Maryknolls Ethical examination of Hiroshima and Sustainability12 Nov

Mushroom Cloud of Operation Castle-BravoFrom August 27-29, the UN’s Department of Public Information held its 65th annual conference. It focused on poverty eradication, sustainability, climate justice, human rights and partnerships among other relevant topics. Along with several other NGOs, Maryknoll cosponsored a side event entitled, “Sustainability and nuclear weapons?” held on August 28. Panelists, including Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International co-president and former director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC), addressed the incompatibility of sustainability with nuclear weapons which constantly threaten the existence of the entire ecosystem. Sr. Elizabeth (Claris) Zwareva, MOGC staff member, also served as a panelist; an edited version of her talk is reprinted below.
… Sustainability depends upon the equilibrium of entire ecosystems …. Today this equilibrium is under threat from the existence of nuclear weapons which continue to escalate tensions among nations. The solution is to build peace among nations while eliminating all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. The [UN Conference on Sustainable Development] Rio+20 outcome document “reaffirmed the importance of freedom, peace and security, respect for all human rights including the right to development and the right to an adequate standard of living, including the right to food and water, the rule of law, good governance…” 
Nuclear weapons did not just appear from nowhere; they are of human creation, products of scientific research and technological innovation that have created a monster that threatens the survival of life on Earth and cause irreversible damage to the environment. … 
The nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki originated from the uranium that was mined from indigenous people’s lands. After uranium extraction the radioactive material left at the surface seeped into aquifers and also contaminated agricultural lands. “Blighted homeland,” a multimedia series by the Los Angeles Times, documents how uranium mining has affected the health of the Navajos. According to this documentary, from 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were extracted from Navajo homeland. Navajos inhaled radioactive dust, drank contaminated water and built homes using sand and rock from the mines and mills. 
Recently [Maryknoll Sister Rose Marie Cecchini] spoke to us of the continuing adverse and environmental impacts on communities at Crowpoint, New Mexico, and Tuba City, Arizona. Decades of uranium mining and abandoned mine sites that were never cleaned up by responsible federal agencies and mining companies continues to affect the health of these communities. Navajo miners working in open pit and underground mines were never warned of health risks from radioactive exposure to the uranium ore. Protective clothing, masks and essential ventilation were never provided by mining company officials, who were well aware of the radiation exposure to workers. [The] miners, with uranium dust-covered clothing, daily returned to their homes and families on the reservation. With no running water in homes, the women washed all the family clothing together using precious water hauled from wells 30 or 40 miles away. In this way, other members of the family were also exposed to radiation from uranium dust. Privately funded health studies continue to identify and document diverse types of cancers, respiratory and kidney diseases, as well as diabetes related to past radioactive exposure to uranium in the mines and currently abandoned mine sites. 
The bomb that exploded over Hiroshima consisted of enriched uranium 235 and the one that exploded over Nagasaki consisted of plutonium 239, a by-product of uranium. These bombs had immediate as well as long term effects on the environment as well as on human health. The atomic bombs’ sudden, intense and dramatic effects have left indelible memories of death, destruction and horror among the Japanese peoples of the world. People in the affected areas still suffer from the effects of fallout. …
The results of scientific research that goes unaccompanied by ethical reflection can be disastrous. The God-given ability to reflect upon our actions and how they affect others is the way to curb those actions that cause harm …. By so doing we are accepting life, respecting it and acting in ways that will promote and not destroy it … The destructive force of nuclear weapons is incompatible with the principle of bringing about good, avoiding harm and acting justly. 
As Jesus said, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” Our duty then is to save ourselves and future generations from perishing from the monster of our own creation through embracing humility and loving life.


Nuclear Weapons and the International Security Context11 Nov

Civil Society Statement to the United Nations First Committee, 28 October 2014

At the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, states parties reaffirmed their commitment to a “diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination.”i Nearly five years have passed; another Review Conference is in the offing. Nuclear stockpiles of civilization-destroying size persist, and progress on disarmament has stalled.ii

The commitment to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in security policies assumed that de-coupling nuclear weapons from conventional military forces would help facilitate elimination of nuclear arsenals. Yet there has been little progress in reducing the role of nuclear weapons. All nuclear-armed states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals. Modernization efforts include development by the leading nuclear weapons states of new nuclear-capable missiles, aircraft, and submarines that will incorporate advances in stealth and accuracy.iii Publicly available information shows that nuclear weapons continue to have a central role in security policies, and in the case of the United States, the integration of conventional and nuclear forces in current war planning.iv Potential adversaries of the United States see its advantage in long-range conventional forces as a rationale for retaining and modernizing their nuclear arsenals.

