The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It


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  • This is a ~45- minute slide show I have given (with variations) to medical and public-health audiences. I use these notes pages for additional information and documentation – they are not meant to be read to the audience.
    There are a large number of supplementary slides at the end as well, some from my trip to Hiroshima, and some dealing with the more general issue of the current administration’s unilaterality.
  • Scared does not really capture it. Also sad, outraged... The existence of nuclear weapons, these instruments of genocide, thousands of them, in my country, causes me a deep spiritual pain.
    Could put in Emerson/Thoreau (HDT) anecdote here: HDT was in prison for refusing to pay the poll tax to support the Spanish-American war. Emerson asked, “What are you doing in there, Henry?” HDT answered," Do you oppose the war?” Emerson said he did. Then, HDT answered, “Then the correct question is: what are you doing out there?” (This quote easily found by Googling “thoreau emerson spanish war ‘out there’”, e.g.
  • I warn the audience to watch for these and that there will be a quiz at the end, but I will let them know when we get to these things.
    Quotes: Einstein and Dirksen
    Images: Hiroshima effects,
    Article VI’s: NPT and US Constitution
    The 2 big numbers I am currently using are:
    ~2 tons of TNT equivalent per person on the planet from EXISTING nuclear weapons
    2. Enough fissile material (3850 metric tons) for about 300,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs
    The two approaches are those of the current administration and PSR
  • Notes below from an earlier version of the slide, focused less on physicians, perhaps more suitable for a general audience. Current version based mostly on the reference on the slide (and my own experience 1980 and beyond). I co-taught Pediatrics 170.03, “The Health Professional and Nuclear War” at UCSF 1985-89, the last time I was as scared as I am now.
    First Einstein letter to Roosevelt 8/2/39 (actually probably written by Leo Szillard) told FDR of the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction that could lead to a bomb that would release vast amounts of energy, and that Germany had stopped the sale of uranium of from Czechoslovakian mines. “That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.”
    Hiroshima 8/6/45 ~13kT gun-type Uranium bomb “Little Boy”; Nagasaki 8/9/45 ~22kT Plutonium implosion bomb “Fat man.” In his book The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Atlanta: Clarity Press 2002), Francis A Boyle provides a nice history of the decision to use these bombs and their timing, and reasons why not just the use, but the threat of use of nuclear weapons violates international law.
    RE: NPT “The Treaty was opened for signature on 01 July 1968, and signed on that date by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and 59 other countries. The Treaty entered into force with the deposit of US ratification on 05 March 1970. China acceeded to the NPT on 09 March 1992, and France acceded on 03 August 1992. In 1996, Belarus joined Ukraine and Kazakhstan in removing and transferring to the Russian Federation the last of the remaining former Soviet nuclear weapons located within their territories, and each of these nations has become a State Party to the NPT, as a non-nuclear-weapon state. In June 1997 Brazil became a State Party to the NPT.
    The NPT is the most widely accepted arms control agreement. As of early 2000 a total of 187 states were Parties to the NPT. Cuba, Israel, India, and Pakistan were the only states that were not members of the NPT.” From FAS website.
    Soviet Union collapsed Dec 1991.
  • Easy to find this quote with Google.
  • This calculation is intended to illustrate Einstein’s point.
    Energy in 1 gram of mass = 1 g X (3 x 10^10 cm/sec))^2 = 9 x 10^20 ergs
    1 cal = 4.18 x 10^7 ergs. So energy content in 1 gram of sugar = 2.15 x 10^13 cal or 2.15 x 10^10 kcal. At 2400 cal per day this is 9x 10^6 days or 24,657 years.; 5 g is enough for 123,000 years
    One Kiloton = 10^9 kcal
    So the energy in a cube of sugar is 2.15 e10 kcal/1e9Kcal/kt = 21.5 kilotons TNT
    Of course only a small amount of mass (about a sugar cube’s worth) is converted to energy in a nuclear explosion, most of the fissile material remains intact or is in fission products, some of which are radioactive.
  • Picture of Murrah Federal Building from Yield of truck bomb available multiple places on the web.
