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FAS 60th Anniversary Celebration

FAS 60th Anniversary Celebration


Type: Story Ideas for Reporters

On Wednesday, 30 November 2005, FAS will commemorate its 60th Anniversary at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. To RSVP for this event, please email [email protected] or call 202-546-3300. Space is limited.

In order to control the bomb they had created, the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project founded the Federation of Atomic Scientists, later the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). With the war over, this scientific community advocated two important objectives - that nuclear bombs should remain under civilian control, and that nuclear materials and technology should fall under international supervision.

The FAS 60th Anniversary is an ideal opportunity to reassess these founding principles and take stock of what we’ve accomplished, who we’ve become and where we’re going.

This day-long symposium will include two panel discussions, each followed by commentary and a 20-minute period of questions from the audience. The panels will focus on the two major issues of importance to the founders of the Federation of American Scientists. The morning panel will feature the international control of nuclear materials, an idea recently revived by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Laureate Mohammed ElBaradei. The afternoon panel will discuss whether development of nuclear weapons should remain under the civilian control of the Department of Energy or be moved to the Department of Defense.

After the first atomic explosions, scientists pressed for international sharing and control of atomic information. The Acheson-Lilienthal Report to the U.S. Government in 1946 made bold proposals for the internationalization of nuclear technology, but Cold War antagonism made U.S.-Soviet cooperation impossible. With the Cold War now over, concerns about global warming may bring a surge in nuclear power production at the same time that the international non-proliferation regime is under strain. Recent proposals by Mohammad ElBaradei have revitalized debate on international control of nuclear power. FAS hopes to explore ways to increase international control over nuclear power to minimize proliferation risks while safely exploiting nuclear energy.

Now is the time to reexamine the institutional arrangement for maintaining nuclear weapons. The civilian Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the maintenance and development of nuclear weapons. Have we created a government department devoted to promoting nuclear solutions to security problems? Does DOE have a nuclear hammer in search of nails? Perhaps it’s time to move nuclear weapons development to the Department of Defense (DoD). Although we don’t want the DoD to think of nuclear weapons simply as bigger bombs. Who should house the US nuclear weapons program?

WHO: The Federation of American Scientists (
WHAT: 60th Anniversary Symposium on Nuclear Weapons Policy
WHEN: 10:00a.m. - 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 November 2005
WHERE: The National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20045

To RSVP for this event, please email [email protected] or call 202-546-3300. Space is limited.

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