The decoupling of nuclear from conventional military forces is further impeded by arms-racing in non-nuclear weapons of strategic significance. These include missile defenses, more accurate and powerful stand-off weapons, and concepts such as “prompt global strike” that aim to hit targets anywhere on earth with a non-nuclear payload in an hour or less. The United States has taken the lead, but many others are participating in this accelerating new arms race which is not constrained to a bi-polar confrontation.

Nuclear war will not come as a bolt from the blue. It will come when national elites misjudge one another’s interests in a conflict on the borderlands of some nuclear-armed country, and “conventional” warfare escalates out of control. This is all the more likely in the 21st century strategic context where stealthy, precision stand-off weapons and delivery platforms face sophisticated and increasingly capable air and missile defenses, while electronic warfare measures target sensors and data-dependent systems. These elements can interact at levels of speed and complexity that defy human comprehension, much less rational decision-making.

For more than two decades, the political and military elites of the leading nuclear-armed states have engaged in perilous double-think about their arsenals. They have assured their publics that the continued existence of nuclear weapons in civilization-destroying numbers no longer presented a real danger because the risk of war among nuclear-armed states was a feature of the Cold War, now safely past. At the same time, they have done everything necessary to keep catastrophe-capable nuclear arsenals long into the future, as a hedge against the day when the most powerful states again might make war with one another.

Today we see a new round of confrontations among nuclear-armed states, in economic and political circumstances that bear worrisome resemblances to those that brought about the devastating wars of the 20th century. Amidst one crisis after another from Ukraine to the Western Pacific, the world’s most powerful militaries brandish their nuclear arms, while claiming that “routine” exercises with weapons of mass destruction pose no danger, could never be misconstrued or get out of hand.

To those who view the world from the heights of power and privilege in nuclear-armed states, all this only gives further reason to hold on to the weapons they have, and to develop more. For the vast majority of humanity, struggling just to get by in a world of immensely stratified wealth and power, it means a return to madness, to a world where at any moment the people can be annihilated to preserve the state. The lack of urgency on disarmament in the ruling circles of the most powerful states should shock the conscience of every person who still has one.

The growing risks of great power war and use of nuclear weapons make the abolition of nuclear weapons all the more imperative. It is far more likely to succeed if linked to economic equity, democracy, climate and environmental protection, and dismantlement of highly militarized security postures. For our part, Abolition 2000 members and partner groups are organizing a large-scale civil society conference, march and rally on these themes on the eve of the 2015 NPT Review Conference, the presentation of millions of signatures calling for the total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons, and local actions around the world.v

— Statement coordinated by Western States Legal Foundation, Oakland, California, USA, a member of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. Endorsed by 100 international, national, regional and local civil society organizations in 11 countries (plus 8 individuals for organizational identification only).

Statement endorsed by:

Action AWE, London, United Kingdom

Arab Human Security Network, Damascus, Syria

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, USA

Ban All Nukes generation (BANg, international)

Basel Peace Office, Basel, Switzerland

Beacon Presbyterian Fellowship, Oakland, California, USA

Beyond Nuclear, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA

Brooklyn for Peace, New York City, New York, USA

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, United Kingdom

Christians For The Mountains, Dunmore, West Virginia, USA

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India

Code Pink Golden Gate Chapter (Bay Area Code Pink), California, USA

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Crabshell Alliance, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Democratic World Federalists (international)

Earth Action (international)

Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC (Clergy and Laity Concerned), Berkeley, California, USA

Fairmont, MN Peace Group, Fairmont, Minnesota, USA

Fellowship of Reconciliation, USA

Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Washington, USA

Friends Committee on National Legislation, USA

Fukushima Response Bay Area, northern California, USA

German chapter, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, Berlin, Germany

Green Shadow Cabinet, USA

International Network of Engineers and Scientists (INES)

INND (Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders), Seattle, Washington, USA

