nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

American universities in the US nuclear weapons complex

US universities should reject, not invest in, nuclear weapons  Schools of mass destruction  https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/11/15/schools-of-mass-destruction/

American universities in the US nuclear weapons complex

An ICAN report

Universities across the United States are identified in this report for activities ranging from directly managing laboratories that design nuclear weapons to recruiting and training the next generation of nuclear weapons scientists. Much of universities’ nuclear weapons work is kept secret from students and faculty by classified research policies and undisclosed contracts with the Defense Department and the Energy Department.  The following is the executive summary from ICAN’s report: Schools of Mass Destruction, with some changes made for timeliness.   Posted on November 15, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational

Over the next ten years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates U.S. taxpayers will pay nearly $500 billion to maintain and modernize their country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, or almost $100,000 per minute. A separate estimate brings the total over the next 30 years to an estimated $1.7 trillion. In a July 2019 report, National Nuclear Security Administrator Lisa Gordon-Haggerty wrote, “The nuclear security enterprise is at its busiest since the demands of the Cold War era.”

In addition to large amounts of funding, enacting these upgrades requires significant amounts of scientific, technical and human capital. To a large extent, the U.S. government and its contractors have turned to the nation’s universities to provide this capital.

At the same time, the United States is shirking its previous commitments to nuclear arms control and reducing nuclear risks despite its obligation under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue good-faith measures towards nuclear disarmament.

In August 2019, the United States officially withdrew from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, testing a treaty-prohibited missile shortly thereafter. The Trump Administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review expanded the circumstances under which the United States would consider the first use of nuclear weapons and called for the development of two new sea-based low-yield nuclear weapon systems.

Internationally, many member states of the United Nations have recognized the devastating humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons: debating, adopting, signing and now ratifying the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Despite these debates, U.S. universities have continued to build connections to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Although students and faculty have opposed university participation in nuclear weapons research and development at various points in the last 70 years, such participation continues.

Universities involve themselves in the nuclear weapons complex through the four channels listed below. In return for this engagement, universities receive funding, access to research facilities, and specific career opportunities for students.

1) Direct Management

A handful of universities directly manage nuclear weapons related activities on behalf of the federal government, retaining contracts worth billions of dollars per year collectively. These include the University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester.

2) Institutional Partnerships

Many of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) sites advertise collaborative agreements with local and national universities. These formal agreements allow the institutions to cooperate on research and share personnel and expertise. They can also provide university researchers access to funding and advanced facilities in the NNSA laboratories. The report highlights more than 30 such agreements with schools in 18 states.

3) Research Programs and Partnerships

In addition to formal institutional partnerships, numerous connections exist between universities and the nuclear weapons complex at the research project level. In a report delivered to Congress in July 2019, the NNSA highlights that more than $65 million in grants were delivered to academic institutions in the last year to support stockpile stewardship. When including grants and subcontracts from the NNSA labs as well, the total amount of funding to universities for research may be higher than $150 million per year.

4) Workforce Development Programs

Former Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry has written that finding “the next generation workforce of world-class scientists, engineers and technicians is a major priority.” Through university partnerships, vocational training programs and research fellowships, the NNSA creates employment pipelines for the development of its future workforce.

A primary goal of this report is to facilitate a shared understanding of university connections to nuclear weapons research and development. A common factual basis will help communities of university faculty, students and administrations engage in robust internal debates and take action. Universities would not willingly participate today in the production of chemical and biological weapons; for the same humanitarian reasons, no university should seek an association with the other category of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear weapons.

While American universities have played a key role in the development and continuation of nuclear weapons, they can now join U.S. cities and states that have rejected U.S. nuclear weapons and called on the federal government to support nuclear reductions and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In light of the research presented,  this report offers the following recommendations to universities:

Recommendations

• Provide greater transparency into connections with the nuclear weapons complex;

• Stop directly managing nuclear weapons production sites and dissolve research contracts solely related to nuclear weapons production;

• For contracts with dual-purpose research applications, demand greater transparency and create specific processes for ethical review of this research;

• Advocate for reinvestment of weapons activities funding to non-proliferation and environmental remediation efforts; and

• Join cities and state legislatures in urging the federal government to support the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and reverse course on nuclear arms control backsliding.

See the full list of universities.

The above is the Executive Summary of ICAN’s report on US Universities. Read the full report. Beyond Nuclear is a member of ICAN.

