The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the two Japanese cities devastated by the world’s only atomic bomb attacks – today urged the United States and Britain to halt nuclear arsenal tests.
US and British government scientists performed an underground nuclear experiment, short of a nuclear blast, at the Nevada Test Site this week, the US national Nuclear Security Administration said.
The experiment on Tuesday involved detonating high explosives around radioactive material in a vault about 1,000 feet below ground at a remote part of the desert testing range 85 miles north-west of Las Vegas.
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said he sent letters to US President George Bush to protest about the test. Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito said he sent a similar letter of protest to both US and British ambassadors to Japan.
With the sub critical nuclear test, “You have brought the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the international agreement regarding nuclear weapons, to the brink of collapse, and we fear, are provoking a new round of proliferation,” Akiba wrote.