What's New in INES, 14. May, 2012
At the INES Council meeting on April 28th, 2012 in Vienna, Austria, the INES statement on nuclear energy was adopted by the INES Council members.
Given the inevitable link to nuclear weapons, the risks involved and the obstacle that nuclear energy proves to be for renewable energy systems, we consider nuclear power incompatible with peaceful, just and lasting, i.e. sustainable development. Thus we demand:
- much greater expansion of research spending on renewable energy systems, redirecting current funding of nuclear energy research to this end
- for the remaining nuclear research (for safety in operation, dismantlement and disposal), make independent reviews and public debate mandatory
- enter a transition period of phase out and dismantlement of nuclear plants and development of renewable energy systems and technologies,
- initiate and hold debates with civil society, developing concepts and recommendations, for research and policies improving efficiency and enhancing reductions in energy consumption.
To read the full statement please click here.
B61 Nuclear Bomb Costs Escalating
By Hans M. Kristensen
The expected cost of the B61 Life-Extension Program (LEP) has increased by 50 percent to $6 billion dollars, according to U.S. government sources.
Only one year ago, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) estimated in its Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program report to Congress that the cost of the program would be approximately $4 billion.
The escalating cost of the program – and concern that NNSA does not have an effective plan for managing it – has caused Congress to cap spending on the B61 LEP by 60 percent in 2012 and 100 percent in 2013. The Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office is currently evaluating NNSA’s cost estimate and is expected to release its assessment in July. After that, NNSA is expected to release a validated cost, schedule and scope estimate for the B61 LEP, a precondition for Congress releasing the program funds for Phase 6.3 of the program. Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen
The world’s nuclear missiles ready to fly
A stunning graphic appeared in the National Post on May 4, 2012. It represents an estimate of the number of nuclear missiles currently "ready to use" -- that is, deliverable to targets in a very short time. It does not attempt to compare explosive yields or even the number of warheads in any given missile. To have a first look please click here or see an enlarged image or view a large-scale PDF here: news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/04/world-nuclear-graphic/
Nuclear Weapons and a Sustainable Future
David Krieger, Chair of the INES Executive Committee and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation wrote a briefing paper for the 2012 Non-Proliferation Treaty PrepCom entitled "Nuclear Weapons and a Sustainable Future." The paper, was distributed to the delegation of each country that is a part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It calls for bold action so that negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention may begin. Download the paper here: http://napf.org/menu/resources/publications/2012_prepcom.pdf
New Report: US and Russian Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons
By Hans M. Kristensen
A new report estimates that Russia and the United States combined have a total of roughly 2,800 nuclear warheads assigned to their non-strategic nuclear forces. Several thousands more have been retired and are awaiting dismantlement.
The report comes shortly before the NATO Summit in Chicago on 20-21 May, where the alliance is expected to approve the conclusions of a year-long Deterrence and Defense Posture Review that will, among other things, determine the “appropriate mix” of nuclear and non-nuclear forces in Europe. It marks the 20-year anniversary of the Presidential Unilateral Initiatives in the early 1990s that resulted in sweeping reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Read on here: www.fas.org/blog/ssp/category/hans_kristensen
Ban nuclear weapons totally with a binding convention
Proposal to the Japanese Government by the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) on the occasion of the NPT PrepCom 2012 in Vienna, Austria. Read on here: www.inesglobal.com/news-2012-1.phtml#cpid2181
World military spending levels out after 13 years of increases, says SIPRI
World military expenditure in 2011 totalled $1.74 trillion, almost unchanged since 2010 in real terms, according to figures released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The small rise of just 0.3 per cent in 2011 marks the end of a run of continuous increases in military spending between 1998 and 2010, including an annual average increase of 4.5 per cent between 2001 and 2009.
Six of the world’s top military spenders - Brazil, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States - made cuts in their military budgets in 2011, in most cases as part of attempts to reduce budget deficits. Meanwhile other states, notably China and Russia, increased their military spending markedly.
‘The after-effects of the global economic crisis, especially deficit-reduction measures in the USA and Europe, have finally brought the decade-long rise in military spending to a halt—at least for now’, stated Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.