November 16, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby gets its tentacles into education in India

Shiv Nadar School Hosts Virtual Boot Camp on Nuclear Energy, Climate Change and Sustainability, India Education Diary
By India Education Diary Bureau Admin -November 11, 2020,
Noida: Shiv Nadar School, Noida, (a not-for-profit initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation in K12 education) organized the first-of-its-kind Energy Boot Camp as part of its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program to bring awareness about clean energy, climate change and sustainability.The Boot Camp was organized virtually in association with the Indian Youth Nuclear Society (IYNS), from November 6 to 8, 2020 and witnessed participation from around 2000 students (Grade 6 to 12)…….. https://indiaeducationdiary.in/shiv-nadar-school-hosts-virtual-boot-camp-on-nuclear-energy-climate-change-and-sustainability/

November 12, 2020 Posted by | Education, India | Leave a comment

How to educate American children about nuclear weapons?

September 5, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Students unaware of nuclear weapons and the existential threat that they pose

Students Aren’t Learning About Nuclear Weapons. That’s a Major Problem.  AT TOP https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a33917558/nuclear-weapons-education-in-schools/   Popular Mechanics,  BY CAROLINE DELBERT, SEP 4, 2020  

  • Not enough young people have access to even the option of studying nuclear weapons dynamics, an industry report says.
  • Nuclear weapons development continues around the world.
  • The current nuclear risk workforce is aging out, with few interested in replacing them.
  • At the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, innovation advocate Sara Z. Kutchesfahani says the vast majority of U.S. students don’t learn about nuclear weapons in high school, or even in most relevant college coursework. Kutchesfahani says that low level of knowledge, combined with industry factors, means the nuclear workforce itself is about to hit a critical state.
  • Kutchesfahani is writing on behalf of an industry thinktank, N Square, a “funders collaborative” that advocates for nuclear threat reduction. She says the lack of flow of new, younger workers into the nuclear sector will create a dangerously unbalanced workforce demographic in an industry that will still need a lot of support for the foreseeable future. Even if nuclear weapons are never used, they must be maintained carefully. If they’re “disarmed” in the future, trained people must handle and dispose of or recycle them.
  • In the essay, Kutchesfahani likens nuclear weapons awareness and literacy to the idea of climate change awareness and curricula, because, she says, both are existential threats:

    “[I]f school boards, curriculum writers, and teachers and professors continue to ignore the topic of nuclear weapons and do not include it in class curricula, the public will continue to be unaware of the existential threat these devastating weapons pose to humanity, and the professional field will have difficulty sustaining itself.”
    Much of nuclear investment in 2020 is in energy—for better or worse, world powers are treating next-generation nuclear power like the next big thing and even using that as a way to underfund investment in wind, solar, hydro, and other sustainable forms of energy.

    But there has also been a new kind of nuclear warhead developed and now tested in 2020, a low-yield warhead launched from a submarine that, again, is publicly billed as a “deterrent” to other nations’ nuclear aggressions, particularly Russia.

    This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
  • The fact remains that as long as there are nuclear weapons in play on the world stage, the world must realistically discuss them. That’s separate from politics, or even whether advocates are for or against nuclear weapons at all. If someone walked into your home while juggling flaming batons, you’d suddenly wish you had a flaming batons expert to help you decide what to do next.
Nuclear has a special stigma, but in STEM overall, younger people are increasingly drawn to nanotech and other cutting-edge, computation-heavy or technology-enabled fields over, say, the traditional field work of a working research biologist. Perhaps the same lessons could attract new talent into a variety of science fields, including nuclear defense studies.

September 5, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. Dept of Energy entrenching the nuclear industry into universities, (at tax-payers’ expense)

Sad to see tax-payers” money going to the co-option of universities into promoting a dirty, dangerous and absurdly uneconomic nuclear industry.’ The claim about combatting climate change is laughable. These “new generation” nuclear reactors would never be in operation in time to have any effect on climate change – even if they dis work against global heating (which they don’t, anyway)
DOE investing more than $800,000 in Idaho to advance nuclear technology Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com,  June 26, 2020   

DAHO FALLS – During a visit to the Idaho National Laboratory last week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced more than $65 million in nuclear energy research for projects across the country. ……. The funds are being awarded to 93 projects across 28 different states. More than $800,000 has been allocated for projects in eastern Idaho. …..An undetermined amount is being awarded to the INL for various research experiments.

