Cut the Nuclear Pork from the Stimulus Bill

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Some Senators have stealthily stuffed $1 billion for nuclear weapons into the recovery bill. The only thing this will stimulate is an arms race. It must go.

The Senate bill now contains language authorizing $1 billion “for weapons activities” at the sprawling nuclear weapons complex of laboratories and factories run by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including new construction, new projects and new computers. The House bill does not contain this funding, for good reason.

Military spending is notoriously poor at stimulating the economy. Studies show that investing in mass transit, education or state and local government projects generate far more economic activity than money spent on weapons. There are, in addition, three other major problems with using this emergency legislation for non-urgent and unnecessary nuclear weapons purposes.

Moscow denies Pentagon claims of ‘stolen’ Russian nuclear weapons

Moscow denies Pentagon claims of ‘stolen’ Russian nuclear weapons

14:37 | 31/ 10/ 2008

MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry denied on Friday claims by the U.S. defense secretary that large amounts of Russian nuclear weapons had been stolen or misplaced.

Speaking in Washington on Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Robert Gates expressed concern that some Russian nuclear weapons from the former Soviet arsenal may not be fully accounted for.

“I have fairly high confidence that no strategic or modern tactical nuclear weapons have leaked beyond Russian borders,” Gates said.

“What worries me are the tens of thousands of old nuclear mines, nuclear artillery shells and so on, because the reality is the Russians themselves probably don’t have any idea how many of those they have or, potentially, where they are,” he added.

“Such allegations are entirely groundless,” the ministry’s press and information department said in a statement.

“Despite all the difficulties that our country faced in the early 1990s, Russia maintained very high standards of ensuring the safety and physical protection of its nuclear arsenals,” the statement said.

“In this respect, we would like to reiterate that in a joint statement on nuclear security signed by the Russian and U.S. leaders in Bratislava in 2005 both sides acknowledged that the protection of nuclear facilities in both countries meets modern norms and requirements,” it said.

In his remarks, Gates also supported the necessity of new talks with Moscow on further strategic arms reductions, which have been advocated by both current U.S. presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

Negotiated and signed in 1991, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) is scheduled to expire on December 5, 2009. Under that accord, the United States and Russia have significantly reduced their number of nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles.

Many experts believe that if START expires without replacement verification measures, the two countries will be “flying blind” in their nuclear relations.

Nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons

Plans to revamp the nation’s arsenal should be carefully reviewed by Congress

Tue, Oct 28, 2008 (2:05 a.m.)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is airing his concerns about the nation’s nuclear arsenal, joining what has been a growing debate over nuclear weapons.

He is planning to address the issue in a speech today, making a last-minute push to build support for a plan to revitalize the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

The question of whether the nation needs to put more money into this program has been debated in Congress, and the Bush administration has pushed for a revitalized “nuclear weapons complex.”

Gates has been speaking about the issue for some time and today is expected to build on comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other military leaders who have called for a stronger “model of deterrence.”

As part of that effort, the administration has, for the past several years, advanced a plan to consolidate and overhaul its facilities used to make and store nuclear weapons and material. Those plans also include building new warheads to replace the current stock. In a speech last month, Gates mentioned nations developing nuclear weapons and argued that the United States needs to “maintain a credible strategic deterrent.”

Defense and Energy department officials argue that the nation’s nuclear infrastructure has been neglected and point to aging buildings and a brain drain as experienced scientists have retired or gone on to other work.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said some of the facilities are “simply falling down from age” and called the situation an “emergency.”

The Federation of American Scientists, which has opposed the government’s plan, called the concerns “completely overblown” and estimates that the U.S. has more than 4,000 nuclear weapons ready for use and more than 1,000 in reserve.

