Resources

DEAD28 Apr

DEAD — a grave threat to global health
APRIL 7, 2014

An uncommon but severe disorder that has been present for over half a century but is not yet officially classified is an under-recognised threat to global health. It relates to the most powerful weapons ever created, nuclear weapons, which have the potential to indiscriminately destroy most forms of life on earth. I propose the term Destruction of Everything Addiction Disorder (DEAD) to describe the condition of those who refuse to give up their reliance on these weapons despite overwhelming evidence of the harm they cause.

The importance of recognising this condition lies not so much in treatment for the affected individuals, but in the protection of global health from their actions.

The number of individual cases of DEAD globally is not known, as sufferers almost universally deny their condition and refuse any interventions. Despite the extreme risk this condition poses for others, there is no mandatory reporting of individual cases. However it is well established that the condition occurs in clusters, and these clusters are found in the USA (where the condition was first recognised), Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. In addition, there was a small cluster in South Africa during the 1970s, but this represented the only recorded instance thus far of resolution of the condition.

Read More http://www.peaceandhealthblog.com/2014/04/07/grave-threat>

News

Rocky Flats Redux25 Apr

Arvada_Center

ROCKY FLATS UPDATE
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What’s Happening at Rocky Flats Today?

For nearly 40 years the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver produced plutonium pits for nuclear weapons, with extensive toxic and radioactive contamination on- and off-site.

Colorado continues to struggle with the long-term environmental and historical legacy of Rocky Flats. Upcoming events include an unprecedented symposium at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities June 6-8, community organization meetings, meetings for citizens concerned about a new dog park on contaminated land, and more. Find out what you need to know.
UPCOMING EVENTS ABOUT ROCKY FLATS

On June 6, 7, and 8, 2014 the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities will host Rocky Flats Then and Now, a multifaceted art and humanities event commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the FBI raid on Rocky Flats. It will feature an art and history exhibit (including photographs and artifacts from the Rocky Flats plant), information booths, and panel discussions focusing on the raid and its consequences, including a grand jury investigation and subsequent disputed settlement of charges involving environmental crimes. Speakers will include former Colorado Governor Roy Romer, former U.S. Representative David Skaggs, former FBI agent Jon Lipsky (who led the raid on Rocky Flats), Kristen Iversen, Len Ackland, and plant workers, neighbors, activists, and experts.

Live in the Area? Concerned About Rocky Flats? Don’t Miss This Important Meeting!
Informational meeting for local residents and citizens concerned about contamination, health effects, and other issues related to Rocky Flats. Friday, June 6th, 3:30-4:30 PM, Standley Lake Library. Kristen Iversen and others will speak at this event. For more information contact Alesya at alesya.casse@gmail.com

Concerned About the Health of Your Animals or Pets?
Some veterinarians report higher-than-average rates of cancer in dogs and studies have found levels of contamination in animals on and near the Rocky Flats site. The Denver Post recently featured an article “Plutonium in the Westminster Dog Park.” The next meeting for people concerned about the dog park is Saturday, April 26th at1 pm at the Standley Lake Library. For more information contact Alesya at alesya.casse@gmail.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ROCKY FLATS, SEE:

“Practices of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant” by nuclear physicist Tom Cochran, an expert in the process of manufacturing nuclear weapons. Cochran was Director of the Nuclear Program at the National Resources Defense Council and served on boards for the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He was asked to analyze some of the practices at Rocky Flats for the class-action lawsuit, Merilyn Cook et al vs. Rockwell International Corporation and the Dow Chemical Company. (1996). There are three parts, 30 minutes total.

“Buried History: What Lies Beneath the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge” produced by High Country News. This brief video examines what remains at the Rocky Flats site.

Book trailer for Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats is a good brief summary of the plant’s history and Kristen’s own family story.

Kristen’s facebook author page contains maps, pictures, stories, and other information about Rocky Flats,with regular updates.

See the Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship website for more information about Rocky Flats.

BOOK NEWS!

Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats has just been published in China and is forthcoming in Japan. Kristen Iversen continues to speak around the country and abroad at universities, schools, libraries, museums, and to various environmental and history groups about Rocky Flats. Visit her website for a list of upcoming events or to make a request.

