The Missiles on Our Land: New Research Reveals Growing Risks of America’s Land-Based Nuclear Missiles

What would happen to the fields of amber waves of grain in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana and North Dakota that feed so many, as well as the area’s population, should a concerted nuclear attack occur in those same fields housing silos of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs?

New research by Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security in collaboration with others presents the risks associated with the new U.S. Sentinel nuclear-armed land-based ICBMs.  The new research is published in the December issue of Scientific American under the title, The New Nuclear Age in the December 2023 issue. ,

For those familiar with the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex, or those that want to learn about it, the series provides a concise, yet multi-level review of the relationships between the military industrial complex, nuclear weapons and missile silo sites, and the potential harm from replacing 400 Minuteman III ICBMs with the new, more powerful Sentinel ICBMs.  Replacing Minuteman IIIs with the Sentinels draws a larger target with larger environmental and public health consequences, including from radioactive fallout. ,

Sebastien Philippe, with Princeton’s program, described just how severe those environmental and public health consequences would be.  He said, “According to my models, a concerted nuclear attack on the existing U.S. silo fields [] would annihilate all life in the surrounding regions and contaminate fertile agricultural land for years. Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas would also probably face high levels of radioactive fallout. Acute radiation exposure alone would cause several million fatalities across the U.S.—if people get advance warning and can shelter in place for at least four days. Without appropriate shelter, that number could be twice as high. Because of great variability in wind directions, the entire population of the contiguous U.S. and the most populated areas of Canada, as well as the northern states of Mexico, would be at risk of lethal fallout—more than 300 million people in total. The inhabitants of the U.S. Midwest and of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in Canada could receive outdoor whole-body doses of radiation several times higher than the minimum known to result in certain death.”

The multi-media format of Missiles on Our Land:  Confronting the risks of America’s land-based nuclear missiles includes a five-part investigative podcast by Ella Weber, entitled “The Missiles on Our Rez,” about the only Native American tribal nation hosting nuclear weapons.  Photos (credits to Nina Berman) are available at:  Maps (credits to (credits to Sebastien Philippe, Svitlana Lavrenchuk, Ivan Stepanov):

To learn more, visit The Missiles on Our Land:  Confronting the risks of America’s land-based nuclear missiles at

  1. Friday, November 17th from noon to 1 pm MT *** NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.



  1. Thursday, November 16th from 5:30 – 8 pm – virtual and in-person public meeting about the Kirtland AFB Bulk Fuels Facility Project at New Mexico Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Blvd. SE.

 Community members may review Air Force Environmental Restoration Program documents by visiting the Kirtland AFB website at or the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center Administrative Record website AF Administrative Record. If you would like additional information, please contact 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs at (505) 846-5991 or by email,

  1. Friday, November 17th – Saturday, November 18th – New Mexico Acequia Association 24th Annual Congreso de las Acequias at the Sagebrush Inn, Taos.



  1. Sunday, November 26th – Global Day of Action Against Nuclear Weapons – Message from the Int’l Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN):


“As governments, experts and campaigners get ready for a week of building on the treaty banning nuclear weapons, join the international day of action to call for an end to nuclear weapons and bring attention to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)! All around the world, people will be taking action to show the delegations in New York that we expect them to be bold, courageous and use the TPNW to dismantle nuclear deterrence, and make sure the rest of the world is paying attention to this crucial opportunity.”

Funding may be available.  Add your action to the international calendar at:


  1. Monday, November 27th to Friday, December 1st Second Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2MSP) at UN Headquarters in New York City. and   


Sign-up to watch MSP-TV at  Don’t have time to watch the Nuclear Ban Week events play out minute-by-minute? ICAN’s  “MSP-TV” will provide you a summary, highlights and insights from the Nuclear Ban Week events – at the UN, in New York and those organized by partners around the world- twice a day at 11:00 and 17:00 ET (at 9 am and 5 pm Mountain Time) from Monday 27 November until 1 December 2023.


  1. Tuesday, November 28th from 11 am to 12:30 pm Mountain Time – hybrid presentation about the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons and Signs of Hope for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World at Baha’i International Center at UN Plaza and on zoom. Registration is required at:   For more information and other events:



  1. Friday, December 15thHolloman 5 Anti-Drone Trial begins in Otero County, NM.

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