From Hiroshima to Fukushima to Livermore: Protests at California Bomb Plant
August 6, 2011
As part of the national “Nuclear Free Future Month,” a broad coalition of San Francisco Bay area groups is organizing two events at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory, one of the two principle US facilities engaged in nuclear weapons research and development.
From Hiroshima to Fukushima to Livermore:
Confronting the Two-Headed Dragon of
Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power
As part of the national “Nuclear Free Future Month,” a broad coalition of Bay area groups is organizing two events at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory, one of the two principle U.S. facilities engaged in nuclear weapons research and development.
On August 6, the Hiroshima anniversary, an evening rally will take place at William Payne Park in Livermore, across the street from the Lab at Vasco and Patterson Pass Roads, from 6 – 9 pm. The rally will feature keynote speaker Dr. Arjun Makhijani (see below), special musical guests, Emma’s Revolution, and live video testimony from a hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) in Hiroshima.
On August 9, the Nagasaki anniversary, beginning at 8 am, a solemn ceremony followed by a nonviolent symbolic blockade will take place at the West Gate of the Lab, on Vasco Road between Patterson Pass Road and East Avenue in Livermore.
WHY: August 6 and 9 2011 will mark the 66th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This year, commemorative activities will connect the threats that nuclear technology, whether for war or for “peace”, pose to the very existence of life on earth.
In the wake of the catastrophic events still taking place in Fukushima, it’s time to expose the “two headed dragon” of nuclear technology. It’s time to end the toxic legacy of the nuclear age and the threats posed by the existence of nuclear weapons and the 442 “peaceful” nuclear reactors that continue to generate tons of long-lived nuclear waste.
Each of these vulnerable reactor- sites is a potential Fukushima waiting to happen, whether by force of nature, human error, or deliberate malice. Similarly, the more than 20,0000 nuclear bombs on our planet are subject to catastrophic accidental misuse, deliberate sabotage, or intentional use by some misguided government with an insane death wish.
Despite its 40-year commitment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to negotiate “in good faith” the elimination of nuclear weapons, their threatened first use remains at the heart of U.S. “national security” policy. His nuclear disarmament rhetoric not withstanding, President Obama has submitted a plan to Congress that projects an investment of over $185 billion by 2020 to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear weapons systems for the foreseeable future.
Polls have indicated that 76% of the American public supports the abolition of nuclear weapons, but too many people have little or no knowledge of the lack of progress toward that goal. And, while the Obama administration is seeking $36 billion in federal loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants, only 43 percent of those polled after the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan said they would approve building such new facilities in the United States to generate electricity – a steep decline from the 57 percent who said in 2008 that they approved of new plants.
The experts and organizers who are part of the two Livermore events are reaching out to a broad audience with the message that we need to use the tragic anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to demand an end to the nuclear scourge once and for all. We need to come together across the spectrum of critical issues to free ourselves from the shadow of the two-headed dragon of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
The nuclear experts and speakers listed below are available to discuss the August 6 and 9 plans for Livermore Lab, the growing international momentum to abolish nuclear weapons and end reliance on nuclear power, the recent call by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to slash nuclear weapons spending and redirect funds to meet the needs of cities, and other dimensions of the current state of nuclear affairs.
Speakers’ Biographies and Contact Information
Arjun Makhijani, President of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, holds a Ph.D. in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley. Since the beginning of the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011, Dr. Makhijani has spoken often and written in both the Japanese and U.S. media about these events and the consequences for the future of nuclear power in the United States. He has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle related issues, including weapons production, testing, and nuclear waste, over the past twenty years. He is the principal author of the first study ever done on energy conservation potential in the U.S. economy.
Most recently, Dr, Makhijani has authored Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (RDR Books and IEER Press, 2007), the first analysis of a transition to a U.S. economy based completely on renewable energy, without any use of fossil fuels or nuclear power. He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands and the principal author of Mending the Ozone Hole, both published by MIT Press.