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

International Peace Bureau

Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), Japan

Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, Missoula, Montana, USA

Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, New York City, New York, USA

Le Mouvement de la Paix, France

LEPOCO Peace Center, Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, Garden City, New York, USA

Los Altos Voices for Peace, Los Altos, California, USA

Metta Center for Nonviolence, Petaluma, California, USA

MLK (Martin Luther King) Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

Montrose Peace Vigil, Montrose, California, USA

Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, Walnut Creek, California, USA

Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, Palo Alto, California, USA

Nafsi Ya Jamii community center, Oakland, California, USA

Nevada Desert Experience, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

No Nukes Action Committee, northern California, USA/Japan

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, California, USA

Silicon Valley Chapter, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Menlo Park, California, USA

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA

Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Nukewatch, Luck, Wisconsin, USA

Oakland CAN (Community Action Network), Oakland, California, USA

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

Office of the Americas, Santa Monica, California, USA

Oregon PeaceWorks, Salem, Oregon, USA

Our Developing World, Saratoga, California, USA

Pacem in Terris, Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Pax Christi International

Pax Christi USA

Pax Christi Long Island, New York, USA

Pax Christi Metro New York, New York City, USA

Peace Action, USA

Peace Action West, California, USA

Peace Action Staten Island, Staten Island, New York, USA

Peace Boat, Japan/international

Peace Foundation, New Zealand

Peaceworkers, San Francisco, California, USA

People for Nuclear Disarmament, Australia

Physicians for Social Responsibility, USA

Physicians for Social Responsibility – Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility, California, USA

Popular Resistance, USA

Prague Vision Institute for Sustainable Security, Prague, Czech Republic

Proposition One Campaign, Tryon, North Carolina, USA

Rachel Carson Council, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Reach and Teach, San Mateo, California, USA

Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Boulder, Colorado, USA, USA

Scientists for Peace, Germany

Sisters of Charity Federation, North America

Sisters of Charity of New York, New York City, New York, USA

Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

Swedish Peace Council. Sweden

The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy,

The Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Denver, Colorado, USA

The Ecological Options Network, EON, Bolinas, California, USA

The Human Survival Project, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

The Nuclear Resister, USA

The Peace Farm, Amarillo, Texas, USA

The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society (international)

Topanga Peace Alliance. California, USA

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), Livermore, California, USA

2020 Action, USA

United for Peace and Justice, USA

United Nations Association, San Francisco, California, USA

US Peace Council, USA

Veterans for Peace, USA

War Prevention Initiative, Portland, Oregon, USA, USA

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – US Section (WILPF US)

World Future Council (international)

World Peace Now, Point Arena, California, USA

Dr. Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee, USA*

Stephen McNeil, American Friends Service Committee, Wage Peace program, San Francisco, California, USA*

Aaron Tovish, International Campaign Director, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign*

David McReynolds, former Chair, War Resisters International*

Rev. Marilyn Chilcote, Parish Associate St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California, USA*
Sarah H. Lorya, MA, School Outreach Coordinator,
AFS-USA, Inc.*

Don Eichelberger, Abalone Alliance Safe Energy Clearinghouse, San Francisco, California, USA*

Libbe HaLevy, Nuclear Hotseat Podcast, USA*

*for purposes of identification only


2 LTE NYT Use it as a template to publish in Colorado papers.10 Nov

To the Editor:

Your news analysis does a public service by pointing out that President Obama has the lowest nuclear weapons dismantlement rate of any president. In fact, he proposes to cut funding for dismantlements by 45 percent in fiscal year 2015, and nonproliferation programs by 20 percent, to help pay for increased nuclear weapons production.

This includes new multibillion dollar facilities for plutonium components at Los Alamos, N.M., and highly enriched uranium at Oak Ridge, Tenn., both of which have huge cost overruns. It also includes a new Kansas City Plant, built by private investors in a sweetheart deal, for the thousands of nonnuclear components (fuses, radars) needed to make nuclear weapons deliverable.

All of these new production plants are expected to manufacture nuclear weapons until 2075, directly contradicting the aspirational future world free of nuclear weapons that President Obama claims to want.

Santa Fe, N.M.

