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Abolish Nuclear Weapons


New Report: Nuclear Modernization Plans are Unsustainable
January 28, 2016 | Edited by Cora Henry and Noah Williams   
On the radar: The Crippling cost of remodeling nukes; Kerry warns China about North Korea; Convincing North Korea to give up the bomb; We’re still three minutes till midnight; Israel calls for end to nuclear tests; 50,000 Estimated to join anti-nuke protest. (Read Complete Report Here)


Increasing Accuracy and Flexibility in Nuclear Weapons Actually Undermines Arm Control
When nuclear weapons become user-friendly, they will be used.
By , January 15, 2016 Foreign Policy in Focus The B-61-12 is a “dial-a-yield,” weapon, which means the explosive power can be tailored to its target. (Photo: Visokio.com)

The B-61 is 12-foot-long, 700-pound thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb that has been a stalwart of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal since the 1960s. (Hey, at least it’s not as old as the B-52 bomber, which first flew in — you guessed it — 1952.) Its re-design, which now makes it the B-61-12, has generated even more controversy than nuclear weapons in general. Here are three of the sticking points.

First, the cost of refurbishing the U.S. nuclear weapons program: Up to $1 trillion over 30 years, it does — under the department of thank-goodness-for-small favors — lend credence to those who think that the program will die a slow death due to budgetary attrition.

Second, the B-61-12’s re-design: Is it actually a new weapon or just “modernization,” in accord with the administration’s stated aims to create no new nuclear weapons? Granted, it doesn’t seem like much in these days of precision-guided munitions and Minuteman ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), but one new feature of the B-61-12 is that it can be steered via movable tail fins. Previously air-to-surface nuclear bombs (those deslivered by fighters and bombers) were just dropped.

American Casualties of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Program
Jan 03, 2016 By Lawrence Wittner Huffington Post Politics

When Americans think about nuclear weapons, they comfort themselves with the thought that the vast, nuclear destruction of human life has not taken place since 1945 -- at least not yet. But, in reality, nuclear weapon-related destruction has taken place, with shocking levels of U.S. casualties.

This point is borne out by a recently-published study by a team of investigative journalists at McClatchy News. Drawing upon millions of government records and large numbers of interviews, they concluded that employment in the nation's nuclear weapons plants since 1945 led to 107,394 American workers contracting cancer and other serious diseases. Of these people, some 53,000 judged by government officials to have experienced excessive radiation on the job received $12 billion in compensation under the federal government's Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. And 33,480 of these workers have died. (Read Complete Article)

'Modernizing' the Opportunities for Nuclear War

 Jan 18, 2016 By Lawrence Wittner Huffington Post Politics

 A fight now underway over newly-designed U.S. nuclear weapons highlights how far the Obama administration has strayed from its commitment to build a nuclear-free world. 

The fight, as a recent New York Times article indicates, concerns a variety of nuclear weapons that the U.S. military is currently in the process of developing or, as the administration likes to say, "modernizing." Last year, the Pentagon flight-tested a mock version of the most advanced among them, the B61 Model 12. This redesigned nuclear weapon is the country's first precision-guided atomic bomb, with a computer brain and maneuverable fins that enable it to more accurately target sites for destruction. It also has a "dial-a-yield" feature that allows its handlers to adjust the level of its explosive power. (Read Complete Article) 

 Civil Society: NPT Review Conference Fails, Brings World Closer to Nuclear Cataclysm, IPS News, By Thalif Deen, 5/24/2015

What happened? The 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York fails to deliver, despite a solid draft Final Document.

This is the critical conference that reviews progress on the central nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament Treaty Regime.  The United States, UK, and Canada broke the consensus on the draft agreement contained in the Final Document, to convene the proposed Middle East WMD-Free Zone conference in 2016.  “No meaningful progress was made”, said Ray Acheson, director of Reaching Critical Will, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest US-based peace group.

John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, told IPS the problem with NPT Review Conference commitments on disarmament “is not so much that they have not been strong enough. Rather the problem is that they have not been implemented by the NPT nuclear-weapon states.”  In fact, Civil Society leaders from around the world condemned the failure of the agreement.

The Proposed Final Document recommended the General Assembly establish an open-ended working group to “identify and elaborate” effective disarmament measures, including legal agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear weapons free world.  "Regardless of the lack of an NPT outcome, this initiative can and should be pushed at the next General Assembly session on disarmament and international security” this autumn, said John Burroughs.

Joseph Gerson, of the American Friends Service Committee: “The United States was primarily responsible” for the failure of this year’s critically important NPT Review Conference.  “The U.S., Britain and Canada are blaming the victim,” saying Egypt wrecked the conference with a renewed call for creating a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.

“Israeli apparently refused (a compromise), and U.S. President Obama’s ostensible commitments to a nuclear weapons-free world melted in the face of Israeli intransigence,” said Gerson.