Although that certainly sounds like a “credible strategic deterrent” to us, this issue is too important to make a rash decision on, particularly in the closing days of a presidential campaign. Congress should investigate the administration’s plan and have a full and vigorous debate about the status and size of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

To the Editor:

Re “New and Unnecessary” (editorial, Oct. 13):

A big decision about nuclear weapons facing the next president will be “to build or not to build,” but there’s more to this story.

The new president will need to decide whether to keep thousands of American nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert, ready to be fired at a moment’s notice, or to eliminate this potentially catastrophic cold war posture.

He must decide whether to retain the option of environmentally devastating nuclear testing, or to encourage the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. He must decide whether to perpetuate the system of nuclear haves and have-nots, or to commence good-faith negotiations to achieve the phased, verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The next president must, for the sake of humanity’s future, make a world free of nuclear weapons an urgent priority and assure the United States’ leadership to realize this goal.

Rick Wayman
Director of Programs
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Santa Barbara, Calif., Oct. 13, 2008

Issues: Nuclear Weapons, Waste & Energy

Issues: Nuclear Weapons, Waste & Energy

The Consequences of Nuclear Conflict between India and Pakistan
NRDC’s nuclear experts think about the unthinkable, using state-of-the-art nuclear war simulation software to assess the crisis in South Asia.

The months-long military standoff between India and Pakistan intensified several weeks ago when suspected Islamic militants killed more than 30 people at an Indian base in the disputed territory of Kashmir. As U.S. diplomatic pressure to avert war intensifies, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is going to India and Pakistan this week to discuss with his South Asian counterparts the results of a classified Pentagon study that concludes that a nuclear war between these countries could result in 12 million deaths.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has conducted its own analysis of the consequences of nuclear war in South Asia. Prior to this most recent crisis we calculated two nuclear scenarios. The first assumes 10 Hiroshima-sized explosions with no fallout; the second assumes 24 nuclear explosions with significant radioactive fallout. Below is a discussion of the two scenarios in detail and an exploration of several additional issues regarding nuclear war in South Asia.
Indian and Pakistani Nuclear Forces

It is difficult to determine the actual size and composition of India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals, but NRDC estimates that both countries have a total of 50 to 75 weapons. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, we believe India has about 30 to 35 nuclear warheads, slightly fewer than Pakistan, which may have as many as 48.

Both countries have fission weapons, similar to the early designs developed by the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. NRDC estimates their explosive yields are 5 to 25 kilotons (1 kiloton is equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT). By comparison, the yield of the weapon the United States exploded over Hiroshima was 15 kilotons, while the bomb exploded over Nagasaki was 21 kilotons. According to a recent NRDC discussion with a senior Pakistani military official, Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons are mounted on missiles. India’s nuclear weapons are reportedly gravity bombs deployed on fighter aircraft.

NRDC’s Nuclear Program initially developed the software used to calculate the consequences of a South Asian nuclear war to examine and analyze the U.S. nuclear war planning process. We combined Department of Energy and Department of Defense computer codes with meteorological and demographic data to model what would happen in various kinds of attacks using different types of weapons. Our June 2001 report, “The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change,” is available at
Scenario: 10 Bombs on 10 South Asian Cities

For our first scenario we used casualty data from the Hiroshima bomb to estimate what would happen if bombs exploded over 10 large South Asian cities: five in India and five in Pakistan. (The results were published in “The Risks and Consequences of Nuclear War in South Asia,” by NRDC physicist Matthew McKinzie and Princeton scientists Zia Mian, A. H. Nayyar and M. V. Ramana, a chapter in Smitu Kothari and Zia Mian (editors), “Out of the Nuclear Shadow” (Dehli: Lokayan and Rainbow Publishers, 2001).)

The 15-kiloton yield of the Hiroshima weapon is approximately the size of the weapons now in the Indian and Pakistani nuclear arsenals. The deaths and severe injuries experienced at Hiroshima were mainly a function of how far people were from ground zero. Other factors included whether people were in buildings or outdoors, the structural characteristics of the buildings themselves, and the age and health of the victims at the time of the attack. The closer to ground zero, the higher fatality rate. Further away there were fewer fatalities and larger numbers of injuries. The table below summarizes the first nuclear war scenario by superimposing the Hiroshima data onto five Indian and five Pakistan cities with densely concentrated populations.