The Rocky Flats Story Project is a new multimedia project chronicling the stories of people who live or lived near the plant, grew up in the area, or worked at Rocky Flats. For more information, or to contribute your story to this important project, please email Kristen at Kristen@kristeniversen.com.

Copyright © 2014 Kristen Iversen, author, All rights reserved.

Resources

Keeping Our Side of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Bargain24 Apr

APRIL 23, 2014
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18
An Open Letter to President Obama
Keeping Our Side of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Bargain
by CounterPunch Newswire
April 16, 2014

Dear President Obama,

During the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on March 25, 2014, you cited a number of concrete measures to secure highly-enriched uranium and plutonium and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime that have been implemented as a result of the three Nuclear Security Summits, concluding: “So what’s been valuable about this summit is that it has not just been talk, it’s been action.”

Would that you would apply the same standard to nuclear disarmament! On April 5, 2009 in Prague, you gave millions of people around the world new hope when you declared: “So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Bolstered by that hope, over the past three years, there has been a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives by governments not possessing nuclear weapons, both within and outside the United Nations. Yet the United States has been notably “missing in action” at best, and dismissive or obstructive at worst. This conflict may come to a head at the 2015 Review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

We write now, on the eve of the third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting for the 2015 Review Conference of the NPT, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York April 28 – May 9, 2014, to underscore our plea that your administration shed its negative attitude and participate constructively in deliberations and negotiations regarding the creation of a multilateral process to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. This will require reversal of the dismal U.S. record.

The 2010 NPT Review Conference unanimously agreed to hold a conference in 2012, to be attended by all states in the region, on a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear and other Weapons of Mass Destruction. The U.S. was a designated convener, and a date was set for December 2012 in Helsinki. The Finnish ambassador worked feverishly, meeting individually with all of the countries in the region to facilitate the conference. Suddenly, on November 23, 2012, the U.S. State Department announced that the Helsinki conference was postponed indefinitely.

In March 2013, Norway hosted an intergovernmental conference in Oslo on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, with 127 governments in attendance. Mexico hosted a follow-on conference in Nayarit, Mexico in February 2014, with 146 governments present. The U.S. boycotted Oslo and Nayarit. Austria has announced that it will host a third conference, in Vienna, late this year.

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established an “Open-Ended” working group open to all member states “to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons,” and scheduled for September 26, 2013, the first-ever High-Level meeting of the UNGA devoted to nuclear disarmament. The U.S. voted against both resolutions and refused to participate in the Open-Ended working group, declaring in advance that it would disregard any outcomes.

The U.S. did send a representative to the UN “High-Level” meeting, but it was the Deputy Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, rather than the President, Vice-President or Secretary of State. Worse, the U.S. joined with France and the U.K. in a profoundly negative statement, delivered by a junior British diplomat: “While we are encouraged by the increased energy and enthusiasm around the nuclear disarmament debate, we regret that this energy is being directed toward initiatives such as this High-Level Meeting, the humanitarian consequences campaign, the Open-Ended Working Group and the push for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.”

In contrast, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, the new President of Iran, used the occasion of the High-Level Meeting to roll out a disarmament “roadmap” on behalf of the 120 member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The roadmap calls for: “early commencement of negotiations, in the Conference on Disarmament, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons for the prohibition of their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and for their destruction; designation of 26 September every year as an international day to renew our resolve to completely eliminate nuclear weapons;” and “convening a High-level International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in five years to review progress in this regard.” The NAM roadmap was subsequently adopted by the UNGA with 129 votes in favor. The U.S voted no.

Meanwhile, your Administration’s FY 2015 budget request seeks a 7% increase for nuclear weapons research and production programs under the Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). NNSA’s “Total Weapons Activities” are slated to rise to $8.2 billion in FY 2015 and to $9.7 billion by 2019, 24% above fiscal year 2014. Your Administration is also proposing a $56 billion Opportunity Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI) to be funded through tax changes and spending reforms. OGSI is to be split evenly between defense and non-defense spending, out of which $504 million will go to NNSA nuclear weapons programs “to accelerate modernization and maintenance of nuclear facilities.” With that, your FY 2015 budget request for maintenance and modernization of nuclear bombs and warheads in constant dollars exceeds the amount spent in 1985 for comparable work at the height of President Reagan’s surge in nuclear weapons spending, which was also the highest point of Cold War spending.

