The Second Meeting of States Parties on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Since the invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago, to the recent situation in Israel/Gaza, the risk of impending nuclear war has been a reality considered by many for the first time.  As stated at a side event during the weeklong meeting of States Parties on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held last week from November 27 to Decmber 1st, Hirotsugu Terasaki, Director General of Peace and Global Issues, Soka Gakkai International (SGI), warned that the wide-scale violence brought by these two events “continue to heighten the risk that nuclear weapons could actually be used.” This fear is made all the more tangible when considering also that earlier this month, the Putin announced Russia would be revoking its ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which Terasaki pointed out is a “serious setback for the cause of nuclear disarmament.”

As stated in the article, The Voices of Victims of Nuclear Weapons Testing, “these realities make convening the current Second Meeting of States Parties of the TPNW, which concludes December 1, all the more important and a crucial opportunity to revive momentum for nuclear disarmament and abolition.”

Breakthrough Study Bolsters RECA Claims for New Mexicans Exposed to Trinity Test Site Radiation

Plutonium Detections From Trinity Test Discovered 78 years After Test – Confirm RECA Must Be Expanded

Located in the Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico, the Trinity Test Site marks the location of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” would have you believe this area is desolate, inhospitable and uninhabited. Contrary to this narrative and popular opinion, The area where the Trinity test occurred was not  uninhabited. There were more than 13,000 New Mexicans living within a 50-mile radius. Many of those children, women and men were not warned before or after the test. The event marking the dawn of the nuclear age in July 1945 ushered in decades of health issues for residents living downwind due to exposure to radioactive fallout. The long-lasting impact of radiation exposure is a painful legacy that the New Mexican communities have had to bear.


New preliminary information strongly supports Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) status for New Mexicans downwind of the Trinity Test Site. In the past weeks, Michael E. Ketterer, (Professor Emeritus, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ) has completed a short “proof of principle” study that directly investigates where plutonium in soils originates by analyzing isotopic ratios, in a known portion of the Trinity Test plume.

Dr. Ketterer sampled soils along highways NM 42, US 54, NM 55, US 60, and US 380. The isotopes show that there is definitely plutonium from the Trinity Test in the northeast plume, and distinguishes it from global (stratospheric) background and New Mexico regional background from Nevada Test Site fallout. Soils along all five of these highways contain plutonium that reflects mixtures of Trinity Test debris and global/Nevada regional background fallout; in some cases, nearly 100% of the Pu originates from the Trinity Test.

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Does New Mexico Deserve Downwinder Status: Definitely Yes, as Evident Via Plutonium Isotopes in 2023 Soil Samples

Michael E. Ketterer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Northern Arizona University , Flagstaff AZ

Introduction/objective: to investigate whether plutonium from the July 16, 1945 Trinity Test can be identified in contemporary soils and dusts near the Trinity Site. A proof-of concept study was conducted via a small-scale July 2023 collection of soil samples along five public highways transecting the areas reported to be most affected (refer to 239+240Pu deposition inventory map from Beck et al., 2020). More-distant soil samples were obtained from the Carson National Forest near Truchas, New Mexico.

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