(MAY 22 – WASHINGTON) In response to reports that the Trump administration was considering conducting a nuclear test as a way to get China to the nuclear arms control negotiating table, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Executive Director and former nine-term Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) released the following statement:
“Reports that the Trump administration has discussed conducting an explosive nuclear test for demonstration purposes are nothing short of appalling, and are a clear sign of this administration’s continued willingness to put Americans at risk.
We are in the midst of the worst public health crisis of our lifetime and this is what the Trump Administration is doing with its time? When Americans say that they want and need tests, they weren’t talking about the nuclear kind. In fact, the United States has no need to conduct explosive nuclear tests and hasn’t done so since 1992. Thanks to our nuclear Stockpile Stewardship Program, nuclear experts at our labs and our top military leaders affirm the safety, security, and effectiveness of our nuclear arsenal every single year.
It is beyond reckless to provoke a possible widespread return to explosive testing simply to make a political point. No one doubts the nuclear supremacy of the United States – least of all China, whose nuclear arsenal remains roughly 1/20 the size of the U.S. arsenal. The United States is the most powerful country in the world and it does not need to bluff or bully countries to the negotiating table.
Nuclear brinkmanship is not a game; nuclear weapons are not toys; and the Americans who live near or downwind of the Nevada National Security Site are not pawns to be blasted across a radioactive chess board. I hope my former colleagues and new Members from the Nevada and Utah delegations will stand firmly with their constituents against even the suggestion of a return to explosive nuclear testing.”
CONTACT: Anna Schumann