The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has released its Top Five List of Nuclear Events for 2001. Topping the list is the US notice of withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The second spot on the list is the US boycott of an international conference to speed up entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Foundation president David Krieger stated, "The US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and its hostility to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty reflect a pattern of US unilateralism that is extremely dangerous in the area of nuclear weapons. It is likely to lead to new regional nuclear arms races, to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to competition for the weaponization of space."

Rounding out the Top Five List are the pledge by US President Bush and Russian President Putin to reduce nuclear arsenals, the destruction by the Ukraine of its last nuclear missile silo and Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

The Foundation also released Top Five Lists for 2001 of nuclear secrets revealed; events related to nuclear terrorism; events related to nuclear waste during the year; and nuclear accidents. The Foundation also prepared a list of the Top Five Nuclear Dangers for 2002.

Below are the summaries of the Top Five Lists. Detailed versions of the Foundation's Top Five List of Nuclear Events for 2001 as well as the other Top Five lists may be found at

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan international education and advocacy organization. The Foundation initiates and supports worldwide efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, support and strengthen international law and institutions, promote the responsible and sustainable use of technology and empower youth to create a more peaceful world.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five List of Nuclear Events in 2001

1. The US gives notice of withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

2. US Boycotts the UN Conference to Advance the Entry Into Force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

3. US President George W. Bush pledges to reduce the US nuclear arsenal to between 1.700 and 2,200 strategic nuclear weapons over a period of ten years. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that he will "respond in kind."

4. The Ukraine destroys its last nuclear missile silo, fulfilling its pledge to give up the nuclear arsenal it inherited after the dissolution of the USSR.

5. Germany decides to phase out nuclear power by 2025.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five List of Nuclear Secrets Revealed in 2001

1. Reports surface about the use of humans as guinea pigs in nuclear experiments from the 1950s to the 1970s.

2. In a documentary, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres goes further than any other Israeli official in confirming that Israel has nuclear capability and discloses for the first time details about Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons.

3. The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) admits for the first time partial details of seven politically sensitive accidents involving British nuclear weapon, drawing attention to an institution shrouded in secrecy and cover-up.

4. The French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) admits that Moruroa Atoll is threatened with collapse because of sustained nuclear testing.

5. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA) reveals that radioactive waste from a nuclear research plant in Norway has been wrongly fed into a town's sewage system for nine years.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five List of Events Related to Nuclear Terrorism in 2001

On 11 September, terrorists hijacked four US jetliners, crashing two into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and one in Pennsylvania. In the aftermath of 11 September, the question of nuclear terrorism became a serious international concern. The following are the top five nuclear terrorism related events of 2001.

1. In exercises designed to test security, US Army and Navy Teams successfully penetrate nuclear facilities and obtain nuclear materials. The US takes legislative measures to increase security at and around nuclear facilities.

2. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf orders an emergency redeployment of the country's nuclear arsenal to at least six secret new locations.

3. The UK Ministry of Defense publishes details about the transport of nuclear weapons and plutonium throughout the country on the Ministry of Defense website, raising controversy over offering potential terrorists a guide to the rail lines, roads and airports used for nuclear materials.

4. As a precaution against suicide attacks, France increases the number of surface-to-air missiles near La Hague, Europe's largest nuclear waste reprocessing plant.

5. Weapons experts testify to attendees of the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna, Austria that terrorists could use a nuclear device.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five Nuclear Accidents in 2001*

*This list is subject to modification as documents are declassified in the future revealing other accidents that occurred in the year 2001.

1. A nuclear explosion in a Russian factory leaves four dead and three injured.

2. After being kept secret for some six months, The Romanian National Commission for the Control of Nuclear Activities (CNCAN) reported on 12 December that nine workers were exposed to serious levels of radiation while dismantling a smelting plant in western Romania.

3. A serious accident at the Chapelcross nuclear reactor in Annan, Scotland sent 24 radioactive fuel rods crashing to the floor, nearly causing the death of plant workers and the release of a radioactive cloud which would have contaminated the entire region.

4. Russia loses contact with four military satellites for part of the day on 10 May after a fire ravages a ground relay station southwest of Moscow.

5. Local Officials reveal in May that a nuclear reactor at the Nuclear Cycle Development Institute in Fukui (185 miles northwest of Tokyo) has been leaking radioactive tritium since January.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five Events Related to Nuclear Waste in 2001

1. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approves the site suitability study to build an underground nuclear dump for radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants at Yucca Mountain.

2. Although current laws in the UK prohibit the construction of nuclear power plants in national parks, British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) unveils plans to build an above-ground nuclear waste dump the size of a football stadium in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.

3. Despite not informing the public or releasing an official statement, Minatom, Russia's atomic energy agency, selects a permanent geological repository to store nuclear waste in Siberia.

4. Both nuclear fuel reprocessing plants at Sellafield in Cumbria, UK are shut down due to high level nuclear waste reaching unacceptable levels.

5. Anti-nuclear protesters chain themselves to rail tracks, forcing a train carrying nuclear waste to retreat near the end of its journey to France in Northern Germany.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Top Five Nuclear Dangers for 2002

1. One or more countries break the existing moratorium on nuclear testing and resume testing, following the lead of the US in its hostility toward the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

2. The onset of new regional nuclear arms races, particularly in the Asia and the Middle East, as a consequence of US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and development of ballistic missile defenses.

3. Terrorists construct and use radiological weapons on cities, or attack nuclear power plants and/or their spent fuel storage pools, turning these into radiological weapons. Terrorists obtain and threaten to use nuclear weapons on one or more cities.

4. India and Pakistan engage in nuclear war over Kashmir.

5. An accidental nuclear launch occurs because US and Russian nuclear weapons are maintained in launch-on-warning posture, despite deficiencies in Russian early warning systems.

* These are listed in order of probability of occurrence.

Carah Ong
Research and Publications Director, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Tel: (805) 965-3443 Fax: (805) 568-0466 Email: