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What .would happen if swallowed plutonium? Most, or all, would rapidly pass through the body with little or no effect. … …. .. fourth book on the subject. A Fresh Start for America includes all of Bush’s major policy speeches and excerpts from columnists praising the Governor’s public policy pronouncements. The quotes from the columnists included in the 208-page book, however, are heavily edited; at times lines of praise are lifted from passages critical of Bush’s positions. PLUTONIUM CIRCUITS. What do you get when you combine liquid acid with plutonium? Sounds like a bad trip to us. But residents of the Texas Panhandle will never find out, because the U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded all future plutonium processing contracts to a facility in South Carolina, rather than to the Pantex plant in Amarillo. The MOX process that converts plutonium to fuel requires using acid to break down the plutonium. Pantex, now the main contractor for warhead disassembly, sought the contract despite having no experience processing plutonium. According to S.T.A.N.D., a Pantex watchdog group in Amarillo, the company has yet to demonstrate that it can safely handle its current plutonium assignment: long-term storage of “plutonium pits.” Three years ago, when Pantex was awarded the disassembly contract, the D.O.E. assured the Panhandle that major safety improvements would be made at the facility in order to accommodate the increased risks that came with the contract. To date, S.T.A.N.D. reports, plans to repackage the pits and upgrade the buildings in which they are housed have been scaled back, delayed, or scrapped altogether. PLUTONIUM DEPRESSION. If that wasn’t enough to sink Amarillo’s plutonium boosters into a nuclear depression, the Department of Energy is now considering withholding $5 million from the Amarillo National Resource Center formerly the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium. The Center a federal/statefunded research and public information combine that ties the University of Texas to the Department of Energy does some scientific research. \(It also does a great deal of plutonium promotion, and is responsible for the Amarillo airport exhibit which makes the case that plutonium is relatively safe. “What would happen if you swal A Plutonium Display at the Amarillo Airport lowed plutonium?” one cartoon character in the exhibit asks. “Most, or all, would pass On hearing that the Center’s funds might be cut, the Amarillo Globe-News went critical, attacking the D.O.E. and darkly suggesting that perhaps the reason is political and has to do with Panhandle Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry’s chairing a special house committee charged with investigating and correcting serious security breaches in the D.O.E.’ s handling of nuclear secrets at its Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory in New Mexico. A VERY MERRY UNWELCOME FOR HENRY KISSINGER A TEACH-IN Tuesday, January 25 7:00 p.m. Bass Lecture Hall, LBJ School of Public Affairs University of Texas at Austin “The U.S. Attack on the Third World: From War Crimes to Global Trade” Robert Buzzanco, author of Masters of War: Military Dissent and Politics in the Vietnam Era and Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life, will be the lead speaker, focusing on Kissinger’s policies in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Other speakers will discuss Kissinger’s support for the 1973 Chilean military coup and the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor. The program will highlight the record of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who will be speaking at U.T. the following week. A coalition of campus and community groups are planning a “not-welcoming committee” of hundreds of protestors for Kissinger’s speech at the LBJ Auditorium on February 1 at 6 p.m. Free Everybody Welcome Sponsored by the U.T.Austin Radical Action Network and Peace Action Austin > or Rahul Mahajan, . JANUARY 21, 2000 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17