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Stop Nuclear War in South Asia

Resources for the promotion of nuclear abolition


David Krieger

President, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

TFF associate

June 4, 2002

The Sunflower
Online monthly newsletter of the
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
June 2002 (No. 61)

The Sunflower is a monthly e-newsletter providing educational information on nuclear weapons abolition and other issues relating to global security. Back issues are available at

















Stopping a Nuclear War in South Asia

By David Krieger

Two nuclear-armed countries stand on the brink of war and the world seems paralyzed as it watches events unfolding in what seems like slow motion. It is a war that could easily escalate into a nuclear holocaust taking millions or tens of millions of lives, and virtually nothing is being done to end the standoff. The US and the UK have advised their citizens to leave the region and the UN is pulling out the families of UN workers in the region, but the UN Security Council has not yet even put the matter on its agenda let alone put forward any constructive solution.

The US has sent its Secretary of Defense to the region, but has lifted sanctions on the sale of military equipment to both countries that it imposed after they conducted nuclear tests in 1998. At the same time, the US continues to demonstrate its own reliance on nuclear weaponry, announcing on June 1st that it will resume production of plutonium "pits" used to trigger nuclear warheads.

Here is what Indian novelist Arundhati Roy has to say about the situation:

"Terrorists have the power to trigger nuclear war. Non-violence is treated with contempt. Displacement, dispossession, starvation, poverty, disease, these are all just funny comic strip items now. Meanwhile, emissaries of the coalition against terror come and go preaching restraint. Tony Blair arrives to preach peace and on the side, to sell weapons to both India and Pakistan. The last question every visiting journalist asks me: 'Are you writing another book?'

"That question mocks me. Another book? Right now when it looks as though all the music, the art, the architecture, the literature, the whole of human civilization means nothing to the monsters who run the world. What kind of book should I write? For now, just for now, for just a while pointlessness is my biggest enemy. That's what nuclear bombs do, whether they're used or not. They violate everything that is humane, they alter the meaning of life.

"Why do we tolerate them? Why do we tolerate the men who use nuclear weapons to blackmail the entire human race?"

Arundhati Roy is absolutely right. It is because we tolerate these men and their dangerous, inhumane and genocidal policies whether they be in the US, Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India or Pakistan -- that nuclear war is possible and increasingly likely.

But what should we do now, while these men remain in control of the future of the fate of the people of India, Pakistan and the rest of the world? Here are a few modest suggestions:

Call for the UN Security Council to take charge of the situation as a matter of highest priority, require Indian and Pakistani forces to stand down their nuclear forces, move back from their front line positions, interpose UN Peacekeeping forces between them and require mediated talks between the leaders of the two countries.

Call for the permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, UK, France and China) to immediately cancel the sale and delivery of all military equipment to both India and Pakistan.

To deal with the continuing dangers of nuclear war, so easy to visualize in the India-Pakistan standoff, we should also call for all nuclear weapons states to immediately commence good faith negotiations for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Court of Justice.

Forty years ago, the world stood by helplessly as the US and former Soviet Union almost stumbled into nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We obviously failed to learn the lesson then that nuclear weapons are too dangerous to be left in the hands of any military force. Now we run the risk that acts of terrorists in the Kashmir conflict could trigger a war in South Asia that could quickly escalate to nuclear war. Similar conditions exist in the Middle East.

The potential for war in South Asia must be defused now before it erupts into large-scale conflict that could go nuclear. But it is not enough to only defuse the present crisis. The world must also become deadly serious about putting away forever these dangerous instruments of annihilation and genocide, before these instruments become seriously and massively deadly in wars that no one can truly desire or in the hands of terrorists.


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India and Pakistan: The Crisis Casts A Nuclear Shadow

India and Pakistan are moving dangerously toward war. On 22 May, Indian Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee told troops "to be ready for sacrifice...It's time to fight a decisive battle." The Pakistani government responded by saying they would use "full force" if India is to strike. The greatest concern not only to the region, but to the world is whether or not either country will resort to using nuclear weapons in order to "win" a war.

Tensions have been mounting between South Asian nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, particularly since the 13 December terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament. On 12 January, Pakistani President General Musharraf made a landmark speech condemning terrorism, promising internal reform and calling for a peaceful resolution with India over the disputed Kashmir region--the issue at the center of the standoff between the two nations. However, in India's view, Musharraf has done substantively little to stop Islamic militants and Indian officials have charged Musharraf with continuing to support them.

Both India and Pakistan must show restraint and resolve the current crisis before the conflict escalates any further, making the use of nuclear weapons in a war between the two countries even more likely. Neither country will win a war in which nuclear weapons are used. The situation in India and Pakistan evidences that the use, let alone the existence, of nuclear weapons is completely irrational because they do the exactly opposite of what they purport to do. Nuclear weapons do not provide security. Neither India, nor Pakistan, nor anyone in this world is more secure because of the existence of nuclear weapons. In fact, at this moment India, Pakistan and indeed the whole world sit on the precipice of nuclear annihilation. It is time for global leadership, particularly from the nuclear weapons states, to rid the planet of these completely irrational weapons.


Pakistan Threatens Using Nukes

On 30 May, Pakistan threatened to use nuclear weapons even if India only used conventional weapons in a conflict. Pakistani Ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram stated, "India should not have license to kill with conventional weapons while Pakistan's hands are tied regarding others means to defend itself." He also asserted that Pakistan has never subscribed to a "no-first-use policy" of nuclear weapons. Akram told diplomats and officials at the UN that Pakistan would rely on the "means it possessed to deter Indian aggression" and would not "neutralize" that deterrence by any doctrine of "no-first-use."

Furthermore, Akram defined what Pakistan viewed an "aggression" by India as any action by India across the border, any aerial attack on Pakistani territory and its assets, and any action to economically strangle it. He claimed that Pakistan believes in "no-first-use of force" and that is why Pakistan has offered a non-aggression pact to India, a pact that was rejected. Akram said that the Security Council should address the issue of tensions between India and Pakistan that "constitutes a threat to international peace and security." However, there has previously been no support among the Security Council's 15 members who stressed after a meeting on 10 January that this is a bilateral issue and should be resolved between the two countries. According to diplomats on the council, the immediate issue is for Pakistan to crackdown on terrorist groups that are operating in Kashmir.

In related news, Bruce Riedel, an adviser to former US President Bill Clinton on India and Pakistan, reveals in a new report that the Pakistani Army mobilized its nuclear force against India in 1999 without the knowledge of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A recent report by the US Central Intelligence Agency entitled, "Global Trends 2015," predicts that the threat of nuclear war will remain a serious regional issue for the next fifteen years.

(sources: Times of India, 10 January 2002; PTI, 30 May 2002)


Pakistan May Have More Nuclear Weapons Than Previously Thought

According to Pervez Hoodboy, a leading Pakistani nuclear physicist, the country has been secretly working over the past three years to accelerate production of weapons-grade uranium for nuclear warheads. Hoodboy stated in an interview, "The scientists have been working in three shifts over the past three years since the Kargil conflict." He also said that there were clear indications that the warheads were already in place on missiles. Hoodboy's statement means that Pakistan could have more warheads than the estimated 30 to 50. Each warhead is estimated to have the same explosive power as the US nuclear weapon that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Hoodboy stated, "We are much closer to a nuclear confrontation with India than at any other time."

(source: The Times, UK; 27 May 2002)


Pakistan Conducts Missiles Tests

As tensions continued to escalate with India, Pakistan test fired three missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads into India between 25 and 28 May. The final missile test coincided with the fourth anniversary of Pakistan's underground nuclear test in 1998, which took place just two weeks after India tested its own nuclear weapons. Pakistan insisted that the missile tests were routine. However, some say the tests were clearly meant to send a message to India that Pakistan could meet any attack with massive retaliation and has the capability to send nuclear weapons to Indian cities.

(sources: AP Asia, 28 May 2002; Reuters, 28 May 2002)


US and UK Aiding and Abetting India

On 11 May, US and Indian Armies launched a two-week joint military exercise, the biggest in 40 years. Exercise Balance Iroquois took place in the northern Indian tourist town of Agra, some 400 miles from the Pakistan border. While Pakistan has been a US ally for much longer, India has been building up relations with the US in recent months. The US has agreed to resume sales of defense equipment to India that were banned under sanctions imposed after the country tested nuclear weapons in 1998. On 11 May, also the fourth anniversary of India's nuclear tests, the ruling National Democratic Alliance stated India's esteem in the world has grown after it conducted the nuclear tests.

The UK is also trying to profit from the Indian arms market, despite the government's 1997 policy to "not issue an export license if there is a clearly identifiable risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country." British ministers have been pushing the sale of 60 Hawk jets worth some $1.5 billion. Additionally, with official blessing, British companies offered howitzers, anti-aircraft guns, missiles and tanks at a major arms fair in India earlier this year. The British Foreign Office stated on 23 May that arms sales were considered "carefully" and were "under constant review."

(sources: Reuters, 11 May 2002; The Guardian, 24 May 2002)


NATO Leaders Urge De-escalation

During a NATO summit at which Russia was recognized as a junior partner on 28 May, leaders of the countries expressed concern over the escalating crisis between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, speaking in the name of the 19 NATO allies and Putin, urged both countries to take urgent steps to draw back from the brink of war, "to de-escalate and resume talking together."

(source: AP World Politics; 28 May 2002)


Individuals Can Take Action on India-Pakistan Crisis

Individuals can access the URL's below to contact their UN mission and urge their Ambassadors to invoke Article 8 of the 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes to allow Pakistan and India a 30-day cooling off period.

Sign an online petition calling on Pakistani President Musharraf and India Prime Minister Vajpayee to disavow the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, reestablish diplomatic ties, and engage in a comprehensive peace agreement on the future of Kashmir, to be enforced by international bodies.

Write to the Indian and Pakistani governments, their embassies, consulates or High Commissions (in Commonwealth countries). The fax numbers of the Prime Minister of India, the President of Pakistan, other government ministers, and the UN representatives of those countries are listed below.

Organize demonstrations or vigils outside Indian or Pakistani embassies, consulates, high commissions, or travel offices.

Persuade parliamentarians to put forward urgent resolutions urging restraint on both parties and calling for an end to arms sales. Limited resolutions have already been passed by the British, Canadian, and European parliaments. For more information, please contact: Parliamentarians Network for Nuclear Disarmament:

PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA A.B. VAJPAYEE, SOUTH BLOCK, NEW DELHI, 110-004 +91-11-301-6857 +91-11-301-9545, +91-11-972-2-664-838


PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF OF PAKISTAN,+92-51-920-3938, +92-51-920-1968

FOREIGN MINISTER OF PAKISTAN +92-51-920-7217 +92-51-920 0420 or 820-420


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Significant Nuclear Reductions or Maximum Nuclear Flexibility?

Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty between the US and the Russia during a summit in Moscow on 23 May. The treaty calls for the reduction of strategic forces of each country's arsenal to 1,700 to 2,000 by 2012, the year in which the treaty expires. It also does not require the destruction of a single missile launcher or warhead and each side can carry out the reductions at its own pace and even reverse them to temporarily build up its forces. In other words, the treaty allows either side to worry more about protecting their own nuclear options than constraining the options of the other country. A senior US administration official stated, "What we have now agreed to do under the treaty is what we wanted to do anyway. That's our kind of treaty."

Under the terms of the treaty, either side can temporarily suspend reductions or even build up forces without violating the treaty. This will allow maximum flexibility to the US, which insists on continuing to rely on nuclear weapons in its national security policy. The US Nuclear Posture Review, released in January 2002, stated, "In the event that US relations with Russia significantly worsen in the future, the US may need to revise its nuclear force level and posture." The new treaty will allow the US to do so.

Rather than completely destroying the strategic weapons, the US has repeatedly stated that it will shelve or stockpile the warheads. Although previously adamantly opposed to US plans to store warheads, Russia announced on 15 May that it will also store some of the warheads. A Russian diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated, "Each one will do what it wants: a part of them will be stored, a part will be recycled and part will be destroyed. We will do the same as they [the Americans] will."

China welcomed the treaty between the US and Russia. Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan stated that China "hoped that the two countries will continue their efforts to reduce their arsenals in this manner, so as to further advance the process of international disarmament."

(sources: AP World, 16 May 2002; NY Times, 13 May 2002)

Text of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty:

"Nuclear Dangers Remain After Bush-Putin Summit" by David Krieger:

"Still Missing: A Nuclear Strategy" by Nuclear Threat Initiative Board Members Sam Nunn, William Perry & Eugene Habiger is available to download in pdf format at:


US To Construct New Plutonium Pit Production Plant

The US Department of Energy (DoE) announced on 31 May that it will resume production of plutonium pits, which are used to trigger nuclear warheads. Plutonium pits were last produced at the Rocky Flats Facility in Colorado, but the DoE halted production in 1989.

A statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration stated that design work is beginning for a manufacturing plant, which is expected to cost between $2.2 billion and $4.4 billion, depending on production capacity. The plant will be built at a weapons facility and is anticipated to begin production by 2020. According to the DoE, the site selection process will begin in September.

US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham stated, "We need to have the capacity to manufacture certified pits to maintain the safety, security and reliability of the US nuclear deterrent into the future." According to the New York Times, a recent study by the Bush administration urged that a pit production plant be constructed. Some members of Congress have also expressed concern that the lack of a plutonium pit production plant could jeopardize the future readiness of the US nuclear arsenal.

(source: New York Times, 1 June 2002)


Report Calls for Better Security at Research Reactors

A report released on 20 May raises concerns about inadequate safeguards on uranium used at some 345 civilian research reactors in 58 countries. The report was produced by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and urges the US and Russia to launch a global effort to end the use of highly enriched (also called weapons grade) uranium (HEU) at these research facilities. HEU could be converted for use in a weapon by terrorists if they were to obtain the material.

According to the report, "Security at these hundreds of buildings varies widely from excellent to appalling. In some cases, security is provided by a single sleepy watchman and a chain-link fence." The report urges US President George W. Bush and Russia President Vladimir Putin to accelerate efforts to secure and account for nuclear materials worldwide. Former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative that helped produce the report, stated, "Terrorists are racing to get weapons of mass destruction. We should be racing to stop them."

The report specifically sites three "impoverished" reactors with no money to tighten security including: a closed reactor near Belgrade; a reactor in Ukraine that has 165 pounds of HEU; and a reactor in Belarus with 660 of HEU. The report calls for a $50 million-per-year-program to fund uranium "take-back" and get research institutions to use low-enriched uranium.

(source: AP World Politics, 20 May 2002;


Putin Calls for Proposals to Destroy Aging Weapons

President Vladimir Putin urged the Russian government on 20 May to draft proposals to dispose of aging weapons stockpiles inherited from the Soviet Union. Putin stated at a meeting with Cabinet officials, "We must think about financing the destruction of excessive stockpiles of aging weapons which have become a liability and, sometimes, an environmental hazard."

Putin also pointed out the need to deal with the country's chemical weapons arsenal. Russia has the world's largest arsenal with some 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, which the country pledged to destroy when it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Last year, the Russian government approved a program to allow the country to destroy its arsenal by 2012 without having to seek international help beyond what has already been pledged. The program is estimated to cost some $3.5 billion.

(source: AP, 20 May 2002)


Kazakh Upper Parliament Ratifies US Agreement Extension

The upper house of Kazakhstan's parliament ratified an agreement with the US on 16 May, extending an earlier agreement that provides US assistance in destroying leftover Soviet missile and infrastructure. Kazakhstan surrendered all former Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia after 1991. In 1993, the US and Kazakhstan signed a seven-year agreement that provided funds to the ex-Soviet state to help it destroy missile silos and nuclear infrastructure. After the agreement expired in 2000, the US and Kazakhstan agreed to extend it, but the Kazakh parliament just ratified it in May. To date, the US has made $183 million available to Kazakhstan under the original 1993 agreement. Kazakhstan still must destroy six intercontinental ballistic missile silos at its southern launchpad, Leninsk.

(source: Interfax News Agency, 16 May 2002)


Russia Passes Law to Punish Theft of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on 9 May that will make the theft of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction or the theft of the material to produce them punishable by a five to ten year jail sentence. The law will also make failure to ensure that weapons of mass destruction are safely guarded punishable by a sentence of three to seven years. The law comes amid concern of terrorists being able to obtain such material and at the fact that weapons-grade nuclear material has been stolen from Russian facilities on several instances. The Duma, Russia's parliament, passed the law in April.

