The 3.1 meter-tall clock, designed by Atsuo Okamoto, a sculptor from Hiroshima, was built with the help of a Tokyo clock manufacturer. It contains an analog clock showing the current time. Under the analog clock, two digital clocks display the days since the most recent nuclear test and since August 6, 1945, when the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
The peace watchtower clock was reset to zero Friday after a subcritical nuclear experiment in Nevada was jointly conducted by the U.S. and British governments. It is the ninth time the number of days has been reset since the tower was erected on Aug. 6, 2001.
When Minoru Hataguchi, director of the museum, pressed the reset button, the tower displayed “639,” the number of days since the last nuclear experiment was conducted by the U.S. government on May 26, 2004.
Hataguchi said, “I’m angry because it’s an act that tramples on the feelings of the people of Hiroshima.”
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba sent U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair a letter of protest saying that nuclear experiments that lead to the development of new nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated.
GREG MELLO: It’s hard for us to win friends while we are pumping up India’s nuclear program, allowing it to go forward, turning a blind eye, meanwhile out here in new Mexico, preparing to manufacture a new generation of nuclear weapons, and then coming down so hard on Iran, and which, you know, Iran can enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. I don’t think there is any ambiguity about that. But the United States cannot make a new generation of nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
AMY GOODMAN: And yet, it is?
GREG MELLO: Yeah. We are planning on it. Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this new generation and what it means here for New Mexico?
GREG MELLO: Sure.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, some have said that if New Mexico were to secede from the United States, it would be the world’s third greatest nuclear power.
GREG MELLO: Right. There is about 2,500 nuclear weapons just five miles from here, just a little south of the main runway.
The larger portion of what Mello says is that the Bush administration is:
- pushing for a new generation of nuclear weapons that clearly violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,
- seeking to derail a 13 step nuclear disarmament plan that the US agreed to in 2000 at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference
- turning over control of Los Alamos National Lab from the University of California to a new 4-way consortium that will include three new partners alongside the University of California by June 1, to include Bechtel, Washington Group International, BWXT
- paying them about $2.2 billion per year for a 20-year/$40 billion no-bid contract.
Mello says, “We’ve never seen this kind of profit motive in the nuclear weapons business up to now. They can make more than, well more than $1 billion, more than $1.5 billion, in fees in management awards. Plus they get an entrée or leg up in the nuclear power business, which they expect to be growing. Los Alamos has for years, along with Sandia National Laboratory here, had a program to promote nuclear power worldwide. “
From switchgrass to a casual mention of nuclear power, the President’s State of the Union address was all about getting US over “our addiction to oil…”