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Maine Nuclear Arms Security Issues Speaker Tour

April 18, 2011 - April 19, 2011

Who: Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility
         Colonel Richard Klass (USAF, ret.) of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

When & Where: 

April 18, 1 pm
Screening of Countdown to Zero, followed by a discussion with Dr. Ira Helfand, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Col. Richard Klass (retired), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Frontier Café and Cinema, 14 Maine St., Fort Andross, Brunswick, ME.

April 18, 6 pm
Dr. Ira Helfand, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Col. Richard Klass (retired), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, "Nuclear Security Issues: Medical and Military Perspectives." University of Southern Maine, Masterton Hall, Room 113, Portland, ME.

April 19, Noon
Dr. Ira Helfand, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Col. Richard Klass (retired), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, "Nuclear Security Issues: Medical and Military Perspectives." University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Alfond Center for Health Sciences, Room 304, Biddeford, ME.

April 19, 6 pm
Dr. Ira Helfand, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Col. Richard Klass (retired), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, "Nuclear Security Issues: Medical and Military Perspectives." Unity College, Centre for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St., Unity, ME.

What and why:

Colonel Richard Klass (USAF, ret.) of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Dr. Ira Helfand, board member and past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will provide medical and military perspectives on nuclear arms security policy. Their talks will follow progress of the New START treaty and the next steps for issues that include curbing the threat of nuclear terrorism, future treaties and funding for national nuclear security administration. 

*A  special presentation of the acclaimed documentary “Countdown to Zero” followed by discussion with Dr. Helfand and Col. Klass will be Monday April 18 at 1 p.m. at the Frontier Café and Cinema, 14 Maine Street in Brunswick.

All events are free and open to the public. 

Contact: Roger Q. Fenn at the Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter – rqfenn@gwi.net

Detailed News Release

What and why:

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Japan, detection of nuclear radiation worldwide has come in to focus with the aid of a network of sensors around the globe operated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). This network, designed to detect nuclear tests, has proven to be helpful in assessing the risks of radiation. In a series of talks in Maine April 18 and 19, Colonel Richard Klass (USAF, ret.) of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility will provide medical and military perspectives on the CTBTO and other nuclear arms security issues.

Implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty has begun. Now more issues are at hand for discussion, including the threat of nuclear terrorism, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty awaiting ratification and funding in the federal budget for disposal of nuclear waste. Col. Klass’ and Dr. Helfand’s presentation will encompass a broad overview of nuclear weapons security issues past and present.

Colonel Klass and Dr. Helfand bring more than fifty years combined military and medical experience to this two-day speaking tour of Maine from Portland to Orono.

Colonel Klass served in the U.S. Air Force for over 22 years, retiring in 1980. His decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and Purple Heart. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia. Colonel Klass currently serves as Executive Director for the Veterans’ Alliance for Security and Democracy (VETPAC).

Dr. Helfand, is a Specialist in Emergency Medicine in Springfield MA and a board member of National Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Because of his publications and long time expertise, Dr. Helfand was asked to testify on May 15, 2008 to the US Congress on developing a more adequate system in the United States for responding to medical disasters.  Dr. Helfand is a Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) board member and former PSR President.

*A  special presentation  of the acclaimed documentary “Countdown to Zero” followed by discussion with Dr. Helfand and Col. Klass will be Monday April 18 at 1 p.m. at the Frontier Café and Cinema, 14 Maine Street in Brunswick.

“Countdown to Zero” traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possess nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. Written and directed by acclaimed documentarian Lucy Walker, the film features an array of important international statesmen, including Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair. The film was produced by Academy Award® winner and 2009 nominee Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient Truth).

For more information contact Roger Fenn at the Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter – rqfenn@gwi.net