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PREVENTING NUCLEAR USE: THE HUMANITARIAN IMPERATIVE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT Rebecca E. Johnson Ph.D Co-Chair, ICAN Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament.

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Presentation on theme: "PREVENTING NUCLEAR USE: THE HUMANITARIAN IMPERATIVE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT Rebecca E. Johnson Ph.D Co-Chair, ICAN Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament."— Presentation transcript:

1 PREVENTING NUCLEAR USE: THE HUMANITARIAN IMPERATIVE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT Rebecca E. Johnson Ph.D Co-Chair, ICAN Director, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy

2 Nuclear weapons could destroy us all. To prevent nuclear use and war we must understand their catastrophic health and environmental consequences and, in that knowledge, pursue their elimination

3 “We know from history that deterrence can fail; and we know from experience that some enemies cannot be deterred.” 2002 US National Security Strategy

4 15 kT explosion over Mumbai Firestorm zone 10 cal/cm 2 Severe blast damage >10 psi Lethal prompt radiation >4 Gy Up to 860,000 prompt deaths, 2.1 million injured Ramana MV. Bombing Bombay? IPPNW Global Health Watch Report 3, 1999

5 If nuclear weapons are used, these are the early effects: Blast Blast direct direct Indirect Indirect Heat/flash Heat/flash Burns, blindness Burns, blindness fires fires Radiation Radiation Initial Initial Direct Direct Induction of radioactivity Induction of radioactivity Fallout Fallout Local (mostly external) Local (mostly external) Intermediate (mostly external) Intermediate (mostly external) Global (mostly internal) Global (mostly internal) Electromagnetic pulse Electromagnetic pulse communication systems break down Environmental effects Environmental effects on Biota (living things) on Climate Complex synergistic effects Complex synergistic effects > e.g. blast lethal area of 150 km 2 would have fire conflagration area 350 km 2 > Radiation would weaken immune systems > Persistent high mortality years later, genetic effects harming future generations

6 Nuclear weapons – a very urgent threat to health

7 In Hiroshima... 90% of physicians and nurses killed or injured 90% of physicians and nurses killed or injured 42 out of 45 hospitals non-functional 42 out of 45 hospitals non-functional 70% of victims with combined injuries 65% with burns

8 Hiroshima and Nagasaki Ground temperatures reached about 7,000 degrees C Ground temperatures reached about 7,000 degrees C “Black rain” containing radioactive fallout poured down for hours after the explosions “Black rain” containing radioactive fallout poured down for hours after the explosions

9 Ionising radiation Capacity to damage core genetic blueprint - DNA → cancer → other health effects → genetic damage Many different isotopes Many different isotopes Each behaves differently biologically Each behaves differently biologically

10 Radioactivity of plutonium 1 millionth of a gram → fatal cancer 1 millionth of a gram → fatal cancer Half-life (T1/2) 24,400 years Half-life (T1/2) 24,400 years Decayed to 1/1024 th of original amount after 244,000y Decayed to 1/1024 th of original amount after 244,000y Neanderthals died out 30,000 y Neanderthals died out 30,000 y Last Ice Age glaciation 10,000 y Last Ice Age glaciation 10,000 y Settled agriculture 12,000 y Settled agriculture 12,000 y Writing invented 6,000 y Writing invented 6,000 y

11 NUCLEAR USE – WHEN, not IF! NOW over 19,000 weapons + 9 nuclear-armed states PLUS proliferation incentives, drivers + risks of nuclear terrorism and regional nuclear war Current arsenals 2012 Current arsenals 2012 >19,000 weapons >2,000 Mt Down from peak arsenals (1986) 70,000 weapons 70,000 weapons 15,000 Mt 15,000 Mt BUT NOWHERE NEAR ZERO!

12 Dangerous Dependency: 9 countries spend over $100 billion p.a. on nuclear weapons 2011 in $ billions US61.3 Russia14.9 UK5.5 France6.0 China7.6 Israel1.9 India4.9 Pakistan2.2 DPRK0.7 TOTALS104.9 This is $100 billion they did NOT spend on health, climate security, education, food, water, development....

