Guest Commentary

UCS

Leading experts from a variety of fields bring their insights to The Equation, providing guest commentary on a broad range of issues that connect to our work.

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Resuming Nuclear Testing a Slap in the Face to Survivors

Lilly Adams

D. Meyers/Unsplash

The news that the Trump administration is considering resuming nuclear weapons testing is morally abhorrent. The current US moratorium on nuclear testing was put in place for many reasons, but we must not forget one crucial reason: In conducting explosive nuclear tests, the US government killed thousands of innocent people and sickened untold thousands more.
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Nuclear Weapons, Frontline Communities, and the COVID Stimulus. What You Need to Know.

Lilly Adams

On March 1, 1954 the US tested a nuclear weapon 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The blast from the Castle Bravo test over the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands rained down over a 7,000 square mile area. U.S. Department of Energy

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to confront the vast inequities in our society that have made this virus more deadly in some communities than others. This is also true in the world of nuclear weapons policy: US nuclear weapons activities have, and continue to, hurt communities through harmful and sometimes deadly radiation exposure. Now, the survivors of this radiation exposure are also at greater risk from COVID-19. Effective COVID-19 response requires that those who need care can receive it. It also means recognizing who is at greatest risk, and addressing their needs. As we gear up for another stimulus package, UCS and more than 100 other organizations across the country are calling for Congress to include funding for health care access for communities directly harmed by US nuclear activities.  Read more >

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The Human Side of Nuclear Weapons Issues in the FY20 Defense Bill

Lilly Adams

Editors Note: January 27, 2020 is the “National Day of Remembrance for Downwinders”—a day to acknowledge the extreme harm caused to those exposed to radiation and fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted in the United States. UCS stands with these communities in their fight for compensation, through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), for the health consequences and deaths resulting from this testing. Join us in calling on members of Congress to support legislation to expand and extend RECA, which is currently set to expire in 2022. You can read more about recent developments and current legislation on RECA below.

Tonight, President Trump is expected to sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)  at Joint Base Andrews, a defense budget bill totaling a stunning $738 billion. Much attention has been given to the many ways that Democrats lost out on progressive priorities in this bill. The nuclear arms control and disarmament community lost hard-fought battles over issues like the low-yield warhead, and overall spending levels on nuclear weapons systems.

UCS’s President Ken Kimmel put out an important statement on these issues, urging members of Congress to vote “no” on this dangerous bill. But many nuclear weapons-related issues have been flying under the radar, especially those relating to the communities directly impacted by nuclear weapons production and testing. Here’s a run-down of the issues nuclear policy wonks might have missed in their analysis of the NDAA.

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NRC Cherry-Picking in the Post-Fukushima Era: A Case Study

Mark Leyse

In the late 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the forerunner of the NRC, paid the very companies that designed nuclear reactors—Westinghouse and General Electric (GE)—to test the efficacy of their own emergency cooling systems. Read More

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Hawaii’s False Missile Alert

Michael Jones

I was using my home computer a few minutes after 8 AM on January 13 when the phone rang. My daughter called to tell me that she had received an alert message on her smart phone that a missile was headed toward Hawaii. Read more >

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