(source: RIA Novosti News, 9 May 2002)


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Conservative Think Tank to Hold Cheerful Wake for ABM Treaty

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., will be holding a "cheerful wake for a flawed treaty" on 12 June 2002. The invitation-only event is being held at the Russell Caucus Room in Washington, D.C. The event is entitled "ABM: RIP [Rest In Peace]" and will feature, among other guests, The Honorable [sic] John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, Senator Trent Lott (R-Missouri), Senator Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina), The Honorable [sic] Frank Gaffney, Jr., and Lt. General James A. Abrahamson. The event will celebrate the "lapse" of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which the US is set to withdraw from on 13 June. The Heritage Foundation and those attending the event consider withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and "important step forward for national interest." They have praised the decision of the Bush administration saying that it will serve "to bolster the national security by allowing the unfettered development and deployment of missile defenses."

(source: The Heritage Foundation;


Iran Confirms Missile Test

On 26 May, Iran Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani confirmed US reports that his country had conducted a successful test flight of Shahab-3, a ballistic missile, earlier in the month. The Shahab-3, which means shooting star in Farsi, is based on North Korea's No Dong missile. The current test is believed to be the fifth test of the missile, which has a range of some 800 miles. Shamkhani stated that the test "should not be considered a new production or a new step to increase the missile's range," but rather the tests were meant to "enhance the power and accuracy of Shahab-3 missile."

(source: AP Middle East, 26 May 2002)


Army National Guard Tests PAC-2 Missile

According to the Pentagon, the US Army National Guard successfully shot down a drone aircraft on 15 May using a Patriot PAC-2 missile at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The intercept is part of a series of tests to familiarize part-time National Guard soldiers with the Patriot system. The PAC-2 is made by Raytheon Co. and is scheduled to be replaced by a more advanced PAC-3 that is being developed and tested by Lockheed Martin Corp. Unlike the PAC-3, which is designed to track and collide with a target, the PAC-2 carries an explosive warhead which blows up nears a target and spreads a cloud of debris in its path.

(source: Reuters, 15 May 2002)


Russia To Develop New Generation of Interceptor Missiles

According to a Russian military newspaper, the country is developing a new generation of light missiles designed to intercept enemy cruise missiles and aircraft. The Igla-S will be capable of carrying more explosives than current similar weapons and will also have a new guidance system. According to the KBM Company developing the new missile, the Igla-S will also be cheaper and lighter than current interceptor missiles.

(source: Voyenny Parad, 14 May 2002)


Taiwan Test-Fires New Missile

On 10 May, Taiwan successfully test-fired the locally-made Sky Bow II, a surface-to-air missile that some Taiwanese experts hope will eventually replace the US-made Patriot missiles. It was the first missile test open to media. Three US short-range, surface-to-air Hawk missiles were also successfully test-fired. The Sky Bow II, Taiwan's version of the US Patriot missile, has a range of some 120 miles and the country's experts claim is better than the Patriot at hitting fighter jets and bombers. Continuing to develop its own missiles may prove difficult for Taiwan as its weapons program has a limited budget and many engineers and scientists have taken higher-paying jobs in the computer industry.

(source: AP Asia, 10 May 2002)


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Taiwan Seeks Home for 100,000 Barrels of Nuclear Waste

In a pledge that ended a four-day standoff between residents and the government, Taiwan agreed on 4 May to study ways to remove 100,000 barrels of nuclear waste from Orchid Island. For years, residents have demanded that the waste be removed, but the government ignored them. The Yamis, one of Taiwan's 10 major indigenous tribes, want the waste removed by the end of the year when a government contract to store the waste on the island runs out. However, Economics Minister Lin Yi-fu, who flew to the island to settle the dispute, would not give a timeline for when the waste will be removed.

The Yamis were not consulted when the government began dumping waste on the island more than twenty years ago, during Taiwan's martial law era. After marital law ended in 1987, the government told protesters that it was unable to find another place to store the waste. Taiwan Power is currently considering moving the waste to another outlying island or possibly shipping the waste abroad. Russia is one foreign possibility because it passed a law earlier this year allowing it to receive foreign waste. China is also under consideration.

(source: AP, 4 May 2002)


Hot Waste, Cold Cash

A new report from Public Citizen entitled, "Hot Waste, Cold Cash," reveals that US Senators and senatorial candidates have taken more than $5 million from the nuclear power industry in political action committee (PAC) contributions since 1997. The report found Ranking minority member of the Senate Energy Committee Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) the indisputable Nuclear PAC Man, with more than $143,582 received from nuclear PACs since 1997. PACs of corporations belonging to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the nuclear industry's most powerful lobby in Washington, have contributed $1.3 million to Senate campaigns from 1 January 2001 to 28 February 2002 alone.

