U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) announced his support for a bill that would prevent the Trump Administration from restarting explosive nuclear weapons testing.
The Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act (H.R. 7140) was introduced earlier this month by Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Steven Horsford (D-NV) in response to the administration’s discussed plan to restart nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site.
The PLANET Act would prohibit the use of funds appropriated in fiscal year 2021 or from any previous year to conduct an explosive nuclear test. Further, it would allow for stockpile stewardship activities that are consistent with U.S. law provided those activities are consistent with the “zero-yield” scope of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
“Never again should Americans’ health and safety be at risk from deadly radioactive fallout. We continue to pay dearly for trusting the government to protect us from past nuclear weapons testing, and I am committed to stopping this dangerous and unnecessary scheme,” McAdams said. “At a time when thousands of Utahns are still suffering and dying from radiation exposure-related cancers and other diseases, this is unconscionable.”
The last atomic weapons tests occurred almost 28 years ago on Sept. 23, 1992, when a 20- kiloton underground blast took place. Over the last 20 years, the Secretaries of Defense and Energy in both Republican and Democratic administrations have annually certified that the U.S. stockpile is effective and secure. Also, the Department of Energy’s officials know more about its nuclear stockpile through the Stockpile Stewardship Program than it did during the era of testing.
Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.