Idaho State University in Pocatello will be awarded $59,262 to replace the control rod drive for its nuclear reactor. The project will focus on improving its design to make it more reliable and safe, as well as decrease its complexity.

Boise State University and the University of Idaho are also included on the list.   ……. https://www.eastidahonews.com/2020/06/doe-investing-more-than-800000-in-idaho-to-advance-nuclear-technology/

June 27, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry encroaching further into USA education, thanks to DOE funding

Department of Energy Invests $65 Million at National Laboratories and American Universities to Advance Nuclear Technologym Energy.gov

JUNE 18, 202   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $65 million in nuclear energy research, cross-cutting technology development, facility access, and infrastructure awards for 93 advanced nuclear technology projects in 28 states. The awards fall under DOE’s nuclear energy programs called the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP), the Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET), and the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF)…….

Nuclear Energy University Program ($55M)

DOE is awarding more than $38.6 million through NEUP to support 57 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 24 states. NEUP seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty and their students with opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities.

Additionally, 21 university-led projects will receive more than $5.7 million for research reactor and infrastructure improvements, ……. https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-invests-65-million-national-laboratories-and-american-universities

June 20, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. Energy Dept awards for nuclear students (not for renewable energy ones)

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Education Awards for the Next Generation of Nuclear Scientists and Engineers, APRIL 14, 2020  WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced more than $5 million in awards through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s Integrated University Program. The program offers undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to students pursuing nuclear engineering degrees and other nuclear science and engineering programs relevant to nuclear energy. The awards include 42 scholarships and 34 fellowships for students at 32 U.S. colleges and universities.

“The Integrated University Program is focused on attracting the best and the brightest to nuclear energy professions,” ….https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/us-department-energy-announces-education-awards-next-generation-nuclear-scientists-and-0

April 16, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

NuScam and other nuclear companies weasel their way into University of Tennessee

TVA signs nuclear research MOU with University of Tennessee on advanced SMR technologies, Power Engineering Rod Walton, 4.7.20  In its latest move toward potentially embracing next-gen nuclear energy technology, the Tennessee Valley Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state’s largest university to study it together.

The University of Tennessee and TVA signed the MOU to evaluate development of advanced nuclear technologies such as small modular reactors. The project, if developed, would be at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site in Roane County.

TVA has not made a decision to build it and would still require U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval for a specific design. Late last year, however, the NRC approved the federal utility’s early site permit at Clinch River.

Earlier this year, TVA announced it had signed an MOU with the Oak Ridge National Lab, part of the Energy Department system……. This announcement joins previously announced partnerships and design advancements involving companies such as NuScale Power, Lightbridge, Framatome and South Korea’s SMART SMR……

Knoxville is the flagship campus for the UT system. The university has more than 29,000 students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 other nations.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com).  https://www.power-eng.com/2020/04/07/tva-signs-nuclear-research-mou-with-university-of-tennessee-on-advanced-smr-technologies/

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Sam and the Plant Next Door – growing up by the nuclear power plant

Sam, 11, is always being told not to worry about the nuclear power plant rising next door, but for him there is lots to think about. Hinkley Point C will be Britain’s largest nuclear plant, and it’s only two miles away. Most of his classmates expect to work at the plant but Sam is determined to escape that fate.

His dream is to protect the surrounding marine life he identifies with. Like the fish, he feels unappreciated by the adults. Sam thinks the only way to reach his dream is to leave his friends behind and to go to a private school. But when he’s offered a place, his parents can’t afford the fees. As a last resort, they turn to the power company for funding, which forces Sam to decide what kind of person he wants to be. Drifting between Sam’s daily life and his dreams, a film about holding on and letting go, along the tricky passage from childhood innocence to grown-up life  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMhYngrEgZU&feature=youtu.be

April 4, 2020 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

A call for John Hopkins University to stop helping nuclear weapons industry

Hopkins must take a stand against its nuclear weapons production,  https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2019/11/hopkins-must-take-a-stand-against-its-nuclear-weapons-production

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD | November 21, 2019 After years of protests from students, the University continues to invest in fossil fuel companies. It has an exclusivity contract with PepsiCo, a company that uses suppliers who violate child labor laws, going against ethical and sustainable business practices. Most recently, the University was slow to end contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the government agency that is responsible for separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The University’s involvement in these contracts has been well publicized and heavily criticized by students and professors alike. Adding to this list of questionable practices is a partnership that is less well-known, but just as problematic: a contract with the U.S. government to take part in nuclear weapons research.

On Nov. 13, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) published a report stating that 49 U.S. universities are complicit in the production of nuclear weapons. The group calls on students and faculty to “demand their universities stop helping to build weapons of mass destruction.”

The report is scathing. It repeatedly mentions Hopkins, highlighting its involvement in creating nuclear weapons for the U.S. ICAN notes that Hopkins receives twice as much funding as any other university from the Department of Defense (DOD) largely because of the work of its renowned Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Created in 1942 for weapons development in World War II, the APL has since served as a technical resource for the U.S. government, developing numerous technologies for air and missile defense, naval warfare, computer security and space science.

In 2017, the APL received a seven year contract with the DOD for $93 million to continue the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s strategic partnership. This contributes to the multi-year contract with the agency that is now worth more than $7 billion.

The research involved in this deal is largely classified. On the surface, this seems to contradict the University’s policy against classified research. However, the APL is exempt from this policy, as it is the only part of the University listed as a “non-academic division.”

The University continues to brand itself as an ethical research institution. However, its direct involvement with the development of weapons of mass destruction is contradictory to these actions.

We believe that Hopkins should remove itself from all contracts associated with nuclear weapons. Instead, the APL should focus on research that does not have the same devastating and inhumane implications that nuclear weapons do.

Those who support the University’s work with nuclear weapons may argue that Hopkins receives a high monetary benefit from their partnership with the Department of Defense. They may also claim that Hopkins, which is just one of nearly 50 universities conducting research, can’t make any difference on its own. Even if Hopkins ends the contracts, why would other schools do the same?

These arguments are valid, and we understand the concerns that are associated with terminating the contracts. It is true that Hopkins receives a hefty sum for its involvement with the DOD. According to ICAN, “the funding ceiling for its ongoing contract was extended beyond $7 billion” in 2019.

There is also a turning tide against nuclear weapons development across the world. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, introduced to the United Nations in 2017, bans the development and use of nuclear weapons by signatories. So far, 122 countries have signed on, though the U.S. and most western countries have not. If Hopkins and other reputable institutions take a stand against nuclear weapons development, it will send a sign to the world at large that we want to move on from using these weapons of mass destruction.

Large scale change starts small, and it starts with us. We encourage students to take a stand for what they believe in. As with any other issue, there are multiple ways to tell Hopkins that it’s time for a change. On their website, ICAN outlines three ways that students can speak out. They recommend publicizing the issue, demanding transparency from universities and calling on them to end their work with nuclear weapons.

We know that there’s no guarantee that Hopkins will end its contracts and stop working on nuclear weapons development. But by speaking out, we can initiate the change. Activists who are part of sustainability and pro-peace groups can protest against nuclear weapons production. Students who are majoring in STEM fields can take a stand against working at the associated departments at the APL, and should be aware of the larger implications of any research they are involved in. All students can tell Hopkins that we demand an explanation and that we take issue with the greater mission behind the research.

The University’s mission statement, in part, mentions that its goal is “To educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.” We hope that the University will refocus its attention on these goals. If Hopkins turns away from nuclear weapons research, other institutions may follow in our path. Making the world a safer place is the best way to bring the benefits of our discovery to everyone.

November 23, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Education, USA | Leave a comment

John Hopkins University prominent in helping the nuclear weapons industry

Johns Hopkins University among schools furthering nuclear weapons, BALTIMORE SUN |NOV 20, 2019 When choosing a university, students should be weighing class sizes, major options or even the dining hall food quality. But what they shouldn’t have to consider is if their dream school helps to build nuclear weapons.

A new report reveals that nearly 50 U.S. colleges and universities contribute to building and maintaining U.S. nuclear weapons, in direct contradiction to their mission statements and often without the knowledge of their students and faculty. Three local universities are among these schools of mass destruction: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and George Washington University and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory is a Defense Department-affiliated research center that works on nuclear weapons, which helped Johns Hopkins receive $828 million in research and development grants from the Defense Department for Fiscal Year 2017 — more than twice as much any other American university. The laboratory renewed a seven-year contract in 2017 to continue a strategic partnership with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

The laboratory operates away from the prying eyes of most students and faculty in a 453-acre, off-campus location. While Johns Hopkins generally exempts classified research, there is a blanket exemption policy for classified research at the Applied Physics Laboratory.

