[Congressional Record: April 23, 2007 (Extensions)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
IN MEMORIAM--PAUL LEVENTHAL
HON. EDWARD J. MARKEY
in the house of representatives
Monday, April 23, 2007
Mr. MARKEY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate and celebrate the life and work of Paul Leventhal.
Paul was a giant in the debate on how to protect the United States
and the world from the proliferation of nuclear technology. He
encouraged us, he challenged us, and he empowered us to not back down
in our continual struggle to free ourselves from the threat of nuclear
weapons. And now, as that struggle continues, Paul will be sorely
Paul was a constant and tireless advocate for smart arms control and
non-proliferation policies. He helped bring into being two of the most
significant pieces of nuclear legislation of the atomic age, the Energy
Reorganization Act of 1974 and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of
To give you a sense of the significance of these laws, I want to tell
a very short story about the concept of ``full-scope safeguards,'' of
which Paul was an early advocate, and which became U.S. law under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act in 1978. ``Full-scope safeguards'' means
that a country would need to have IAEA safeguards over all its nuclear
facilities as a requirement for receiving any civilian U.S. nuclear
commerce. It is a crucial requirement, and it was adopted in 1992 by
the Nuclear Suppliers Group as not only a U.S. requirement but an
In July 2005, when President Bush announced that he wanted to blow a
hole in US. non-proliferation laws to allow nuclear trade with India,
what was stopping him? Paul Leventhal and the ``full-scope safeguards''
requirement. Not many people make such an impact on U.S. policy that it
reverberates through three decades. But Paul did just that.
I relied on Paul's encyclopedic knowledge for many years, as did my
staff. He was an irreplaceable resource to me back in the mid-eighties,
when we were fighting the Clinch River Breeder Reactor, and the Reagan
Administration's plans to open the door to nuclear cooperation with the
Peoples' Republic of China. He was also a driving force behind the
effort Howard Wolpe and I undertook in the early nineties to strengthen
U.S. nonproliferation law and close export control loopholes. He was
tireless in his efforts to move the world away from the use of highly
enriched uranium in research reactors and to promote the alternative of
low-enriched uranium. On issue after issue, Paul was on the cutting
edge of nuclear non-proliferation policy, pointing out flaws in
proposed nuclear cooperation agreements with Japan and Euratom,
pressing Congress to tighten loopholes in U.S. law, and searching for
every conceivable procedural or legislative strategy that could be
employed in the cause.
While the void left by Paul's passing is large, and we will often
wish that we had his wise counsel to guide us as we continue the fight,
I'd like to think that as we do so Paul will be looking down on us and
encouraging us in our efforts to fight for a world free from nuclear
I honor Paul Leventhal today, and I pray that we will succeed in the
struggle that he dedicated his life to--the fight to prevent the spread
of nuclear weapons. My prayers are with his wife, Sharon, and his two
sons, Ted and Josh; and I would like to thank them for sharing Paul
with us over the years.
Madam Speaker, I submit Paul Leventhal's obituaries from New York
Times and the Washington Post for the Record.
[From the New York Times, Apr. 12, 2007]
Paul Leventhal, Who Opposed Commercial Use of Nuclear Power, Dies at 69
(By Dennis Hevesi)
Paul Leventhal, who as president of the small but
influential Nuclear Control Institute was one of the most
vocal opponents of expanding the commercial use of nuclear
power, died Tuesday at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. He was
The cause was cancer, his son Ted said.
Mr. Leventhal founded the Nuclear Control Institute in
1981, two years after becoming co-director of the United
States Senate's bipartisan investigation of the Three Mile
Island accident, the nation's most serious commercial reactor
Mr. Leventhal opposed commercial nuclear power not only
because of the threat of a Chernobyl-like disaster but also
because of its potential to ease the making of nuclear
weapons. The construction of nuclear reactors in this country
ceased for decades, though experts attribute this to cost
more than to fears of proliferation. But Mr. Leventhal kept
those fears on the front burner for 22 years as his
institute's president and since 2002, when his title became
He lobbied lawmakers, organized conferences and wrote op-ed
articles about proliferation, nuclear terrorism and the use
of commercial reactors to make tritium, an ingredient of
nuclear bombs, a program that the federal Energy Department
is now pursuing.
He was particularly concerned about Iran, which he believed
had a secret weapons program that would justify a harsh
reaction, perhaps even military strikes.
``If you look at every nation that's recently gone nuclear,
they've done it through the civilian nuclear cycle,'' Mr.
Leventhal told The New York Times in 2004. Atoms for peace
can be a ``shortcut to atoms for war,'' he added. ``It may
take the unthinkable happening before the political process
can screw up the courage to put an end to this ridiculously
Paul Lincoln Leventhal was born in Manhattan on Feb. 12 in
1938, a son of Jack and Helen Shapiro Leventhal. In addition
to his son Ted, of Washington, he is survived by his wife of
39 years, the former Sharon Tanzer; another son, Josh, of
Raleigh, N.C.; a brother, Warren, of Roslyn, N.Y.; and two
Mr. Leventhal graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in
1959 and received a master's from the Columbia School of
Journalism in 1960. He was a reporter for The Plain Dealer in
Cleveland and later The New York Post and Newsday.
