Dateline: November 3, 2000

This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility

Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail:   
INES homepage: http://inesglobal.org
INES International Office   
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner   

CONTENTS of WNII No. 33/2000


News from the International Peace Bureau (IPB)  

On 14 October, the IPB Assembly took place at Paris. Cora Weiss, USA,  President of the Hague Appeal for Peace, was elected new President following Maj-Britt Theorin, a former Disarmament Ambassador of Sweden and a Member of the European Parliament, who also was the only female  member of the Canberra Commission. She was IPB President since 1992.   In a resolution on Chernobyl, the IPB Assembly criticized the May 2000 Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR): A number of the Report's conclusions, the IPB stated, would "contradict the experience of many IPB members of the Chernobyl victims, and scientists from the affected regions."  As a  consequence, the IPB called for "An assessment of the recruitment of the UNSCEAR experts and their possible conflicts of interest including links to the pro-nuclear establishment," as well as for "An independent assessment of the sources and methodology used by the UNSCEAR team by UN experts ."    Furthermore, the IPB expressed "its support for scientists,  whose work on the health consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe and assessment of the extent of the contamination of foodstuffs and the human organism, has brought upon them harassment (e.g. Professor V. B.  Nesterenko) and imprisonment (e.g. Prof. Hu. I Bandazhevsky)."   The report of IPB Secretary-General Colin Archer, which reviewed the  work done by IPB over the last three years, is available on request from      At the IPB Council Meeting which followed, the membership applications of 18 new organisations were approved, and a number of project proposals as well as structural improvements were introduced.   The minutes of both the IPB Assembly on 14 October and the IPB Council on 15 October are available. The minutes of the Assembly include the full text of the IPB resolution on Chernobyl.

UK: Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) Newsletter (No.  21/Autumn 2000)  http://www.sgr.org.uk

The latest SGR Newsletter is a special issue on Information Technology  (IT). It carries the following main articles:  

plus a number of smaller information bits and book reviews, as well as  an overview on upcoming events (some of them you may find here in the  Conference Section).   To receive a copy of the SGR Newsletter, contact the SGR Administrator  Kate Maloney: 


Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org  Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/  

International Panel Declares Test Ban Treaty Verifiable  

(London) In a report released October 30, an independent scientific commission concludes that the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty  (CTBT) is verifiable with a high degree of probability. The 14-member Independent Commission on the Verifiability of the CTBT finalised its report in London on 26 and 27 October.   The report concludes that the treaty's verification system and other monitoring capabilities worldwide will create great uncertainty in the mind of any potential violator and therefore be a powerful deterrent.  The Commission notes that global verification capabilities are continuing to grow and will force any country attempting to conduct an illegal nuclear test to run a complex 'verification gauntlet.'    'This assessment of the CTBT's verifiability should enhance   understanding of the complexities of the issue and assist countries which are still considering whether to sign and ratify the treaty,' said  Commission Chairman Trevor Findlay. 'In particular, coming one year  after the US Senate voted against ratifying the CTBT, we hope the report will contribute to the debate about future US ratification,' Findlay added.   The Commission, which comprised scientists from 11 different countries with a wide range of expertise, including seismology and on-site inspection, urged all countries to provide political, financial and  technical support to permit the treaty verification regime (based in  Vienna) to be fully established as soon as possible. Commissioners also called for a more open exchange of data to support verification and for more research to further enhance verifiability.    The Commission found that the capability of the treaty's International   Monitoring System, which is currently being established, already exceeds expectations in some regions. Together with information from countries' own national monitoring capabilities (including satellites) and scientific research networks (such as the expected 10,000 digital seismic stations worldwide), the system will detect, locate and identify a clandestine test with high probability.   The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, underwater and underground. It has been signed by 160 countries and ratified by 66.  The treaty requires that 44 countries with substantial nuclear programmes  must ratify before it can enter into force. At present 41 of these have signed and 30 have ratified, including three of the five nuclear weapon states. The United States and China have not ratified, while India,  Pakistan and North Korea have yet to sign.   The full text of the Commission Report is available at:  http://www.ctbtcommission.org/     For a printed version, as well as further information, contact Ellen   Peacock, The Verification Research, Training and Information Centre  (VERTIC):  