We are particularly alarmed that your FY 2015 budget request includes $634 million (up 20%) for the B61 Life Extension Program, which, in contravention of your 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, as confirmed by former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, will have improved military capabilities to attack targets with greater accuracy and less radioactive fallout.[1]

This enormous commitment to modernizing nuclear bombs and warheads and the laboratories and factories to support those activities does not include even larger amounts of funding for planned replacements of delivery systems – the bombers, missiles and submarines that form the strategic triad, which are funded through the Department of Defense. In total, according to the General Accounting Office, the U.S. will spend more than $700 billion over the next 30 years to maintain and modernize nuclear weapons systems. The James Martin Center places the number at an astounding one trillion dollars. This money is desperately needed to address basic human needs – housing, food security, education, healthcare, public safety, education and environmental protection – here and abroad.

The Good Faith Challenge

This our third letter to you calling on the U.S. government to participate constructively and in good faith in all international disarmament forums. On June 6, 2013, we wrote: “The Nuclear Security Summit process you initiated has been a success. However, securing nuclear materials, while significant, falls well short of what civil society expected following your Prague speech.”[2] In that letter, we urged you to you speak at the September 26, 2013 High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations; to endorse UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five-Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament; to announce your convening of a series of Nuclear Disarmament Summits; to support extending the General Assembly’s Open-Ended Working Group to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons; and to announce that the U.S. would participate in the follow-on conference on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons in Mexico in early 2014.

In our second letter, dated January 29, 2014, we urged that you direct the State Department to send a delegation to the Mexico conference and to participate constructively; and that your administration shed its negative attitude and participate constructively in deliberations and negotiations regarding the creation of a multilateral process to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. And we called on the United States to engage in good faith in efforts to make the Conference on Disarmament productive in pursuing the objective for which it was established more than three decades ago: complete nuclear disarmament; and to work hard to convene soon the conference on a zone free of WMD in the Middle East promised by the 2010 NPT Review Conference.[3]

Since our last letter, the U.S. – Russian relationship has deteriorated precipitously, with the standoff over the Crimea opening the real possibility of a new era of confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. The current crisis will further complicate prospects for future arms reduction negotiations with Russia, already severely stressed by more than two decades of post-Cold War NATO expansion, deployment of U.S. missile defenses, U.S. nuclear weapons modernization and pursuit of prompt conventional global strike capability.

Keeping Our Side of the NPT Bargain

Article VI of the NPT, which entered into force in 1970, and is the supreme law of the land pursuant to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

In 1996, the International Court of Justice, the judicial branch of the United Nations and the highest and most authoritative court in the world on questions of international law, unanimously concluded: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

Forty-four years after the NPT entered into force, more than 17,000 nuclear weapons, most held by the U.S. and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity. The International Red Cross has stated that “incalculable human suffering” will result from any use of nuclear weapons, and that there can be no adequate humanitarian response capacity.[4] Declaring that “our nation’s deep economic crisis can only be addressed by adopting new priorities to create a sustainable economy for the 21st century,” the bi-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors has called on the President and Congress to slash nuclear weapons spending and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.[5]

We reiterate the thrust of the demands set forth in our letters of June 13, 2013 and January 29, 2014, and urge you to look to them for guidance in U.S. conduct at the 2014 NPT PrepCom. We stress the urgent need to press the “reset” button with Russia again. Important measures in this regard are an end to NATO expansion and a halt to anti-missile system deployments in Europe.

We urge you to work hard to fully implement all commitments you made in the Nuclear Disarmament action plan agreed by the 2010 NPT Review Conference and to convene the promised conference on a zone free of WMD in the Middle East at the earliest possible date.

We urge you again to take this opportunity to endorse UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Five-Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament, to announce your convening of a series of Nuclear Disarmament Summits, and to engage in good faith in efforts to make the Conference on Disarmament productive in pursuing the objective for which it was established more than three decades ago: complete nuclear disarmament.

We call on you to declare that the U.S. will participate constructively and in good faith in the third intergovernmental conference on humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna late this year.

As an immediate signal of good faith, we call on your Administration to halt all programs to modernize nuclear weapons systems, and to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement.

