Official statement from ICAN after receiving Nobel Peace Prize

Statement on Nobel Peace Prize 2017

It is a great honour to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 in recognition of our role in achieving the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This historic agreement, adopted on 7 July with the backing of 122 nations, offers a powerful, much-needed alternative to a world in which threats of mass destruction are allowed to prevail and, indeed, are escalating.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries. By harnessing the power of the people, we have worked to bring an end to the most destructive weapon ever created – the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.

This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.

It is a tribute also to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world, whose searing testimonies and unstinting advocacy were instrumental in securing this landmark agreement.

The treaty categorically outlaws the worst weapons of mass destruction and establishes a clear pathway to their total elimination. It is a response to the ever-deepening concern of the international community that any use of nuclear weapons would inflict catastrophic, widespread and long-lasting harm on people and our living planet.

We are proud to have played a major role its creation, including through advocacy and participation in diplomatic conferences, and we will work assiduously in coming years to ensure its full implementation. Any nation that seeks a more peaceful world, free from the nuclear menace, will sign and ratify this crucial accord without delay.

The belief of some governments that nuclear weapons are a legitimate and essential source of security is not only misguided, but also dangerous, for it incites proliferation and undermines disarmament. All nations should reject these weapons completely – before they are ever used again.

This is a time of great global tension, when fiery rhetoric could all too easily lead us, inexorably, to unspeakable horror. The spectre of nuclear conflict looms large once more. If ever there were a moment for nations to declare their unequivocal opposition to nuclear weapons, that moment is now.

We applaud those nations that have already signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and we urge all others to follow their lead. It offers a pathway forward at a time of alarming crisis. Disarmament is not a pipe dream, but an urgent humanitarian necessity.

We most humbly thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This award shines a needed light on the path the ban treaty provides towards a world free of nuclear weapons. Before it is too late, we must take that path.


The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017: ICAN!

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has announced the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize is being awarded to ICAN, the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons! ICAN, also a laureate of the Nuclear-Free Future Award, recently succeeded in the passage of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations.

The Nobel Committee's announcement begins:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time. Some states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and there is a real danger that more countries will try to procure nuclear weapons, as exemplified by North Korea. Nuclear weapons pose a constant threat to humanity and all life on earth. Through binding international agreements, the international community has previously adopted prohibitions against land mines, cluster munitions and biological and chemical weapons. Nuclear weapons are even more destructive, but have not yet been made the object of a similar international legal prohibition.


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Nuclear power & coal lobbyists cheer on Energy Secretary Perry's many money moves

Trump's DOE seeks to further heavily subsidize new and old atomic reactors, which would put renewables at a massive competitive disadvantage! On the very same day that Energy Secretary Rick Perry offered Southern Co. et al. additional billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-backed nuclear loan guarantees, to prop up two very troubled new reactors under construction at Vogtle, GA (see related entry, above), he also wrote the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), urging "compensation" to dirty, dangerous, and expensive coal burners and atomic reactors. His supposed rationale? To "compensate" these already long-massively subsidized industries, for their supposed electrical grid "reliability and resilience" benefits.  
As Dave Kraft of Nuclear Energy Info. Service in Chicago has pushed back, what about the nuclear weapons non-proliferation advantages of renewables, or the fact that they don't generate forever deadly radioactive wastes?! Perry's moves were loudly cheered by nuclear and coal industry lobbyists. But they were widely protested by renewable energy and other competitors, ratepayer, taxpayer, and free market advocates, as well as environmentalists. This latest proposed round of massive subsidies, if enacted, could end the competitive marketplace for electricity in the U.S., and would help prop up such dangerously age-degraded atomic reactors as Palisades in Michigan, Davis-Besse in Ohio (each of which put the drinking water supply for tens of millions of people, the Great Lakes, at risk), and dozens of others. Perry's polluting-industry-friendly moves come at the very same time that the Trump administration seeks to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan* (which sought to reduce global warming emissions, while doing few to no favors for the nuclear industry). Please contact your U.S. Rep., and both your U.S. Senators -- as via the Capitol Switchboard, 202-224-3121 -- and urge they do all they can to block these latest attempts to massively subsidize the nuclear (and coal) industry at public (taxpayer, and ratepayer) expense! More 

Trump DOE ups nuclear loans to $12 billion despite multiple investigations

The Trump administration's Department of Energy (DOE) has, shockingly, just offered Southern Nuclear and its partners in the construction of the Vogtle 3 & 4 new reactors in Georgia a $3.7 billion (yes, with a B!) federal taxpayer-backed loan guarantee, in a bid to shore up the faltering new build project. This is on top of the $8.3 billion nuclear loan guarantee awarded by President Obama's DOE a few years ago, making a tidy $12 billion overall. That's more than half of the total approved for nuclear loan guarantees nationwide a decade ago during the George W. Bush administration. This is more than 22 times the amount of taxpayer money put at risk, than was lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee default several years ago, which congressional Republicans like U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (St. Joe, MI) made such a stink about at the time. It obviously puts all that federal taxpayer funding at very high risk of a loan default at Vogtle 3 & 4. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's largesse with taxpayer funds, to benefit filthy rich nuclear corporations, flies in the face of the cautionary tale at Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina.

Multiple federal and state investigations are now under way, probing wrongdoing associated with the recent cancellation of two proposed new reactors of the same design as at Vogtle -- Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000s. The bankruptcy of Westinghouse, announced on March 29th, has led to Summer 2 & 3's cancellation, representing a huge loss of billions of dollars of ratepayer funding. Westinghouse's historic bankruptcy was due to the massive cost overruns, and years-long schedule delays, at these four AP1000 new builds in the Southeast. Please contact your U.S. Rep., as well as both your U.S. Senators, via the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121), and urge them to do all they can to block this latest giveaway of taxpayer money to the nuclear power industry! (The image, above left, "Burning Money," is compliments of the late Gene Case, of Avenging Angels; it was featured on the cover of The Nation magazine in 2003, accompanying Christian Parenti's feature article about the nuclear power relapse, of which Summer 2 & 3, and Vogtle 3 & 4, are the dubious flagships.) More