Timeline: UCS Accomplishments in the 1970s and 1960s
- Two months before the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, UCS calls upon the government to shut down the facility and 15 other nuclear reactors, based on analysis showing that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had dramatically understated the probability of an accident. [More about Nuclear Power]
- 12,000 scientists sign the UCS-sponsored Scientists’ Declaration on the Nuclear Arms Race. The pathbreaking document urges a halt to the buildup of nuclear weapons by ending underground testing and enacting a moratorium on testing and deployment of new nuclear weapons. [More about Weapons & Global Security]
- In response to the U.S. government’s study of the safety of nuclear power, UCS publishes a seminal report, The Risks of Nuclear Power Reactors, showing that American nuclear plants are unsafe. The report helps lead the government to eventually repudiate its own study. [More about Nuclear Power]
- After failures in government tests of emergency core-cooling systems (ECCSs), UCS provides unprecedented independent technical expertise at national hearings that spark widespread public concern over nuclear power safety. [More about Nuclear Power]
- The first UCS report exposes the drawbacks of the Nixon administration’s plans for an anti-ballistic missile system and helps build public support for the 1972 U.S.-Soviet Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty—a landmark in nuclear arms control. [More about Weapons & Global Security]
- A statement issued by faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on March 4, 1969 results in the founding of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Decrying the focus in the scientific community on military technologies, the statement calls for scientific research to be directed and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems, a mission UCS has embraced ever since.