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Letter: Resuming nuclear testing is unnecessary — and unsafe

An Operation Teapot test fired at the Nevada Test Site on April 15, 1955.
Department of Energy

The U.S. government should not resume nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site, which would cause harm to us downwind in Utah. As the board chairman of the Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance, I urge our senators, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, to vote against funding for nuclear testing. We call for a prohibition of nuclear testing as passed in the U.S. house.

Our beautiful state of Utah should not again have to suffer the consequence of being downwind of nuclear testing. Over 1,000 nuclear weapons tests were conducted by the U.S. government in the latter half of the 1900s, which had devastating health and environmental consequences. We cannot risk harming more people with new nuclear testing.

There is no military or technical need to resume nuclear testing now. Our government affirms every year through the Stockpile Stewardship Program that our nuclear arsenal is safe and reliable and that testing is not needed.

Any new U.S. testing would likely lead other nuclear weapons states to resume their own nuclear weapons testing — or worse, the use of such destructive weapons. Funding nuclear testing in the U.S. sends a dangerous message to the rest of the world.

Marc Coles-Ritchie

Salt Lake City