George Washington University maintains a Stockpile Stewardship Academic Alliance Center of Excellence, receiving $12.5 million in grants over five years for research relevant to the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

Georgetown University is a university partner of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. While the details of the partnership are not public, Lawrence Livermore receives 86% of its funding from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration Weapons Activities Appropriations for the design, engineering and evaluation of nuclear warheads.

College students should learn how to make the world a better place, not how to develop the tools to end it. Universities themselves make this point in their mission statements. Johns Hopkins sums up its mission as “knowledge for the world.” The mission of George Washington University is to “educate individuals in liberal arts, languages, sciences, learned professions, and other courses and subjects of study, and to conduct scholarly research and publish the findings of such research.” Georgetown University’s website states that at the core of its Jesuit tradition are “transcendent values, including the integration of learning, faith and service; care for the whole person; character and conviction; religious truth and interfaith understanding; and a commitment to building a more just world.”

It is time for these universities to live up to their own moral objectives.

As a first step, universities must provide more clarity about their work to support U.S. nuclear weapons so that students and faculty can make informed choices about where they would like to invest their intellectual capital. Johns Hopkins should reconsider whether permitting classified research at the Applied Physics Laboratory is in line with its “commitment to openness in documentation and dissemination of research results.

George Washington University should shut down its “Stockpile Stewardship Academic Alliance Center of Excellence,” unless it receives a legally-binding guarantee that none of the basic research the center conducts will be applied to maintaining and expanding the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

Georgetown may continue to partner with Lawrence Livermore on the minority of the laboratory’s research that contributes to “building a more just world.” But it must explicitly reject research for the laboratory’s main objective — building and maintaining nuclear weapons.

Universities can play a key role to equip the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills to make the world better a place. Nuclear weapons don’t belong there.

Alicia Sanders-Zakre (alicia@icanw.org) is policy and research coordinator of ICAN, Winners of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.  https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-1121-universities-nuclear-weapons-20191120-m77eyfshsngizdmsbl64z3mm7a-story.html

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Education, USA | 1 Comment

49 USA universities get lots of money for helping to develop nuclear weapons

‘Schools of Mass Destruction’: Report Details 49 US Universities Abetting Nuclear Weapons Complex https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/13/schools-mass-destruction-report-details-49-us-universities-abetting-nuclear-weapons “Why would an institution of higher learning support weapons that cause terrible humanitarian consequences?”

Nearly 50 universities across the United States are abetting the “nuclear weapons complex” with involvement that is at times “direct and unabashed.”

That’s according to a new report released Wednesday by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), “Schools of Mass Destruction: American Universities in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex.” The report calls out 49 educational institutions, describes their direct and indirect involvement, and recommends steps the universities, students, and faculty can take to address the issue.

The report names prestigious universities including Stanford, Georgetown, and MIT. The cited universities have reportedly engaged in four different avenues of complicity in nuclear weapons production, defying their own mission statements and international law.

In return, the report says, “universities receive funding, access to research facilities, and specific career opportunities for students.”

The complicity, according to ICAN, falls into one of four categories: direct management, institutional partnerships, research programs and partnerships, and workforce development programs.

From the report’s profiles on Georgetown University and the University of Nevada – Reno:

In return, the report says, “universities receive funding, access to research facilities, and specific career opportunities for students.”

The complicity, according to ICAN, falls into one of four categories: direct management, institutional partnerships, research programs and partnerships, and workforce development programs.

From the report’s profiles on Georgetown University and the University of Nevada – Reno:

  • Georgetown is listed as a university partner on the website of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. According to administration at Georgetown, the university has a formal agreement with the laboratory and collaborates in the areas of neuroscience, physics and cancer, with the lab hosting graduate students for summer internships. The Lawrence Livermore lab provides design and engineering for several nuclear warhead types and conducts simulated experiments to evaluate warheads.
  • The University of Nevada – Reno developed a new Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging in partnership with the Department of Energy. A Nevada National Security Site engineer was the first to complete the program. The Nevada National Security Site is the location of nearly 1,000 tests of nuclear weapons in past decades, leading to serious health impacts for nearby residents and participating military personnel. Currently, staff at the site conduct simulated experiments to test the reliability and performance of nuclear weapons. The site also hosts “subcritical experiments” that allow for the evaluation of nuclear weapons materials under certain conditions, but do not cause a “self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.”