Estimated nuclear casualties for attacks on 10 large Indian and Pakistani cities
City Name Total Population Within 5 Kilometers of Ground Zero Number of Persons Killed Number of Persons Severely Injured Number of Persons Slightly Injured
Bangalore 3,077,937 314,978 175,136 411,336
Bombay 3,143,284 477,713 228,648 476,633
Calcutta 3,520,344 357,202 198,218 466,336
Madras 3,252,628 364,291 196,226 448,948
New Delhi 1,638,744 176,518 94,231 217,853
Total India 14,632,937 1,690,702 892,459 2,021,106
Faisalabad 2,376,478 336,239 174,351 373,967
Islamabad 798,583 154,067 66,744 129,935
Karachi 1,962,458 239,643 126,810 283,290
Lahore 2,682,092 258,139 149,649 354,095
Rawalpindi 1,589,828 183,791 96,846 220,585
Total Pakistan 9,409,439 1,171,879 614,400 1,361,872
India and Pakistan
Total 24,042,376 2,862,581 1,506,859 3,382,978

As in the case of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in this scenario the 10 bombs over Indian and Pakistani cities would be exploded in the air, which maximized blast damage and fire but creates no fallout. On August 6, 1945, the United States exploded an untested uranium-235 gun-assembly bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” 1,900 feet above Hiroshima. The city was home to an estimated 350,000 people; about 140,000 died by the end of the year. Three days later, at 11:02 am, the United States exploded a plutonium implosion bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” 1,650 feet above Nagasaki. About 70,000 of the estimated 270,000 residents died by the end of the year.

Ten Hiroshima-size explosions over 10 major cities in India and Pakistan would kill as many as three to four times more people per bomb than in Japan because of the higher urban densities in Indian and Pakistani cities.
Scenario: 24 Ground Bursts

In January, NRDC calculated the consequences of a much more severe nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan. It first appeared as a sidebar in the January 14, 2002, issue of Newsweek (“A Face-Off with Nuclear Stakes”). This scenario calculated the consequences of 24 nuclear explosions detonated on the ground — unlike the Hiroshima airburst — resulting in significant amounts of lethal radioactive fallout.

Exploding a nuclear bomb above the ground does not produce fallout. For example, the United States detonated “Little Boy” weapon above Hiroshima at an altitude of 1,900 feet. At this height, the radioactive particles produced in the explosion were small and light enough to rise into the upper atmosphere, where they were carried by the prevailing winds. Days to weeks later, after the radioactive bomb debris became less “hot,” these tiny particles descended to earth as a measurable radioactive residue, but not at levels of contamination that would cause immediate radiation sickness or death.

Unfortunately, it is easier to fuse a nuclear weapon to detonate on impact than it is to detonate it in the air — and that means fallout. If the nuclear explosion takes place at or near the surface of the earth, the nuclear fireball would gouge out material and mix it with the radioactive bomb debris, producing heavier radioactive particles. These heavier particles would begin to drift back to earth within minutes or hours after the explosion, producing potentially lethal levels of nuclear fallout out to tens or hundreds of kilometers from the ground zero. The precise levels depend on the explosive yield of the weapon and the prevailing winds.

For the second scenario, we calculated the fallout patterns and casualties for a hypothetical nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan in which each country targeted major cities. We chose target cities throughout Pakistan and in northwestern India to take into account the limited range of Pakistani missiles or aircraft. The target cities, listed in the table below, include the capitals of Islamabad and New Dehli, and large cities, such as Karachi and Bombay. In this scenario, we assumed that a dozen, 25-kiloton warheads would be detonated as ground bursts in Pakistan and another dozen in India, producing substantial fallout.

The devastation that would result from fallout would exceed that of blast and fire. NRDC’s second scenario would produce far more horrific results than the first scenario because there would be more weapons, higher yields, and extensive fallout. In some large cities, we assumed more than one bomb would be used.

15 Indian and Pakistani cities attacked with 24 nuclear warheads
Country City City Population Number of
Attacking Bombs
Pakistan Islamabad (national capital) 100-250 thousand 1
Pakistan Karachi (provincial capital) > 5 million 3
Pakistan Lahore (provincial capital) 1-5 million 2
Pakistan Peshawar (provincial capital) 0.5-1 million 1
Pakistan Quetta (provincial capital) 250-500 thousand 1
Pakistan Faisalabad 1-5 million 2
Pakistan Hyderabad 0.5-1 million 1
Pakistan Rawalpindi 0.5-1 million 1
India New Dehli (national capital) 250-500 thousand 1
India Bombay (provincial capital) > 5 million 3
India Delhi (provincial capital) > 5 million 3
India Jaipur (provincial capital) 1-5 million 2
India Bhopal (provincial capital) 1-5 million 1
India Ahmadabad 1-5 million 1
India Pune 1-5 million 1

NRDC calculated that 22.1 million people in India and Pakistan would be exposed to lethal radiation doses of 600 rem or more in the first two days after the attack. Another 8 million people would receive a radiation dose of 100 to 600 rem, causing severe radiation sickness and potentially death, especially for the very young, old or infirm. NRDC calculates that as many as 30 million people would be threatened by the fallout from the attack, roughly divided between the two countries.

Besides fallout, blast and fire would cause substantial destruction within roughly a mile-and-a-half of the bomb craters. NRDC estimates that 8.1 million people live within this radius of destruction.

Most Indians (99 percent of the population) and Pakistanis (93 percent of the population) would survive the second scenario. Their respective military forces would be still be intact to continue and even escalate the conflict.
Thinking the Unthinkable

After India and Pakistan held nuclear tests in 1998, experts have debated whether their nuclear weapons contribute to stability in South Asia. Experts who argue that the nuclear standoff promotes stability have pointed to the U.S.-Soviet Union Cold War as an example of how deterrence ensures military restraint.

NRDC disagrees. There are major differences between the Cold War and the current South Asian crisis. Unlike the U.S.-Soviet experience, these two countries have a deep-seated hatred of one another and have fought three wars since both countries became independent. At least part of the current crisis may be seen as Hindu nationalism versus Muslim fundamentalism.

A second difference is India and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals are much smaller than those of the United States and Russia. The U.S. and Russian arsenals truly represent the capability to destroy each other’s society beyond recovery. While the two South Asia scenarios we have described produce unimaginable loss of life and destruction, they do not reach the level of “mutual assured destruction” that stood as the ultimate deterrent during the Cold War.

The two South Asian scenarios assume nuclear attacks against cities. During the early Cold War period this was the deterrent strategy of the United States and the Soviet Union. But as both countries introduced technological improvements into their arsenals, they pursued other strategies, targeting each other’s nuclear forces, conventional military forces, industry and leadership. India and Pakistan may include these types of targets in their current military planning. For example, attacking large dams with nuclear weapons could result in massive disruption, economic consequences and casualties. Concentrations of military forces and facilities may provide tempting targets as well.

Related NRDC Pages
The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change
Bush-Putin Treaty Will Prolong Nuclear Standoff

Exclusive: Defence secretary warns Scotland needs nuclear weapons

Exclusive: Defence secretary warns Scotland needs nuclear weapons

DEFENCE secretary John Hutton has warned that Scotland would be at greater risk of a military attack if it became independent.

Hutton also claims thousands of Scots jobs would be lost.

He hit out on a visit to the Faslane naval base, home to the Trident nuclear submarines, on the Clyde.

The SNP have vowed to remove Trident if they win independence.

