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The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It






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    The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It Presentation Transcript

    • The New Nuclear Danger and What You Can Do About It Thomas B. Newman, MD, MPH Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Pediatrics, UCSF NukesForDPH25Nov05
    • 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?
    • Take Home Messages
      • A few images
      • 2 big numbers
      • Some discomfort
      • 2 article VI’s
      • 2 approaches
    • 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)
    • 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 Mutual Assured Destruction to Abolition 2000. JAMA 1998;280:456-61
    • 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
    • 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= mc 2
        • 5 g x (3 x 10 10 cm/sec) 2 = 45 x 10 20 ergs = 2.15 x 10 10 kcal
        • Energy for 123,000 years @ 2400 kcal/d
        • 21 kilotons
    • 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
    • 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 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%
      http://www.nationalterroralert.com/readyguide/nuclear.htm, http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/effectstable1.html
    • 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
    • Radiation Effects
      • Acute Effects: Bone marrow most affected (bleeding, infections, etc.), then GI tract (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
      • 50% fatality @ 0.8 miles
    • 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
    • Existing weapons
    • Dot Chart (2001) * http://www.tridentploughshares.org/hb3/part10.php 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 BIG NUMBER 1
    • The New Danger
      • Nuclear terrorism
      • Loose fissile material
      • Nuclear proliferation
    • Americans, think
    • “ 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Fissile Material: key ingredient for nuclear bombs
      • Highly enriched uranium or plutonium
      • Relatively simple to make it come together as a critical mass
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
      BIG NUMBER #2
    • 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 at http:// www.ippnw.org/IPPNWBooks.html#Crude ; ** http://www.dnfsb.gov/pub_docs/hanford/sir_19931213_hd.txt
    • 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.67
    • 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
    • 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
    • Current administration approach
      • U.S. dominant; unilateral
      • Emphasis on military solutions
      • Build new nuclear weapons and threaten to use them
    • Quotes
      • “ Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” --GWB, 9/20/01 ( www.whitehouse.gov/news/ 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, 1/20/04
      • “ I don’t do carrots.” –John Bolton
    • New Nuclear Policies The Embrace of Nuclear Weapons
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • “ 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
    • 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 Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons. Washington Post, 9/11/05 A01
    • “ 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)
    • Salt Lake City Tribune “ 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
    • 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
    • Smart Security Brochure
    • The PSR Platform for SMART Security
      • 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 Churches (100,000 congregations with 45 million members)
    • 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)
    • 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.”
    • 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
    • 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 Nuclear Treaty. New York Times, May 28, 2005
    • 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
    • Alternative Budget Priorities
      • International development
      • Global public health
      • Alternative energy sources
    • 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
    • Quote #2: Senator Everett M. Dirksen
      • “ When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
    • What You Can Do
      • Take some brochures and newsletters
      • Sign up for SF Bay Area PSR Security Committee
      • Join PSR (www.psr.org)
      • Sign up for PSR’s Legislative Alert email list
      • Join speakers’ bureau, find audiences
      • Increase awareness and concern among public health professionals
    • 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
    • Supplementary slides
    • 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
    • “ If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, carefully and bravely as we now prepare for war.” ~ Wendell Berry
    • Sadako Sasaki and the 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
    • Hiroshima Peace Park
      • 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
    • 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.
    • Fission
    • 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 5/18/05
    • 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 space...in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.
    • Fissile Material Dot Chart 1 dot = 1 Hiroshima-sized bomb Each square has 47 of these
    • 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
    • The dangerous rise of American exceptionalism
      • 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
      Lancet Volume 361, Number 9369     10 May 2003
    • 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.
      • 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.”
      - Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration