So I admit that headline could cover a lot of ground, but I’ll just touch on a few ludicrous developments of the nuclear weapons enterprise in this post, and a few good news antidotes to the insanity.
First up, while this gets scant attention, the United States still “tests” nuclear weapons. Not with full scale explosions as in the past (we haven’t done that since 1992, thanks to the peace movement’s vigilance!), but with “subcritical” (better called “hypocritical”) experiments where nuclear weapons components, including plutonium from the warhead, are “tested” but they don’t “go critical” (there is no nuclear chain reaction and thus no full-scale explosion). Here’s a concise letter to President Obama from our colleagues Gensuikyo, a leading Japanese disarmament organization. This was sent on December 7 to protest the subcritical nuclear test conducted on December 5 at the Nevada test site.
Mr. Barack Obama
United States of America
December 7, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
We protest against your administration for the subcritical nuclear test conducted on December 5 at the Nevada test site. Whether it involves an explosion or not, nuclear testing runs counter to the spirit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the agreement of achieving the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” reached by the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
Your administration seeks non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But your position of urging most others to renounce nuclear weapons, while continuing your own nuclear tests, does not stand by reason nor is it supported by the world public.
In the name of the A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and on behalf of the people of Japan, the only A-bombed country, we call on you to cancel all plans of nuclear testing and make a sincere effort to achieve a total ban on nuclear weapons and a world without nuclear weapons.
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)
The government of Iran also protested the “subcritical” test. Just sayin’.
On the good news front, in another part of our government’s nuclear weapons forever plans, as of now no ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) flight tests from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are scheduled through next June, though that could certainly change.
Speaking of ICBMs, Reuters reported last week on a report prepared for Congress that Iran is nowhere close to having ICBMs capable of reaching the U.S. by 2015, as had been previously projected.
Talk about nonsense, or maybe insanity, the government is considering very harsh sentences, amounting to death sentences, for the nonviolent protesters, including an 82 year old nun, Megan Rice, who breeched security at the Y-12 nuclear weapons site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Learn more, and take action by signing this petition to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Last but not least, check out Cadmus Journal for some interesting perspectives on various issues relating to nuclear disarmament.