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The Bomb Started in Oak Ridge. It should end here. Now.



Seventy years after the destruction of Hiroshima, Japan by the world’s first atomic bomb (and, three days later, Nagasaki, Japan), events in East Tennessee will join in solidarity with survivors of those bombings who say, “Never again.”

“It’s only about the past insofar as we don’t want to repeat it,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance which is sponsoring a series of events beginning in early August. “Our main concern, shared with the people of Japan, is about the present and the future.”

The Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, will be a focus for OREPA’s events. Y12 produced the highly enriched uranium that fueled the Little Boy bomb that the United States used to destroy Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

In 2015, Y12 is still actively producing thermonuclear cores for US nuclear warheads and bombs under the “Life Extension Program.” The US is also spending hundreds of millions of dollars to design a new multi-billion dollar bomb production plant, disingenuously called the Uranium Processing Facility, to continue producing components for decades to come.

“The work at Y12 has been declared ‘Unlawful,’ by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark,” noted Hutchison. “Clark was the Attorney General in 1968 when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was signed, and he testified in federal court that the work at Y12 violates the spirit and the letter of that treaty.”

Here’s a handy schedule:

august 2015 schedule tab

Events in August include:


Sunday, August 2:  Putting the Bomb in its Historical Context: An evening with Gar Alperovitz, author of  The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb.  East Tennessee History Center, 600 S Gay Street (across from the Tennessee Theater). Free and open to the public.

Monday, August 3:  Faith Leaders speak about the Bomb.  Market Square, 1:00pm.

Tuesday, August 4:  One Thousand Cranes.  The public is invited to join OREPA and others in folding 1,000 paper cranes in memory of Sadako Sasaki. The event begins at 10:00am on Market Square”we’ll have paper, instructions on how to fold a crane, people to give hands-on help, and we’ll be there until we’ve folded 1,000 cranes.

Thursday, August 6:  Names and Remembrance Ceremony, 6:00 – 9:00am, Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex main gate, intersection of Scarboro and East Bear Creek Road, Oak Ridge, TN

Friday, August 7:  Nonviolence Training: 1:00pm  – 5:00pm, Knoxville, TN:  Church of the Savior, 934 N Weisgarber Rd, Knoxville, TN. The training will offer a refresher on nonviolence skills in preparation for the Saturday event in Oak Ridge. Good for beginners or veterans!

Friday, August 7:  Hungry for Disarmament:  East Tennesseans will participate in an international day of fasting to call attention to the need to abolish nuclear weapons; you are invited to observe the fast in the way most appropriate to you.

Friday, August 7: Unfinished Business: An evening with Transform Now Plowshares. 7:00 ““ 9:00pm, Church of the Savior, 934 N Weisgarber Rd, Knoxville, TN. Michael Walli, Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed will discuss their July 2012 action at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge and the work remaining to be done to end weapons production there.

Saturday, August 8:  Hiroshima + 70: It started here; it should end here. Now.    Concert for Nuclear Abolition, Alvin K. Bissell Park, Oak Ridge, TN: 11:00am – 1:30pm. Music by The Emancipators, Joe Williams, the Raging Grannies. Hear John LaForge and Ralph Hutchison on the state of nuclear weapons today. See a skit by the Catalystica Players”it’s all free, and part of creating a world of peace.

Saturday, August 8: 2:00pm –  March to Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex  from Alvin K. Bissell Park;  SAY NO TO THE UPF:  Action for Disarmament  at Y12.

Sunday, August 9: 8:00pm –  Peace Lantern Ceremony; Sequoyah Hills Park, just off the parking lot at the west end of Cherokee Drive: Traditional Japanese folk dancing, music, peace lanterns.

All OREPA events are free and open to the public. All events are nonviolent in tone as well as action. No drugs or alcohol permitted. If you are not able to respect these guidelines, please do not attend the event.



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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