Among the report's other findings:

-Of the Senate's 20 leading recipients of nuclear PAC money, eight serve on the Senate Energy Committee and six sit on the Environment and Public Works Committee, both of which are committees for legislation related to nuclear power.

-All but seven current US senators have accepted nuclear PAC money.

-The largest total contributions by an NEI member came from General Electric, which designs and services nuclear power plants.

The full report is available online at


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NASA to Purchase Russian Plutonium for Spacecraft

US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced that NASA will renew a contract to purchase plutonium-238 from Russia as part of US efforts to reduce Russia's stockpiles of the nuclear material, which the US government fears terrorists could get their hands on and use to build a "dirty bomb." According to Abraham, NASA will use the plutonium purchased from Russia to power spacecraft. Russian experts estimate a minimum cost of $10 million for 30 kilograms of the plutonium-238.

The new deal revives the 1995 Voinoi agreement, potentially worth $12 billion for Russia. Plutonium deliveries were put on hold when George W. Bush took office in January 2001 and insisted that the plutonium was too expensive. In February 2002, Russia agreed to lower the price by about 15%. Officials have declined to reveal the value of the current deal or the amount of plutonium that will be purchased.

(source: Moscow Times, 14 May 2002)


UK MoD Abandons Construction of Nuclear Re-Arming Dock

The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on 14 May that it will abandon construction on a dock for re-arming nuclear submarines. The concrete jetty was being built in the middle of the River Tamar at Plymouth in order to relocate the work of re-arming Britain's submarine fleet away from the heavily populated area around Devonport. However, a new MoD safety assessment concluded that the risk to people living near the existing submarine base is less than originally estimated.

Environmentalists and anti-nuclear campaigners have always opposed the construction of the dock, but the MoD insisted that it was absolutely necessary. Some $21.8 million has already been spent and it will cost some additional $7.3 million to pay off contractors. Colin Breed, Member of Parliament (Liberal Democrat Party) for South East Cornwall, stated, "We asked whether it was absolutely necessary bearing in mind the environmental damage and we were told it was vital. Now they have suddenly decided it is not needed at all."

(source: UK Times Online, 15 May 2002)


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Vietnam Studying Feasibility of Nuclear Power

An official from the National Institute of Atomic Energy announced on 23 May that Vietnam is setting up a group to study the feasibility of building the country's first nuclear power plant. The group will be comprised of government representatives and scientists and is expected to submit its findings to Vietnam's National Assembly in late 2003. According to the official, Vietnam's energy consumption has increased by 12-15% in recent years. The country currently produces 5,500 to 6,000 megawatts a year, 55% of which is produced from hydropower plants. The official stated that Vietnam will need some 20,000 to 30,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020 and the nuclear power plant will help meet that demand. According to the official, Russia, China and South Korea have offered to sell Vietnam the technology to build the plant.

(source: AP World Politics, 23 May 2002)


Finland Approves Construction of New Nuclear Power Plant

On 24 May, Finland's parliament approved the construction of the country's fifth nuclear reactor. It is the first such nuclear plant to be authorized in Western Europe or North America since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Currently some 70% of Finland's energy is imported from abroad. Some 28% of the country's energy comes from nuclear facilities and with the construction of the new reactor, this figure will rise to 35%. The decision comes at a time when other European countries, notably Germany and Sweden, plan to phase out their nuclear power. The new reactor is set to have an operating life of 60 years. In 2001, Finland became the first country in the world to decide on a permanent underground storage facility for its nuclear waste that will be situated by its nuclear power plant in the city of Eurajoki, 155 miles northwest of Helsinki.

For information on the movement in Finland to oppose the construction of the reactor, please contact Ulla "Klotzer", Women Against Nuclear Power - Finland.

(source: AFP, 24 May 2002)


Russia Will Help Myanmar Build a Research Nuclear Reactor

The Russian government announced on 15 May that the country will help Myanmar, also called Burma, to construct a center for nuclear studies and a research nuclear reactor with a thermal capacity of 10 megawatts. The agreement will also include structures for the disposal of nuclear waste and a waste burial site. Under the agreement, Russia will deliver the fuel. Myanmar, one of the poorest Asian countries and which frequently suffers energy shortages, has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intention to acquire the research reactor.