Ray Acheson:  The majority of the world’s countries (Parties to the Treaty)—have endorsed a Humanitarian Pledge, committing to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.  “The outcome in 2015 is that Humanitarian Pledge.”   __________________________________________

CFPA Comments
:  John Burroughs, one of International Civil Society’s leading anti-nuclear advocates, says fulfilling the Humanitarian Pledge doesn’t require the permission of the nuclear-armed States.  “The process should begin without delay.”  We agree.  Hiroshima must never happen again, and we have no time to lose.

In the 1990’s, there was a similar case.  The U.S. and both Koreas refused to sign the Treaty Banning Land Mines.  But the world went ahead, we have a functioning Land Mines Treaty, and the U.S. participates in disarming land mines that risk civilians’ lives all over the world.  Today, many countries are willing to sign a Treaty Banning the Possession and Use of Nuclear Weapons.  The way international law works, when most have signed on, use of nuclear weapons becomes illegal under customary international law.  The same should be true of keeping such weapons on hair-trigger alert.  Eventually, the nuclear powers will see its wisdom, comply, and sign.

A Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons, in order to “build a new reality of human security and global justice” would be pursued under the main consensus. Polls show 3 out of 4 people around the world agree.

2015 in New York shows a failure of moral and strategic leadership by the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, including the United States. It is our duty to actually lead the way to nuclear security, which means abolition. Nuclear Weapons are reaching 70—well past their retirement age. Let's all hear John Burroughs in Princeton, at the CFPA 35th Membership Dinner and Program! Let's have a party to send them off!   

Ed Aguilar, CFPA Pennsylvania, May 27, 2015
Edward A. Aguilar, J.D.
 Pennsylvania Director
 Coalition for Peace Action
 Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street
 Philadelphia, PA 19102

 To print a downloadable pdf petition Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons for your distribution, Click Here! 

Will the U.S. Get Serious Now About Eliminating Its Own Nukes?
The Iran nuclear deal could provide momentum for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East — and eventually a nuclear-free world
By Jacqueline Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin, April 16, 2015.  

A few years ago, a plucky contestant on Dancing with the Stars popularized a terrific phrase when asked about her daring routine late in the contest. It was time, she quipped, for her to “go big or go home.”
We’d like to see that can-do attitude manifested at the upcoming UN review conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty — the so-called NPT RevCon .
What would going big mean? A serious commitment by the nuclear powers to get busy negotiating the global elimination of nuclear weapons, as required by the treaty’s Article VI. The conference will convene April 27 and run through May 22. (To read complete article, Click Here.)

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,
and this one 16,400.


Which President Cut the Most Nukes?

By WILLIAM J. BROAD November 1, 2014 New York Times

DOVES who once cheered President Obama for his antinuclear crusades and later fell silent as he backpedaled are now lining up to denounce him. A recent skewering by the Federation of American Scientists details how Mr. Obama, despite calling repeatedly for “a world without nuclear weapons,” has reduced the size of the nation’s atomic stockpile far less than did any of his three immediate predecessors, including both Presidents Bush.

Critics are calling out the president not only for modest cuts but also for spending more than previous administrations to modernize the remaining arms and for authorizing a new generation of weapon carriers. They call the upgrades an enormous waste of money, citing estimates that put the nation’s costs over the next three decades at up to a trillion dollars. (to read complete article Click Here)

CFPA on Nuclear Weapons

Abolish Nuclear Weapons

President Obama - following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan - has called for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. These dangerous, expensive weapons, which have been called the "ultimate" weapon, have provided little value to the United States (or any country.) They are a catastrophe waiting to happen and they don't deliver appreciable security. The passing of New START in December of 2010 was a great victory that presents peace activists with a renewed optimism that we can carry into our further endeavors to ban nuclear weapons.