But Hutton – who was on one of his first engagements since taking over from Des Browne in the Cabinet reshuffle – said: “The nuclear deterrent is crucial to the defence of our country. It has been for many generations and will be for many more.

“Terrorism is still a major threat to us and the nuclear deterrent plays a major part in dealing with that threat, as do the brilliant people here at Faslane and I am very proud of the service they provide.”

Hutton said 6500 jobs are dependent on the Faslane base, while 10,000 posts have been secured at Govan and Rosyth with a new aircraft super-carriers contract.

He added: “The long-term nature of defence contracts brings security and stability to communities which would vanish if the SNP succeeded in separating Scotland from the UK.

“The fate of Ireland and Iceland shows just how vulnerable small countries are in difficult times.

“Going down that road makes no sense. And leaving Scotland without the protection the UK armed forces offer should never be allowed.”

But SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said most Scots were opposed to Trident and any replacement.

He added: “By making this restatement of the Labour Government’s obsession with Trident, John Hutton has once again shown that Labour are out of touch.”

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor Calls for Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor Calls for Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
by Sharat G. Lin
Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM

Antinuclear protesters gathered at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. They were joined by Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, who survived that devastating attack and called for the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.”

At 11:02 a.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2008, antinuclear protesters observed a moment of silence for the tens of thousands of civilians who were instantly killed when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan 63 years ago. The total number of deaths from the blast are believed to have reached 70,000-80,000 by the end of 1945.

Peace, social justice, and environmental activists from throughout Northern California gathered at the northwest corner of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to protest the continuing research by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. They called for “a nuclear-free future.”

A sprawling “nuclear maze” displayed an exhibition on the nuclear blast damage to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. nuclear weapons program, uranium mining, problems of nuclear waste disposal, and the adverse biological effects of fissile nuclear materials. The exhibit drew attention to the more than one thousand nuclear bomb tests that the United States has conducted since the beginning of the Manhattan Project. The maze was set up at the corner of Patterson Pass and Vasco Roads, the usual assembly point for the annual antinuclear protests.

Cara Bautista of Peace Action West (, one of the 17 cosponsoring organizations, opened the program. She introduced Kaylah Marin, a Hip Hop and neo-soul vocalist, renaissance artist, guitarist, and writer who sang and performed spoken word for the crowd.

The keynote speaker was Reverend Nobuaki Hanaoka, who was less than 8 months old when the U.S. atomic bomb exploded in Nagasaki. He told of how he and his family were spared from the blast and firestorm, but that his mother succumbed to radiation sickness within six years, followed by his sister, and then his brother. In 1978, he helped organize the Friends of Hibakusha (survivors of the bombings), serving as its first chairperson, to support atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the United States, and to advocate for a nuclear-free world.

In reviewing the circumstances of the U.S. first-use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Reverend Hanaoka pointed out that Emperor Hirohito had already been considering the conditions of surrender well before the first A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. This fact had already been communicated to President Truman by the Soviets. Thus, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, Hanaoka argued, was militarily unnecessary. The real purpose of dropping the uranium-235 bomb was to send a clear signal to the Soviet Union that the United States was the global superpower emerging from the ashes of World War II.

One of several purposes of the plutonium-239 bomb dropped on Nagasaki was to prove the effectiveness of both types of fission warheads on human populations. The timing of the bombing was advanced in response to the Soviet invasion of Japanese-occupied Manchuria just eleven hours earlier. The United States remains the only country in history to ever use nuclear weapons in combat, and the only country to use them in first strikes.

Reverend Hanaoka called for the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.” Referring to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that divides the world between the five original nuclear powers (permanent U.N. Security Council members) and all other countries, he said, “NPT for other countries is not going to work.” He added that the U.S. claimed to be enforcing the NPT by attacking Iraq, but the subsequent U.S. threats to Iran’s security only encouraged Iran to “proliferate.”