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    [Slide from PSR, with their text, edited)
    To date, the use of nuclear and related weapons has been the sole purview of nation-states. A nuclear weapon was first used in warfare on August 6, 1945, at 8:15 a.m., when the U.S. military exploded a nuclear weapon over Hiroshima. The Hiroshima bomb had an explosive force equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT. The second and last use to date was three days later when the US exploded a bomb equivalent to 21,000 tons of TNT over Nagasaki.
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    Source on the slide is for the effects.
    Picture: A boy was exposed to thermal rays about 1.5 miles from the hypocenter. February 1946.Photo: the U.S. Army.
  • I think the picture is from PSR; I found a b&w version at en/museum/morgue_w17.html. I’m sure I could find the color version if I looked harder.
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    Picture also from PSR? Easy to find searching Google images for “Hiroshima radiation.”
  • Accessed 2/5/05
  • This is how I chose to organize the New Danger.
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    Slide from PSR
    AP Photo by B K Bangash
    Photo source: < 091601/full_hated.jpg>
  • Info re: the Al-’Amiria shelter
    Shrine to victims of tragic errorWreaths, flags, prayers mark place where hundreds of civilians died
    BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Al-Amiriya is an example of the worst that can happen, despite smart people and smart bombs.
    In February 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, a U.S. bomb punched a hole through the roof of the Al-Amiriya bomb shelter; seconds later a missile plowed through the opening. By Iraqi count, the blasts killed 408 civilians, mostly women and children. Many were killed by the concussion, the rest by a fire so intense it left flash-burned outlines of women and infants on the walls that are still visible today.
    The United States has said it believed it was targeting a military command center.
  • Aum Shinrikyo was the cult that released the nerve gas Sarin in the Tokyo subway system in 1995 It included 9,000 members and 1400 full time Monks. Group’s plan was to release enormous amounts of Sarin and set in motion a series of catastrophic events and so fulfill its leader Shoko Asahara’s world-ending prophesies. Wanted to get nukes.
  • Robert Jay Lifton. The Superpower Syndrome: America’s Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World. NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003. Quote on p. 1. Timothy McVeigh was reading (and carrying everywhere with him) The Turner Diaries, in which the “white patriots” use NBC weapons to annihilate all Jews and nonwhites throughout the world. (p. 15).
  • My slide; I think the the picture is from the web, can’t find it now, but it is easy to find similar ones
  • See also and
  • The 300,000 number depends on a lot of arbitrary assumptions. Since terrorists would probably not use more advanced techniques to reduce the amount of fissile material needed, I just used Hiroshima and Nagasaki numbers. With good reflectors, etc. this number could probably be doubled or more. Plus, Nagasaki was 1.5 x as powerful.
    In previous versions of this talk I had people remembering the 3850 tons of fissile material number, but that is less meaningful, I think.
    Although critical mass for HEU is only about 15 kg, Hiroshima bomb was 50 kg, 1900 metric tons HEU is enough for 1900000/50=38,000 Hiroshima-type bombs
    Nagaski bomb only 6.7 kg of Plutonium. So 1855 metric tons of plutonium is enough for 277,000 Nagasaki-type bombs.
  • Reference is on the slide. The ** refernce was found simply by Googling “plutonium muf”
    The estimate of the amount of U they started with is based on the amount originally in the reactor fuel and the way in which the reactor was operated, especially how much heat it generated.
    MUF= A-B-R where A is the amount going into the Material Balance Area (MBA), R is the amount leaving the MBA and A is the amount legally removed. See pages 21-25 for more on this problem
    The THORP plant in the UK reprocessed 7000 kg/year but was closed in May, 2005 after a major leak: Huge radioactive leak closes Thorp nuclear plant Paul Brown, environment correspondentMonday May 9, 2005The Guardian Sellafield nuclear plant, where the Thorp reprocessing plant has been closed. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty A leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel dissolved in concentrated nitric acid, enough to half fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, has forced the closure of Sellafield's Thorp reprocessing plant.
    The highly dangerous mixture, containing about 20 tonnes of uranium and plutonium fuel, has leaked through a fractured pipe into a huge stainless steel chamber which is so radioactive that it is impossible to enter.
