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Nuclear Weapons Policy

Current Issues

In 2013, Physicians for Social Responsibility will be working with a coalition of organizations (the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability) who are committed to making progress on reducing the U.S.'s nuclear footprint. Take a look at these three factsheets to learn more about a number of the bomb facilities and programs where we see real possibilities of success.

Nuclear Weapons Factsheet

Nuclear Cleanup Factsheet

Nuclear Reactors and Waste Factsheet

Policy Recommendations

Arms Control Treaties

Decades of negotations on arms control issues have resulted in the negotiation of many key international treaties.This page reviews a few key treaties that are either in force or are under consideration to help reduce the nuclear weapons threat. These treaties represent important steps towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Read more »

Federal Budget

Military and Nuclear Weapons spending represents over half of all discretionary spending in the United States. Our spending priorities reflect our values and if we are to make progress towards a more just future we must address budget issues. By educating the public and public officials on the real trade-offs associated with continued spending on dangerous Cold War era programs, we can help push back against the military industrial complex. Read more »

Nuclear Weapons Issues

De-Alerting: Currently, the United States and Russia have thousands of nuclear warheads on high alert status. This war-time policy increases instability by decreasing the threshold for the leader of either country to make a decision about whether to launch a nuclear retalition against a perceived hostile move. This type of deadly miscalculation nearly occured in 1995 over the launch of a weather sattelite from Norway. To decrease risk, the United States should move our nuclear forces off their Cold War era posture. Read more »

Depleted Uranium: The 1991 Persian Gulf War saw the use of advanced U.S. weaponry that devastated targets in Iraq while allowing the coalition forces to declare victory with limited military losses. Numerous developments in technology contributed to U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf's success, including the use of depleted uranium (DU). The U.S. military claims that DU used by the coalition forces secured a significant advantage over the Iraqi military. This technology has since been used in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, and again in Iraq in 2003. The consequences of DU have not been adequately studied and its use should be prohibited until the alleged consequences are better reviewed. Read more »

Nuclear Terrorism: A chance for terrorist organisations to detonate a nuclear device in the United States is a real and preventable threat. Although the technical knowledge required to build a nuclear device is widely available; the ability to acquire sufficient fissile materials is less likely. Physicians for Social Responsibility views securing all "loose" nuclear-grade material through the Cooperative Threat Reduction and Global Threat Reduction Initiatives as critical priorities to reduce the risk of terrorists being able to acquire sufficient nuclear materials. Read more »

Nuclear Arms Control Summits: The first nuclear bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 at the Alamagordo (New Mexico) test site. Since then, leaders of nuclear weapons states and organizations working for the abolition of nuclear weapons have met on several accasions to discuss ways to reduce the danger posed by nuclear weapons. Those meetings are referred to as nuclear arms control summits. This page contains a review of the Moscow Summit of 1972 to the Seoul Summit of 2012. Read more »