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CMRR-Nuclear Facility
Conference on the Humanitarian Impact
Nuclear Testing Since 1945
Atomic Histories
Fukushima Disaster and Updates

Weapons Complex Map
Nuclear Watch Interactive Map of the
Nuclear Weapons Complex
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    Pantex Plant
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    Washington DC
    Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
    Y-12 National Security Complex

Facility Spotlight:
Y-12: Poster Child For A Dysfunctional Nuclear Weapons Complex
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, August 4, 2014

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Are Nukes relevant to today's threats?
Credit: Chain Reaction/Livable World

Jay Coghlan"What few Americans realize is that the U.S. is completely rebuilding the production side of its nuclear weapons complex, with new multi-billion dollar factories expected to operate until ~2075. The aim of the for-profit nuclear weapons establishment is a never-ending cycle of exorbitant Life Extension Programs for existing nuclear weapons. These programs will not only extend their service lives for up to six decades, but also endow them with new military capabilities, despite denials at the highest levels of government..."
-Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico; comment on NYTimes article U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms 21 Sept, 2014.

Follow the Money!

NNSA FY 2015 Budget Request
- Nuclear Watch Analysis/Compilation (PDF)
- Nuclear Watch New Mexico's analysis (PDF)
- NNSA's FY 2015 budget
- Best press coverage

Recent posts, budget and economic issues:
Nukewatch Analysis: NNSA FY 2015 Budget Request
More analysis /critiques NNSA FY 2015 Budget
In Desperate Need of Spring Cleaning? The US Nuclear Complex.

FY 2015 LANL
LANL FY 2015 Budget Request
Click to view full PDF incl. annotations

Congressional Budget Office report:
Projected Costs of Nuclear Forces 2014-2023

CBO presentation based on the report:
Projected Nuclear Forces Budget Through 2023
Click to view presentation

Nuclear Watch Press Release, Jan.14, 2014:
Budget Deal a Mixed Bag for Nuclear Weapons Programs- Planned Long-Term Trend Not Sustainable
View/download press release PDF
View/download the appropriations bill (n.b. NNSA section begins p.34; on the PDF at p.70)

Nuke modernization - sequestration disconnect
Into Thin Air
"Congress and Obama are planning Reagan-era expenditures to modernize U.S. nuclear weapons under sequestration-era budgets. What could possibly go wrong?"
Jeffrey Lewis looks at the numbers and finds they don't add up. Something will have to give... (article)

New CBO Report Dec 20, 2013:
U.S. nuclear weapon plans to cost $355 billion over a decade
Reuters: The Obama administration's plans for the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, including modernization of bombs, delivery systems and laboratories, will cost the country about $355 billion over the next decade, nearly $150 billion more than the administration's $208.5 billion estimate in a report to Congress last year; since the modernization effort is just beginning, costs are expected to greatly increase after 2023. (read more) (View/download CBO report-PDF) (analysis: Are New Nuclear Weapons Affordable?)

Nuclear Watch Press Release, Dec. 21, 2013:
Nuclear Weapons "Modernization" Will Cost One Trillion Dollars Over Thirty Years; Locally, Los Alamos Lab Cleanup and Job Creation Are Imperiled
(View/download NWNM Press Release PDF)

the high cost of nukes

Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan
View/Download FY 2015 SSMP (PDF)
NWNM Analysis (PDF) / Analysis Summary (PDF)

"No decrease in the number of warheads"
- Sen. Diane Feinstein: "The promise of the 3+2 plan was to provide a smaller stockpile in exchange for a larger investment. However, when the plan is examined, there is no decrease in the number of warheads... In addition, sequestration, shrinking budgets and NNSA's long history of cost overruns and schedule delays raise serious concerns about the agency's ability to execute this mission." (ref)

New ANA Report: NNSA Boondoggles

Billion Dollar Boondoggles
Alliance For Nuclear Accountability Report 5/2014

Nuclear Weapons Lobby Reportedly Spent $2.9 Million To Stave Off Military Cuts
William Hartung"The nuclear weapons industry is erecting a missile shield of money to prevent federal government spending cuts worth billions of dollars. In the 2012 election cycle, nuclear weapons lobbies have given a total of $2.9 million to key members of Congress and deployed no fewer than 137 revolving-door lobbyists to Capitol Hill, according to a new report that details the lengths to which arms makers will go to protect their turf." (story)
"Bombs Versus Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby", prepared by the Center for International Policy. (download PDF)

GAO: accounting problems at DoD so significant that a federal audit cannot be done.
Read the January 17, 2013 GAO Report

Nuclear Watch Media

See the NukeWatch YouTube channel
for our collection of videos.

Jay Coghlan on the Nuclear Defense Industry
KSFR Santa Fe: Living on the Edge, October 17, 2013. David Bacon with Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch E.D. (online podcast)

B-2 Stealth Bomber Upgrades

Massive Upgrade For B-2 Stealth
6/25/14: Air Force officials have started planning a ten billion dollar modernization of the B-2 stealth bomber fleet to include a new receiver using VLF waveform technology that allows the bomber to receive messages in the event of a high altitude electro-magnetic pulse, and outfitting the aircraft for next generation digital nuclear weapons such as the B-61 Mod 12 with the new tail kit, and Long Range Stand-Off weapons- (air-launched nuclear cruise missiles). (more)

plutonium pit production history

Successful Citizen Activism Against
Expanded U.S. Plutonium Pit Production

This is the unsung story of successful citizen activism against repeated government attempts to expand the production of plutonium pit cores, which has always been the choke point of resumed U.S. nuclear weapons production. This history is a critical part of the march toward a future world free of nuclear weapons. We gratefully dedicate it to Leroy Moore, longtime activist with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and J. Carson Mark, retired director of the Los Alamos Lab's Theoretical Division and ardent arms control advocate.
(View/download full report- PDF)

The Gadget, Los Alamos, 1945
"The Gadget" ready for testing, Los Alamos, 1945, from the NYTimes, "Dawn of Nuclear Weapons, Declassified". See more in our atomic histories dossier.

NWNM supports Nuclear Zero

McNamara on Nuclear War

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Danielle Brian, POGO"If you really want a future world free of nuclear weapons, you can hardly make a better investment than to give to Nuclear Watch New Mexico. They need and deserve your support so that they can carry on their groundbreaking work. I urge you to be generous with them!" - Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight.

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New & Updated

How the Obama Administration Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
US nuclear policy is undermining our safety and national security.
Theodore A. Postol, The Nation, Dec. 10. 2014
Theodore Postol, MIT "In a highly celebrated speech in Prague in April 2009, Obama declared that "the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War," and he restated "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Later that year, the Nobel Committee cited the president's leadership on this issue when it awarded him the Peace Prize.
"Why, then, we must ask, is the Obama administration moving forward with an ambitious nuclear-weapons modernization program that could dramatically raise the threat of nuclear war?
"Many Russians, including those with moderate political views, believe the United States has been engaged in an endless campaign of disrespect, opportunism and predation toward Russia since the demise of the Soviet Union. Many Americans regard Russia as intransigent, dangerous and aggressive.
"This politically charged environment has grown increasingly tense since the Ukraine crisis erupted last winter. US nuclear hawks now regard the modernization program as an urgent national-security priority, while Russian leaders perceive US rhetoric about the need to increase the reliability of supposedly aging US forces as yet another lie aimed at lulling Russia into a trap.
"Sophisticated Russian analysts, especially those who understand the technical aspects of nuclear weapons, see the modernization drive as a disturbing indication that the US military believes a nuclear war against Russia can be fought and won.
"Our policy-makers have not attempted to analyze the benefit to US security of pushing the Russians to a higher state of alert. Nor have they asked how an increased US nuclear threat to Russia improves the security of US allies- or, for that matter, anyone else around the globe.

"What does the Obama administration hope to achieve by modernizing US nuclear forces? Do the president and his staff realize they are creating conditions that will reduce the security of all involved parties, or have they wrongly convinced themselves that they are creating a more stable deterrence? No rational actor would take steps to start a nuclear war. But the modernization effort significantly increases the chances of an accident during an unpredicted, and unpredictable, crisis- one that could escalate beyond anyone's capacity to imagine.

"The real problem is not irrationality but unpredictability. The reasons things happen are far more complex than obsessive nuclear planning can ever predict. The US modernization program is producing nuclear forces that will severely complicate the chances of backing away from disaster if a crisis were to occur. Anyone who looks at history knows that such crises will occur, and that they result from unpredictable and unforeseen events.