    Recovering the liquids and fixing the pipes will take months and may require special robots to be built and sophisticated engineering techniques devised to repair the £2.1bn plant.
    Google MUF + Plutonium and find this:
    “The cumulative MUF, from PUREX initial operation in 1955 through December 1992, was in excess of 400 kg plutonium. Such a value is a cause for concern...” Report goes on to say this is not such a big problem because the numbers going into the calculation were probably not very accurate
  • *Bunn M, Weir A. Securing the bomb: an agenda for action. 2004 Avail at
  • See Allison, Nuclear Terrorism, p.65. Yuri Smirnov stole 50 g HEU at a time from the Luch Scientific Production plant. He was caught on the way to Moscow to sell it when he happened upon one of his neighbors sharing vodka with friends and the whole group was arrested for stealing batteries from the plant where they worked. Yuri told the story on the PBS program ‘Frontline,” easily found on the web.
  • I added the text in blue to what was in the lancet article. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by every country except the US and Somalia
    For a nice discussion of illegality of the Iraq war, see, and also the Boyle book cited earlier.
    US illegal Invasions/bombs
  • First quote cited in Lakoff, “Don’t Think About an Elephant. See nice commentary by Jonathan Granoff, Michael Doyle and Robert Grey Jr at
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    Cartoon from PSR
    Photo source: 2002 Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science
  • My slide; Pentagon graphic from PSR
    Moscow treaty information from Fact Sheet, 5/1/03 Article VI of the NPT, US Dept of State ( accessed 2/8/05).
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    Slide from Maine PSR SMART Presentation
  • My slide adapted from PSR SMART security presentation
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    Slide from PSR.
  • Ref on slide
  • <number>
    Slide from PSR
    This is Rep Hobson who was a real hero, cutting all funding for new nuclear weapons in FY 2005.
    Photo source: < >
  • <number>
    Slide from PSR
    Photo source: <>
  • See
  • <number>
    From PSR
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    Info from the National Council of Churches website.
  • TN Slide, Easy to find on web
  • Another Article VI: from the Nuremberg Charter:
    ( accessed 6/15/05):
    The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:
    (a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
    (b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
    (c)CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
    Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.
  • The 2000 NPT Conference specifically addressed implementation of Article VI with 13 “Practical Steps” – see below. The US would not discuss these points at the 2005 NPT Conference.
    The Conference agrees on the following practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraphs 3 and 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament":
    1. The importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
    2. A moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.
    3. The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years. Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. ...
    4. The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.
    5. The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures.
    6. An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.
    7. The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions. START II, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed by George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin in January 1993, which banned the use of MIRVs. ...
    8. The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA flag The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. ...
    9. Steps by all the nuclear-weapon States leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:
    Further efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally
    Increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon States with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to Article VI and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament
    The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process
    Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems
    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
    The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons
    10. Arrangements by all nuclear-weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside of military programmes. Bunker-busting nuclear weapons are a proposed type of nuclear weapon that would be designed to penetrate into soil, rock or concrete to deliver a low-yield nuclear warhead. ...
    11. Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
    12. Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament", and recalling the [[Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996|Advisory Opinion]] of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996. July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... 1996 is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...
    13. The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
  • <number>
    I added the Bush Administration, since the administration claims to support Article VI of the NPT, but then deleted it since actions speak louder than words.
  • Photo from Sen Dirksen was a Republican from Illinois, senate minority leader 1959-69. However, he helped secure passage of the Civil Rights Act and Comprehensive Test ban Treaty. He is also known for his quote “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money,” although hard evidence that he said this appears to be lacking (
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    Nuclear abolition stickers can be obtained from at 25 cents each.
  • Children’s memorial, Hiroshima Peace Park (by TN, 2/04)
  • Slide from PSR
  • Hiroshima Peace Park (by TN, 2/04)
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    Slide from PSR
    Quote source: – very thoughtful essay.
    Photo source: AP
  • Supplementary slides
  • Hiroshima Peace Park (by TN, 2/04)
  • Paper cranes at Hiroshima Peace Park (by TN, 2/04)
  • By TN 2/04
  • for info on problems with oversight and accounting; budget amounts from “Highlights of the Fiscal year 2006 budget request, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation
  • Excellent discussion on Bush’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty at:
    Although I have read otherwise on some websites, the Bush administration did comply with this provision when withdrawing.
