Russia Can 'Minimize' Threat From US B61-12 Nuclear Bomb

© Flickr / Sandia LabsA worker steadies a mock B61-12 as it begins its trip via forklift to the barrel of Sandia National Laboratories’ Davis gun, which will fire the test assembly into a pool of water as part of experiments for the B61-12 Life Extension Program
A worker steadies a mock B61-12 as it begins its trip via forklift to the barrel of Sandia National Laboratories’ Davis gun, which will fire the test assembly into a pool of water as part of experiments for the B61-12 Life Extension Program - Sputnik International
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Russian nuclear scientists are assessing the threat from the US plan to upgrade the B61-12 atomic bomb and will outline ways of tackling this threat in case of necessity, a Russian senator on the security committee said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He commented on the announcement by the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which said today it had moved one step closer to producing new B61-12 bombs.

"No doubt, our nuclear weapons specialists will carefully study the level of threat and will take measures to minimize it, if needed," Sen. Viktor Ozerov told RIA Novosti.

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Ozerov, who sits on the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, warned that Washington’s decision to refurbish the B61 nuclear gravity bomb and put it back into service could upset the delicate nuclear balance and force Moscow to take action.

NNSA formalized the production engineering phase of the B61-12 warhead life extension program, saying it was a "critical element" of the US nuclear triad and the extended deterrent. Its first production unit is planned for 2020 and will be followed by full-scale production.

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