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Nuclear Weapons Blog

  • Health Professional's Role in Reducing Nuclear Dangers
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on March 18, 2010

    As the Senate considers the CTBT and the new START treaties this year, it is important to realize the powerful role that PSR and health professionals can play in moving the public to support steps to reduce the nuclear danger. Read more »

  • The Climatic Consequences of Nuclear War
    Posted by Steven Starr, MT (ASCP) on March 15, 2010

    Although the ongoing Nuclear Posture Review is supposed to include all aspects of the strategy and doctrine that govern the use of U.S. nuclear weapons, it once again will not consider one crucial question: What would be the long-term consequences to Earth's environment if the U.S. nuclear arsenal were detonated during a conflict? Read more »

  • A Good “START” to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on February 18, 2010

    Having had the opportunity today to join the audience hearing Vice President Joe Biden’s speech outlining the Administration’s approach to managing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, strengthening nonproliferation and reducing nuclear risks, I am struck again by their strong rhetorical commitment to “take concrete steps toward a world without nuclear weapons”. Read more »
    13 comment(s)

  • It is time to confront “the greatest danger to the American people"
    Posted by Jaya Tiwari on January 28, 2010

    In his first State of the Union address, President Barack Obama eloquently described the threat of nuclear weapons as the “greatest danger to the American people.” Invoking the arms control legacy of President John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, the President also repeated his earlier promise to pursue a strategy that reverses the spread of nuclear weapons and seeks a world without them. Read more »

  • A minute safer but still too close to doomsday
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on January 14, 2010

    The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Clock back 1 minute signaling an increased environment of international cooperation on nuclear disarmament but with considerable hurdles left before real action is taken. Read more »

  • Oslo attendees reflect after President's Speech
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 10, 2009

    At tonight's Nobel Dinner the vice chair of the Nobel Committee delivered a great speech in which she stressed the theme of this year's Nobel Prize as a "Call to Action". She cited a passage in Obama's first book where he describes a bus ride during an early community organizing effort and the ongoing impact it had sustaining his commitment to the work he was doing in Chicago. She expressed the wish that the ride to Oslo would have the same effect on him now, and spoke plainly of the enormous hopes the world invests in him and of the "audacity" of the Nobel Committee in challenging him further to meet those hopes. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • By envisioning a world of peace, we will help create it
    Posted by Andrew S. Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI on December 10, 2009

    I, like many people, spent the early part of this morning in bed watching President Obama receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I was struck by the contrasts and conflicting aspects of his speech. I was only a medical student working for IPPNW when I attended the Nobel ceremonies in 1985. Read more »
    5 comment(s)

  • A profound speech on war and peace; a similar speech is needed on nuclear weapon policy
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 10, 2009

    President Obama's Nobel address was not the speech that many of us had hoped for. He did state again his commitment to nuclear disarmament but he certainly did not use the address to build the case for eliminating nuclear weapons nor to lay out a plan for achieving this aim. Read more »
    4 comment(s)

  • Oslo prepares for tomorrow's Nobel Award
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 9, 2009

    This evening a number of organizations sponsored a forum "How to Build Momentum towards a Nuclear Weapons Free World" . Alyn Ware, the coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and I were the speakers. Read more »

  • Dr. Helfand opinion piece published by CNN
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 9, 2009

    CNN has published a piece I wrote urging President Obama to use the Nobel Address to reaffirm his commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and to spell out why it is in America's national security interest to secure a nuclear weapons convention. Read more »

  • President Obama's Nobel Address on Thursday may be much more than an inspiring speech
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on December 7, 2009

    The Nobel Committee has invited me to attend the award ceremony and dinner in Oslo this week to represent the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and our US affiliate Physicians for Social Responsibility. This year marks the 24th anniversary of our receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for the work we did alerting the world to the medical consequences of nuclear war. Read more »

  • PSR Helps Reduce HEU Proliferation Risk
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on October 30, 2009

    Back in June, PSR joined an appeal from a broad and unprecedented coalition of nuclear medical and nonproliferation groups urging Congress to fund domestic production of medical isotopes without bomb-grade uranium, to ensure supply of the isotopes while reducing risks of nuclear terrorism. Read more »

  • Nobel Prize Rightfully Goes to Obama
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on October 9, 2009

    As Physicians for Social Responsibility did in 1985, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize for Peace today for his disarmament achievements. A bit of a shock to hear that he had received such recognition so early on, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Let’s negotiate like Russia with Iran
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Marina Voronova-Abrams, Global Green USA on October 5, 2009

    There is no public proof that Iran intends to build a bomb and no good reason to impose crippling sanctions. Such sanctions will only decrease the U.S.’s influence on Iran, while they increase Russia’s. Several U.S. media outlets and US Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) wrongly said that the September 25 public acknowledgement of Iran’s secret enrichment facility in Qum, capable of holding 3,000 centrifuges, is proof that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon. This is additional proof that Iran broke its international obligations, but these sources do not prove that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon. These facilities can be used to produce low enriched uranium for nuclear reactor fuel, or highly enriched uranium for the core of a nuclear weapon. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Who changed the U.S.’s Disarmament Resolution?
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on September 24, 2009

    A few days ago the U.S.’s draft UN Security Council Resolution on nonproliferation and disarmament was changed. This resolution was negotiated with all 15 Security Council members, and maybe a few others, to have assurance it would pass today. Just slight changes were made, since the September 18th draft, along with one rather significant addition. The addition likely indicates future key topics for negotiation at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010. Read more »

  • Obama Takes Steps Towards World Free of Nuclear Weapons
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on September 23, 2009

    In his debut appearance at the United Nations today, President Obama reminded the international community that he has already “outlined a comprehensive agenda to seek the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” Obama noted that this agenda was being implemented through U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament negotiations, work towards a fissile material cut off treaty at the Conference on Disarmament and by sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as the first senior American representative, to the annual members conference of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Read more »

  • UN Disarmament Action in Mexico
    Posted on September 21, 2009

    Last week, I represented Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) at the 62nd Annual United Nations Conference for Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), “For Peace and Development: Disarm Now!” This is a critical time for disarmament efforts in a rare moment of political opportunity as we approach the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May 2010. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • August Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on August 28, 2009

    A new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report is out on Iran. Here is some new information about Iran’s enrichment capabilities, since the last June report: Read more »

  • Sanctions Hurt Iranians Who Need Help
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on August 6, 2009

    The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009, or 'the Berman Bill,' after the original sponsor in the House of Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), now has a place in the Senate (S.908) with support from 21 Senators. The Bill looks to push Iran into further isolation from the international community by cutting its oil and gas trade off. Isolating Iran will spur more illegal trade in Iran, increase the threat Iran perceives from the West and give the nation more of a reason to build a nuclear weapon as a security assurance. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Gibbs backs off on Iran Gaffe
    Posted by Jill Marie Parillo and Laicie Olson on August 5, 2009

    August 4, to the shock of Iran experts, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said that President Obama recognized Iran’s contested election of President Ahmadinejad, but then retracted the statement. When asked point blank August 4 if the administration recognized Ahmadinejad as the legitimate President of Iran, Gibbs responded that “He [Ahmadinejad] is the elected leader.” Read more »

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