  • From (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique)
  • Excerpts:
    In January 2001, a commission led by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the newly nominated defense secretary, recommended that the military should "ensure that the president will have the option to deploy weapons in space."
    In 2002, after weighing the report of the Rumsfeld space commission, President Bush withdrew from the 30-year-old Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which banned space-based weapons.
  • <number>
    Slide from PSR; Photo source:
  • The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It

    1. 1. The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It Thomas B. Newman, MD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Pediatrics, UCSFNukesForDPH25Nov05NukesForDPH25Nov05
    2. 2. Why I am doing this  I am scared  “Leave it to the experts, they know what they are doing” is not an intellectually, morally or historically defensible h have skills and a duty to anticipate and address threats to public health  I want your help  If not now, when?
    3. 3. Take Home Messages  2 quotes  A few images  2 big numbers  Some discomfort  2 article VI’s  2 approaches
    4. 4. Outline/Menu  Background  History (Quote #1)  Physics, what nukes do (Images)  Stockpiles of weapons and materials (2 big numbers)  The New Danger (Discomfort)  Nuclear Terrorism  Loose Fissile Material  Nuclear Proliferation  Two Approaches  Bush administration  PSR “SMART SECURITY” (2 Article VI’s)
    5. 5. History of Physicians and Nuclear Weapons  Hiroshima, Nagasaki 1945  1950s: AMA supports civil defense, fallout shelters  1962: PSR formed, NEJM articles, LTBT  1980s: “Victory is Possible,” IPPNW formed, PSR “bombing runs”  1985: IPPNW wins Nobel Peace Prize; “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” – R. Reagan and M. Gorbachev  1990’s – now: increasing fear of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism Forrow L, Sidel V. Medicine and Nuclear War: From Hiroshima to MutualForrow L, Sidel V. Medicine and Nuclear War: From Hiroshima to Mutual Assured Destruction to Abolition 2000. JAMA 1998;280:456-61Assured Destruction to Abolition 2000. JAMA 1998;280:456-61
    6. 6. Quote #1  “Since the advent of the Nuclear Age, everything has changed save our modes of thinking and we thus drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.” --Albert Einstein
    7. 7. Energy in a sugar cube  Old way of thinking chemical energy:  5 g x 3.4 kcal/g = 17 kcal  Energy for 10 minutes @ 2400 kcal/d  New way of thinking: E= mc2  5 g x (3 x 1010 cm/sec)2 = 45 x 1020 ergs = 2.15 x 1010 kcal  Energy for 123,000 years @ 2400 kcal/d  21 kilotons
    8. 8. Explosive yield  1 kiloton = explosive power of 1000 TONS (2 million pounds) of TNT  Hiroshima bomb 13 kilotons  Oklahoma City bomb: 2.2 tons (.002 kilotons)  1 megaton = 1000 kilotons  Largest nuclear weapons: 20 megatons
    9. 9. Physics, definitions, terminology  Fission: splitting big atoms like Uranium and Plutonium  Releases huge amount of energy  Chain reaction that requires “critical mass”  Type of bomb used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki  Fusion: joining small atoms (heavy hydrogen) to make helium  Releases even more energy  Requires lots of energy (fission bomb) to get process started
    10. 10. 10 kiloton bomb: Blast effects  500 MPH wind (20 PSI) @ .4 miles--everything leveled  160 MPH wind (5 PSI) @ 1 mile -- skeletons of some buildings, 50% fatalities  1 PSI @ 2.4 miles -- broken windows and injuries to 5-10%,
    11. 11. 10 kiloton bomb effects: Thermal effects  Creates a giant firestorm with hurricane-force winds and average air temperatures above boiling.  A firestorm would cremate or suffocate people in heavily protected shelters.  Wood, cardboard ignite .8 miles away  Third degree burns covering 50% of body 1.2 miles away
    12. 12. Radiation Effects  Acute Effects: Bone marrow most affected (bleeding, infections, etc.), then GI tract (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)  50% fatality @ 0.8 miles
    13. 13. Effects of radiation  “Fall out” -- radioactive dust from the blast crater goes into the mushroom cloud and lands downwind  Chronic Effects: Cancer, scarring of lungs, thyroid diseases, cataracts, birth defects, genetic damage