Arjun Makhijani: 301-270-5500; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ieer.org
Jacqueline Cabasso has been involved in nuclear disarmament, peace and environmental advocacy at the local, national and international levels for over 30 years. Since 1984 she has served as Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, California, a nuclear abolition advocacy group grounded in commitments to nonviolence and international law, with a local focus on the Livermore National Nuclear Weapons Lab.
At the national level, Ms. Cabasso serves on the Steering Committee of United for Peace and Justice and convenes its Nuclear Disarmament/ Redefining Security working group. Internationally, she is a leading voice for the abolition of nuclear weapons, speaking at conferences and events around the world. Since August 2007, she has served as North American Coordinator for Mayors for Peace.
Ms. Cabasso is a co-author of Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis and Paths to Peace (2007) and the co-author of Risking Peace: Why We Sat in the Road (1985), an account of the huge 1983 nonviolent protest at the Livermore Laboratory and the subsequent mass trial conducted by WSLF. She is the recipient of the International Peace Bureau’s 2008 Sean MacBride Peace Award, and the Agape Foundation’s 2009 Enduring Visionary Prize.
Jacqueline Cabasso: 510-839-5877; email@example.com; www.wslfweb.org
Robert M. Gould, MD has worked as a Pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose since 1981. Since 1989, he has been President of the SF-Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), representing approximately 3,000 physicians and health providers, and in 2003 was President of National PSR, currently comprising approximately 30,000 members.
PSR’s historic efforts to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear war grew into an international movement with the founding of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), with which PSR shared the Nobel Peace Price awarded to IPPNW in 1985. Since 1986, Dr. Gould has been a leading member of the Peace Caucus of the American Public Health Association, for which he is current Chairperson, and in 2009 APHA awarded Dr. Gould the prestigious Sidel-Levy Peace Award.
Dr. Gould has been recognized as a leading expert on the environmental and public health impacts nuclear weapons, and has been a contributing author to chapters on health impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism in “War and Public Health” (2008) and “Terrorism and Public Health” (2002) published by Oxford University Press.
Robert Gould: 510-845-8395; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.sfbaypsr.org
Marylia Kelley is Executive Director of the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 28 years of in-depth research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, nuclear weapons, waste and cleanup. Kelley serves on the "Community Work Group" (since 1989) to advise the federal Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies and the community on the Superfund cleanup of toxic and radioactive pollution at Livermore Lab.
She has testified on issues related to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, among other deliberative bodies. Kelley has written for numerous publications, including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In 2002, Kelley was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. She has lived in Livermore since 1976.
Marylia Kelley: 925-443-7148; email@example.com; www.trivalleycares.org
Scott Yundt,Staff Attorney for Tri-Valley CAREs. Scott Yundt’s scope of work includes pursuing federal environmental litigation to prevent the collocation of biowarfare agent research facilities and nuclear weapons and right to know litigation under the Freedom of Information act to compel documents the group had requested but never received.
Yundt manages all of the group's community right to know activities. He also facilitates a support group for local nuclear weapons workers made ill by on the job exposures. Additionally, Yundt heads up the group's activities to achieve conversion of Livermore Lab from nuclear weapons to a "green lab" focused on civilian science initiatives.
Scott Yundt: 925-443-7148; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.trivalleycares.org
American Friends Service Committee, Pacific Mountain Regional Office;
Asian Americans for Peace & Justice;
Bay Natives for Peace;
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian-Universalists;
Declaration of Peace San Mateo County;
Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose;
East Bay Food Not Bombs;
East Bay Peace Action; Ecumenical Peace Institute;
Environmentalists Against War;
Friends of the People’s Weekly World;
Grandmothers for Peace International;
Green Party of Alameda County;
Interfaith Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament; Livermore Conversion Project;
Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center;
Nafsi ya Jamii;
Night on the Streets Catholic Worker;
No Nuclear Action/Bay Area;
Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance;
Peace Action West; San Francisco Bay Area Chapter,
Physicians for Social Responsibility;
Share First Oakland;
Sisters of St. Dominic, San Rafael;
Western States Legal Foundation;
Women in Black, Berkeley;
Women's Energy Matters