For immediate release, June 26, 2020

Contacts: Marylia Kelley, marylia@earthlink.net, 925.255.3589 cell
John Burroughs, johnburroughs@lcnp.org, 917.594.8220 cell
Denise Duffield, dduffield@psr-la.org, 310.339.9676 cell

NATIONAL NETWORK OF WATCHDOG GROUPS OPPOSES FUNDING FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS TEST PREP:
CALLS PROPOSAL “DANGEROUSLY DESTABILIZING” AND “ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE.”

Today, three-dozen nuclear watchdog organizations sent 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 to the Chairs, Ranking Members and Member offices of 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.”

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.”

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability represents three-dozen local and national organizations addressing policy, safety and cleanup issues across the nuclear weapons complex. Member groups live and work around sites in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex.

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.”

The ANA letter is available here.