    14. 14. Existing weapons
    15. 15. Dot Chart (2001) * 1 dot = 3 megatons = Total explosive power from WW II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki Total: 11,425 megatons = almost 2 tons of TNT per person on the planet 8 dots = 1 trident submarine BIGBIG NUMBER 1NUMBER 1
    16. 16. The New Danger  Nuclear terrorism  Loose fissile material  Nuclear proliferation
    17. 17. Americans, think
    18. 18. “We have the right to kill 4 million Americans”  “The Americans have still not tasted from our hands what we have tasted from theirs. The [number] killed in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were no more than fair exchange for the ones killed in the Al-'Amiriya shelter in Iraq, and are but a tiny part of the exchange for those killed in Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, the Philippines, Bosnia, Kashmir, Chechnya, and Afghanistan... We have the right to kill 4 million Americans - 2 million of them children... --Suleiman Abu Gheith, Al-Qa’ida Spokesman
    19. 19. Aum Shinrikyo  “Supreme Truth” – religious cult founded by Shoko Asahara  Peak 9000 members, 1400 monks Japan alone  Tons of chemicals stockpiled for weapons  1995 Sarin attack on a Tokyo subway killed 12 and sent 5000 to hospitals  Sought to obtain uranium for nuclear weapons
    20. 20. Apocalyptic Visions  Massive destruction in the service of various visions of purification and renewal*  Common to most religions, extreme ideological movements like Communism and Fascism, Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh, Aum Shinrikyo *Robert Jay Lifton. The Superpower Syndrome: America’s Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World. NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003
    21. 21. Fissile Material: key ingredient for nuclear bombs  Highly enriched uranium or plutonium  Relatively simple to make it come together as a critical mass
    22. 22. HEU- Highly Enriched Uranium  Highly enriched means enriched in U- 235, the isotope capable of fission  At least 20% U-235 needed to sustain a nuclear reaction  Critical mass = 35 pounds  World stockpile (end of 2003) ~1900 metric tons* *Albright D, Kramer K. Fissile Material: Stockpiles still growing. Bull Atomic Sci 2004;Nov/Dec:14-15
    23. 23. Plutonium  Made in nuclear reactors when U-238 absorbs a neutron  Obtained by reprocessing spent fuel rods with nitric acid  Critical mass = 9 -33 pounds (depends on reflector)  World stockpile (end of 2003) ~1855 Metric Tons* *Albright D, Kramer K. Fissile Material: Stockpiles still growing. Bull Atomic Sci 2004;Nov/Dec:14-15
    24. 24. Total Fissile material: 3750 Metric Tons  Enough for more than 300,000 Hiroshima- sized bombs  If it is 99.99% secure, that leaves enough for 30 Hiroshima-sized bombs BIGBIG NUMBER #2NUMBER #2
    25. 25. Challenges of securing fissile material*  Amount of Plutonium estimated based on ratio of Uranium to Plutonium in a sample  MUF = Material Unaccounted For  “The cumulative MUF... was in excess of 400 kg plutonium. Such a value is a cause for concern...”** *IPPNW, 1996: Crude nuclear weapons proliferation and the terrorist threat. Avail*IPPNW, 1996: Crude nuclear weapons proliferation and the terrorist threat. Avail at;at; ****
    26. 26. Where is it?  Most HEU is in military stocks but...  20 tons HEU (enough for 400 bombs) in 130 research reactors in 40 countries “some of it secured by nothing more than an underpaid guard sitting inside a chain link fence.”*  Most plutonium is in civilian stocks **Nunn, S. Quoted in Allison G. Nuclear Terrorism, p.67Nunn, S. Quoted in Allison G. Nuclear Terrorism, p.67
    27. 27. Safeguarding Fissile Materials  1992 Russia: employee steals 50 g HEU at a time; accumulates 1.5 kg. Caught by chance.  1996 Kazakhstan: 205 kg of HEU “turns up” in 1996, 1 year after they thought all had been given to Russia  2001 Istanbul: smugglers caught trying to sell 1 kg HEU for $750,000
    28. 28. Nuclear Proliferation  Vertical: same countries, more or more threatening weapons  Horizontal: more countries  Original 5 Nuclear Weapons states: USA, USSR (Russia), England, France, China  Brazil and South Africa abandoned their programs  Israel  India, Pakistan, 1998  North Korea  ?Iran
