The Operation Castle thermonuclear test.
Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: From the Archive: Nuclear Weapons
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The Danger of Thermonuclear War

Dr. Drell's speech at Grace Cathedral (in San Francisco) is unpublished but available from him on request. His opening statement before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Committee on Science and Technology is contained in the Committee's record of those hearings, The Consequences of Nuclear War on the Global Environment, September 15, 1982, p. 6. A more comprehensive statement of Dr. Drell's views will be found in his Danz Lectures, to be published by the University of Washington Press in June 1983 under the title Facing the Threat of Nuclear Weapons.

The Editor is grateful to Professor Drell and to Strobe Talbott for their help in refining the translation of technical terms, and in preparing the explanatory Editor's Notes, for which of course the Editor takes responsibility.

Dear Friend:

I have read your two splendid lectures-the speech on nuclear weapons at Grace Cathedral, October 23, 1982, and the opening statement to Hearings on the Consequences of Nuclear War before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. What you say and write about the appalling dangers of nuclear war is very close to my heart and has disturbed me profoundly for many years now. I decided to address an open letter to you, feeling it necessary to take part in the discussion of this problem, one of the most important facing mankind.

In full agreement with your general theses, I will express certain considerations of a more specific nature which, I think, need to be taken into account when making decisions. These considerations in part contradict some of your statements and in part supplement and, possibly, amplify them. It seems to me that my opinion communicated here in open discussion can prove of interest in view of my scientific, technological, and psychological experience, acquired in the period when I took part in work on thermonuclear weapons, and also because I am one of the few independent participants in this discussion in the U.S.S.R.


I fully agree with your assessment of the danger

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