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February 19, 2008 Meeting

Present: Stan Dienst, George (Jay) Ellis, Leah Karpen, Michele Mitchell, Mary Olson, Lew Patrie, Don Richardson, Peter Sutherland.

Program: 1/2 hour DVD, “NUCLEAR DECEPTION”, depicted dishonesty and secrecy characteristic of the 60 year nuclear age along with opportunities for clean, renewable energy option that will help alleviate global warming.

1. Introductions
2. Distribution of draft minutes of the Jan. 15 meeting.
3. Treasurer's report. See ADDENDUM III

4. Agenda included info re WNCPSR at 2/10 UUCA Human Rights Fair, at 2/11 CSNC meeting (next mtg 3/24 @ UUCA), at 2/13 Meeting for students at WW College (Don & Lew); Sunday 9 PM energy boycotts continue


6. Joseph Cirincione - 4/24 “Nuclear proliferation” events: We OKed $100 for our sponsorship. See ADDENDUM II

7. NNSA’s Nuke Wpns Hearings on "transformation" of the nuke wpns complex - Mary, Don, Michele & Lew will testify on 2/21- N. Augusta, SC - may be represented 2/ 26 - Oak Ridge. As to DOE’s plans for a new bomb complex, continuing arms race, enduring arsenal, nuclear shadow over generations to come, we strive for a different future. We provided a HANDOUT.

8. New local Nuke concerns (within 50 mi. of Asheville) - Mary O. told of proposed new Duke nuke reactor in Gaffney, SC, & Nuke Fuel Svcs, Erwin, TN, makers of Nuke fuel for Navy Subs and TVA reactors, now contracting to get HEU (90%) to downblend into reactor fuel, resulting exposure may cause Ca in 1 of 71 residents. (2/28 Erwin mtg. scheduled) We compared Ca risks from Chernobyl and predicted 180 - 360 fold greater risk had 3 Mile Island resulted in a complete meltdown. Need for nuke power should be eclipsed by escalating reactor construction costs when compared with falling solar cell prices and plethora of solar energy. We are obligated to disseminate such info within our communities.

9. April 9 PSR chapter leadership meeting in WN - Don expects to attend; ? Pete

10. Next meeting: Tues., March 18, Noon, Classroom 4, Asheville’s Unitarian Universalist Church. Bring brown bag lunch. Program will be the DVD, “Nuclear Weapons and the Human Future “ to begin at 12:30. Enter downstairs, northwest corner door, from the parking lot side of the church, corner of Charlotte St. & Erwin Place.

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• Dr. Robert Musil will deliver 2 public talks in Broyhill Chapel at Mars Hill College:
Climate Change: How Americans Can Have Hope on a Heated Planet, Monday, 3/10, 7 PM, and
Why Scientists and People of Faith Both Want to Change the World, Tues., 3/11, 10 AM
• Events marking 5th anniv. of Iraq war & occupation March 14- 23:
• PSR Network Leadership Meeting - April 9th, 2008 in Washington DC.
• Joe Cirincione, Nuke Policy Dir. @ Ctr. for Amer. Progress. addresses threat of loose nukes. 4/24/08: WNCPSR will sponsor, along with UNA, WAC, Common Cause & others.

ADDENDUM II: Joseph Cirincione’s 4/24 event in Owen Conference Center “NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION” is to raise public awareness of poorly understood issue of critical import. Funding for securing loose nuke material worldwide is being held up in the Senate.
Proposed Sponsors: UNA, WNCPSR & World Affairs Council, we agreed to seek more sponsors to participate financially & promotionally, $25 for listing as a sponsor, $50 for tabling.  Potential proposed sponsors: Sierra, Amnesty International, Green party, Bahai, Friends, CS@NC, Dem. Women, Church Women United, AAUW.
Budget:  cost will be manageable  Airfare bill to go to Tom backed up by UNA.  We’ll likely book him for other events, e.g. interview at the paper & taped interview on WCQS.
Joe is Sr. Fellow & Dir. for Nuke Policy at Ctr for American Progress (CAP), wrote Bomb Scare: History & Future of Nuke Weapons (Columbia U. Press, ‘07). Prior to that, served 8 yrs. Dir. for nonproliferation at Carnage Endow. for Int’l Peace. He co-authored Contain and Engage:  A New Strategy for Resolving the Iran Nuclear Crisis (CAP, March 2007), Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats (Second Edition, 2005), and Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security (March 2005). He teaches at the graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Treasury -Our 2/5/08 balance = $1473.18, with outstanding checks of $180; $565 still held for CSNC; our changed BBT account requires no minimum balance.

"6 Things US Could Do" Against Risk of Nuke War & Nuke Proliferation

You may choose to promote the following, contact elected officials, write letters for the media.

Safeguard nuclear materials against theft by terrorists: The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program gives funds to safeguard or destroy surplus weapons and weapons-grade material, now stored at poorly guarded sites in the former Soviet Union, but under current schedules the CTR objectives will take approximately a decade to complete. We should not give Al Qaeda years to shop around.

Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Last Dec., as in preceding years, the UN resolved for implementation of the Treaty passed almost unanimously, with the US being the only dissenting vote.
Declare that the US will never again be the first to use nuclear weapons. Current US policy reserves the right to initiate nuclear warfare under some circumstances. 1st use of nuke wpns would be a crime against humanity; the threat of 1st use promotes nuclear proliferation among other nations.
Negotiate an agreement to take nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert: In 1995, a failure in communications between US & Russia brought the world within minutes of accidental nuclear war. There is no excuse for subjecting the planet to this kind of danger.

Strengthen safeguards against proliferation: Our gov’t agrees with the UN & the Int’l Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the verification provisions of the Nonproliferation Treaty need to be improved – but other countries are unlikely to agree, while the US is expanding its own nuclear capabilities.

Resume negotiations with Russia for further deep reductions: The Nonproliferation Treaty obliges nuclear powers, including US, to negotiate toward genuine disarmament. Deterrence does not require US & Russia to each maintain thousands of warheads. Deep cuts in the US & Russian arsenals are needed before the second – and third-tier nuclear powers can be brought into the disarmament process.

Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor H. Res. 711
- Proposed U.S.-India nuclear trade agreement undoes decades of U.S. nonproliferation law; threatens to undermine Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the primary legal safeguard against the use & spread of nuclear weapons. Congress should clarify opposition to spread of nuclear weapons clear by passing H. Res. 711.

When Congress first approved the U.S.-India nuclear deal in ‘06, it agreed to a number of provisions to protect long-standing U.S. nonproliferation law & establish clear conditions for international nuclear cooperation. But Bush administration later negotiated a subsequent agreement that fails to uphold these.

Congress can defend the NPT & undo dangerous concessions made by this admin. by passing HR 711, which expresses the sense of the House requiring conditions for nuclear coop. set in original US-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of ‘06 to be upheld. Tell your representative: Cosponsor HR 711.