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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/22/10

Nuclear Weapons are 65 Years Old: It's Time to Retire Them!

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Nuclear Weapons are 65 Years Old: It's Time to Retire Them!

On July 16, 1945, the first nuclear test, code-named "Trinity," took place in the desert north of Alamogordo, New Mexico. According to the Washington Nuclear Museum and Educational Center, the test released the equivalent of 19 kilotons of TNT, far mightier than any weapon ever used before. The plutonium used in this bomb was produced in the B Reactor at Hanford, Washington.

July 16, 2010 marked the 65th anniversary of the first atomic bomb explosion. While certainly not everyone is ready to retire at age 65, NJ Peace Action firmly believes that it is well past the time for the U.S. government (and all governments, for that matter) to retire nuclear weapons all of them. NJ Peace Action, formerly known as NJ SANE, has had nuclear disarmament as its primary mission since its founding in 1957.

NJ Peace Action continues that work today, together with our parent organization, Peace Action, and other affiliates across the country. To that end, we are working on the following issues. We are pushing for U.S. Senate ratification of the new START Treaty. We support allocating additional money for nuclear disarmament work, but oppose allocating more money for nuclear weapons development. We are continuing to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear weapons, relying on the stories of Hibakusha, Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 65 years ago. Lastly, we support efforts to divert funding from nuclear weapons development to programs that address community needs such as hunger and poverty, as we believe that the eradication of hunger and poverty would go a long way toward establishing genuine security throughout the world.

Here's how you can get involved.

1. The New START Treaty: Join us in calling on all U.S. Senators, Republican and Democrat alike, to vote to ratify the new START Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries.

Another idea from nuclear disarmament expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund, Joseph Cirincione, comes from his blog.

"social media can also play a role. For instance, Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee--the Senate committee through which the New START must pass before it can be ratified. You can write on Senator Corker's Facebook wall here to let him know why he should vote yes on the New START treaty. Also, become a fan of New START on Facebook to get ideas and updates about how you can get involved.

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Madelyn Hoffman is the Executive Director of NJ Peace Action, based in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She has held that position since August 2000. Madelyn Hoffman traveled to Afghanistan with Global Exchange in June 2005 and has given dozens of (more...)
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