Congratulations to William Broad and the NY Times for finally informing the public about the extent of US nuclear folly in two articles in the last six weeks, which not only revealed the scope of US nuclear rearmament and the budget busting plans to spend one trillion dollars over the next thirty years for new nuclear bombs, labs, and delivery systems, as part of a deal Obama made with the military-industrial complex to achieve the modest cuts of the new START treaty with Russia, and which also reviewed US nuclear cuts since President Eisenhower. The articles disclose the traditional beltway arms control community’s unhappiness with Obama’s empty rhetoric about a nuclear weapons free world in light of his new commitments to more and improved nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future at huge cost for a weapon that no country dare use willingly, knowing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from nuclear war. Even without deliberate use, this past year nuclear-loaded missiles went missing, transported unknowingly from North Dakota to Louisiana, and our troops in the missiles silos responsible for command and control of the nuclear arsenal were found drunk and grossly negligent. The prescription from the DC arms controllers, is that deeper cuts “could help induce other nuclear-armed states to exercise greater restraint”. But what the world need now is not greater restraint, but US leadership for eliminating nuclear arsenals. Building a leaner, meaner US arsenal over 30 years will only signal other nuclear wannabes to get bombs of their own. Instead of calling for deep cuts, the US should join the burgeoning humanitarian campaign meeting in Vienna this December to ban nuclear weapons, just as we have banned chemical and biological weapons, and then, after declaring them illegal, move immediate to negotiations for their total elimination under strict and effective international control.

Alice Slater


Oak Ridge Un-cooperative06 Nov

Alliance for Nuclear Accountability activists gather

upfporkActivists from sites around the nuclear weapons complex are gathering this week in Knoxville for their fall meeting, hosted this time by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. The network of activists is known as the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

According to Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of OREPA, about 16 or 17 representatives are expected to attend the meeting — coming from California, Colorado, Texas, Idaho, Georgia, South Carolina and New Mexico.

The activists typically discuss common issues and concerns, ongoing projects and plans for future collaborations. Besides the fall meeting, the ANA typically gathers in Washington, D.C., during the spring in conjunction with DC Days — when members make contact with congressional staff members and various decisionmakers to press their agenda.

Hutchison said some members arrived in town early in order to attend a tour of Oak Ridge facilities that didn’t materialize. He said the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration denied their requests to see various facilities — including the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility and 9212 complex at Y-12; the Transuranic Waste Processing Center; and the site of the former K-25 uranium-enrichment plant.

Hutchison said the group had hoped to get presentations from some of the program managers. “I really saw this as an opportunity to explain what Oak Ridge is doing to some of the leading activists in the country,” he said.

He said Oak Ridge is gaining a reputation as the least transparent of all the DOE/NNSA sites.

Scott Kovac
Nuclear Watch New Mexico
903 W. Alameda #325
Santa Fe, NM, 87501


Nuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia – and here’s the proof03 Nov

Interesting Article that combines the results of more than several studies–Could these also add to the claims that exposure to Not-So-Depleted Uranium ordnance also causes disease.

Ian Fairlie

23rd August 2014
Controversy has been raging for decades over the link between nuclear power stations and childhood leukemia. But as with tobacco and lung cancer, it’s all about hiding the truth, writes Ian Fairlie. Combining data from four countries shows, with high statistical significance, that radioactive releases from nuclear plants are the cause of the excess leukemia cases.

I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between nuclear power plants and child leukemias.

In March 2014, my article on increased rates of childhood leukemias near nuclear power plants (NPPs) was published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (JENR).

A previous post discussed the making of the article and its high readership: this post describes its content in layman’s terms.

Before we start, some background is necessary to grasp the new report’s significance. Many readers may be unaware that increased childhood leukemias near NPPs have been a contentious issue for several decades.

For example, it was a huge issue in the UK in the 1980s and early 1990s leading to several TV programmes, Government Commissions, Government committees, a major international Conference, Government reports, at least two mammoth court cases and probably over a hundred scientific articles.

It was refuelled in 1990 by the publication of the famous Gardner report (Gardner et al, 1990) which found a very large increase (7 fold) in child leukemias near the infamous Sellafield nuclear facility in Cumbria.

Over 60 epidemiological studies confirm the link

The issue seems to have subsided in the UK, but it is still hotly debated in most other European countries, especially Germany.

