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Posts Tagged ‘hair-trigger alert’

President Obama: Go to Hiroshima

On April 5, 2009, the newly elected Barack Obama gave a now-famous speech in Prague that focused on the threat of nuclear weapons. In it he gave “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He stated:

“The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. … [A]s the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.” Read More

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UCS Webinar on Nuclear Hair-Trigger Alert and Launch-on-Warning

As the NPT Review Conference gets underway at the UN in New York, the increasingly frustrated non-nuclear weapon states will be looking for the U.S. and other nuclear weapon states to take meaningful steps to reduce nuclear risks. Read More

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Nuclear Hair-Trigger and Launch-on-Warning: The World Says “No”

Almost all the world’s nations gather today at the UN in New York City for the month-long Review Conference of the international treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and eliminate the ones that already exist.

The 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, or “NPT”, divides the world into nuclear weapons haves and have-nots, with the five nuclear weapon states—the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France—committed to nuclear disarmament in exchange for which the other 186 parties have pledged not to acquire nuclear weapons. The treaty includes inspections to make sure that countries with nuclear power programs don’t use the technology to produce nuclear weapons materials.   Read More

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U.S. and Russian Generals Call for Reducing the Risk of Inadvertent Nuclear War

In an important New York Times op-ed, retired U.S. and Russian Generals James Cartwright and Vladimir Dvorkin call for the two countries to take steps to reduce the risk of nuclear weapons being launched by mistake, particularly during a time of crisis. Read More

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An Interview with Eric Schlosser on the Risks of Hair-Trigger Alert

Eric Schlosser, author of the best-selling book Fast Food Nation, last year published a new book that details dozens of accidents that have occurred with U.S. nuclear weapons—some of which nearly led to a nuclear explosion. His book, Command and Control, makes clear that nuclear weapons systems—like all complex systems involving technology and humans—are not perfect. Things go wrong. Read More

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Nuclear War and the Science Experiment of January 25, 1995

On January 25, 1995—20 years ago Sunday—a routine scientific experiment in Norway led Russia to prepare to launch a nuclear attack on the United States.

The story of this event illustrates how coincidence, confusion, and nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert can be a deadly mix. Read More

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Then vs Now: Progress on Nuclear Weapons since the End of the Cold War

The Cold War ended 25 years ago this month, according to many historians. On Dec. 2 and 3, 1989, Presidents Bush and Gorbachev met on a ship off the island of Malta in the Mediterranean and announced an end of hostilities between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The two presidents quickly turned to addressing the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War: the bloated nuclear arsenals in both countries. Within a few years, they cut their nuclear stockpiles in half, and have continued to cut them in the decades since. With U.S.-Russian tensions high again, it’s worth remembering what progress has been made. Read More

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Taking Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert

A recent New York Times editorial, Wresting with an Aging Arsenal, reiterates a key point UCS has been making about U.S. nuclear weapons policy: it’s stuck in the past—a carry-over from a different era that does not address the main threats in today’s world. Read More

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Hiroshima, Hair-Trigger, and Existential Risks

Incredibly, “existential risks”—those that could end humanity—threaten us every day.

That’s the conclusion of a recent Washington Post article. What risk tops the list? Read More

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Los Alamos, Freedom of Speech, and Nuclear Disaster

As every high school student learns, the first amendment to the U.S. constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech. That’s why government employees have the right to express their opinions as long as they make clear that their opinions do not represent those of their employer.

Apparently some folks at Los Alamos National Laboratory—one of the two labs that design and help maintain U.S. nuclear weapons—missed that day in class. Read More

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