July 16 was the 75th anniversary of the first atomic bomb test, called “Trinity.” In mid-May President Trump announced the U.S. would again consider starting nuclear weapons testing. This would be in violation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by 184 nations and ratified by 168 nations. The U.S. signed it in 1996 but did not ratify it. What led to this treaty was President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in 1991 declaring a moratorium on nuclear weapons testing followed in 1992 by the U.S.

To start nuclear testing again would be a dangerous and expensive escalation of the nuclear arms race.

I would urge senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and representatives Jim Hagedorn and Angie Craig to make public statements opposing the president’s announcement regarding resuming nuclear weapons testing. I also urge support of legislation to oppose resumption of nuclear weapons testing: “Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosive Testing” or the PLANET Act (S. 3886 and H.R. 7140). Thanks to Sen. Smith for already co-sponsoring this legislation. I also urge they support legislation to reduce spending on nuclear arms.

A verifiable negotiated nuclear disarmament is possible, and the U.S. could be a leader in this process.

Rich Van Dellen, Rochester