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Tell Congress: Do Not Allow Funds to Resume Nuclear Testing

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2020

Posted by Marylia Kelley

Tell Congress: Do Not Allow Funds to Resume Nuclear Testing

Recently, Tri-Valley CAREs led a coalition of three-dozen nuclear watchdog organizations in sending an urgent message to Congress declaring resumption of nuclear weapons testing by the United States “absolutely unacceptable” and “dangerously destabilizing.”

The letter, from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) to the committees dealing with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget, noted the June 23rd release of the full text of the Senate National Defense Authorization Act and its SEC. 3167, deeming that “not less than $10,000,000 shall be made available to carry out projects related to reducing the time required to execute a nuclear test if necessary.”

The letter states: “ANA unequivocally declares that resumption of nuclear testing at any yield is absolutely unacceptable. Even a hint of resumed nuclear testing by the U.S. could be dangerously destabilizing. If it were to occur, it would lead to testing by other states, likely including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. It would accelerate the growing nuclear arms race, damage prospects for future nuclear arms control negotiations at the very moment when global arms control is gasping for air, and undermine, even fatally, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is already under great stress.”

The ANA letter concludes: “Nuclear testing is a charred and bitter bridge to the past, not the forward path we desire toward a more stable and healthy future.”

John Burroughs, executive director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, added: “Nuclear testing would be a very hard blow to international restraints - both formal and informal - on arms racing, proliferation and the threatened use or even the use of nuclear weapons.”

Marylia Kelley, ANA President and executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs told Congress: “We speak with one voice in urging you in the strongest possible terms to block funding or other initiatives that lead toward a possible return to nuclear weapons testing by the United States. In particular, the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts should neither authorize nor appropriate funds that speed preparations to potentially resume such testing.”

What you can do: The United States has not conducted a nuclear test explosion since 1992 when a bipartisan congressional majority mandated a test moratorium. Four years later, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed by the U.S. in 1996, established a global prohibition against all nuclear tests. North Korea is the lone country to have conducted nuclear tests in this century.

Your immediate phone calls to your U.S. Senators and Representative are the most effective resistance to this bald-faced move to resume nuclear testing.

Several members of Congress have begun pushing back against this bad idea. They will be introducing bills to prohibit any funding to speed the time it would take to detonate a nuclear blast. Expect that there will be votes happening very soon in the House and the Senate on this important issue.

Since no one knows which budget amendments will move to the floor the message is simple: Vote for all bills that prohibit funding for nuclear testing. Vote against any authorization or appropriation language that would fund such a test.

Now is the time to call on your elected officials. The Capitol Switchboard is 202.224.3121.

CLICK HERE for the ANA letter to Congress. Use it for “talking points.” Be sure to tell the staff person that you are a constituent. Also, ask for a reply from them that let’s you know exactly how your member of Congress votes on this issue.