Despite the NPT, the U.S. continues to develop and refine its own nuclear arsenal of over 10,000 warheads at centers like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. LLNL is one of two U.S. government facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area that handle advanced nuclear weapons, the other being the Navy facility operated with the assistance of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale for assembling submarine-launched Trident nuclear warheads.

Reverend Hanaoka called for an end to all such work that only increases the rationale for first use and the risk of nuclear terrorism. He concluded by saying that we must “never allow another Hiroshima and Nagasaki anywhere in the world.”

Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs (, which has been organizing annual non-violent resistance actions for decades against nuclear weapons work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, explained, “We are here on August 9th because Livermore Lab has been chosen to develop the United States’ next new nuclear bomb, the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead. We are here because Livermore Lab is home to more than a thousand pounds of plutonium, which makes us all vulnerable to a catastrophic release. And we are here to show the government and the public that there is another future possible, one based on global nuclear disarmament. We say ‘never again’ to the use of nuclear weapons.”

A lone counter-protester sat in his army jeep with signs reading, “63 years ago B-29s saved 1 million GIs and 5 million Japs.” Perhaps oblivious to the derogatory implication of his ethnic slur, he seemed equally unaware of Japan’s active feelers through the Soviet Union to find a way to surrender while seeking only to preserve to honor of the monarchy before the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Each year on the anniversary of the A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tri-Valley CAREs and supporting peace and justice groups have organized original and uniquely creative actions at the gates of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Some actions have involved non-violent civil disobedience.

For example, on August 6, 2007, antinuclear resisters staged a die-in across the pavement blocking the West Gate to LLNL. Fellow protesters drew chalk outlines around the “fallen bodies” to leave a chilling symbol of the human toll of nuclear weapons developed at LLNL. A score of antinuclear resisters, including priests and nuns, then faced off with the LLNL Protective Service police before being arrested by Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies.

On August 6, 2006, non-violent civil disobedience was considered, but then abandoned in favor of leaving flowers of peace on the chain-link West Gate. That protest featured an immense 25-meter long balloon in the shape of a ballistic missile.

Among the many cosponsoring organizations is the Livermore Conversion Project, which advocates converting LLNL to peaceful humanitarian research along the lines of its sister lab, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center ( has also long been a regular supporter of the annual actions protesting nuclear weapons research at LLNL.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze sprawling along Patterson Pass Road in Livermore.

Moment of Silence

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Moment of silence for 40,000+ people killed in Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945.

Cara Bautista

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Cara Bautista moderating the rally.

Kaylah Marin

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Kaylah Marin signing for peace and justice.

Nobuaki Hanaoka

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nobuaki Hanaoka speaking for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and pre-emptive wars.

Nobuaki Hanaoka

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nobuaki Hanaoka addressing the rally.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze: people browsing exhibits.

Nuclear Maze

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Nuclear maze: list of over 1000 U.S. nuclear tests.

Raging Grannies

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Raging Grannies signing songs of peace and justice.

Antinuclear Participants

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Antinuclear participants at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Lone Counter-protester

by Sharat G. Lin Sunday Aug 17th, 2008 3:38 AM
Lone counter-protester sitting in an army jeep displays ignorance of history.

Scott Ritter predicts mushroom clouds over America if McCain becomes President

Scott Ritter predicts mushroom clouds over America if McCain becomes President
Published August 12, 2008

The Bush administration has built a new generation of nuclear weapons that we call ‘usable’ nukes, and they have a nuclear ‘posture’ now, which permits the use of nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear environment if the Commander in Chief deems U.S forces to be at significant risk. If we start bombing Iran (I tell you now it’s not going to work). My concern is that we will use nuclear weapons to break the backbone of Iranian resistance and it may not work, but what it will do is this. It will unleash the nuclear genie. So to all those Americans out there tonight who are saying, you know what, taking on Iran is a good thing… . And if we use nuclear weapons, the genie ain’t going back in the bottle until an American city is taken out by an Islamic weapon in retaliation. So tell me, you want to go to war against Iran, pick your city. Pick your city. Tell me which one you want gone. Seattle? L.A.? Boston? New York? Miami? Pick one! Because at least one’s going. And that’s something we should all think about before marching down this path of insanity.

