232476 Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, and the Imperative of Nuclear Abolition

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 12:48 PM - 1:06 PM

Robert Gould, MD , Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco, CA
Patrice Sutton, MPH , Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
APHA has long recognized the public health benefits of nuclear weapons disarmament and the consequent need to support the abolition of nuclear weapons. The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN underscored the continued dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation, and the related potential for nuclear terrorism. The US and other nuclear weapons states (NWS) focused on the hazards posed by North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs. Far less attention was given to the obligations of the NWS to advance legally binding disarmament objectives embodied within the NPT, in line with President Obama's stated goal of a world without nuclear weapons. This presentation will include an examination of contradictions at the heart of US nuclear weapons policy, exemplified by the new US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and subsequent efforts to ratify the New START and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The environmental and public health impacts of these policies, including proposed budget increases for Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons programs, and the increased promotion of global nuclear power as the “greenhouse solution” to global warming will be examined.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify three public health consequences of continued global nuclear weapons programs. Describe actions that public health workers can take to address this issue.

Keywords: War, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed expertise though my work in PSR and APHA Peace Caucus, and related writing on this issue, including contributing to chapters on nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism published in “War and Public Health” and “Terrorism and Public Health."
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.