Those universities are not the “most complicit.” That dubious honor goes to the University of California,  Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of New Mexico. In a Twitter thread, ICAN highlighted those schools’ involvement:

#1 The state of California supports a ban of #nuclearweaponshttp://bit.ly/2pbn7OT,but  the @UofCalifornia has continuously managed the primary #nuclearweapons labs for the US since WWII. When will UC stop supporting weapons that pose a catastrophic threat to our existence?

#2 @TAMU administration has publicly stated its “commitment to the #nuclearweapons industry.”http://bit.ly/2CyVbau  Why would an institution of higher learning support weapons that cause terrible humanitarian consequences?

#3 @JohnsHopkins’ applied physics lab is directly involved in #nuclearweapons production. It receives more than twice as much funding from the US @DeptofDefense than any other U.S. university. @JHUPress @JHUNewsLetter

#4 More than 3,800 New Mexicans have suffered serious illness or death as a result of US nuclear weapons tests  http://bit.ly/33IL4vS  So why does the @UNM University of New Mexico wants its faculty and students to collaborate with #nuclearweapons lab scientists?

The report comes as Trump administration policies have given rise to fears of a new arms race. As the report notes,

In the United States, the Trump administration has expanded plans to upgrade the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal. Over the next ten years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates U.S. taxpayers will pay nearly $500 billion to maintain and modernize its country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, or almost $100,000 per minute.

Also noted in the publication is the administration’s withdrawal earlier this year from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia and its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which calls for “diversifying” the country’s nuclear arsenal.

That gives greater urgency to the call for the schools to sever their partnerships—and the clear support for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, ICAN says, should be seen as an opportunity for action.

U.S. universities must reconsider connections to the nuclear weapons complex due to the devastating humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons and because current U.S. policies make their use more likely,” says the report.

A first step is for schools to be more transparent about their involvement in the nuclear weapons complex but that’s not enough. “Universities would not willingly participate today in research enabling the production of chemical and biological weapons. Nuclear weapons are morally equivalent to these other weapons of mass destruction.”

Students and faculty can take action as well. ICAN suggests sharing the report to increase awareness, demanding the institutions make their research transparent, and calling on the schools to become part of the effort to  ban nuclear weapons by dropping their involvement.

November 16, 2019 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

USA universities in the money as they help develop nuclear weapons

UNIVERSITIES ACROSS AMERICA PROFIT FROM DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. IT’S UNCONSCIONABLE,  https://www.newsweek.com/universities-funding-nuclear-weapons-research-1471572   BEATRICE FIHN ON 11/13/19 Americans like a good comeback story, but the recent revitalization of the nuclear arms race is not one to be cheered. President Trump plans to charge the American taxpayer nearly $100,000 a minute to expand the nation’s nuclear weapons capabilities.Other nuclear-armed countries are doing the same.

A new generation of nuclear weapons requires a new generation of workers to develop and maintain these weapons of mass destruction. The National Nuclear Security Administration reported to Congress that 40 percent of its workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years.The U.S. government and its contractors have turned to the nation’s universities to provide this human capital. A new report documents formal ties between nearly 50 college campuses and the nuclear weapons complex.

The extent to which universities have joined this endeavor is surprising. Supporting weapons of mass destruction does not show up in any university mission statements. In fact, it’s often the opposite: universities like to talk about bringing the benefits of knowledge to a global community.

The dangers posed by nuclear weapons are clear. Yet universities still choose to support them anyway. Students and faculty now face a choice. They can become the next generation of weapons scientists. Or they can refuse to be complicit in this scheme, denying research partnerships or internships at nuclear weapons labs.Currently, universities across the country receive millions and in some cases billions of dollars to support nuclear weapons development. Universities directly manage nuclear weapons labs, form institutional agreements with these labs and related production sites, pursue research partnerships with nuclear weapons scientists, and provide targeted workforce development for these facilities.

Many of the universities with more extensive connections to nuclear weapons are household names: the University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of New Mexico. Others, such as local technical and vocational schools, are less well-known.

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical and biological weapons. They carry devastating humanitarian and environmental consequences that do not stop at national borders. Thousands still suffer from the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thousands more suffer from the effects of nuclear weapons testing in the 20th century, including in the U.S.

One Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated that radioactive fallout from nuclear tests would kill an additional 11,000 Americans due to an increase in fatal cancers. The United States has paid more than $2.3 billion in compensation to individuals affected by nuclear test fallout. Those most affected by tests around the world have been the already marginalized: indigenous and colonized peoples, women and children.

Some see value in the nuclear weapons complex because it supplies thousands of jobs. These boosters fail to acknowledge the studies that demonstrate how defense spending produces fewer jobs per dollar than investment in other areas, like education, health care or infrastructure. The business of nuclear weapons does not provide jobs; it takes them away.

Our choice today is between a future without nuclear weapons or no future at all. Seventy-nine nations (and counting) have signed the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; American states and cities are voting to urge the US to join them. Universities that support nuclear weapons make the wrong choice and their communities should refuse to be complicit.

Students, faculty, alumni, and community members — who often fund these schools through their tax dollars — can also take concrete action to help their universities join the right side of history.

They can push for transparency around any ties to the nuclear weapons complex, install ethical review processes for basic or dual-purpose research funded by the complex, and prohibit classified research. They can ask University administrations to stop direct management of nuclear weapons production sites and dissolve research contracts solely related to nuclear weapons production.

University communities and administrations together can lobby the federal government to flip its funding priorities, so that nonproliferation and disarmament verification research receive more funding than weapons activities.

A society can—and should—actively debate the extent to which universities are to serve explicitly national interests. But there should be no debate when it comes to supporting weapons of mass destruction. American academia must stop enabling mass murder.

Beatrice Fihn is the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winners.

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

USA Office of Nuclear Energy taking over STEM education

Nuclear power pack: 3 Can’t miss STEM resources on nuclear energy, USA Office of Nuclear Energy  SEPTEMBER 17, 2019  “………. DOE recently partnered with the American Nuclear Society and Discovery Education to develop high school and elementary curriculum.

Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our Free World is packed with FREE K-12 resources to support educators who want to incorporate nuclear into their lesson plans. All activities and lesson plans are Next Generation Science Standard-aligned.

The middle school curriculum is ready for teachers to use. High school and elementary resources are under development and will be rolled out over the next two years, so stay tuned!

The DOE-sponsored curriculum will include new perspectives on computer science, computational thinking and culturally-responsive curriculum……..

Inspiring future generations of leaders, scientists, and engineers is what we’re all about at DOE. Our Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) supports students’ passion for nuclear by funding nuclear energy research and infrastructure projects at colleges and universities across the nation.  ……..  https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/nuclear-power-pack-3-can-t-miss-stem-resources-nuclear-energy

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. and Canadian govts funding promotion of Small Nuclear Reactors: nuclear lobby infiltrates education

Regulators formalise technical collaboration on SMR regulation,WNN, 16 August 2019  Canadian and US nuclear regulators have signed a first-of-a-kind Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) that will see them collaborate on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor (SMR) technologies. Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy has awarded funds to build SMR simulators at three US universities.
The MoC was signed on 15 August in Ottawa by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) President Rumina Velshi and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Christine Svinicki and follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed two years ago. …..
The US DOE has awarded three grants to support the installation of a NuScale reactor plant simulators at Oregon State University, Texas A&M University-College Station and the University of Idaho, NuScale Power announced on 15 August. The simulators will be used for research and educational purposes…..
We are very grateful to our university partners for their collaboration and eagerness to participate in this project, and to the Department of Energy for its continued support of NuScale’s groundbreaking work in the advanced nuclear industry,” NuScale Chairman and CEO John Hopkins said. “These simulator facilities will create new research opportunities and help ensure that we educate future generations about the important role nuclear power and SMR technology will play in attaining a safe, clean and secure energy future for our country.”

The simulator facilities will also be used for educational outreach to school-age students and public advocacy regarding nuclear power and SMR technology. The three grants are awarded through the DOE Nuclear Energy University Program and are worth a total of nearly USD844,000.

The simulators are based on NuScale’s simulator technology and computer models, and include an interface that accepts input from operators in a virtual control room and displays parameters simulating the plant response. They facilitate research into human factors engineering, human-system interface design, advanced diagnostics, cyber security and plant control room automation. In addition to supporting STEM research and education at universities, NuScale’s simulator can be used to show students and members of the public advanced nuclear technology in a control room setting. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Regulators-formalise-technical-collaboration-on-SM?feed=feed

August 19, 2019 Posted by | Canada, Education, USA | 1 Comment