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OREPA Calls on University of Tennessee to get out of the nuclear weapons business

The Board of Directors of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance sent a letter on September 28, 2021, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee asking the UT Board to take “immediate steps to disengage in any direct or indirect participation or support for the production of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.”

            The letter, prompted by the announcement in December 2020 by UT President Randy Boyd that the University would join a partnership to bid for the Management and Operations contract for the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, noted that, under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on January 22, 2021, nuclear weapons are now considered illegal, in the same category as chemical and biological weapons, cluster bombs, and poisonous gas munitions.

            “As trustees for the University, you carry the responsibility not only for setting the direction of the University, but also making sure the University adheres to its mission to enrich the community and the world in which we live,” wrote OREPA’s Board president Kevin Collins. Citing the University’s Code of Conduct, which requires the school to advocate “responsible and ethical behavior,” Collins wrote, “This statement cannot be reconciled with any activity that includes the production of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.”

            The letter also cites the January 2021 statement released by more than 170 religious organizations around the globe, including mainline religious communities in the United States, that declares unequivocally that “the possession, development, and threat to use nuclear weapons is immoral.”

            The full text of the letter can be found at


OREPA Newsletter


Reflections for Nonviolent Community


Sunday Vigil at Y-12 in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Sunday Vigil

OREPA has held Sunday vigils every week for more than 22 years at the main entrance to the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex (intersection of Scarboro Rd and East Bear Creek Road). We will now be holding the vigil at 4:00PM ET during the winter months so we don’t have to be sitting out in the dark. We are outdoors and space our chairs; when covid numbers are up, we encourage people to wear masks. Bring your own chair, we have some umbrellas for sun shade or rain.

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