Reading Room

Global Day Against Nuclear Testing

Today, August 29, has been proclaimed by the United Nations as the "International Day Against Nuclear Tests." For all of us working toward a more just and peaceful world, free of the scourge of nuclear weapons, this is a special time to stop a moment and consider the horrifying effects of nuclear weapons testing worldwide.

The UN website states: "Since nuclear weapons testing began in the mid-twentieth century, with the first test on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. There has been little consideration of the devastating effects of testing on human life, let alone the understanding of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests."

The U.S. has conducted more than 1,000 of the world's nuclear tests and is the only nation to have used a nuclear weapon in war (on August 6 and 9, 1945). The United States and Russia today hold about 95% of all nuclear weapons. Our responsibility to take action for nuclear disarmament could not be more pressing or clear.

Too, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which outlawed atmospheric nuclear testing. Nuclear testing then went underground. In 1996, the U.S. signed but failed to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would broadly outlaw nuclear test explosions. The U.S. and seven other holdouts must ratify the CTBT before it can enter into force internationally. For more on the relationship between banning nuclear tests and nuclear weapons, click here

As we continue the difficult yet necessary work for the abolition of nuclear weapons, we invite you to take some time today to think about your role. And, for all your past, present and future actions - large and small - toward a world free of nuclear weapons, and free of the tests used to develop them, we at Tri-Valley CAREs salute you! Onward, together!