is understandable given the harrowing experience of the Cold War, the international community has moved into a new era. Continung bans on and limitations of militarized nuclear weapons is, of course, still a necessary obligation of the international community. Nonetheless, as has been the theme in this essay thus far, the emerging realization that there are better uses for the world’s massive nuclear stockpiles is a key component in mankind’s progress toward seriously exploring (and possibly colonizing) the solar system.
Turns hegemony Kohut & Stokes 6 (Andrew, President of the Pew Research Center, and Burce, international economics columnist for the National Journal, May 9, [pewresearch.org/pubs/23/the-problem-of-american-exceptionalism] AD: 7-9-11, jam)
Two aspects of the American character -- nationalism and religiosity -- are assumed to significantly influence the way the United States conducts itself in the world. As Minxin Pei of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has put it, "Today's strident anti-Americanism represents much more than a wimpy reaction to U.S. resolve or generic fears of a hegemon running amok. Rather, the growing unease withtheUnited States should be seen as a powerful global backlash against the spirit of American nationalismthat shapes and animates U.S. foreign policy."1 Reflecting the world's worries at the time of the run-up to the war in Iraq, the editors of The Economist opined that, "only one thing unsettles George Bush's critics more than the possibility that his foreign policy is secretly driven by greed. That is the possibility that it is secretly driven by God….War for oil would merely be bad. War for God would be catastrophic."2
A2 – Space Hegemony Adv
International public backlash hurts U.S influence Bobrow 8 (Davis, prof of public and international affairs and political science at the U of Pittsburgh, "Hegemony Constrained," p. 222-224, jam)
International public opinion often provides a context in which foreign actors can attempt to modify, evade, delay, or even resist what Washington would like to do and have others do. This chapter explores how international public opinion relates to challenges to U.S. government policy preferences. It presents a secondary analysis of poll responses given by a representative sample of the general public both inside and outside the United States. This analysis thus addresses both the domestic public opinion that political elites face within their own countries (that is, in those countries where polls were conducted) and the international public opinion that U.S. policy makers face. Public opinion abroad has shifted in ways that reduce incentives for quick acquiescence to U.S. official preferences. The consequences of cooperation are weighing more heavily on compliant actors abroad as well as on the U.S. government. That does not generally mean that the international public is demanding direct confrontation with the United Stales, withdrawal from en¬gagement with it, or commitment to alternative alignments and hard counter¬balancing. Most foreign publics are more receptive to attempts to stand aside from, delay, divert, or modify U.S. government preferences than to direct, dramatically visible resistance. I argue that international public opinion is important for the United Slates to consider because of the need to understand and anticipate challenges to American policies. I also introduce conservative rules of interpretation to employ when drawing inferences from poll responses. Furthermore, 1 analyze patterns of public opinion from readily available polls of high technical qual¬ity conducted mostly from September 11, 2001, through 2006 (see the appen¬dix to this chapter). These polls covered particular national publics, and thus those publics are the unit of analysis here. All reported patterns and interpre¬tations are of those aggregates.' How International Public Opinion Matters How might reported public opinion affect the policy choices of governments? In an extreme view, publicopinion actually controls policy choices. Foreign political elites act as if they expect a referendum on what they have done vis¬a-vis U.S. preferences, altering their positions to fit with what they think to be majority views. In my own view, international public opinion has a number of different functions that affect foreign elites. It is an indicator of the domes¬tic political risks and rewards likely to result from a particular stance toward a U.S. policy preference. It also offers a clue as to how other non-U.S. elites are likely to behave toward a U.S. policy preference and whether there will be opportunities for challenge coalitions with other foreign actors. Global opin¬ions may also be an instrument for bargaining with Washington to extract side-payments for support or offer foreign actors a credible excuse to use when trying to gain Washington's acceptance, even if grudging, of their inability to support a U.S. policy preference. Finally, foreigners may use their knowledge of U.S. public opinion to gauge domestic pressures on Washington to modify a particular policy and opportunities for challenge coalitions with American organizations and groups. International public opinion may also serve a number of functions for U.S. government elites. It can indicate the domestic situation that foreign leaders will be facing. It may indicate the possibility of a Pyrrhic victory, in which foreign leaders who have complied with U.S. preferences are subse¬quently replaced by less compliant leaders. Global public opinion can also suggest whether