Mr. President: It’s time to move from talk to action on nuclear disarmament. There have never been more opportunities, and the need is as urgent as ever.

We look forward to your positive response.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Cabasso
Executive Director,
Western States Legal Foundation

[contact for this letter: wslf@earthlink.net; (510) 839-5877

655 – 13th Street, Suite 201, Oakland, CA 94612]

Initiating organizations

John Burroughs, Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action

David Krieger, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Joseph Gerson, Disarmament Coordinator, American Friends Service Committee (for identification only)

Alicia Godsberg, Executive Director, Peace Action New York

Endorsing organizations (national):

Robert Gould, MD, President, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Tim Judson, Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Michael Eisenscher, National Coordinator, U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

Michael McPhearson, Interim Executive Director, Veterans for Peace

David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org

Jill Stein, President, Green Shadow Cabinet

Terry K. Rockefeller, National Co-Convener, United for Peace and Justice

Hendrik Voss, National Organizer, School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch)

Alfred L. Marder, President, US Peace Council

Robert Hanson, Treasurer, Democratic World Federalists

Alli McCracken, National Coordinator, CODEPINK

Margaret Flowers, MD and Kevin Zeese, JD, Popular Resistance

Endorsing organizations (by state):

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director, Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) Livermore, California

Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., Director, Office of the Americas, California

Linda Seeley, Spokesperson, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Californi

Susan Lamont, Center Coordinator, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, California

Chizu Hamada, No Nukes Action, California

Lois Salo, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Peninsula Branch, California

Rev. Marilyn Chilcote, Beacon Presbyterian Fellowship, Oakland, California

Margli Auclair, Executive Director, Mount Diablo Pleace and Justice Center. California

Roger Eaton, Communications Chair, United Nations Association-USA, San Francisco Chapter, California

Dr. Susan Zipp, Vice President, Association of World Citizens, San Francisco, California

Michael Nagler, President, Metta Center for Nonviolence, California (for identification only)

Rev. Marilyn Chilcote McKenzie, Parish Associate, St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California (for identification only)

James E. Vann, Oakland Tenants Union, California (for identification only)

Vic and Barby Ulmer, Our Developing World, California (for identification only)

Judith Mohling, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Colorado

Bob Kinsey, Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Medard Gabel, Executive Director, Pacem in Terris, Delaware

Roger Mills, Coordinator, Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition, Henry County Chapter

Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine

Lisa Savage, CODEPINK, Maine

Natasha Mayers, Whitefield, Maine Union of Maine Visual Artists

Shirley “Lee” Davis, GlobalSolutions.org, Maine Chapter

Lynn Harwood, the Greens of Anson, Maine

Dagmar Fabian, Crabshell Alliance, Maryland

Judi Poulson, Chair, Fairmont Peace Group, Minnesota

Marcus Page-Collonge, Nevada Desert Experience, Nevada

Gregor Gable, Shundahai Network, Nevada

Jay Coghlan, Executive Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Joni Arends, Executive Director, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, New Mexico

Lucy Law Webster, Executive Director, The CENTER FOR WAR/PEACE STUDIES, New York

Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York

Sheila Croke, Pax Christi Long Island, chapter of the international Catholic peace movement, New York

Richard Greve, Co Chair, Staten Island Peace Action, New York

Rosemarie Pace, Director, Pax Christi Metro New York

Carol De Angelo, Director of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, Sisters of Charity of New York (for identification only)

Gerson Lesser, M.D., Clinical Professor, New York University School of Medicine (for identification only)

Ellen Thomas, Proposition One Campaign, North Carolina

Vina Colley, Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security, Ohio

Harvey Wasserman, Solartopia, Ohio

Ray Jubitz, Jubitz Family Foundation, Oregon
Cletus Stein, convenor, The Peace Farm, Texas

Steven G. Gilbert, PhD, DABT, INND (Institute of Neurotoxicology & Neurological Disorders), Washington

Allen Johnson, Coordinator, Christians For The Mountains, West Virginia

cc:

John Kerry, Secretary of State

Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

Thomas M. Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and

Nonproliferation

Susan Rice, National Security Advisor

Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Christopher Buck, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Conference on Disarmament

Walter S. Reid, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Notes
[1] http://blogs.fas.org/security/2014/01/b61capability/

[2] http://www.lcnp.org/files/060613_Obama.docx

[3] http://www.lcnp.org/pubs/Letter-to-Obama-Mexico-Conference-on-IHL.pdf

[4] http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/resolution/council-delegates-resolution-1-2011.htm

[5] http://www.usmayors.org/resolutions/81st_Conference/international02.asp

Resources

ICBM Caucus10 Apr

The Pentagon appears to have acceded to the wishes of lawmakers in retaining large numbers of land-based missiles, says one nuclear expert.