The core issue is that, world-wide, over 60 epidemiological studies have examined cancer incidences in children near nuclear power plants (NPPs): most (>70%) indicate leukemia increases.

I can think of no other area of toxicology (eg asbestos, lead, smoking) with so many studies, and with such clear associations as those between NPPs and child leukemias.

Yet many nuclear Governments and the nuclear industry refute these findings and continue to resist their implications. It’s similar to the situations with cigarette smoking in the 1960s and with man-made global warming nowadays.

In early 2009, the debate was partly rekindled by the renowned KiKK study (Kaatsch et al, 2008) commissioned by the German Government which found a 60% increase in total cancers and 120% increase in leukemias among children under 5 yrs old living within 5 km of all German NPPs.

What is ‘statistically significant?

As a result of these surprising findings, governments in France, Switzerland and the UK hurriedly set up studies near their own NPPs. All found leukemia increases but because their numbers were small the increases lacked ‘statistical significance’. That is, you couldn’t be 95% sure the findings weren’t chance ones.

This does not mean there were no increases, and indeed if less strict statistical tests had been applied, the results would have been ‘statistically significant’.

But most people are easily bamboozled by statistics including scientists who should know better, and the strict 95% level tests were eagerly grasped by the governments wishing to avoid unwelcome findings. Indeed, many tests nowadays in this area use a 90% level.

In such situations, what you need to do is combine datasets in a meta-study to get larger numbers and thus reach higher levels of statistical significance.

Governments wouldn’t do it – so we did

The four governments refrained from doing this because they knew what the answer would be, viz, statistically significant increases near almost all NPPs in the four countries.

So Korblein and Fairlie helped them out by doing it for them (Korblein and Fairlie, 2012), and sure enough there were statistically significant increases near all the NPPs. Here are their findings:

Table: Studies of observed (O) and expected (E) leukemia cases within 5 km of NPPs.

O E SIR=O/E 90% CI p-value
Germany 34 24.1 1.41 1.04-1.88 0.0328
Great Britain 20 15.4 1.30 0.86-1.89 0.1464
Switzerland 11 7.9 a 1.40 0.78-2.31 0.1711
France b 14 10.2 1.37 0.83-2.15 0.1506
Pooled data 79 57.5 1.37 1.13 – 1.66 0.0042

[a] derived from data in Spycher et al. (2011).
[b] acute leukemia cases

This table reveals a highly statistically significant 37% increase in childhood leukemias within 5 km of almost all NPPs in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.

It’s perhaps not surprising that the latter 3 countries have announced nuclear phaseouts and withdrawals. It is only the UK government that remains in denial.

So the matter is now beyond question, ie there’s a very clear association between increased child leukemias and proximity to NPPs. The remaining question is its cause(s).

Observed risk 10,000 times greater than it’s meant to be

Most people worry about radioactive emissions and direct radiation from the NPPs, however any theory involving radiation has a major difficulty to overcome, and that is how to account for the large (~10,000 fold) discrepancy between official dose estimates from NPP emissions and the clearly-observed increased risks.

My explanation does involve radiation. It stems from KiKK’s principal finding that the increased incidences of infant and child leukemias were closely associated with proximity to the NPP chimneys.

It also stems from KiKK’s observation that the increased solid cancers were mostly “embryonal”, ie babies were born either with solid cancers or with pre-cancerous tissues which, after birth, developed into full-blown tumours: this actually happens with leukemia as well.

My explanation has five main elements:

First, the cancer increases may be due to radiation exposures from NPP emissions to air.
Second, large annual spikes in NPP emissions may result in increased dose rates to populations within 5 km of NPPs.
Third, the observed cancers may arise in utero in pregnant women.
Fourth, both the doses and their risks to embryos and to fetuses may be greater than current estimate.
And fifth, pre-natal blood-forming cells in bone marrow may be unusually radiosensitive.

Together these five factors offer a possible explanation for the discrepancy between estimated radiation doses from NPP releases and the risks observed by the KIKK study. These factors are discussed in considerable detail in the full article.

No errors or omissions have been pointed out

My article in fact shows that the current discrepancy can be explained. The leukemia increases observed by KiKK and by many other studies may arise in utero as a result of embryonal / fetal exposures to incorporated radionuclides from NPP radioactive emissions.