Assuring destruction forever: nuclear weapon modernization around the world
As of March 2012, the nuclear weapon possessors - China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the United King dom, and the United States - are estimated to possess approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons. All of them have plans to modernize - upgrade and/or extend the lives of - their nuclear weapons. Reaching Critical Will has coordinated and edited a new study on the modernization plans and programmes of eight of the nuclear-armed states. The study is available on the RCW website in PDF.
Nuclear Weapons as Instruments of Peace?
By Richard Falk
In April I was a participant in a well-attended academic panel on 'the decline of violence and warfare' at the International Studies Association's Annual Meeting held this year in San Diego, California.
What to me was most shocking about the panel was not its overstated claims that political violence was declining and war on the brink of disappearing, but the unqualified endorsement of nuclear weapons as deserving credit for keeping the peace during Cold War and beyond. Nuclear weapons were portrayed as if generally positive contributors to establishing a peaceful and just world, provided only that they do not fall into unwanted hands (which means 'adversaries of the West,' or more colorfully phrased by George W. Bush as 'the axis of evil') as a result of proliferation. To read the article, click here.
Economics Unmasked. From power and greed to compassion and the common good
Book by Manfred Max-Neef and Philip B. Smith
The economic system under which we live not only forces the great majority of humankind to live their lives in indignity and poverty but also threatens all forms of life on Earth. Economics Unmasked presents a cogent critique of the dominant economic system, showing that the theoretical constructions of mainstream economics work mainly to bring about injustice.
The merciless onslaught on the global ecosystem of recent decades, brought about by the massive increase in the production of goods and the consequent depletion of nature’s reserves, is not a chance property of the economic system. It is a direct result of neoliberal economic thinking, which recognizes value only in material things. The growth obsession is not a mistaken conception that mainstream economists can unlearn, it is inherent in their view of life. But a socio-economic system based on the growth obsession can never be sustainable.
This book outlines the foundations of a new economics – where justice, human dignity, compassion and reverence for life are the guiding values. Contrary to the absurd assumption of mainstream economists that economics is a value-free science, a new economics must make its values explicit.
Read more here: www.inesglobal.com/publications-by-ines-members.phtml#cpid981
Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) released a new report entitled "Nuclear Famine: A Billion People at Risk. Global Impacts of Limited Nuclear War on Agriculture,
Food Supplies, and Human Nutrition". The report documents that even a limited nuclear exchange would cause the type of climate disruption that experts previously associated only with a US/Russia nuclear war. The study estimates one billion people -- one-sixth of the human race -- could starve over the decade following a nuclear detonation. To read the full report, click here.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe
IKV Pax Christi has published a new report entitled "Exit Strategies: The case for redefining NATO consensus on U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons." The report elaborates on the reality that a large proportion of the Alliance does not explicitly favor the continued deployment of U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe. Instead of defaulting to an old policy that can no longer count on agreement, the report suggests NATO recognize that a new consensus is emerging, one that requires a change in current nuclear deployments.Click here to download the full report.
- 18.-19. May 2012: NATO Counter Summit, Chicago, USA
- 19. May 2012: SGR 2012 Annual General Meeting, London, UK
- 26.-27.May 2012: JSA AGM, Tokyo, Japan
- 2. June 2012, International Nuclear Abolition Day
- 8. - 10. June 2012: Countering the Militarisation of Youth, Darmstadt, Germany
- 15.-16. June 2012: Verantwortung der Wissenschaften für Frieden und Zukunftsfähigkeit, Karlsruhe, Germany. Download the German flyer here.
- 20.-22. June 2012: INES activities at the Rio+20, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 28.-30. June 2012: 2nd International 100% Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition, Maltepe / Istanbul
- 9. - 11. July 2012: Ethics in Sustainable Training and Continual Professional Development for Scientists and Engineers, Bradford, UK
- 16. - 20. July 2012: Multilateral Verification, Collective Security: The Contribution of the CTBT, Vienna, Austria
- 22.-29. July 2012: NAPF Peace Leadership Program: summer workshop, Santa Barbara, California
- 31. July - 9. August 2012: Summer Course: Hiroshima and Peace
- 2.-9. August 2012: World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan