The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation initiated the following ‘Nuclear Testing Alert’ letter in response to mounting threats from the Trump administration that it will resume nuclear testing. We will publish any responses received and will cover the issues in more detail in the next issue of End Info (July 2020).
State Signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
29th June 2020
Nuclear Testing Alert
Dear Ambassador/High Commissioner,
The United States last exploded a nuclear device in 1992. For several years, there was an international halt to nuclear testing until 2006, when North Korea exploded the first of six devices. Now, the Trump Administration openly discusses the US also conducting new nuclear tests.
On 1 March 1954, the United States carried out its largest ever nuclear test. Named ‘Castle Bravo’, the test was part of a series of similar events, ‘Operation Bravo’, designed to assess the feasibility of high-yield and therefore high-energy devices. ‘Castle Bravo’ was expected to produce a yield of six megatons (375 times larger than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima) but the scientists involved miscalculated. The actual yield was fifteen megatons, 2.5 times higher than predicted and more than 900 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. Becky Alexis-Martin, author of Disarming Doomsday, describes the test as “the most significant radiological incident in US history.” How so?