Very large emission spikes from NPPs might produce a pre-leukemic clone, and after birth a second radiation hit might transform a few of these clones into full-blown leukemia cells.

The affected babies are born pre-leukemic (which is invisible) and the full leukemias are only diagnosed within the first few years after birth.

To date, no letters to the editor have been received pointing out errors or omissions in this article.

Dr Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment.

This article was originally published on Ian Fairlie’s blog.


Bithell JF, M F G Murphy, C A Stiller, E Toumpakari, T Vincent and R Wakeford. (2013) Leukaemia in young children in the vicinity of British nuclear power plants: a case-control study. Br J Cancer, advance online publication, September 12, 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.560.
Bunch KJ, T J Vincent1, R J Black, M S Pearce, R J Q McNally, P A McKinney, L Parker, A W Craft and M F G Murphy (2014) Updated investigations of cancer excesses in individuals born or resident in the vicinity of Sellafield and Dounreay. British Journal of Cancer (2014), 1-10 | doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.357
Fairlie I (2013) A hypothesis to explain childhood cancers near nuclear power plants. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 133 (2014) 10e17.
Gardner MJ, Snee MP; Hall AJ; Powell CA; Downes S; Terrell JD (1990) Results of case-control study of leukaemia and lymphoma among young people near Sellafield nuclear plant in West Cumbria. BMJ. 1990;300:423-429.
Kaatsch P, Spix C, Schulze-Rath R, Schmiedel S, Blettner M. (2008) Leukaemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer; 122: 721-726.
Körblein A and Fairlie I (2012) French Geocap study confirms increased leukemia risks in young children near nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer 131: 2970-2971.
Spycher BD, Feller M, Zwahlen M, Röösli M, von der Weid NX, Hengartner H, Egger M, Kuehni CE. ‘Childhood cancer and nuclear power plants in Switzerland: A census based cohort study’. International Journal of Epidemiology (2011) doi:10.1093/ije/DYR115.


Colorado’s Military History vs. Anti Government Rhetoric19 Oct

Finally the Colorado Historical Museum has acknowledged( that Rocky Flats/Military Industrial Complex as a big piece of our Colorado history. (It didn’t think it was appropriate for an August display of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the Curator of the Smithsonian was fired by Congress when he prepared an exhibit for the “Enola Gay” that raised questions about the use of the Atomic Bombs as a necessary step in the Japanese surrender.)

Unfortunately the State Historian (who has significant contexting segments in the video) seems to be a mouthpiece for the Military Industrial Complex and operates out of the conventional wisdom about the necessity for it. So while it covers the surface story it only tips the hat to what drove it into existence — economic stimulus to Colorado and the John Birch/Joe McCarthy attitude toward life in post-WWII time. and lies about missile gaps and the Soviet “Threat”.

Still this video does capture some of the legitimate divisions of opinion about the safety and clean up of the site and gives space to the long term protestors. But not once did their fundamental protest issue, that the weapons partially produced there were a crime against humanity and a commitment of vital resources of the US and the rest of the world to a project of destruction rather than the enrichment of human life. Viewing this Video would be a great discussion starter around that issue–the National Security State, the marketing of fear,and the acceptance of such a definition of civic duty as to devote one’s life to such a project.

Also not mentioned is the salary differential between employees at RF and comparable jobs in the surrounding counties. I know that a janitorial job at the Flats paid more than a teacher in Jefferson County with 20 years of experience and a Master’s Degree or Arvada Police personnel. And I know that Churches found swarms of members if they promoted the doctrine that Jesus would approve, even to portraying him as a medieval knight on a white horse. So the perfect storm: you get to earn more dollars than the common man or even the soldier, feel patriotic by defending your country out of uniform, and doing God’s work.

Now, will the State Historian do some similar effort with the entire structure of the Colorado Economy — starting with the robbery of land from its earlier inhabitants properly demonized as savages — the violence used for that effort Sand Creek is presented at the Museum but not within the context of this conquest. How about the federal dollars that produced the interstate highway system funded as a measure to make the military more mobil throughout the country. Would Vail and Aspen have been able to develop so quickly and profitably without that easy transportation from the front range? How about the impact of federal military spending on the growth of Colorado Springs — Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, Schriver AFB. What about the federal spending impact on Denver/Aurora of the Rocky Mountain arsenal, Buckley Field, the VA Hospital, Lowry. etc.

Without some of this economic based history, the myth of the independent well meaning John Wayne who has a right to “Freedom” to do what he wants and all the wealth he has “earned” all by himself free from government interference, will continue to blind us to ourselves. And this self made man image will drive his obscene growling gas hog pickup on government produced roads, use electricity in his mountain retreat that was made possible by the New Deal REA program, fill his gas tank with fuel produced and delivered via a system insured by the US Military, heat and light his home with coal’s high carbon footprint and transported by a rail system built with government subsidy and tote his 2nd Amendment right that was produced by an arms industry that is subsidized by US military contracts and arms transfers to all sorts of dictators and revolutionaries against them. He and now lots of “shes” will vote Republican or Libertarian out of their commitment to “conservative values” somehow ignoring the twisted version of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ that he now claims are the basis of those values.


Here is a Link worth a read! This Is a Pivotal Moment for the US Nuclear Arsenal – Defense One14 Oct
Here described is proof that the Republican Party is chief roadblock to any moves toward nuclear disarmament and compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deals that had to be made to get ratification of the New Start Treaty were to fund “modernization” of the nuclear weapons complex–even when the Pentagon says it has less and less interest in more nuclear weapons. The Republican Party has come a long way from when their President warned of the Military Industrial Complex. It is now the chief proponent of that complex.


Bet You Didn’t Know Right Here in Colorado STILL09 Oct

Are 49 Nuclear Missiles on Launch on Warning alert
Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platt at Witness Prayer Service n-8

On Saturday, October 4, Members of The Colorado Coalition, Pikes Peak Justice and Peace, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice, Pax Christi Colorado, and Citizens for Peace in Space bore witness at Missile Silo N-8 just east of New Raymer Colorado. Ardeth Platt and Carol Gilbert, the two remaining living Catholic Religious who entered the site more than a decade ago in non-violent protest, and spent 3-4 years in prison after prosecution by now Attorney General of Colorado John Suthers, were present. Their third partner, Jackie Hudson, died in prison in continuing protest against our crime against humanity. We sang their song, “Sacred the land, sacred the water, sacred the sky, holy and true. Sacred all life, sacred each other; all reflect God who is good.”

They reminded us that the continuing presence these nuclear warheads, ready to go, is a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and represent unwillingness of the United States to keep its treaty commitment to diligently work with other nuclear armed powers to eliminate their arsenals. It was after all the bogus “threat” of Iraqi nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, (which would have been a violation of that same NPT treaty), which was used to justify the preemptive war with Iraq and the destruction of its political and social systems, devastating the country for a second time and displacing millions. They reminded us that the US Congress/President has actually committed billions of dollars (probably $30B) to rebuild US facilities that research, design and produce nuclear warheads, we are moving in the opposite direction. So much for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Ardeth and Carol also joined Citizens for Peace in Space on October 7th at Peterson Air Force Base, a center of the US Space Command, protesting its role in the continued use of Space to target nuclear weapons, and to carry them on ISBMs and SBBMs to world wide targets. The vision 2020 of the Space Command is to “dominate the military aspects of space to protect American interests and investments world wide.” This is in violation of the UN Treaty for the Peaceful Uses of Space.

Ardeth and Jackie spent time in Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs urging Colorado citizens to engage in the build up to the PrepCon events preceding the UN NPT renewal, the first week in May 2015 in New York at the UN, combined with further actions to move along world wide nuclear disarmament and to call the world to spending its efforts not in building weapons of destruction but in structural changes that will address Climate Change.

US Officers survey the annihilation of Hiroshima City 1945

US Officers survey the annihilation of Hiroshima City 1945

Nagasaki Archive2IMG_20120803_121412 (1) 2011 Picture of N-8 Nuclear Missile Silo in NE Colorado

The Colorado Coalition has called and continues to call on the Colorado State Legislature to pass a resolution calling for the removal of these 49 missiles and to urge immediate effective efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons everywhere. Its proposed text is available elsewhere on this web site.

“Viewed from a legal, political, security and most of all, moral perspective, there is no justification today for the continued maintenance of nuclear weapons…With development needs across the globe far outpacing the resources being devoted to address them, the thought of pouring hundreds of billions of additional dollars into the world’s nuclear arsenals is nothing short of sinful. It is the grossest misplacement of priorities and truly constitutes the very “theft from the poor” which the Second Vatican Council condemned so long ago.”

–Archbishop Chullikatt, Vatican Nuncio to the united Nations.


Secrecy06 Oct

The fact that the United States Government is able to keep information secret in the name of National Security is destructive of Democracy. Below is one example of information unavailable in full to the American Public for over 50 years. It also lists a number of strands of information which are critical to the public that are in secrecy status, most of which have nothing to do with national defense in the military sense but contain critical government framing of scientific issues such as fracking.

From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 66
October 6, 2014

Secrecy News Blog:



The transcript of the momentous 1954 Atomic Energy Commission hearing that led the AEC to revoke the security clearance of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who had led the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb, has now been declassified in full by the Department of Energy.

“The Department of Energy has re-reviewed the original transcript and is making available to the public, for the first time, the full text of the transcript in its original form,” according to a notice posted on Friday.

The Oppenheimer hearing was a watershed event that signaled a crisis in the nuclear weapons bureaucracy and a fracturing of the early post-war national security consensus. Asked for his opinion of the proceedings at the time, Oppenheimer told an Associated Press reporter (cited by Philip Stern) that “People will study the record of this case and reach their own conclusions. I think there is something to be learned from it.”

And so there is. But what?

“No document better explains the America of the cold war — its fears and resentments, its anxieties and dilemmas,” according to Richard Polenberg, who produced an abridged edition of the hearing transcript in 2002 based on the redacted original. “The Oppenheimer hearing also serves as a reminder of the fragility of individual rights and of how easily they may be lost.”

It further represented a breakdown in relations between scientists and the U.S. government and within the scientific community itself.

“The Oppenheimer hearing claims our attention not only because it was unjust but because it undermined respect for independent scientific thinking at a time when such thinking was desperately needed,” wrote historian Priscilla J. McMillan.

First published in redacted form by the Government Printing Office in 1954, the Oppenheimer hearing became a GPO best-seller and went on to inform countless historical studies.

The transcript has attracted intense scholarly attention even to some of its finer details. At one point (Volume II, p. 281), for example, Oppenheimer is quoted as saying “I think you can’t make an anomalous rise twice.” What he actually said, according to author Philip M. Stern, was “I think you can’t make an omelet rise twice.”

The Department of Energy has previously declassified some portions of the Oppenheimer transcript in response to FOIA requests. But this is said to be the first release of the entire unredacted text. It is part of a continuing series of DOE declassifications of historical records of documents of particular historic value and public interest.

The newly declassified portions are helpfully consolidated and cross-referenced in a separate volume entitled “Record of Deletions.”

At first glance, it is not clear that the new disclosures will substantially revise or add to previous understandings of the Oppenheimer hearing. But their release does finally remove a blemish of secrecy from this historic case.


Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) are generally known for performing investigations of executive branch agencies in order to combat waste, fraud and abuse. But many IGs also have a law enforcement function, and many of their employees are armed.

The most recent data available (from 2008) indicate that 33 Offices of Inspector General had a total of 3,501 agents who were authorized to carry firearms, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service. Intelligence community IGs do not appear to be among them.

Why does the US Department of Agriculture IG, for example, need staff with guns?

Agriculture IG employees regularly conduct undercover operations, according to information that USDA provided to CRS. “The types of investigations conducted by OIG special agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties.” See Offices of Inspector General and Law Enforcement Authority: In Brief, September 8, 2014.

Other new and updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty: Background and Current Developments, updated September 29, 2014

Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response, CRS Insights, October 1, 2014

Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Progress and Continuing Challenges, CRS Insights, October 1, 2014

Israel’s Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction, CRS Insights, September 30, 2014

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, updated October 1, 2014

India-U.S. Economic Relations: In Brief, September 26, 2014

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations, updated October 2, 2014

Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113th Congress, September 30, 2014

Reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Issues for Consideration, updated September 30, 2014

Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments, September 26, 2014

Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues, updated September 26, 2014

Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources, updated September 25, 2014

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
voice: (202)454-4691
twitter: @saftergood


Funny, or Not so Funny: What The Colorado Coalition is about03 Oct

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