Hiroshima mayor hopes next U.S. president will back ban on nuclear weapons

Hiroshima mayor hopes next U.S. president will back ban on nuclear weapons

Hiroshima mayor hopes next U.S. president will back ban on nuclear weapons


Hiroshima’s mayor urged the next U.S. president to support a proposed ban on nuclear weapons Wednesday, as Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic blast that obliterated this city and killed 140,000 people.

At the ceremony, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba also announced the launch of a two-year study to gauge the psychological toll of the Aug. 6, 1945, attack in the closing days of World War II.

Japan submitted a resolution in the U.N. last year calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Akiba said that 170 nations supported it, with the U.S. as one of only three countries opposed.

“We can only hope that the U.S. president elected this November will listen conscientiously to the majority,” Akiba told a crowd of 45,000 that included survivors, local residents and dignitaries from around the world.

Akiba addressed the crowd with the bombed-out dome of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial looming in the background, and hundreds of doves were released into the air after he finished his speech.

A moment of silence was observed at 8:15 a.m., which was the time of the blast. An estimated 140,000 people were killed instantly or died within a few months after the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload. Japan’s official death toll of nearly 260,000 includes injured who have died in the decades since.

Three days later, on Aug 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped a plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing about 80,000 people. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II.

Akiba said more needs to be done for the remaining survivors, whose average age is now over 75. There are about 244,000 survivors, according to the health ministry. Many have developed illnesses caused by radiation exposure, including cancer and liver diseases.

Akiba said the two-year study is aimed at creating a complete picture of the damage caused by the bombing, which he said has not yet been revealed even after more than six decades because the effects of the atomic bomb on survivors have for years been underestimated.

“The most severely neglected have been the emotional injuries,” Akiba said, in announcing the new two-year psychological study.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing Japan’s continued policy against using nuclear weapons or allowing them onto its territory.

“‘’I, today, here in Hiroshima, again pledge that our country will firmly maintain the three antinuclear principles and take the lead in international society to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons and lasting peace,’’ he said.

Some 45,000 people gathered to attend this year’s ceremony in the western Japanese city, including diplomats from 55 countries.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a message read by High Representative for Disarmament Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, ‘‘I join you in commemorating the past and affirm my determination to work with you and all people to achieve a peaceful and secure world without nuclear weapons.’’

Among nuclear-power nations, China attended the ceremony for the first time, while Russia participated for the ninth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Akiba said Mayors for Peace, a group of cities which seek to realize a nuclear-free world by 2020, proposed a Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol in April to supplement the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling for an immediate halt to all efforts to obtain or deploy nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states.

Among the 2,368 cities which have joined Mayors for Peace as of Aug 1, London’s new mayor, Boris Johnson, has informed the group that London no longer intends to participate. The Hiroshima city is now consulting with the London mayor to persuade him to remain in the group, a city official said.

Akiba emphasized that citizens cooperating at the city level can solve man-made problems, noting that world citizens and like-minded countries have achieved treaties banning anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs.

Japan’s Constitution is ‘‘an appropriate point of departure for a ‘paradigm shift’ toward modeling the world on intercity relationships from military and dominance relationships, he said.

The charter’s preamble expresses the country’s determination ‘‘to preserve its security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world.’’

Akiba said, ‘‘I hereby call on the Japanese government to fiercely defend our Constitution, press all governments to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, and play a leading role in the effort to abolish nuclear weapons.’’

He also urged the government to expand support measures for aging atomic bomb survivors including those living overseas.

This year’s memorial service comes amid a series of rulings against the government, with courts recognizing a number of atomic bomb survivors as suffering from atomic bomb-related illnesses, declaring illegal the government’s fixed criteria that has barred many survivors from getting expanded medical benefits.

This year, the names of 5,302 more people recognized as atomic-bomb victims by Hiroshima since Aug 6 last year were added to the cenotaph at the Peace Memorial Park, bringing the total number of the city’s victims to 258,310.

A total of 243,692 atomic bomb survivors were living in and outside of Japan as of March 31, with their average age at 75.14.

American in Hiroshima warns the world about nuclear weapons

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Steeven Leeper

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American in Hiroshima warns the world about nuclear weapons

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AFP) — For years, Steven Leeper took the view of many fellow Americans about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima — that it was an inevitable part of war.

But after a lifetime of reflection, he is now the first foreigner to head an anti-nuclear foundation in the western Japanese city — and has set his sights on persuading his country to agree with him.

“When I first came here, I completely did not think about or worry about or care about the atomic bombing,” Leeper, 60, told AFP in an interview.

“In war, you just kill your enemy. And the atomic bomb is a big bomb and kills a lot of the enemy. So what’s wrong with that?”

On the morning of August 6, 1945, a US bomb instantly killed more than 140,000 people in Hiroshima and injured tens of thousands of others who died later from radiation or horrific burns.

The world’s first nuclear attack was followed by the dropping of a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki three days later, leaving another 70,000 people dead. Japan surrendered on August 15, ending World War II.

After reading the Japanese book “Children of Hiroshima,” which describes the sufferings of the atomic bomb victims, Leeper’s attitude dramatically changed.

Reading the book “really caused me to suddenly think about the impact of the bomb on the society that received it,” he recalled.

“Now I completely consider the atomic bombings to be a war crime,” he said.

But Leeper nevertheless did not immediately join the circle of peace activists. He instead worked until last year with his wife as a consultant for Japanese firms expanding abroad to work with Hiroshima-based Mazda Motor Corp.

He said he knew he had to take action in 1998 when India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons, declaring themselves atomic states and sending shockwaves among bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In 2007, the Hiroshima mayor appointed Leeper as the first non-Japanese head of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, which administers a museum that explains the horror of the atomic bombing.

He has been working on a project that is bringing an exhibition on the atomic bomb to the United States, with an aim of taking it to 101 cities across all 50 states.

Leeper said the exhibition has had a mixed reaction in his homeland.

“Those Americans who are 70 years or older, the ones who really hated Japan during World War II, still have ambivalent feeings about Japan, and they don’t like to hear people talking about how Japan is a victim,” he said.

“But young people completely have no such prejudice.” After visiting US audiences with an atomic bomb survivor, “most of them are pretty shocked, many of them even have tears in their eyes sometimes,” he said.

“And many of them come up afterwards, many of them actually apologised to her on behalf of America and many of them asked what they can do,” he said.

But Leeper said his strategy was not to dwell on apologies over the past.

“I said from the beginning, we are not here to talk about the past. We are not here to complain, we are not accusing America of anything.

“All we are doing is warning you about the future. That’s why we are here, I say.”

He hoped that the issue of abolishing nuclear weapons — not just stopping proliferation — would get more attention in the US presidential race.

“The nuclear weapon is not just another weapon. This will kill us all absolutely, and we have to learn to control it and we have to learn to control our violence in general. And that is the key message from here,” he said.

Looking ahead, he is lobbying to establish an international treaty — the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol — that would ban all nuclear weapons around the world.

While the plan is certainly ambitious, he draws inspiration from the Kyoto Protocol, the first-ever international treaty that legally restricted carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

Leeper said that Hiroshima and other cities were collecting signatures in hopes of submitting the protocol to a UN panel by October 2009 to start negotiations.

“Just like what everybody knows about the Kyoto Protocol — we have the general idea that it’s good for the environment — we want everybody to know that the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol shows a commitment to a nuclear-free world,” he said.


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