policies requiring foreign contributions will actually generate those contributions promptly, in adequate volume, and for sufficient duration. It can clarify how large U.S. side-payments on other issues might need to be in order to secure compliance on a particular issue. Finally, international opin¬ion, both pro and con, may help U.S. proponents of a policy develop strategies to gain domestic public support (i.e.. positive public opinion in valued foreign countries, hostile opinion in negatively valued countries). Conversely, it may-help U.S. opponents discredit a policy (i.e., negative public opinion in valued foreign countries, positive opinion in negatively valued countries). International public opinion can constrain U.S. and foreign policy actors or serve as a resource as the major players engage in direct confrontations or joint attempts to modify policy. How others treat U.S. policy preferences and how the United States responds usually result from bargaining at both the do¬mestic and international levels (Putnam 19S8). Elites have less difficulty har¬monizing the two bargaining levels when dealing with issues that are relatively low profile for pertinent national publics, receive scant media attention, and exhibit little apparent change from past policies. Policy elites with a strong grip on power at home have more latitude when it comes to bargaining; it is relatively safe for them to step outside the "zone of permissiveness" that public opinion offers. One kind of situation in which policy actors have considerable leeway is the absence of a competitive opposition with a clearly different stance on dealings with the United States. Another is when the next scheduled "man¬date renewal" (e.g., a national election) is some distance in the future. A third situation of relative freedom for policy actors is when there is a high degree of public approval of incumbent policy performance on matters less related to U.S. foreign policy. One or more of those facilitating conditions often is missing abroad or in the United States. With regard to foreign elites, since U.S. acts of commis¬sion and omission can substantially impact their society, they would be wise to pay close attention to U.S. public opinion that calls for Washington to main¬tain or alter its policies. For U.S. elites, wise policy choice involves recognizing how foreign populations view American actions and motives, making appro¬priate responses with regard to those views, and having some foresight about the American public supporting or at least not opposing a particular policy choice. If U.S. policy elites indulge in unwarranted optimism, they risk under¬estimating the costs and overestimating the benefits of Washington^ policy emphases.
`Ultimately, however, the most important obstacle to remove is the irrational fear and loathing that the worldwide public has toward nuclear devices. Although the strong dislike for and fear of nuclear weapons is understandable given the harrowing experience of the Cold War, the international community has moved into a new era. Continung bans on and limitations of militarized nuclearweaponsis, of course, still a necessary obligation of the international community. Nonetheless, as has been the theme in this essay thus far, the emerging realization that there are better uses for the world’s massive nuclear stockpiles is a key component in mankind’s progress toward seriously exploring (and possibly colonizing) the solar system.
There’s international opposition to nuclear reactors in space
Urfer and LaForge 5 (Bonnie – anti-nuclear activist and John – writer @ NukeWatch, Summer 2005, www.nukewatchinfo.org/Quarterly/20052summer/20052page5.pdf) JPG
Opposition continues around the world. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space says plans for nuclear reactors and weapons in space are illegal and risk catastrophe. (The Outer Space Treaty prohibits WMD in outer space. It was ratified by the U.S. Senate and entered into force Oct. 10, 1967.) Two hundred Global Network representatives fromas far as Alaska, Vancouver, Japan, Eastern Europe, and Britain met April 29 in New York City for its 13th annual conference, “Full Spectrum Resistance” — a play on the Pentagon’s published plans for “Full Spectrum Dominance.” Dr. Michio Kaku, a physicist with the City University of New York, presented the keynote at the conference. Kaku reminded the group that in 1978, the Cosmos-954 satellite, with 100 pounds of enriched uranium onboard, disintegrated NASA’s slick rendition of the proposed nuclear powered Project Prometheus visiting the three moons of Jupiter.
A2 – Asteroid/Comet Adv
Wont work – safer options prevent asteroid impacts
Nuclear weapons could be used to stop earth-bound asteroids, but in most instances, they are not the best option, said Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart during a public lecture this Wednesday in San Francisco. The venerable scientist explained that all but the largest heavenly bodies can be redirected by rear-ending or towing them with an unmanned spacecraft. But last year, NASA issued a report stating that using nukes is the best strategy to prevent a catastrophic collision with earth. Although Schweickart has a great deal of faith in the agency, enough to risk his life piloting their lunar lander, he feels that they issued the misleading statement — under immense political pressure. It was a nefarious excuse to put nuclear weapons in space. His own organization, the B612 Foundation, intends to use gentler tactics to alter the course of an asteroid by 2015.
