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Action Alert - US Nuclear weapons tests

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 3 September 1998

Kia ora, the latest information on the US sub-critical nuclear weapons test 'Bagpipe' is that the dry run process has been speeded up and the test may occur as early as 7 September.

If you were planning a pre-emptive protest, then you'd better do it now ! See our alert of 31 August for details of who you can protest to. If you have misplaced it, then email us back this afternoon and we will forward it to you again.

Details of 'progress' towards the test are in the following message ( from the Shundahai Network on 1 September ) - it includes suggested text for messages addressed to Pres. Clinton and details of where to send such messages to.

Today is the first "Mandatory" dry run for the subcritical nuclear weapons test "Bagpipe" This puts them closer to conducting the actual test. This is the quickest I have seen them move from conducting "signal" dry runs to "mandatory" dry runs. From monitoring the situation at the test site, we believe that the "devices" containing the plutonium to be exploded were delivered two nights ago and installed on Monday. "In the hole" as they call it. This means that a "shot" date of next week (Sept 7-11) is very likely. We will keep updating you with new information as it breaks to help in your planning.

Thank you to all of those around the world who have responded to the need for generating more attention around the subcritical s. All of the letters and phone calls do make a difference.

  2. The subcritical nuclear weapons test be canceled!
  3. Stop all new and modified nuclear weapons development.
  4. Close down the Nevada Test Site and all nuclear weapons development facilities except for programs based disarmament.
  5. Begin immediate clean up and containment of the nuclear nightmare caused by the U.S. Nuclear Weapons program.

President Bill Clinton, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC 20001,United States of America. Tel 00-1-202-456-1111 or -1414; fax 00-1-202-456-2461 or -2883. (these numbers have been adjusted for sending from Aotearoa / New Zealand) THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT CLINTON,

Dear President Clinton,

I am writing to demand that you "DON'T BY HYPOCRITICAL! STOP THE SUBCRITICAL!"

By this, I mean that you must immediately cancel the subcritical nuclear weapons test code named "Bagpipe" which could be detonated as early as next week (Sept 7 - 11) and all future subcritical tests.

These tests explode plutonium, which is the most deadly material ever created, 980 feet below the ground at the Nevada Test Site dangerously close to the largest aquifer in Southern Nevada. This precious groundwater has already been contaminated by past nuclear tests. It is time to stop the contamination and begin the clean up!

These tests should really be called "hypocritical." They clearly violate the spirit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) signed in September 1996, by you, Mr President. The CTBT commits the U.S. "not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion..." DOE claims these experiments are permissible because the CTBT does not define "nuclear weapon" test. These tests make global adoption of the CTBT less likely by encouraging other nations to copy the U.S. decision to continue testing and update their nuclear arsenals.

These tests especially contradict the condemnation expressed by the U.S. government against India and Pakistan for conducting their own series of nuclear weapons tests earlier this year.

The subcritical tests are part of a massive "Stockpile Stewardship and Management" program, intended to maintain and expand U.S. nuclear weapons capabilities well into the next century. During the next decade, taxpayers will spend more than $40 billion for the program, an annual rate higher than the Cold War average. Thus, it is fair to say these tests are intended to signal to the rest of the world an unflagging U.S. commitment to nuclear weapons as the ultimate "big stick."

Last year, in the U.S. 44 members of Congress, including key California Representatives, urged you not to go ahead with the tests. At the grassroots level, protesters gathered in California, Nevada, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere around the country to demand the cancelation of this testing program. There is currently a lawsuit against DOE, charging the agency failed to conduct an adequate environmental analysis of the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, including the subcritical tests.

This decision is largely in your hands. I urge you to be courageous and recognize that the U.S. needs to take the lead in halting our nuclear weapons designing, testing and production capabilities so that the rest of the world can take us seriously when we talk about non-proliferation issues and the Comprehensive Test ban Treaty.

It is time, Mr President, to build that bridge to the 21st century that you always talk about. The time for nuclear disarmament is now. Do the right thing. Stop the Subcritical!

Yours Sincerely,

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