In its Tuesday announcement on the implementation of nuclear delivery vehicle reductions under the New START accord with Russia, the Defense Department said it would keep its present arsenal of 454 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles, though 54 of the weapons would be removed from their silos and placed in reserve. Those emptied underground launch facilities are to be kept in “warm” status, permitting their potential usage in the future.

The Pentagon’s decision follows a concerted lobbying push to limit cuts to the Minuteman arsenal by a coalition of lawmakers from Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming — the three states that host the missile silos, the Associated Press reported.

“This decision appears to have more to do with the [Obama] administration surrendering to theICBM caucus [in Congress] than with strategic considerations about national security,” wrote Federation of American Scientists nuclear forces analyst Hans Kristensen in an email to the news agency.

The New START pact requires the United States by 2018 to reduce the total number of deployed heavy bombers as well as strategic land- and sea-based ballistic missiles to 700 with an additional 100 systems allowed in reserve.

By not making any cuts to its roughly 450 ICBM silos, the Pentagon has decided to make much deeper cuts to its stockpile of submarine-launched ballistic missiles — going down to a total of 280 SLBMs from the present 336. While the sea-based fleet is more expensive to maintain than the other two legs of the nuclear triad, the submarines are also seen as the most strategically valuable because they would be harder to eliminate in a potential first-strike, according to AP.

Never before when the military has made cuts to its silo-based missiles have their launch facilities been maintained in standby status, said a high-ranking Pentagon official to journalists.

“The Obama administration’s decision to retain the 50 silos ‘reduced’ under the New START treaty instead of destroying them is a disappointing new development that threatens to weaken New START treaty implementation and the administration’s arms reduction profile,” wrote Kristensen in a Thursday blog post.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana praised the Pentagon’s decision in a flurry of press releases.

Resources

Obama Administration Decision Weakens New START Implementation09 Apr

April 9, 2014

Obama Administration Decision Weakens New START Implementation

At the same time the Air Force is destroying 50 silos at Malmstrom AFB
(above) and another 50 at F.E Warren AFB emptied by the Bush
administration, the Obama administration has decided to retain 50 silos
scheduled to be emptied under the New START treaty.

By Hans M. Kristensen

After four years of internal deliberations, the U.S. Air Force has
decidedto
empty 50 Minuteman III ICBMs from 50 of the nation’s 450 ICBM silos.
Instead of destroying the empty silos, however, they will be kept “warm” to
allow reloading the missiles in the future if necessary.

The decision to retain the silos rather than destroy them is in sharp
contrast to the destruction of 100 empty silos currently
underway at
Malmstrom AFB and F.E. Warren AFB. Those silos were emptied of Minuteman
and MX ICBMs in 2005-2008 by the Bush administration and are scheduled to
be destroyed by 2016.

*A New Development*

The Obama administration’s decision to retain the silos 50 silos “reduced”
under the New START treaty instead of destroying them is a disappointing
new development that threatens to weaken New START treaty implementation
and the administration’s arms reduction profile. And it appears to be a new
development.

A chart in a DOD’s unclassified report to Congress shows that the plan to
retain the 50 non-operational ICBM launchers is different than the treaty
implementation efforts so far, which have been designed to “eliminate”
non-operational launchers.
[image: newstartplan]

The plan to retain non-deployed ICBM launchers is different than other
aspects of the U.S. New START implementation plan

Indeed, a senior defense official told the *Associated
Press*that
the Pentagon had never before structured its ICBM force with a
substantial number of missiles in standby status.

*Reducing Force Structure Flexibility*

The decision to retain the 50 empty silos is also puzzling because it
reduces U.S. flexibility to maintain the remaining nuclear forces under the
New START limit. The treaty stipulates that the United States and Russia
each can only have 700 deployed launchers and 100 non-deployed launchers.
But the 50 empty silos will count against the total limit, essentially
eating up half of the 100 non-deployed launcher limit and reducing the
number of spaces available for missiles and bombers in overhaul.

Resources

SANE Congressmen propose change to Budget for Nuclear Weapons!07 Apr

Five years ago this week, President Obama announced our nation’s commitment to working toward a world without nuclear weapons. He said,

So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. …. It will take patience and persistence. …We have to insist, “Yes, we can.”

Military experts agree that the bloated U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal is an increasing burden on our nation’s resources. In the next decade, the United States will spend over $550 billion dollars on sustaining, upgrading, and cleaning up the environmental impact from these weapons, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

For economic and national security reasons, the United States needs a different approach.

A concrete next-step is here:

· Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have introduced S. 2070, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act.

· In the House, Congressman Blumenauer has introduced a companion bill: H.R.4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN) Act.

These bills would save U.S. taxpayers about $100 billion over ten years by scaling down, delaying, or canceling a variety of nuclear weapons programs and facilities.

Even a fraction of $100 billion would go a long way toward investing in human security needs: public education, disaster relief, unemployment benefits, safer roads and bridges, and the list goes on.

The SANE and REIN-IN Acts put us one step closer to fulfilling the promise we made five years ago by putting the money where it can do the most good. This step forward prioritizes ‘we, the people’ by investing in our future instead of our capacity for destruction.

Resources

Castle Bravo: Sixty Years of Nuclear Pain01 Mar

Mushroom Cloud of Operation Castle-Bravoby David Krieger
February 27, 2014 ShareThis

As the trustee of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the United States had an obligation to protect the health and welfare of the Marshallese Islanders. Instead, the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958. These 67 nuclear tests had an explosive power equivalent to 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. In short, the U.S. used these islands shamefully, and the Marshallese people continue to suffer today as a result.

Castle Bravo testMarch 1, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Castle Bravo nuclear test, the largest and most devastating nuclear test ever conducted by the U.S. At 15-megatons, this single blast at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Because the Castle Bravo test was done near ground level, the radiation fallout was far greater than that at either Hiroshima or Nagasaki, where the bombs were exploded well above ground level.

According to a report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in September 2012 by Special Rapporteur Calin Georgescu, “Radiation from the testing resulted in fatalities and in acute and long-term health complications. The effects of radiation have been exacerbated by near irreversible environmental contamination, leading to loss of livelihoods and lands. Moreover, many people continue to experience indefinite displacement.”

The Castle Bravo nuclear test rained down radiation like soft snow on the people of the Marshalls, who were located on islands outside the designated danger zone. It was several days before the U.S. evacuated these people away from the radioactive danger, resulting in 60 years of pain, suffering and stillbirths.

Radiation from the blast traveled over 100 miles to irradiate the Japanese fishing boat, Lucky Dragon. The boat’s chief radio operator, Aikichi Kuboyama, died less than six months later of radiation poisoning. He is thought to be the first Japanese victim of a hydrogen bomb. Kuboyama’s last words were, “I pray that I am the last victim of an atomic or hydrogen bomb.” This was not to be.

March 1st will be solemnly remembered this 60th anniversary year in Asia and the Pacific. In the Marshall Islands, flags will be flown at half-mast during the Nuclear Memorial and Survivors Remembrance Day.

In the U.S., flags will not fly at half-mast. Most people will go about their business with little awareness of the tragedy we left in the wake of our nuclear testing, either in the Pacific or on the lands of indigenous peoples in Nevada. Again, on this 60th anniversary, there will be no apology. Nor will there be adequate compensation provided to the people of the Marshall Islands for the pain and injury they have suffered from U.S. nuclear testing.

The anniversary of Castle Bravo is an acute reminder that nuclear weapons leave a legacy of horror. We must wage all-out peace until we reach Nuclear Zero. For the sake of the seven billion of us who share this Earth and for the people of the future, we must strive to achieve Nuclear Zero, the only number that makes sense. Nukes are nuts.

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Resources

Precious Memory28 Feb

Richard W. Boone, long a strong supporter of the Military Production Network and the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, among other causes, through the Tides Foundation Project for Participatory Democracy and, before that, the Field Foundation has crossed over to the “cloud of witnesses”.

