Statement from NTI CEO and Co-Chair Ernest J. Moniz and Co-Chair Sam Nunn on the Doomsday Clock Announcement

Citing the continuing deterioration in U.S.-Russia relations, plans to upgrade nuclear arsenals, North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, uncertainty around U.S. commitment to the landmark Iranian nuclear agreement and a host of other destabilizing developments in the past 12 months, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved its iconic Doomsday Clock forward to just two minutes to midnight.

“The clock, a symbol to show how close the world is to manmade Armageddon, is now closer to midnight than at any time since 1953.

“It is an unsettling, if not surprising, development—and one that highlights the importance of the work NTI and the entire nuclear security community is doing to reduce nuclear risks. As former Defense Secretary and NTI Board member emeritus William J. Perry put it, ‘The danger of a nuclear catastrophe is increasingly real. … We are failing to learn from the lessons of history as we find ourselves blundering headfirst towards a second cold war.’

“NTI is engaged in a number of key projects to address urgent global threats, and we are increasingly alarmed by irresponsible rhetoric that adds to nuclear risks. We are also concerned about proposed policies which would expand the circumstances for using nuclear weapons. Nuclear use by accident, miscalculation, mistake, or terrorism is becoming more likely – rather than less – through policy, rhetoric, military activities and diminished security dialogue among nations possessing nuclear weapons.

“We appreciate the attention the Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock settings bring to these important issues.”

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