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“I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come

I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come

They got a crazy way of loving there

And I’m gonna get me some.”

— “Kansas City,” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Two hundred miles from the geographical center of the U.S., outside Kansas City, Mo., the first new nuclear weapons plant in 32 years has its groundbreaking on Sept. 8 — right in the U.S. heartland, as we slumber away thinking that President Barack Obama has promised to work toward a “nuclear weapons free world” — so no worries.

Wrong. Be worried. Drive the nine hours to Kansas City to join protesters from all over the U.S. on Sept. 8 (nukewatch.org/KCNukeplant).

This new production facility will manufacture and/or procure 85 percent of all nonnuclear components for U.S. nuclear weapons. These include fuses, which are systems designed to detonate a bomb at the most destructive altitude; radars; electrical circuits, etc.

The Kansas City government is subsidizing private developers who will build and eventually own the plant with more than $750 million in municipal bonds, in spite of the city being forced economically to close schools and hospitals.

The new KC plant is planned as part of a complete rebuild of the federal nuclear weapons production complex, which will include two other huge future facilities, one for plutonium components in Los Alamos, N.M. (a la Rocky Flats), and another for highly enriched uranium components in Oak Ridge, Tenn., costing up to $10 billion.

The new plant’s selected 180-acre site was mostly used for soybean farming. The Kansas City government declared that area “blighted” so that it could use bond authority under Missouri state law designed to fight urban blight to give the National Nuclear Security Administration a new bomb plant.

Taxpayers will pay an estimated $4.5 billion over 20 years for the new Kansas City plant, which the city will own until private developers pay the bonds back through a lease-to-purchase scheme backed up by a virtually certain revenue stream from the federal government.

Meanwhile, previously unreported worker health concerns at the old plant are growing increasingly controversial, to the point where both Missouri senators have called for federal investigations. There are currently no plans for cleaning up the badly contaminated buildings and grounds.

Head to Kansas City on Sept. 7 to be there for the protest on the 8th. Surely there can be a less crazy way of “lovin'” in Kansas City than building more nuclear weapons. Let’s go for some REAL loving — people and planet and a world free of nuclear weapons.

Judith Mohling is a volunteer with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.

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