    29. 29. Current administration approach  U.S. dominant; unilateral  Emphasis on military solutions  Build new nuclear weapons and threaten to use them
    30. 30. Quotes  “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” --GWB, 9/20/01 ( releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html) releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html)  "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.” --GWB, State of the Union, 1/20/04State of the Union, 1/20/04  “I don’t do carrots.” –John Bolton
    31. 31. The Embrace of Nuclear WeaponsThe Embrace of Nuclear Weapons New Nuclear Policies
    32. 32. US Nuclear Posture Review -1  2002 report on the goals and structure of US nuclear forces.  Goal to reduce from 6000 to ~2000 “operationally deployed” nuclear weapons by 2012  “Smallest stockpile consistent with national security”  Excess weapons not destroyed Current Situation
    33. 33. J.D. Crouch, Assistant Secretary of Defense The U.S. is “currently projecting to keep the nuclear forces that we have to 2020 and beyond.” “Special Briefing on the Nuclear Posture Review,” US Department of Defense, January 9, 2002. Current Situation
    34. 34. US Nuclear Posture Review -2  Offensive strike systems, may include new, lower yield, “usable” weapons  Nuclear weapons may be used after biological or chemical attacks  Non-nuclear states targeted Current Situation
    35. 35. “In setting requirements for nuclear strike capabilities…North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya are among the countries that could be involved in immediate, potential or unexpected contingencies.” Nuclear Posture Review
    36. 36. On the need for more “usable” nuclear weapons  “The only thing we have is very large, very dirty, big nuclear weapons. It seems to me studying it [the RNEP] makes all the sense in the world.” -Donald Rumsfeld Pincus, W: Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan. Strategy IncludesPincus, W: Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan. Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons. Washington Post,Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons. Washington Post, 9/11/05 A019/11/05 A01
    37. 37. “We have more nuclear weapons now than we know what to do with…I’m concerned about our image in the world when we’re telling others not to build these things, and then we push these new weapons.” Representative David Hobson (R-Ohio)
    38. 38. “If the United States, which commands the most powerful conventional and nuclear arsenal on Earth, continues to develop new nuclear weapons, other nations can hardly be faulted for deciding that they need nuclear weapons also, if only to deter the United States.” -Salt Lake City Tribune- June 6, 2003 Salt Lake City Tribune
    39. 39. FY ’06 Budget Request  Missile defense: $8.8 billion  Shorten time for nuclear testing: $25 million  Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator: $8.5 million  Modern Pit Facility to make 450 plutonium pits/year (nuclear weapon triggers): $7.7 million
    40. 40. Smart Security Brochure
    41. 41. The PSR Platform for SMARTThe PSR Platform for SMART SecuritySecurity • Strengthen international institutions and support the rule of law • Renounce the development of new nuclear weapons and strengthen international disarmament treaties • Change budget priorities to reflect real security needs Endorsed by the National Council of ChurchesEndorsed by the National Council of Churches (100,000 congregations with 45 million(100,000 congregations with 45 million members)members)
    42. 42. The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty  Both nuclear and non-nuclear states agree to cooperate to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons  Non-nuclear states agree to forgo their development  In return:  Nuclear states agree to make good-faith efforts toward complete nuclear disarmament  Nuclear power to be available to all  Signed by U.S. 1968, ratified 1969 (ARTICLE VI)
    43. 43. NPT Article VI  “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.”