In 1969, Senator Jacob K. Javits, Republican of New York,
hired him as his press secretary. Mr. Leventhal began
concentrating on energy issues for Mr. Javits and, in 1979,
was named staff director of the Senate's subcommittee on
nuclear regulation and a director of the Three Mile Island
[From the Washington Post, Apr. 14, 2007]
Paul Leventhal; Led Nuclear Control Institute
(By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb)
Paul Leventhal, 69, founder of the Nuclear Control
Institute in Washington and an expert in nuclear
proliferation issues, died April 10 at his home in Chevy
Chase. He had melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Mr. Leventhal, a former newspaperman and congressional
aide, launched his advocacy institute with a full-page ad in
the New York Times on June 21, 1981, posing the question:
``Will Tomorrow's Terrorist Have an Atom Bomb?''
Since serving in the early 1970s as an aide on a Senate
subcommittee chaired by Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.), Mr.
Leventhal remained adamant about the dangers of nuclear
terrorism and global commerce in plutonium--a key element
used in nuclear weapons--and worked to prevent the spread of
nuclear weapons to nations or groups.
On the subcommittee, Mr. Leventhal worked on a Nixon
administration bill to reorganize the Atomic Energy
Commission. He described work on the legislation as a
``baptism in fire'' that changed his life.
Mr. Leventhal, who worked in the Senate from 1972 to 1981,
was responsible for the investigations and legislation that
passage of two landmark nuclear laws--the Energy
Reorganization Act of 1974, which split the Atomic Energy
Commission into separate regulatory and promotional nuclear
agencies, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978,
which established stricter controls on U.S. nuclear trade.
The non-proliferation act's requirement that countries
accept international inspections on all their nuclear
activities--``full-scope safeguards''--as a condition for
receiving U.S. nuclear assistance eventually was adopted as
an international norm by the multinational Nuclear Suppliers
Mr. Leventhal recognized the growth and threat of nuclear
and bomb-grade materials, said lawyer Richard Wegman, who
served as chief counsel for Ribicoffs committee with Mr.
Leventhal and later as counsel for the Nuclear Control
``Paul was a truly remarkable individual, exceptionally
dedicated to an exceptionally difficult cause,'' Wegman said.
``He was one of the first to work for full-scope safeguards.
. . . He insisted on incorporating that concept in
In 1979, Mr. Leventhal served as co-director of the
bipartisan Senate investigation of the Three Mile Island
nuclear accident, and he prepared the ``lessons-learned''
legislation enacted in 1980 to require preventive measures
and emergency planning.
He said that work left him ``acutely aware of that
ineffable combination of human fallibility and mechanical
failure that makes nuclear plants vulnerable to accidents,
and also sabotage.''
He lamented a few years ago that the flow of nuclear
technology and materials from industrial countries to
developing regions was continuing.
``As a result, there is now more plutonium in civilian
hands than in all of the nuclear weapons in the world. And
some of it has already been turned into bombs, as in India,
Pakistan and North Korea, while others have used or are now
using civilian nuclear programs as a cover for weapons
programs,'' he said in a speech in 2001, adding that Iran and
Iraq raised immediate concerns.
Mr. Leventhal, born in Manhattan, graduated magna cum laude
with a degree in history from Franklin & Marshall College in
Pennsylvania in 1959 and received a master's degree from the
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1960. He
spent 10 years as an investigative and political reporter at
the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Post and Newsday,
until deciding that he wanted to ``get inside of government
and try to make it work.''
In 1969, he came to Washington as a press secretary to Sen.
Jacob K. Javits (R-N.Y.), served in 1970 as campaign press
secretary to Sen. Charles Goodell (R-N.Y.) and two years
later was a congressional correspondent for the National
From 1972 to 1976, he concentrated on nuclear weapons
proliferation as a research fellow at Harvard University's
Program for Science and International Affairs and as a
visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1979 to
1981, he was staff director of the Senate Nuclear Regulation
Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.).
After starting the Nuclear Control Institute, Mr. Leventhal
served as its president for 22 years, lectured in a number of
countries, organized conferences and wrote op-ed articles and
books on nuclear terrorism, averting a Latin American nuclear
arms race, nuclear power and the spread of nuclear weapons.
For the past several years, he directed the institute as a
Web-based program that maintains a word-searchable electronic
archive at www.nci.org: and a collection of institute and
Senate papers spanning more than 30 years at the National
Survivors include his wife, Sharon Tanzer Leventhal of
Chevy Chase; two sons, Theodore Leventhal of Washington and
Joshua Leventhal of Raleigh, N.C.; a brother; and two