"This basic truth should be the basis for a sober re-evaluation of the modernization program: in a world that is fundamentally unpredictable, the pursuit of an unchallenged capacity to fight and win a nuclear war is a dangerous folly." Theodore A. Postol, The Nation, Dec. 10. 2014

Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology and National Security Policy at MIT... more

Game On: East vs. West, Again
In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev was apparently assured by top US officials that in return for allowing East and West Germany to unite and be a full NATO member, NATO would not expand "one inch" to the east. But by 2009, 12 more ex-Warsaw Pact nations had joined NATO.

Andrew Cockburn Andrew Cockburn details the sequence of events that brought us to today's crisis in Ukraine:
"[For the arms contractors] one especially promising market was among the former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact. Were they to join NATO, they would be natural customers for products such as the F-16 fighter that Lockheed had inherited from General Dynamics.

"Didn't they tell us after the fall of the Berlin Wall that NATO would not expand eastwards? However, the expansion started immediately... This is the main issue of current international relations. Our partners never stopped. They decided they were the winners, they were an empire, while all the others were their vassals, and they needed to put the squeeze on them."
"Do we place our troops at US borders? Who is placing NATO troops, military infrastructure closer to us? Does anyone listen to us, talk to us about it? No, nothing. There is always the same response: it's not your business."
-Russian President Putin, 12/18/14 Press Conference
"There was one minor impediment... Secretary of State James Baker had unequivocally spelled out Washington's end of that bargain in a private conversation with Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990, pledging that NATO forces would not move "one inch to the east", provided the Soviets agreed to NATO membership for a unified Germany.
"Even at the beginning, not everyone in the administration was intent on honoring this promise. Robert Gates noted in his memoirs that Dick Cheney, then the defense secretary, took a more opportunistic tack: 'When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.'

"Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post cold-war era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."
- George F. Kennan, 1997

"... As it happened, NATO was indeed active, under Bill Clinton's leadership, and moving decisively to expand eastward, whatever prior Republican understandings there might have been with the Russians... Already plushly installed in Warsaw and other Eastern European capitals were emissaries of the defense contractors. 'Lockheed began looking at Poland right after the Wall came down,' Dick Pawloski, for years a Lockheed salesman active in Eastern Europe, told me. 'There were contractors flooding through all those countries.'
"The vision of [Lockheed Martin CEO] Augustine and his peers that an enlarged NATO could be a fruitful market has become a reality. By 2014, the twelve new members had purchased close to $17 billion worth of American weapons, while this past October Romania celebrated the arrival of Eastern Europe's first $134 million Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore missile-defense system." Game On, Harper's, January 2015

Andrew Cockburn is currently Washington Editor of Harper's Magazine. Cockburn's most recent book is "Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy"; New York Times reviewer Jacob Heilbrunn called it "perceptive and engrossing. more

Footnote, Putin presser Dec. 18, 2014:
- Anton Vernitsky, Channel One Russia: "Mr President, are the current economic developments the price we have to pay for Crimea? Maybe the time has come to acknowledge it?"
- Vladimir Putin: "No. This is not the price we have to pay for Crimea. This is actually the price we have to pay for our natural aspiration to preserve ourselves as a nation, as a civilisation, as a state."

Dec. 12, 2014: A "New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise"?
NNSA Governance Advisory Panel Condones Diminishing
Federal Oversight Of Failing Contractors

- This diminishing federal oversight flies in the face of a long history of project delays and immense cost increases for which contractors are responsible, but not held accountable... Contractors have also committed very serious operational mistakes... Despite all this, the Panel makes no specific recommendations to put performance benchmarks back into management contracts. Instead, it proposes that the number of budget line items be reduced, which could further erode transparency, accountability, and congressional oversight, and increase the ability of NNSA and its contractors to move money around.
- The Panel itself is full of conflicts-of-interest. One co-chair was CEO of Lockheed, contractor at Sandia, Y-12, and Pantex... The other co-chair, and other members of the panel, sit on the boards of contractors managing Sandia, LANL, and Lawrence Livermore labs. Also on the panel, Heather Wilson, the ex- New Mexico Congresswoman described by the DOE Inspector General as 'deeply, deeply involved' in improper, if not illegal lobbying for contract extensions at Sandia and LANL.
- Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch Director, commented, "The Panel's self-interested premise that the Nuclear Security Enterprise needs a new foundation is wrong. First, call it what it is, not some kind of innocuous sounding "enterprise", but rather a massive research and production complex that is pushing an unaffordable trillion dollar modernization program for nuclear warheads, missiles, subs and bombers. This will divert taxpayers' dollars from meeting the real national security threats of nuclear weapons proliferation and climate change. The Panel failed by not arguing for prudent maintenance of the stockpile, instead supporting a perpetual work program of risky life extension programs for existing nuclear weapons that will enrich contractors."
- Read the full post at the Watchblog.
- Congressional Advisory Panel on the Governance of the Nuclear Security Enterprise: "A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise" (view/download PDF)
- The DOE Inspector General Report: "Special Inquiry: Alleged Attempts by Sandia National Laboratories to Influence Congress and Federal Officials on a Contract Extension" (view/download PDF)

Dec. 8-9, 2014:
  Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons

Vienna Conference Statements:
"As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use by design, miscalculation or madness, technical or human error, remains real. Nuclear weapons, therefore, continue to bear an unacceptable risk to humanity and to all life on earth. Any use of nuclear weapons could cause gravest humanitarian emergencies and have catastrophic global consequences on the environment, climate, health, social order, human development and the economy...
"This increased focus on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons is an important development and has a positive and uniting effect on international discussions about nuclear weapons. The more the international community discusses and understands the scale of these consequences and of the risks involved, the clearer the case and the stronger the sense of urgency become for the elimination of nuclear weapons."
- Report and Summary of Findings of the Conference: (view/download PDF)
- Vienna Conference Official Website
- Twitter hashtag: HINW14vienna. Also, the Global Tweetmap
- Video of discussion/general debate at Youtube- 4 parts, 7+hrs total

Austria Delivered the "Austrian Pledge":
"Austria pledges to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders, States, International Organizations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements, parliamentarians and civil society, in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons, in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks..."
(view/download Pledge PDF)

Reaching Critical Will report on the Vienna Conference: Filling the Gap: Report On The Third Conference On The Humanitarian Impact Of Nuclear Weapons

NWNM Press Release, December 6, 2014:
NukeWatch Urging Increased DOE Accountability in Wake of Fines
"The New Mexico Environmental Department plans to fine WIPP $17.7 million and LANL $36.6 million due to major procedural problems related to the handling of radioactive transuranic (TRU) wastes that contributed to two significant incidents at WIPP earlier this year... NMED stipulated that the penalties couldn't be paid for out of designated funding for environmental cleanup or operational needs at LANL and WIPP.
"The $36.6 million fine at LANL... represents only .02% of the Lab's $2.1 billion annual budget. The contractor that runs the Lab, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, is eligible to earn $57 million in bonus award fees for the fiscal year that ended last September 30th.
"Scott Kovac, Research Director at Nuclear Watch New Mexico, stated, 'We applaud these efforts to hold the Department of Energy accountable in New Mexico and we urge NMED to not negotiate these relatively modest fines down, as is typically the case. These fines should be paid out of the contractor's profits. The Lab had this waste for over 20 years and still could not get it right. We hope these NMED fines are a wake up call for safe, comprehensive cleanup of all the wastes left from the Cold War at the Los Alamos Lab.'"
View/download complete NukeWatch press release (PDF)

December 3, 2014:
POGO & NukeWatch to Sec. Moniz: Slash LANL Contractor Award Fee
Project On Government Oversight and Nuclear Watch New Mexico sent the Secretary of the Department of Energy a letter urging that the contractor award fee for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) be slashed due to grossly substandard contractor performance.
(Press Release: View/download PDF)
(12/3 Letter to Sec. Moniz: View/download PDF)
December 19, 2014:
POGO & NukeWatch to Sec. Moniz: Slash Sandia Performance Award
(Press Release: View/download PDF)
(12/19 Letter to Sec. Moniz: View/download PDF)

Nov. 17, 2014:
Increasing the Effectiveness of Nonproliferation and Verification Technology Development Programs
Initial Findings And Recommendations
Dr. James Doyle; assisted by Jay Coghlan and Scott Kovac, Nuclear Watch New Mexico
- Includes initial findings, key capabilities currently lacking, proposed national program structure, new mission areas for the national labs, key technical objectives, and summary recommendations.
This draft paper presents initial findings and recommendations for strengthening the nation's nonproliferation programs and verification technologies. In collaboration with Nuclear Watch New Mexico, this project is a direct follow-on to Dr. Doyle's February 2013 article, "Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?". Whereas that study convincingly argued for global nuclear weapons abolition, it mostly did so in the policy sphere as an historic review of why the elimination of nuclear weapons is necessary. Dr. Doyle now seeks to move forward, advocating for broad deployment of existing verification and monitoring technologies and development of more refined future technologies.
The overarching aim of this project is to help make a verifiable future world free of nuclear weapons technically and politically feasible. A final paper will be presented in mid-January 2015. View/download the initial report (PDF)

