From remarks by Sen. Alan Cranston in the Congressional Record of May 1:

Since the day we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima 41 years ago, I have devoted some part of virtually every day of my life to thinking about, reading about, writing about, speaking about, working on the nuclear danger, and about the urgency of ending the nuclear arms race before it ends us. But the world, I am afraid, has not made much headway in this race against time and catastrophe. We still live on the edge of oblivion, and nothing seems to move us away from that edge. . . .

But providence may have had a special message for mankind in the accident in the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant. That disaster may, in the strange way that providence works, prove to be not a blessing in disguise -- that is going too far. But it can prove to be a God-given opportunity in disguise.

sw,-2 If this accident has so shaken the leaders of the Soviet Union -- probably the most paranoid and certainly the most secretive society in the world -- that they were driven to ask the West for help, then perhaps there is hope after all. Perhaps they are seeing -- really seeing for the first time -- what the nuclear horror is all about. And that the horror that can happen on a small scale by accident would be infinitely more horrible if it occurred on a large scale and by design.

Perhaps they may come to understand that they must be more forthcoming, that they must work more seriously with us to bring an end to the nuclear arms race. And perhaps our leaders will finally grasp the same message -- that we, too, must be more forthcoming, more serious about ending the arms race.