CFPA Campaign Timeline


  • Showing of Hibakusha Film: On March 6, 2011, CFPA hosts a showing of the film "Hibakusha: Our Life to Live," which focuses on the lives of survivors of nuclear attack, and has been shown at the UN, in Japan, and in cities around the United States. The film is shown to a packed auditorium, with a discussion afterwards led by the filmmaker, David Rothauser.
  • New START Treaty: During the fall and winter of 2010, CFPA engaged in important efforts advocating for the ratification of New START, which will limit Russian and US nuclear arsenals to 1,550 warheads. CFPA phoned senators in key swing states and nurtured Senators Bob Casey and Robert Menendez as champions for nuclear disarmament. We then celebrated this great victory with a light dinner and champagne toast!
  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemorations: Every August, CFPA commemorates the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The commemoration often consits of a talk from one of the attack's survivors, Japanese music, and a time of reflection with songs and floating candles on a lake (a tradition during the Japanese commemorations of the bombings).
  • CFPA Begins PAZ Campaign: In May 2010, CFPA began its PAZ (The Pennsylvania Zero Nuclear Arms) Campaign. The Campaign’s primary goal is to support and nurture Sen. Bob Casey, who is Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on South Asia and the Middle East, to be a champion for global nuclear disarmament. During the START debate, Casey made a fantastic floor speech in support of the treaty, which was a testament to his integrity and also to the effectiveness of this grassroots campaign!
  • Earth Day Rally for Nuclear Weapons Abolition: On April 22, 2010, CFPA co-sponsored an Earth Day Rally for Nuclear Weapons in support for young interfaith peace walkers, who were kicking off their Peace Walk for Nuclear Abolition. CFPA's executive director, the Rev. Robert Moore, was among the event's speakers.
  • Peace Train to Global Nuclear Disarmament: On May 2, 2010, CFPA co-sponsored a Peace Train to Global Nuclear Disarmament held by our affiliate, United for Peace and Justice. People boarded trains in the Deleware Valley area and rode them up to New York City, then concluded the event with a rally. The event took place the day before the UN held a Major Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


On the Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis an Historic Opportunity
By Maj. Gen. Roger R. Blunt (ret.)*

Fifty years ago the biggest event in human history almost happened. During a fateful 13-day period in October 1962, the Soviet Union and the United States balanced at the brink of nuclear war as the Soviets attempted to establish nuclear bases in Cuba.

I had just graduated with my degree in nuclear engineering from MIT and reported to the Army nuclear power program at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. All of us spent the week glued to the TV wondering if the world's first nuclear war was about to begin. I will never forget the relief we felt when we learned that, thanks to the vision and restraint of a handful of people, this point in history would be marked by what did not occur.

What President Kennedy and his advisers didn't know as they contemplated an invasion of Cuba was that the Soviets already had tactical nuclear weapons on the island. An invasion could have started a nuclear exchange. Kennedy's advisers gave him two alternatives: an invasion or a naval blockade. Kennedy chose a blockade. Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev chose to remove the bases. Somehow, through all that tension, better sense prevailed. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sadly though, the costs of our nuclear posture are not. We have a Cold War nuclear arsenal built to defend us from "Mad Men"-era threats. But those threats, like the three-martini lunch, are a thing of the past. And the over half a trillion dollars we're going to spend on maintaining that bloated arsenal over the next decade will be a half trillion less we can spend on the training and equipment our troops need to face 21st-century threats.

Today, President Obama has the opportunity to bring a Cold-War era policy into the 21st century and is readying a presidential policy review for our thousands-strong nuclear arsenal. What the president decides to do impacts everything from where and how the weapons are targeted to whether or not we reshape our stockpile to reflect modern needs.

For example, for the cost of one new ballistic nuclear submarine, we could provide body armor and bomb-resistant Humvees to all our troops overseas, house and treat every homeless veteran, and still have $2.2 billion left over to pay down the debt. And that is just the cost of one of the 13 new subs Congress is trying to force on the Pentagon. Our troops and security should come before pork-barrel nuclear programs.

Re-shaping our nuclear force is an issue of vision and conscience. We need the vision to recognize our world has changed, and we can't allow pork-barrel spending and bureaucratic inertia to shape our national security priorities.

As a matter of conscience, we should remember that weapons are still pointed at civilian targets, and we haven't even adopted appropriate safe guards that would reduce the chance of accidental launch. A single strike on a city can kill millions of people. And if the United States remains mired in Cold War attitudes, it makes it harder for us to lead in the effort to reduce and lock up nuclear stockpiles in other countries, which increases the risk of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists.

It's up to the president to buck bureaucratic inertia and have the vision to confront the threats and costs our bloated stockpile has created. This week, more than a hundred political and faith leaders have signed a joint letter asking the president to do just that. They join military leaders like former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn, who have long pushed policy-makers to reduce the role of weapons in security strategy, trim stockpiles and shave millions from the budget. I hope the president and Congress listen.

Maj. Gen. Roger R. Blunt (retired) commanded the 97th Army Reserve Command and has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and held the career designator of Atomic Energy Officer.

The Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World/Peace Action West worked with Eric Sapp/AVN and ReThink on this piece referencing the CMC, the organizational sign-on letter to the President, and the nuclear policy guidance. This article was picked up by the McClatchy wire service, and various outlets across the country on October 19 and 20, 9012. The opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editor.



  • Top ten reasons why nuclear weapons still exist (Humor from your own Coalition staff) "Reason number 10: Who needs schools, hospitals, day care, better roads, education, public housing, clean water, universal health care, solar power, crop supports, wind mills, disaster response, etc. etc. etc.?"

[Got a resource on nuclear weapons? Send us a recommendation and a link!]