Dateline: November 17, 2001

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

Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail: 
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm    
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org       http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office   
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner    [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]

CONTENTS of WNII No. 45/2001


UK: Scientists for Global Responsibility welcome UNESCO initiative on Science for Peace and Development

Scientists for Global Responsibility welcomes UNESCO's newly declared World Science Day for Peace and Development1 . The Day will be each 10 November, starting next year.

Alan Cottey, SGR's coordinator of the UK Week of Science and Peace2 said "SGR looks forward to supporting WSDPD and participating. We are pleased that the Day will be coordinated by UNESCO, and with a budget, albeit modest. For many years the International Week of Science and Peace has been celebrated by purely voluntary efforts, with no budget. We expect that worldwide coordination and publicity by UNESCO will increase significantly the impact of the participating events."

[1] UNESCO's Feasibility study may be found at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/ulis/cgi-bin/ulis.pl?database=extd&sess=162&by=5&dc_2=inf&dc_2_p=not+phrase+any&req=2&look=udc    (after following this link, scroll down the page and click on document 162EX/11).  More information about the decision is on the SciDev website: http://www.scidev.net 

[2] For more information on UKWOSP2001, visit: http://www.sgr.org.uk/UKWOSP2001.html  

David Krieger's letter to President Putin

Prior to the Crawford Summit, David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Vice-Chair of INES, has sent the following letter to Russian President Putin:

Dear President Putin,

Please stand firm on your position on upholding the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. You are correct in stating that it remains the cornerstone of global stability, and many knowledgeable Americans understand this.

The Bush administration wants to eliminate Article V, Section 1 of the Treaty in order to develop a comprehensive ABM system, but with particular emphasis on space-based weaponry that will lead to a new arms race in space. This would be yet another disaster for the prospects of life on our fragile planet.

If September 11th has taught us anything, it is that even the most powerful nations are vulnerable to those who hate and are wedded to violence. September 11th provides yet another warning that human beings and nuclear weapons cannot co-exist.

Please use the occasion of the Crawford Summit with President Bush to call for implementation of a plan to eliminate all nuclear weapons from Earth in accord with existing obligations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, beginning with immediate major reductions of nuclear weapons into the hundreds rather than thousands. I also urge you to propose that all nuclear weapons be removed from hair-trigger alert. Finally, I urge you to put forward immediately a World Treaty Banning Space-Based Weapons.

This is a time that calls for bold proposals. Never has global leadership been more important. History has presented you with an opportunity to speak for humanity. Please speak to the world's people in a clear and unambiguous voice for ending the nuclear weapons threat to humanity and for preserving outer space as a zone free of all weaponization.

I am certain that you have the courage and commitment to succeed in accomplishing these goals.

David Krieger, President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation


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

Pugwash Council Statement: The Dangers of Nuclear Terrorism (From London Pugwash Office < > )

The horrific nature of the September 11 attacks has demonstrated the ability of international terrorist networks to carry out well-planned and complex operations that can kill thousands of innocent civilians. The potential for biological, chemical, and/or nuclear terrorism has greatly increased.

While there has long been concern about nuclear material being acquired by non-state groups, reports in the past few days indicate that nuclear weapons may now, or soon will be, available to terrorist groups. The challenges facing the international community from terrorism have been greatly compounded by the worlds failure to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Most immediately, the members of the United Nations must adopt and effectively implement the proposed international conventions on international terrorism and on nuclear terrorism.

More generally, the large quantities of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) that are poorly controlled and otherwise unaccounted for in the former Soviet Union and dozens of other countries demand immediate attention and action by the world community.

HEU poses the danger that it is far easier to manufacture into a nuclear weapon than is plutonium, so much so that even sub-national terrorist groups could accomplish the challenge. European and Asian governments especially need to join the United States in providing aid to the Russian government in controlling and destroying this fissile material (enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs) through greatly accelerated funding and commitment to such programs as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (Nunn-Lugar). In addition, the international convention on the physical protection of nuclear materials must be strengthened and expanded, and greater efforts made to safeguard fissile materials in civilian use.

HEU can, however, be readily diluted with natural uranium to a low-enriched level where it has high commercial value as a proliferation-proof fuel for civil nuclear reactors. Here again, an important opportunity exists for Europe and Japan to work with the United States in purchasing such fuel from Russia and greatly reducing available supplies of weapons-grade uranium.

Much work will be needed on a broad range of fronts, from recognizing and addressing the root causes that facilitate the growth of terrorist networks, to bringing to justice those who commit mass murder and crimes against humanity.

In order to safeguard global peace and security, it is essential that national governments and the world community recognize that the twin dangers of international terrorism and nuclear proliferation pose entirely new threats that demand immediate and sustained attention.

In the coming weeks, Pugwash will publish Issue Briefs with more in-depth analysis of ways of protecting against nuclear and biological terrorism.

London, 12 November 2001 Pugwash Council Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

Could Terrorists Turn the UK into a Nuclear Wasteland? (Source: Scientists for Global Responsibility UK, Press Releases, 16 November 01)

With the admission that "All plutonium can be used directly in nuclear explosives"1,2 and a plane crash on Sellafield possibly creating a 200 to 700 kilometre exclusion zone3 for a century (making the large parts of Britain uninhabitable) with unimaginable human suffering, environmental damage and economic costs4, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) call for an urgent and comprehensive review of the risks of continuing to operate the Sellafield nuclear facilities. Such a review should:

Recent analyses of the effect of a plane crashing onto the storage buildings of Sellafield indicate a release of far larger amounts of radioactivity5 than occurred in the Chernobyl disaster, with proportionately6 larger exclusion zones.