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14 Imagine... a Hiroshima-sized (15 kt) nuclear bomb on Mumbai  860,000 prompt deaths?  pulverised infrastructure  injuries from blast, heat, fires, collapsed buildings, radiation poisoning  destruction of hospitals and doctors, nurses, ambulances  paralysed health services, no blood supplies...

15 Early Effects of nuclear explosions Blast Blast direct direct Indirect Indirect Heat/flash Heat/flash Burns, blindness Burns, blindness fires fires Radiation Radiation Initial Initial Direct Direct Induction of radioactivity Induction of radioactivity Fallout Fallout Local (mostly external) Local (mostly external) Intermediate (mostly external) Intermediate (mostly external) Global (mostly internal) Global (mostly internal) Electromagnetic pulse Electromagnetic pulse communication systems break down Environmental effects Environmental effects on Biota (living things) on Climate Complex synergistic effects Complex synergistic effects > e.g. blast lethal area of 150 km 2 would have fire conflagration area 350 km 2 > Radiation would weaken immune systems > Persistent high mortality years later, genetic effects harming future generations

16 In Hiroshima, survivors envied the dead

17 Current Nuclear Forces (SIPRI 2012) Nuclear-armed StatesMember of the 1968 Non- Proliferation Treaty? Warheads (approx) TOTAL // of which, deployed-active United States of AmericaNPT8,500 // 2,150 Russia (formerly USSR)NPT10,000 // 1,800 United KingdomNPT225 // 160 FranceNPT300 // 290 ChinaNPT240 Israelnon- NPT (?) Indianon- NPT Pakistannon- NPT North Koreawithdrew from NPT (2003)7 (?) Warhead total (approx) 19,000

18 What if nuclear weapons are used in a ‘limited’ nuclear war in South Asia? India and Pakistan are both nuclear armed, with estimated 80 – 110 nuclear bombs each, and a history of conflict and terrorism. Nuclear mistakes and war are possible and could cause: 20 million deaths in major cities in India and Pakistan Radioactive contamination throughout the region Global climate disruption from smoke and soot

19 Nowhere to Hide Regional war with a few nuclear weapons would mean: Nuclear explosions ignite fires that burn whole cities Soot lofted high into the atmosphere absorbs incoming sunlight Dramatic decrease in sunlight and warmth reaching the planet’s surface Abrupt dropping of temperature Extreme weather and disrupted rainfall

20 ‘Little Boy’ on 6 August 1945 US detonated a kiloton uranium gun-type bomb over Hiroshima US detonated a kiloton uranium gun-type bomb over Hiroshima Deaths - 118,661 Deaths - 118,661 Injuries - 78,000 Injuries - 78, ,000 deaths by end ,000 deaths by end 1945

21 ‘ Fat Man, 9 August 1945 US detonated a 21 kiloton plutonium implosion bomb over Nagasaki US detonated a 21 kiloton plutonium implosion bomb over Nagasaki Deaths - 73,884 Deaths - 73,884 Injuries - 74,909 Injuries - 74,909 Deaths by end of ,000 Deaths by end of , square km levelled 6.7 square km levelled

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23 “Reliance on nuclear weapons for [deterrence] is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective.” Kissinger, Schultz, Nunn and Perry, WSJ Jan 2007 Trident submarine near Faslane, Scotland

24 In 1988, Rajiv Gandhi said that nuclear deterrence is the “...ultimate expression of the philosophy of terrorism” that “...will take us like lemmings to our own suicide...” ”

25 => NW cause unacceptable harm and humanitarian disaster with catastrophic regional and global consequences. => Nuclear weapons use needs to be recognized and treated as a crime against humanity and war crime, as is the use of chemical and biological weapons. This would create strong disincentives, have impact on doctrines and ambitions, and pave the way for A GLOBAL LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE BAN Preventing nuclear use: recasting the nuclear weapons problem

