Bomb Bottleneck

One of the most bizarre shortages that may result from the Reagan defense buildup concerns a man-made mineral that many people feel is already in all too abundant supply: plutonium, a uranium byproduct used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The Reagan defense budget calls for stepped-up production of the ground, sea-and air-launched cruise missile and the Navy's Trident II submarine-based missile, as well as deployment of the MX missile system. Most of these weapons will be tipped with nuclear warheads.

With an average of 15 Ibs. of the silver-white, highly toxic metal...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!