Regarding the November 15th decision by a British High Court judge that the Government's decision to allow the Sellafield Mox plant to begin operation was not unlawful, SGR additionally stated that the organisation still believes that the plant should be retired. The plant will increase the risk of nuclear terrorism by the transportation of plutonium fuel around the globe. The huge costs of a potential nuclear disaster by terrorism or accident are not accounted for in the running of the plant, thus papering over a liability that could destroy the industry in an instant and deeply damage the economies of the rest of the world. Simply put, it is irrational to allow the plant to begin operation and SGR calls for the Government to acknowledge the true cost of nuclear waste reprocessing.

[1] Selden, R. W., Reactor Plutonium and Nuclear Explosives, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, California, 1976: "All plutonium can be used directly in nuclear explosives. The concept of [...] plutonium which is not suitable for explosives is fallacious. A high content of the plutonium 240 isotope (reactor-grade plutonium) is a complication, but not a preventative."

[2] Letter from The Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix to the Nuclear Control Institute, Washington DC, 1990: "considers high burn-up reactor-grade plutonium and in general plutonium of any isotopic composition...to be capable of use in a nuclear explosive device. There is no debate on the matter in the Agency's Department of Safeguards." (&)

[3] Based on a scaled up Chernobyl-type release of Caesium-137, 200km immediate exclusion zone with up to 700 km exclusion zone downwind. This pattern is very dependent upon weather conditions, though. Chernobyl had a 30 km radius exclusion zone and distances of up to 100 km required evacuation depending upon weather conditions (Something in the Wind, Politics After Chernobyl, chapter 2, R Erskine & P Webber, Eds Mackay and Thompson, Pluto Press, 1988).

If 50% of the stored Caesium-137 (an isotope used as a representative of typical radioactivity) stored at Sellafield was released, this would be approximately 45-50 times the Chernobyl release, which would produce an exclusion zone described.

The amount of Caesium-137 stored at Sellafield in the B215 building and is approximately 100 times the quantity released at Chernobyl, see: http://www.wise-paris.org/english/ourbriefings_pdf/011029AircraftCrashSellafield3.pdf

[4] See the "Report on the Legal Liabilities for Civil Plutonium Incidents" at: http://www.oxfrg.demon.co.uk/publications%20-%20nuclear%20-%20Pu%20-%20Briefings%20legal%20liabilities.htm

[5] Using Caesium-137 as a measure - this isotope is treated as representative of general radioactive contamination in nuclear accidents

[6] Areal contamination grows in proportion to the quantity of the contaminant, the radius of the exclusion zone grows approximately in proportion to the square root of these, all else being equal.

Abolition 2000 Report Card 2001 "Feed the Wolf"

This year's Abolition 2000 Report Card, was released at the United Nations on October 24, 2001 (UN Day). It was personally handed out to each member of the First Committee, and made available at several meetings, including one on Terrorism and Disarmament.

The Report Card 2001 is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT

The Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty began on 11 November. Here are some useful web references provided by Felicity Hill, Director, United Nations Office, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF):


Women's Action Agenda for a Healthy Planet 2002

A preliminary draft of this document has now been released. It will be used for advocacy at the regional and national levels in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The contents of the draft is structured as follows:

The draft including a cover letter is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.

Convention on Biological Diversity: SBSTTA-7

From 12-16 November, the seventh session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-7) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in Montreal, Canada. Coverage can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/sbstta7/  

2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development: International Forum on National Sustainable Development Strategies held

The International Forum on National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDSs) took place at Accra, Ghana, on 7-9 November 2001. The Forum was convened by the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK, the Danish Government and the UNDP/Capacity 21, as part of the ongoing preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Seventy-three participants from 31 countries drawn from government, civil society, the private sector and international agencies participated in the Forum.

The purpose of the meeting was to debate at the international level, lessons learned and best practices in NSDSs, to improve understanding and consensus amongst participants, and to recommend approaches that are relevant and effective for the future. Among the topics considered were the key principles and characteristics constituting sound NSDSs, country experiences in bringing together already existing country frameworks for NSDSs, stakeholder experiences with NSDSs, assessing effective processes for NSDSs, and strengthening capacity for NSDS processes. Participants also deliberated on national and regional follow-up actions and discussed recommendations and conclusions for presentation at the WSSD preparatory meetings.

A Summary Report of the Forum has been published in "Sustainable Developments" (Vol. 62 No. 01, 11 November 2001), a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.


Third International Symposium on Non-Greenhouse Gases

For more details, contact the Symposium Secretariat: < > http://www.milieukundigen.nl 

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2002 "Ensuring sustainable livelihoods: challenges for governments, corporates, and civil society at Rio+10" http://www.teriin.org/dsds/index.htm  

For more details regarding the Agenda, contact Mudita Chauhan-Mubayi: < >

For registration contact Beena Menon: < >

Earth Technologies Forum Conference and exhibition on global climate change and ozone protection technologies and policies http://www.earthforum.com  

Participants will discuss current technologies and efforts to bring them into the marketplace

For more details, mailto:  


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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