Asteroids or comets will just reassemble
O’Neill 10 (Ian, PhD Solar Phys @ Wales U, 3/21/10, http://news.discovery.com/space/another-good-reason-not-to-shoot-nukes-at-asteroids.html) JPG
Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Catherine Pleskoof the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have simulatedthe nuke versus asteroid scenarioand demonstrated that if the explosion of an interceptor nuke was too small, the asteroid will reform under its mutual gravity much faster than expected. (This is assuming the asteroid was made of rock, acting like a "rubble pile" rather than a solid lump of iron ore. It's debatable whether any explosion could do anything about an asteroid that's mainly metal, apart from heating it up a little.) Trying to destroy asteroids with nuclear explosions is a risky business at the best of times, but this research has found that a 1 kilometer-wide asteroid could reassemble itself in a matter of hours. "The high-speed stuff goes away but the low-speed stuff reassembles [in] 2 to 18 hours," said Korycansky at the meeting.
Breaks asteroids into smaller pieces, magnifies the impact
O’Neill 10 (Ian, PhD Solar Phys @ Wales U, 3/21/10, http://news.discovery.com/space/another-good-reason-not-to-shoot-nukes-at-asteroids.html) JPG
Unfortunately, the commonly held opinion is to dispense an incoming asteroid or comet with a few carefully placed atomicbombs (by a generic crew of Hollywood oil drillers). Alas, Armageddon this ain’t. Even if we were able to get a bomb onto the surface of an incoming object, there is little hope of it doing any good (whether we get Bruce Willis to drop it off or launch it ICBM style… or would that be IPBM, as in Interplanetary Ballistic Missile?). What if we are dealing with a near-Earth asteroid composed mainly of metal? A nuclear blast might just turn it into a hot radioactive lump of metal. What if the comet is simply a collection of loosely bound pieces of rock? The force of the blast will probably be absorbed as if nothing happened. In most cases, and if we are faced with an asteroid measuring 10 km across (i.e. a dinosaur killer), it would be like throwing an egg at a speeding train and expecting it to be derailed. There are of course a few situationswherea nuclear missile might work too well; blowing the object up into thousands of chunks. But in this case it would be like making the choice between being shot by a single bullet or a shot gun; it’s bad if you have one impact with a single lump of rock, but it might be worse if thousands of smaller pieces make their own smaller impacts all over the planet. If you ever wondered what it might be like to be sandblasted from space, this might be the way to find out! There may be a few situations where nuclear missiles are successful, but their use would be limited.
A2 – Other Solar Systems Adv
Takes 85 years to get to new solar systems in Orion
O’Neill 8 (Ian, PhD Solar Physics @ University of Wales, 7/8/8, http://www.universetoday.com/15403/how-long-would-it-take-to-travel-to-the-nearest-star/) JPG
The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is largely attributed to the cancellation of Project Orion (due to the obvious design flaw that huge amounts of radioactive waste would be pumped into space), but what kind of velocities could a nuclear pulse propulsion spaceship attain? Some estimates suggest a ballpark figure of 5% the speed of light (or 5.4×107 km/hr). So assuming a spacecraft could travel at these speeds, it would take a Project Orion-type craft approximately 85 years to travel from the Earth to Proxima Centauri.
A2 – Weaponization Adv
Empirically proven Orion wont be used for the military
Schwartz 98 (Stephen, Guest Scholar in the Foreign Policy Studies @ Brookings Inst., August 1998,
One other project deserves mention for it demonstrates the lengths scientists and engineers went to in attempts to utilize the power of nuclear weapons. Project Orion, was a proposal to power a spacecraft by detonating nuclear bombs behind it, allowing the force of the blast to hit a specially-designed plate on the back of the craft and thus propel it forward. Despite the obvious problem of safely launching such a vehicle from Earth, scientists worked up a number of studies of the concept, one of which modeled the device to eject the bombs from the craft on the bottle dispensing mechanism in Coca-Cola vending machines.7 From 1958 until early 1965 the studies consumed nearly $50 million. In 1960, the program was transferred from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to the Air Force which, seeing little weapons potential in it, appeared to abandon it. However, a recently declassified memorandum to General Curtis LeMay, dated June 9, 1964, indicates that the concept was kept alive through at least that date by the Air Force, General Atomics (a defense contractor) and scientists at Livermore Laboratory, who had transformed it into Project Helios, proposing to use lower yield nuclear explosives to propel a smaller, lighter spacecraft from orbit.8 Scientists at Livermore suggested proving the new concept via underground nuclear tests, an approach the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board favored so long as NASA and the AEC would take a direct financial interest in the project. The outcome of this proposal is unclear, but Orion never took flight.