    44. 44. What does if mean if a treaty is ratified?  “This Constitution... and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby...  “The Senators and Representatives...and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution...” --Article VI, U.S. Constitution
    45. 45. RE: Article VI of the NPT and the failed NPT conference: "If governments simply ignore or discard commitments whenever they prove inconvenient, we will never be able to build an edifice of international cooperation." -- Paul Meyer, Canadian Representative to the 2005 NPT conference. Quoted in: Sanger, D. Month of Talks Fails to Bolster NuclearQuoted in: Sanger, D. Month of Talks Fails to Bolster Nuclear Treaty. New York Times, May 28, 2005Treaty. New York Times, May 28, 2005
    46. 46. Nuclear Abolition Endorsed by:  American Public Health Association  American Medical Association  American College of Physicians  International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War/Physicians for Social Responsibility  Global political, military and religious leaders
    47. 47. Alternative Budget Priorities  International development  Global public health  Alternative energy sources
    48. 48. TN’s View, Short version  Nuclear weapons undermine, rather than enhance our security  Even if this were not true, threatening their use is illegal and immoral. They are instruments of genocide  We have banned slavery, chemical and biological weapons  We can and should ban nuclear weapons, too  It’s the law
    49. 49. Quote #2: Senator Everett M. Dirksen  “When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
    50. 50. What You Can DoWhat You Can Do • Take some brochures and newsletters • Sign up for SF Bay Area PSR Security Committee • Join PSR ( • Sign up for PSR’s Legislative Alert email list • Join speakers’ bureau, find audiences • Increase awareness and concern among public health professionals
    51. 51. Quiz/Review  Einstein quote  # of tons of TNT equivalent per person in existing nuclear weapons  # of Hiroshima-size bombs that can be made from existing fissile material  Article VI of the NPT  Article VI of the US Constitution  Dirksen quote
    52. 52. Supplementary slides
    53. 53. Stop the machine  “There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.” --Mario Savio, 1964
    54. 54. ““If we are serious aboutIf we are serious about peace, then we must workpeace, then we must work for it as ardently,for it as ardently, seriously, carefully andseriously, carefully and bravely as we now preparebravely as we now prepare for war.”for war.” ~~Wendell BerryWendell Berry
    55. 55. Children’s Peace Monument Story Leafletting in front of the venue for the Conference of the National Junior High Schools Principals' Association, November 12, 1955 / Hiroshima City Auditorium Sadako Sasaki with her relay team
    56. 56. Hiroshima Peace Park
    57. 57. NUNN-LUGAR COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAM  Goals  Dismantle NBC weapons  Secure employment for scientists formerly involved in their production  Funding $408 million in FY 2005; $416 proposed for FY 2006  Problems with oversight and accounting
    58. 58. ABM Treaty  Article XV 1. This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration. 2. Each Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests. It shall give notice of its decision to the other Party six months prior to withdrawal from the Treaty. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events the notifying Party regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
    59. 59. Fission
    60. 60. Space Weapons Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Weapons Programs “With little public debate, the Pentagon has already spent billions of dollars developing space weapons and preparing plans to deploy them.” NY Times 5/18/05NY Times 5/18/05
    61. 61. 1967 Outer Space Treaty  Article I The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.  Article III States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.
    62. 62. Fissile Material Dot Chart 1 dot = 1 Hiroshima-sized bomb EachEach squaresquare has 47has 47 of theseof these
    63. 63. General Treaty for the Renunciation of War (Kellogg-Briand Pact)  Article II: The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.  Signed by Coolidge, Ratified by senate  Basis for conviction of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg
    64. 64. The dangerous rise of American exceptionalism LancetLancet Volume 361, Number 9369 10 May 2003Volume 361, Number 9369 10 May 2003  Withdrew from ABM treaty  Failed to Sign or Approve:  Convention on the Prohibition of Anti- Personnel Land Mines  Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty  Enforcement of Biological Weapons Treaty  International Criminal Court  Convention on the Rights of the Child
    65. 65. On the legality of nuclear “pre- emption”  Unanimously: A threat or use of force by means of nuclear weapons that is contrary to Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter and that fails to meet all the requirements of Article 51, is unlawful  Article 2, paragraph 4: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.  Article 51, UN Charter: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self- defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
    66. 66. -Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration Current policies have “radically altered national security doctrines that had successfully safeguarded American interests for more than 50 years. The changes, as the current crisis in Iraq demonstrates, have actually undermined U.S. security.”