News Release

Scientist’s Resignation Raises Questions About Nuclear Policy

A month ago, Andreas Toupadakis held a classified position at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. But he resigned his post, voicing criticisms of U.S. nuclear policy. Interviews are available with Dr. Toupadakis and other nuclear policy analysts:

ANDREAS TOUPADAKIS
Prior to joining the staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory\’s \”Stockpile Stewardship\” program on nuclear weapons, Toupadakis worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Shortly after resigning, he issued an open letter which reads in part: \”I have seen how easy it is for nuclear contamination to occur, and how hard it is to clean it up…. Do nations possess nuclear, chemical and biological weapons because of fear of attack from some other nation, or is it mainly because without them the stronger cannot otherwise exploit the weaker?\” He cited a manifesto issued by Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell: \”People can scarcely bring themselves to grasp that they, individually, and those whom they love are in imminent danger of perishing agonizingly.\” (See: www.pgs.ca/pages/mem/russeinm.html)

Today, Toupadakis, a native of Greece and a U.S. citizen who received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, said: \”Our nuclear policy is based on irrational fears driven by a tiny group of elites who shape public opinion. We scientists have to use our skills for humanity, not for a machine we have no control over. Scientists are enticed into comfortable positions, grow dependent on the security and then they are tormented, playing tricks on their own minds to justify continuing to work on the weapons. Labs must institute an informed consent upon hiring — and they should stop luring students to visit the labs.\”

JACQUELINE CABASSO
Executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, Cabasso said: \”A scientist in the prime of his career has never before left a high-paying permanent position in the nuclear weapons program to wholeheartedly join the peace movement.\” Toupadakis has begun to teach part-time and is making a small fraction of his former salary, and is without health insurance.

TED TAYLOR
An architect for decades of the U.S. nuclear program, including at Los Alamos, and now a critic of U.S. nuclear policy, Taylor said: \”I applaud Toupadakis. He was hired to work on environmental problems associated with getting rid of nuclear weapons. But our government\’s policy is not to get rid of nuclear weapons — it is to perpetuate them through the euphemistically-called \’stockpile stewardship\’ program.\”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167