(source: AP World, 15 May 2002)


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Calling All Poets!

In 1995 the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation established an annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit. The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Poetry Awards are offered in three categories: adults, youth 13 to 18, and children 12 and under. Each year a committee of talented poets meets to select the winning poems. The deadline to submit 2002 entries is July 1st. To find out more about the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Contest and to obtain the 2002 guidelines, please visit the website at:


New Security Challenges: Ten Themes

By David Krieger

The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, in cooperation with Scientists for Global Responsibility and the University of Bradford Department of Peace Studies, held a seminar on "New Security Challenges: Global and Regional Priorities" at Bradford University on May 23-24, 2002. Ten themes emerged from the seminar. To read the full text of the article, please visit:


UC Nuclear Free Campaign:
Nobel Peace Laureate Calls on University of California to Stop Making Nuclear Weapons

For more than 50 years the Regents of the University of California have been responsible for management and oversight of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where most of the US nuclear arsenal has been researched, developed and tested. Sir Joseph Rotblat, a distinguished scientist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, recently sent an Open Letter to the University of California Community. As Rotblat states in his letter, "For more than 50 years, the UC system has provided respectability to these laboratories that carry out research, develop and test nuclear weapons -weapons that could destroy civilization and probably the human species." In his letter, Rotblat asks the students, faculty and staff of the University to "raise your voices and demand that the University get out of the business of making weapons of mass destruction."

Rotblat worked as a scientist on the Manhattan Project, but resigned in 1944 when he realized that the Germans would not succeed in creating their own atomic weapons and therefore the Allied powers would not need these weapons to deter the Germans. Since that time, Rotblat has worked for a world free of nuclear weapons.

For information on how you can play a role in ending the University of California's oversight and management of the US nuclear weapons laboratories, visit the web site of the UC Nuclear Free Campaign sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at To read the full text of the Open Letter from Sir Joseph Rotblat, please visit:


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Tri-Valley CAREs Launches International Petition

Tri-Valley CAREs has created an international petition to:

  • End funding for the development of nuclear earth-penetrating bombs and other new and modified nuclear weapons,
  • Bring US nuclear policy into compliance with the nation's Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons, and
  • Reject the Bush administration's "Nuclear Posture Review."

The petition is an important way to make your voice heard. Please join in this international effort to restrain and reorient U.S. nuclear policy by signing and circulating the petition. Tri-Valley CAREs will collect the signed petitions and send copies of them to (1) President Bush, (2) the U.S. Congress and, (3) the United Nations.

Download the petition from the website of Tri-Valley CAREs at


Send The Sunflower to Ten Friends

A simple way to take action is to send this electronic newsletter to ten friends or even better, to your entire electronic address book. Help spread the message and help us to reach a wider audience with important news of nuclear dangers.


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Visit the ever-evolving website of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation at

Moving Beyond Missile Defense is a joint project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation. Visit the MBMD website at

Take a journey through the Nuclear Age. Visit the Nuclear Files at

Apply now for the 2002 Brower Youth Awards! The Awards were established by Earth Island Institute to honor founder and lifelong environmentalist, David R. Brower. The Brower Youth Awards recognize young leaders age 13-22 who are working for Global Conservation, Preservation and Restoration (CPR). Each winner receives a cash award of $3,000 and is honored at a gala celebration in Berkeley on 26 September. Applications are available on the Earth Island web site at Or, request an application via e-mail <>.

"Courting Nuclear Disaster (India-Pakistan)," an article by Praful Bidwai is available online at:

"Nuclear-tipped Foolishness," an article by Michael Kraig and Michael Roston is available online at:

The Reaching Critical Will website newly features a web-page on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) and the United Nations:

Two experts deliver the low-down in plain English on the Bush administration's decision to study the possible use of nuclear-tipped interceptor missiles. Their message: What could they possibly be thinking? To read the report, visit:

The Annual Report 2001 of INESAP is now available at the INESAP website at:

"Stop nuclear waste from travelling through your neighborhood!"


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Carah Ong
David Krieger



© TFF & the author 2002  


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