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Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Blogs

Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence

Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence

  Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 8 Confronting the profits and legacies of nuclear violence 27 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF As the majority of the world’s countries have been gathered at the United Nations negotiating the nuclear weapon ban treaty, the Center for Public Integrity has been releasing installments of a new report about workplace hazards at the US nuclear weapon laboratories. Monday’s installment of the report reveals a “litany of mishaps” across the eight sites that involve workers inhaling radioactive particles, receiving electrical shocks, being burned by acid or in fires, splashed with toxic chemicals, or cut by debris from exploding metal drums. Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the plutonium cores for nuclear warheads are produced, has “violated nuclear industry rules for guarding against a criticality accident three times more often last year” than any of the country’s other 23 nuclear installations combined....

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Blogs

Affecting Operations

Affecting Operations

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 7 Affecting operations 23 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF Civil society is not able to report from Thursday’s meetings. The morning session was an informal discussion on transit, while the afternoon was a closed meeting on the revised preamble. On Friday, states will return to consideration of articles 2–5 of the draft treaty text. All of these potential treaty components are related to one another. Each has implications for the structural, operational, and political aspects of nuclear weapon programmes and policies. If the preamble conveys a strong political message about the rejection of nuclear weapons based on their catastrophic harm and inherent immorality, this helps set the stage for strong prohibitions. It also provides impetus for the obligations related to elimination of nuclear weapon programmes and cessation of related activities and doctrines. As noted in previous...

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 in Blogs

The Ban and Other Law

The Ban and Other Law

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 6 The ban and other law 22 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues.   Download the full edition On Tuesday morning, the conference wrapped up its read through of the President’s draft treaty text. In the afternoon, states engaged in an informal, off-the-record discussion. We are not reporting on that session but welcome the decision to permit civil society to observe. In terms of the draft text, one of the issues discussed on Tuesday morning was the relationship between this treaty and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is currently described in article 19. Since the process to ban nuclear weapons began its supporters have had to defend against accusations of undermining or even destroying the NPT. Such accusations are not based on any real risk or challenge to the NPT regime. The ban treaty is an attempt by most NPT states parties to...

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Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blogs

DEALING WITH THE REALITIES OF NUCLEAR VIOLENCE

DEALING WITH THE REALITIES OF NUCLEAR VIOLENCE

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 5 Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full version in PDF Severe, lifelong, and trans-generational harm has resulted not only from the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also from the testing, development, and production of nuclear weapons. Late effects and long-lived environmental contamination will continue to create new victims. This damage has disproportionately affected women and indigenous communities—the reflections of this in the revised preamble are important. For all of these reasons, including provisions on victim assistance and environmental remediation in the nuclear ban treaty is important. Some delegations such as Egypt, Iran, Cuba, and Viet Nam, amongst others, argued that the primary responsibility for victim assistance should lie with the states that created the victims in the first place. Malaysia argued international customary law supports this, including the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. However, as other...

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blogs

Pathways to elimination

Pathways to elimination

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 4, 20 June 2017 Ray Acheson Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. Download full edition in PDF One of the most complex questions of the nuclear weapon ban treaty is how it should deal with nuclear disarmament. This was one of the main subjects of debate on Monday afternoon, and is dealt with in the draft treaty text in articles 2–5. None of the nine states currently possessing nuclear weapons are engaging in these negotiations—some are actively hostile to the effort. Some claim (for now) to support the principle of nuclear disarmament, however. Their refusal to pursue relevant effective measures in good faith is the precise reason why nuclear ban negotiations are taking place at all. Given this situation, states participating in nuclear ban negotiations have a few options. They can develop a set of strong prohibitions geared toward having practical impacts on current nuclear...

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blogs

Political messages and prohibitions

Political messages and prohibitions

Nuclear Ban Daily, Vol. 2, No. 3 Ray Acheson is the Director of Reaching Critical Will. She provides analysis, research, and advocacy across a range of disarmament and arms control issues. 19 June 2017 Ray Acheson What do we want from a treaty banning nuclear weapons? This is the most important question when considering both the preamble and the prohibitions, as delegates did on Friday. It will also be imperative when it comes to the provisions related to the elimination of nuclear weapons, which negotiators will consider this week. While the answer may seem obvious—we want the prohibition of nuclear weapons as a means to achieve their total elimination—there are nevertheless different understandings of what that means and how to best accomplish it. The atmosphere in the negotiating room is constructive and dynamic, with delegations supporting and building off of each other’s suggestions, or engaging in debate about the merits of particular proposals. However, there is also a sense that different agendas are afoot. For some states, a crisp...

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