News Release

Pakistan’s N-Tests Heighten Concerns of U.S. Nuclear Survivors


Atomic Veterans and Downwinders Speaking Out on Pakistani Blasts

After today’s nuclear detonations by Pakistan, some Americans who have experienced atomic testing firsthand are stepping up their efforts to warn against fueling a nuclear arms race.

While commentators from think tanks join with U.S. government officials in assessing the Pakistani tests, more acute concerns are being expressed by Americans who have seen mushroom clouds rise.

Among those available for interviews are:

In 1951, Bires — then a 22-year-old private in the U.S. Army — witnessed several aboveground nuclear bomb tests at close range in Nevada. Now, Bires expresses deep concern about the latest turn of events. “Anybody who isn’t fearful of nuclear holocaust has certainly got their head in the sand,” he said today from his home in Portland, Oregon. “We’re shaking our fingers at the Indians and Pakistanis, but I don’t know who has the moral high ground. The U.S. is the most nuclear-bombed country in the world.” Hundreds of nuclear warheads exploded at the Nevada Test Site.

Director of the Downwinders organization, Truman has worked with thousands of Americans who, like himself, have dealt with the aftermath of fallout from nuclear explosions in Nevada. He is one of the country’s leading authorities on nuclear testing worldwide. He said that Pakistan’s tests are “frightening. It’s the same nightmare back again. The nuclear arms race isn’t over!”

A Native American who is a Shoshone elder and executive director of The Shundahai Network, Harney has actively opposed nuclear tests on Nevada land belonging to his people. He said: “Nuclear testing is not the way. We’ve already seen the result of all this bombing. It’s taken many lives, and continues to take lives through sickness throughout the world. Today our Mother Earth has suffered.”

One of an estimated 300,000 members of the U.S. armed forces who witnessed U.S. nuclear test explosions at close range, Guarisco has been director of the Alliance of Atomic Veterans for more than a decade. He calls Pakistan’s tests “disappointing,” but says the U.S. launched “the beginning of the new nuclear testing age about a year ago with sub-critical tests at the Nevada Test Site.”

For further information, contact Theresa Caldwell or Sam Husseini at the Institute for Public Accuracy, (202) 347-0020.