26 New and recent research on environmental and climate effects of nuclear explosions

27 Evaluated effects of 100 ‘small’ nuclear explosions (15 kt, Hiroshima size) on urban centres: Less than 0.5% of today’s nuclear arsenals Less than 0.5% of today’s nuclear arsenals  Up to 20 million immediate deaths  5 m tonnes radioactive soot and debris into upper atmosphere Lofting, circulation and persistence of smoke/dust clouds for ~ 10 years Lofting, circulation and persistence of smoke/dust clouds for ~ 10 years  Global temperatures drop deg  Substantial + long lasting climatic effects would cause widespread global famine

28 Even if you live in a NWFZ like Africa... If others use nuclear weapons it will have terrible consequences for innocent people  1 billion dead from starvation alone? International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War The resarch scenario of a limited nuclear war in South Asia showed:

29 Starvation and lowered immune systems  Epidemic Diseases  Cholera, other diarrhoeal disease  Plague  Malaria  Typhus International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

30 Desperation, Conflict and Further wars  Food riots  Disruption of trade  Hoarding  Intra-state ‘civil’ wars  Wars between nations  and further nuclear weapons detonated? International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

31 Bunker Mentality won’t keep us safe!

32 Time to ban nuclear weapons “Weapons of mass destruction cannot be uninvented. But they can be outlawed, as biological and chemical weapons have been, and their use made unthinkable. Compliance, verification and enforcement rules can, with the requisite will, be effectively applied. And with that will, even the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is not beyond the world’s reach.” Weapons of Terror, Report of the WMD Commission, chaired by Dr Hans Blix, June 2006

33 - to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used... - to pursue in good faith and conclude with urgency and determination negotiations to prohibit the use of and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement, based on existing commitments and international obligations.... In Nov 2011 the Red Cross passed a new resolution on NW – first since 1982 Red Cross gets active – 2011 Resolution pledges:

34 Nuclear-free countries in the driving seat 16 nation statement at May2012 NPT PrepCom: Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Holy See, Indonesia, Egypt, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland became 35 nation statement at UN in Oct 2012, addiing: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Iceland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Peru, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Thailand, Uruguay, Zambia,

35 New thinking to inspire and coordinate civil society and government initiatives to reframe NW and pave the way for banning them on humanitarian terms, creating conditions for total elimination

36 By themselves, the current arms control and NPT regimes fail to stem proliferation. They perpetuate nuclear value and reward possessors >A Nuclear Ban Treaty would erode this and contribute towards crucial task to discredit and delegitimize nuclear weapons and their justifications, including deterrence, status economic investment and other drivers

37 WE MUST FRAME a new security mindset that puts people before weapons Human security must take precedence over military notions of security Human security must take precedence over military notions of security Prioritise real and global security above national state ‘defences’ Prioritise real and global security above national state ‘defences’ Nuclear weapons make us INSECURE and VULNERABLE Nuclear weapons make us INSECURE and VULNERABLE They waste and divert resources from tackling real domestic and security problems e.g. environmental/climate desecration, health/pandemics, cuts, economic chaos, water, food, shelter They waste and divert resources from tackling real domestic and security problems e.g. environmental/climate desecration, health/pandemics, cuts, economic chaos, water, food, shelter

38 Banning nuclear weapons: the next step, not the last step Examples from other weapons: asphyxiating chemicals asphyxiating chemicals 1925 Geneva Protocol (use)  1993 CWC (all aspects) 1925 Geneva Protocol (use)  1993 CWC (all aspects) biological and toxin weapons biological and toxin weapons 1925 Geneva Protocol (use)  1972 BTWC 1925 Geneva Protocol (use)  1972 BTWC antipersonnel landmines antipersonnel landmines 1997 Mine Ban Convention (use, stockpiling, production and transfer...) 1997 Mine Ban Convention (use, stockpiling, production and transfer...) cluster munitions cluster munitions 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM prohibits use, production, stockpiling and transfer...) 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM prohibits use, production, stockpiling and transfer...)

39 Educate, mobilise and strategise! Link, network, build campaign WHAT WILL IT TAKE? How can we change the debate on nuclear weapons in India?

40 Prevention is better than cure! We cannot cure nuclear addiction and we won’t be able to protect ourselves if nuclear weapons are used So, what can we do? What do YOU want to achieve? AND HOW?? And how can ICAN help?

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42 It’s necessary, possible and achievable – if we mobilise and ACT!


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