Interactions Between Nuclear Arms Control and Proliferation .  [Source: Nuclear Policy Project Flash, Vol 2, No 33/2000]  

In a paper presented at the September 2000 meeting of the American Political Science Association, Michael Tkacik from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas examined the relationship between nonproliferation and general arms control proposals. He argues that unilateral arms control has created incentives to proliferate and that  bilateral arms control agreements have had little impact on  nonproliferation efforts. Tkacik further states that multilateral arms control may strengthen the nonproliferation regime, but that retaining the option to respond with nuclear weapons to biological weapons does not hinder nonproliferation efforts.  Finally, he argues that a unilateral and absolute "no first use" commitment by the US would  actually encourage the proliferation of nuclear weapons.    Michael Tkacik: Interactions Between Nuclear Arms Control and   Proliferation: Size Does Too Matter . Sometimes:  http://pro.harvard.edu/papers/019/019011TkacikMich.pdf  

US Study: Levels Of Nuclear Waste Unknown   [Source: Associated Press, 27 October 2000]  

A Department of Energy (DOE) study suggests the amount of plutonium and other radioactive contaminants buried at sites around the nation's   nuclear weapons complex could be10 times greater than previously believed. The DOE listed Los Alamos National Laboratory as having the third-most waste buried or dumped into the soil.   The Energy Department conducted a two-year inventory in response to a 1997 complaint from environmentalists that the DOE had no idea how much  material had been dumped into the soil or buried in flimsy containers  near nuclear sites. Environmentalists say the DOE now should commit to cleaning up that waste because it could leach into water supplies and  because there could be so much more of it than scientists had believed.   "Protecting the purity of water is essential," said Arjun Makhijani,  president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (a US-based INES member organisation; the ed.), which asked the DOE to look  into the issue. "Development in the West is defined by water resources.   It would be irresponsible of DOE not to begin looking at ways this waste can be retrieved and stored."   The report, released this summer, estimates 126,000 cubic meters of  nuclear waste from weapons work were buried or dumped into the soil  across the nuclear complex. The material studied is radioactive waste   with a long half-life, meaning it would take a long time to decay. The  study looked at material buried or dumped before 1970, when the federal  government required nuclear sites to package and segregate such waste.  The buried waste has generally been left where it is.  The study looked at Hanford in Washington state, the Idaho National  Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Los Alamos, the Nevada Test  Site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina



The Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on  Climate Change  (UNFCCC COP-6) is taking place at The Hague, 13-24 November 2000. I can  make available a Media Kit file which has the following contents:  

The Editor   


Military Balance 2000/2001   http://www.iiss.org/pub/milbal1.asp

The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies published  its newest Military Balance 2000/2001 (see website indicated above). The  report contains an assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 170 countries, including detailed country-by-country  listing of military organizations, weapons and equipment holdings,  personnel, and relevant economic and demographic data. The report also includes essays analyzing region-by-region and transregional issues. 

Housmans Peace Diary & World Peace Directory 2001  

The Housmans Peace Diary & World Peace Directory is produced as a non-profit service to campaigning groups and activists around the world;  the 2001 edition - the 48th edition - is now published. (ISBN: 0 85283  255 9; ISSN: 0957-0136)   The World Peace Directory is fully re-compiled and lists 2000 organisations in over 150 countries working for Peace and Conflict  Resolution, for the Environment, and for Human Rights. Web and e-mail addresses are included, in addition to post, phone and fax details, as well as a key to each organisation's areas of concern. This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date directory of its kind published anywhere in the world.   A copy can be ordered for 6.95 Pound Sterling, from Housmans Bookshop,  London:     
NOTE: Any enquiries specifically about the Database and Directory should  be addressed to Albert Beale of the Housmans Peace Resource Project: 


Responsible Science: From Control to Participation  

Course led by Christine von Weizsäcker, Mae-Wan Ho and Briand Goodwin.  For more details, mailto:   http://www.gn.apc.org/schumachercollege

The Market: Master or Servant?  

Course led by David Jenkins, Martin Khor and Wolfgang Sachs.   For more details,  mailto:     http://www.gn.apc.org/schumachercollege   

Exploring Cyber Society II: Dissent and deviance in the Information  Age 

International Conference  


No new or changed email or web addresses in  this issue.  All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:  

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