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On Friday, May 27, President Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the first atomic bomb detonation in history. Amid the debate over the visit—will he or won’t he go; will he or won’t he meet with the Hibakusha; will he or won’t he apologize—it is clear that his visit is a monumentally historic event that will force the world to consider again the destructive consequences of nuclear weapons.
Below, we’ve assembled a reading list on the subject of the only uses of nuclear weapons in history, and what this visit by President Obama means to people in the U.S., Japan, and around the world. To help tackle the big questions raised, we are highlighting some of our best and most recent analysis.
What President Obama should say at Hiroshima, by Hugh Gusterson
Let Hiroshima guide us back to nuclear basics, by Kennette Benedict
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Lessons learned? Development and Disarmament Roundtable
Where will the next president stand on nuclear weapons? by Rachel Whitlark
Hiroshima and the Iran agreement, by Rachel Bronson
Can Japan become a bridge-builder for nuclear disarmament? by Masako Toki
The weight of a butterfly, by Emily Strasser
At Hiroshima, lay plans for a nuclear-weapon-free world, by Kennette Benedict
The harrowing story of the Nagasaki bombing mission, by Ellen Bradbury and Sandra Blakeslee
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The many retrospectives, by Dan Drollette
A picture's power to prevent, by Seth Baum
Comics, graphic novels, and the nuclear age, by Ariane Tabatabai
Nuclear Notebook Interactive: Our infographic of the world's nuclear arsenal
2016 Doomsday Clock Statement
EM News Flash | May 25, 2016
Among the items the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization is making available for beneficial reuse from the Savannah River Site are 653 excess refrigerant containing units.
DOE Recognizes Two EM Sites with Awards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Teams at two EM sites have been recognized with 2016 Energy Sustainability Awards for spearheading projects that have saved taxpayer dollars while promoting efficiency and smart use of DOE resources.
The DOE Sustainability Performance Office highlighted efforts at the Oak Ridge and Savannah River sites as outstanding contributions to the Department’s goal of improving environmental, energy, and economic performance while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
At Savannah River, a partnership between the site and the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) has provided an opportunity for thousands of pieces of no-longer-needed equipment and other excess government-owned items to be made available for beneficial use to local governments, nonprofits, and private businesses.
“To give you an idea of the range of items that have been donated and put to good use over the years, we’re talking about piping, a waste debris pelletizer, electronics, furniture, copper wire, motor generators, air conditioners and even an air boat and locomotive engine,” said Parodio Maith, DOE-Savannah River (DOE-SR) community assistance manager. “If items are not needed somewhere within the DOE complex or at another U.S. government agency, these excess items are made available to the SRSCRO.”
Items not selected are sold for profit that may be used to promote local business development and the DOE mission. In 2014, SRSCRO disbursed about $1 million for infrastructure improvement projects in its region.
In 2015, DOE-SR and the site’s management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions initiated an agreement with SRSCRO on new “assets for services” projects to remove difficult-to-manage excess and surplus items.
Through the program, SRSCRO disassembled 12 large transformers and four oil-filled circuit breakers from a now-closed power plant within the site’s D Area for recovery of 678,000 pounds of copper and other metals and 56,921 gallons of transformer oil. SRSCRO also is removing 38 excess office trailers and 653 excess refrigerant units including ice-makers, heating and ventilating components, refrigerators and water coolers, and fire retardant held in 31 cylinders.
Savannah River personnel singled out for recognition were Maith, John Harley, Andrew Albenesius, and Rick McLeod.
An aerial view of Oak Ridge's third solar array development, built by a team honored with a DOE Sustainability Award.
URS | CH2M Oak Ridge, LLC (UCOR), the prime contractor for Oak Ridge’s EM program, helped the small business subcontractor Restoration Services Inc. team with community partners to build a 1 megawatt utility scale photovoltaic power generating project called Powerhouse Six that became operational in April 2015.
It’s the third, and largest, solar array at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), where the last of five gaseous diffusion buildings is being demolished. Under EM’s reindustrialization program, property at ETTP is being transferred to the private sector to make the site an industrial park.
The solar plant generates enough clean energy to power more than 100 homes while preventing pollution that is the equivalent to removing 240 cars from the road annually.
Powerhouse Six was developed through a partnership between RSI and solar firm Vis Solis, Inc., and community partners, the City of Oak Ridge, and the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee.
Oak Ridge personnel earning recognition were Caroline Barber, Gil Hough, Betsy Child, Cathy Hickey, Gill Sallade, John Seale, and Perry Spurling.
Some of the decommissioning work I undertake is completely alien to an operator.This week's International Conference on Advancing the Global Implementation of Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation Programmes, in Madrid, Spain, will cover important issues in these two fields. The latest issue of the IAEA Bulletin also deals with this topic. See the full edition here.