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Nuclear Weapons Blog

  • Putting Words into Actions
    Posted by Shannon Gearhart on August 29, 2010

    As we are nearing the end of the 19th IPPNW World Congress, I cannot help but reflect on all that has been discussed here in Basel. There are several plenaries and workshops that standout in my mind and inspire me to stay involved in PSR/IPPNW’s work. On Friday, during the plenary on violence prevention we heard from Ms. Kidist Bartolomeos from the WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention. After giving a brief overview of the issue of small arms violence worldwide, she proposed four “best buys” for decreasing the consequences of violence. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • PSR President Reflects on IPPNW World Congress
    Posted by Jeff Patterson, DO on August 29, 2010

    With the 19th IPPNW conference coming to a close, I hope that everyone will consider attending the 2012 20th conference which will be held in Hiroshima, Japan. In addition to allowing one to meet fascinating like minded people from around the world, there is a wealth of information which is both useful and serves to inspire one to return home with renewed energy. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Banquet of Stones
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on August 27, 2010

    The banquet at end of a very long first day of the 19th Annual IPPNW World Congress and was held in the hall of the Safran Zunft (Saffron Guild) the 13th century Guild of Apothecaries in Basel. The evening was time for good food, fellowship, and introspection. A series of toasts were given, none more poignant that of Ulrich Gottstein, WW II German veteran and long time IPPNW activist. While he was frail, his message was strong. Read more »

  • Old friends, new partners for peace, and much work to do back in the USA
    Posted by Andrew S. Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI on August 27, 2010

    Some initial thoughts upon arriving at the first official day of the 19th IPPNW World Congress in Basel, Switzerland… Due to poor time planning, I arrived later than usual and I unfortunately was unable to participate in the International Council meeting and the Student Congress. It was nice to hear from Ira, Ashish and Peter, though! It is a rainy morning here in Basel, and it would normally be the wee hours of the morning back in New York, so I am functioning on the adrenalin of seeing so many old friends. It is truly wonderful to see everyone here. You realize that this is a big family all working for our planet. Read more »

  • Student PSR Leader "part of a larger movement"
    Posted by Craig Levoy on August 26, 2010

    The morning starts early with a Plenary entitled “Uranium and Environment.” The first presenter discusses nuclear medicine. Primarily, he focuses on the fact that traditionally nuclear medicine has used the same type of Uranium that is necessary for building a nuclear weapon (the so-called Highly Enriched Uranium, or HEU). However, he explains that recently, thanks to pressure from groups like PSR/IPPNW, most medical facilities around the world have switched to the non-weapons grade Uranium (LEU), without any deficit in patient care. Read more »

  • Peter Wilk, MD 19th IPPNW World Congress & the Challenges at Home
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on August 26, 2010

    I am just arriving in Switzerland, a stunningly beautiful country, travelling from the Zurich airport through well manicured countryside to the site of the 19th World Congress of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Basel. The Swiss rail system is well organized; the train ride is smooth and fast. I am confident the Congress, the first plenary session of which begins tomorrow, will be equally well organized. All indications are for the largest attendance in many years. It will be wonderful to gather there with colleagues from around the world. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • On the Ground in Basel: Initial Reflections
    Posted by Ashish Sinha on August 25, 2010

    The first day of the World Congress in Basel begins with a palpable energy in the room. The first two days are devoted to the students and workshops oriented around building their capacity to be leaders when they return to their home countries. Some had been at the last World Congress in Delhi and greet fellow student activists that they had not seen in two years. Many, new to this conference, start meeting students around the room to begin their first introduction to the international nuclear disarmament community. Over 700 people registered for this week's conference; one of the largest in recent history. The organizers ask everyone to find their seat. The 19th IPPNW World Congress is about to begin. Read more »

  • IPPNW World Congress off to an energetic start
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on August 24, 2010

    The 19th IPPNW World Congress got off to an energetic start this afternoon with the arrival here in Basel of the BAN (Biking Against Nukes) student bike tour. More than 30 medical students from every continent except Antarctica arrived in the Marktplatz in front of the Basel City Hall at exactly 5:30 pm--this is Switzerland--after a 700 kilometer trip that started in Dusseldorf 10 days ago. Read more »

  • The Spoilers
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on July 16, 2010

    Senator Robert Byrd died June 28, 2010. He was remarkable and surprising in many ways and probably the last of a kind. One bit of trivia emerged that jogged my memory. Senator Byrd was a dedicated fan of the TV show “Gunsmoke,” and he advanced a resolution in the Senate protesting the end of the long running series in 1975. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • PSR & Grow the Hope event, Sunday 6/27/2010
    Posted by Neethu Putta on July 9, 2010

