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What hope for nuclear-free world?

October 31, 2013


Nagasaki mayor sends protest letter to Obama over plutonium test



NAGASAKI (Kyodo) -- The mayor of Nagasaki sent a letter of protest to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday after the United States revealed it had conducted an experiment using a small amount of plutonium to examine the capabilities of its nuclear weapons between July and September.

Mayor Tomihisa Taue and Hiroyuki Itasaka, chairman of the Nagasaki city assembly, said in the letter they cannot help but harbor doubts about the nuclear-free world proposed by Obama in Prague in 2009.

They also said the plutonium test trampled on the efforts of atomic bomb survivors and citizens of Nagasaki to eliminate nuclear weapons. The southwestern Japan city suffered a U.S. atomic bombing on Aug. 9, 1945.

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration has said on its website that a plutonium test involving a device called a "Z machine" was conducted in the July-September period, following one in the April-June quarter.

The Z machine generates strong X-rays to create a fusion reaction to assess the performance of nuclear weapons.

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