Dick played a crucial role in enhancing the legitimacy of MPN/ANA through his project’s financial support of the network, his sponsorship of the Facing Reality briefing book series, and his outreach to other funders.

Dick Boone deserves to be recognized as a movement hero. Definitely a life well lived!

Resources

The Final Shaft27 Feb

Peace Train for February 28, 2014
By JUDITH MOHLING

“WIPP Is the Final Shaft,” has been scrawled on an adobe wall in Santa Fe, indicating the writer’s opposition to WIPP, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation’s only underground nuclear waste storage site. According to the New York Times, the plant has been carved into salt caves near Carlsbad, New Mexico. What kind of waste? Plutonium laden gloves, tools, all the paraphernalia that is used to build the plutonium components for nuclear bombs. The leak began on February 14.

“There’s been radioactivity from nuclear waste released on the surface into the environment,” said Don Hancock, Director of the Nuclear Waste Program at the Southwest Research and Information Center, in an interview with Common Dreams. “This was never supposed to happen. That’s a very serious thing. We don’t know yet what caused this release, or how much has been released.”

According to Scott Kovac, Operations and Research Director for Nuclear Watch New Mexico, “At WIPP, there are 4 ways for air to get to the surface – the Exhaust Shaft, the Salt Shaft, the Air Intake Shaft, and the Waste Handling Shaft. When radioactive contamination is detected, airflow is directed to the Exhaust Shaft as its filter is put into place. This shaft has the only filter and monitors on any of the shafts. WIPP officials claim that it was a monitor in Panel 7 that detected radiation and set into action the sending of all the air to the Exhaust Shaft. The Panel 7 monitor is around 2000 feet from the shafts.”

On Wednesday, February 26, tests for 13 workers at the plant showed they had received radioactive contamination. “It is premature to speculate on the health effects of these preliminary results or any treatment that may be needed,” Joe Franco, manager of the US Energy Department field office that oversees the plant, said in a statement.

As the nuclear power industry searches for a repository for used fuel rods from nuclear power plants, WIPP has recently been considered as a possibility even though this has never been its mission. The Department of Energy pushes to create more nuclear components for modifying existing bombs. The National Journal reports that 66,500 nuclear warheads have been produced in the US since 1945. 59,00 of them have been dissembled. That’s a lot of plutonium. A lot of possible deaths.

Is this, the final shaft? Help us to push back.

Resources

Be a Radiation Monitor07 Feb

Peace Train for February 7, 2014

By JUDITH MOHLING

Over the world there are people resisting corporate control. Take Boulder’s plans to municipalize its electric utility as an example. Think of Community Supported Agriculture, municipally owned water utilities, and people-owned radio, like KGNU.

Then, make a mental leap to the idea that individuals across the world can equip themselves with personal geiger counters to track nuclear radiation.

A not for profit company, Safecast, has been building a public radiation sensor network “comprised of sensors actively being deployed around Japan,” to map nuclear radiation from the Fukushima disaster. The idea that freely available radiation data needs to be available to the public was the impetus for developing the company.

Awareness that there is a need for more environmental-radiation data on a global level, has spread the concept across the world. Individuals may buy a geiger counter “kit” from the company, assemble it and along with a smartphone, it may be mounted

on car windows and driven through suspected areas of nuclear radiation, around Rocky Flats, for example, to measure and map possible radiation.

According to “Full Body Burden, Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats,” by Kristen Iverson, more than 70,000 plutonium “triggers” for nuclear bombs were produced at Rocky Flats from 1952 to 1989. If a pit were fractured into breathable particles, there would be enough plutonium to kill every person on earth.

Iverson has pointed out that plutonium contamination still exists on and around Rocky Flats. The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Nuclear Guardianship project intends to participate in measuring amounts of nuclear radiation near Rocky Flats, especially since the recent floods sent sheets of water spreading off the site, and to this end, has ordered a geiger counter kit from Safecast.

Activists and others are concerned about the possibility of the Jefferson Parkway being built and the residual plutonium dust being released as machines bite into the earth along the eastern edge of Rocky Flats.

According to Iverson and others, plutonium is dangerous if it is inhaled or enters the body through an open wound or by swallowing it. Kaiser-Hill LLC, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment all say that the site is clean enough, but onsite levels of contamination remain controversial, and the wind blows mightily across the Flats.

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