    Stepping out of the Bethesda metro station into the blinding sunlight, I warily tried to navigate my way to David Hart’s house. I was excited to join a group of motivated individuals, both from PSR and Grow the Hope, a movement for progressive social change and supporters of President Barack Obama, to discuss the importance of nuclear disarmament. Read more »

  • Countdown to Zero – a documentary
    Posted by Neethu Putta on June 22, 2010

    Nuclear disarmament is a challenge that requires ongoing education around the risks tied to the very existence of the weapons themselves. PSR and our international affiliate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), have been working on this issue for decades. While we’ve made some progress, the threat of nuclear war continues to loom over the world. With just a few missiles, the whole world could be annihilated. Prominent officials including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Obama are now attempting to heed Kennedy’s wise words before these weapons “abolish us.” As the title of this blog post prompts, we need to destroy these weapons... or they will destroy us. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Age of Horrorism
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on June 1, 2010

    The Japanese called the atomic bomb "Original Child Bomb." The makers of the bomb called it "Little Boy." The way early twentieth century physics was unfolding, perhaps it was inevitable that the drive to understand how the world works would have eventually led to development of nuclear weapons. Or perhaps not. Perhaps the perceived desperation of impending World War turned human endeavor in this direction. Perhaps the need to demonstrate the power of this weapon to U.S. enemies and allies alike led to the first use of a nuclear weapon. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Avoiding More Predictable Disasters
    Posted by Jeff Patterson, DO on May 18, 2010

    The current manmade environmental oil disaster of the Deepwater Horizon Oil blowout on April 20, 2010 happens to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the radiation disaster at Chernobyl on April 27, 1986. This is, therefore, an ideal time to consider the nature and effect of manmade disasters, which should give us guidance as to the direction of our future energy plans. Read more »

  • Major Films Reinforce PSR's Core Message
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on May 13, 2010

    On Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to join a distinguished group of current and former administration officials, members of Congress, senior reporters and colleagues from throughout the arms control community, in a private showing of Nuclear Tipping Point. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Key Updates from the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference at the UN
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on May 6, 2010

    Two issues with special relevance to PSR are emerging here at the NPT review in New York: Austria, Switzerland, China and the 80 odd nations of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) have explicitly endorsed a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC), and recommended that a call to initiate negotiations for a NWC be included in the final document of the Review Conference. The call reflects a widely held view among participants that nuclear disarmament is as important as non proliferation and can not be put off indefinitely as it has in the past. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • The 2010 NPT Review Conference: May 5th
    Posted by Tova Fuller, PhD on May 5, 2010

    For those students who have never attended the NPT review conference, I would like to first give a snapshot of what the experience–or at least the first couple of days–is like. First, you queue…for hours. We waited outside in a line with visitors and other NGO representatives. Unfortunately there were only two people working at the registration on day 1, and this inside line inside was even worse – perhaps spending five minutes on each person, and well, with, say, 75 people in front of you…and you can do the math. Read more »

  • The oil spill reminds us that "Fail-safe systems" do, in fact, fail with horrific consequences
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on May 5, 2010

    The Non Proliferation Treaty review conference begins this week in New York against the back drop of one of the worst environmental disasters in decades, and the ongoing oil leak in the Gulf should give the nuclear negotiators at the UN much to think about. Read more »
    3 comment(s)

  • Taking Full Advantage of Our Nuclear Spring
    Posted by David Hart on April 20, 2010

    I write this in the midst of what some are calling our Nuclear Spring – our imperfect moment of opportunity. After years of little progress on moving the world toward a future free from the horrors of nuclear weapons, we now see a potential thaw. Read more »

  • New START treaty represents an important achievement in arms control
    Posted by Steven Starr, MT (ASCP) on April 9, 2010

    Despite much criticism, the new START treaty represents an important achievement in arms control, because it restores verifiable and enforced nuclear arms reductions between the United States and Russia. It replaces the meaningless Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT) negotiated by the Bush administration, which was jokingly described as "SORT of a nuclear arms control treaty", because it contained no verification measures and only came into force the day it expired. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Count on PSR to be a leader in a growing coalition of YES
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on March 26, 2010

    I've been thinking a lot about anniversaries lately. This week I passed the iconic milestone of 65 and received my all-time favorite talking birthday card. On the front, Kirk is addressing his first officer: "Analysis, Spock: If all of the candles on that cake were to be lit simultaneously...?" On opening the card and I heard Spock's raspy voice answer: "Annihilation,, complete, absolute annihilation." Read more »
    1 comment(s)

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