- See Nov. 17 letter from Senator Markey (D.MA) to Secretary of Energy Moniz regarding LANL's termination of Dr. Doyle. The letter calls for urgent investigation of his termination and raises the question of whether the Department of Energy used classification procedures as a means of retaliating against Doyle. (See our earlier reports on the Doyle affair)

James Doyle, ex-LANL analyst"Many citizens, scientists and laymen alike, view nuclear-weapons abolition as an essential milestone in the development of human civilization, a moral, ideological and practical campaign that could catalyze the transformation of international relations and improve the outlook for civilization at a critical time."
- James Doyle, "Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?"

DoE IG Report: Sandia Labs Misused Federal Contract Funds
Managers at Sandia Laboratories improperly used taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and other officials as part of an effort to extend the lab's $2.4 billion management contract according to a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General report released Nov. 12, 2014... One consultant suggested the lab's message to decision-makers should be that competition was not in the best interest of the government.
"We believe that the use of federal funds for the development of a plan to influence members of Congress and federal officials to, in essence, prevent competition was inexplicable and unjustified."
- N.B. Sandia reimbursed DoE more than $226,000 for fees paid to a consulting company run by Heather Wilson, the former New Mexico congresswoman. (more on that story)
Source: Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 12, 2014

Modernization across the board

Sept 26: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons*
As Nuclear Arms Modernizations Surge, Welcome to "The Second Nuclear Age"

Nuclear Watch has been documenting and reporting on the growing discrepancy between, on the one hand, this nation's avowed goal of reducing both our doctrinal reliance on nuclear weapons as well as actual nuclear weapons stockpiles, and on the other, the ballooning budgets assigned to massive, across-the-board 'modernizations' of weapons, delivery systems, and weapons production facilities. There has been a lot of criticism in the expert press and in Congress (and notably from Senator Diane Feinstein), of the Administration's recent FY 2015 budget request, which cuts funds for nuclear security worldwide while increasing funding for new nuclear warheads, ICBMs, strategic bombers, and costly additions to US nuclear weapons facilities.
The New York Times, in an editorial Sept 22 titled Backsliding on Nuclear Promises, wrote "The administration is making a foolish trade-off... Investing in nuclear security protects Americans more than unwise investment in new nuclear weapons."

"A nationwide wave of atomic revitalization"
The Times editors note: "When he first came to office, Mr. Obama was clear-sighted about nuclear dangers and ambitious in his disarmament goals... But to win Republican support for the [New Start] treaty in 2010, Mr. Obama made a Faustian bargain, promising to spend $84 billion to upgrade aging nuclear weapons over the next decade." Now, 4 years later, "the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Mr. Obama's plans will cost $355 billion over the next decade; other studies put the price at $1 trillion over three decades."

We are apparently at the beginning of a new nuclear age - but not the one you might have thought was evoked in Obama's Prague speech... rather we seem to be seeing the beginning of an age of unabashed and unapologetic pursuit of more and more 'advanced' nuclear weaponry. In this new nuclear age, when the criticism is raised that our nuclear arsenals are a useless vestige of the Cold War, the response is not, "Then let's take this opportunity to get rid of the damn things" but rather, "OK, let's make them more useful and relevant."

'The Second Nuclear Age': "A world where nuclear weapons count"
Los Alamos National Lab this last summer fired a non-proliferation specialist seemingly for supporting the President's vision of a nuclear-free world and calling into question current deterrence doctrine (see 'Doyle' below). In fact, LANL is now backing a different meme- Paul Bracken's thesis described in his book "The Second Nuclear Age", that the "multiplayer nuclear world" we have now is "more dangerous than the Cold War". And to underline the point, the Wall Street Journal blurb on the cover proclaims, "We are once again in a world where nuclear weapons count." (ref)

We might have thought President Obama had picked up Ronald Reagan's mantle in his Prague speech, reiterating our national policy, in line with UN resolutions and the NPT Treaty, to move toward a world without nuclear weapons. However the US, and other nuclear powers, seem to be moving in the other direction. We might have known that "perhaps not in my lifetime" was too weak a commitment to overcome the inertial tide of the nuclear-military complexes, too conditional to hold up under geopolitical strains. After all, if JFK had used that phrase rather than "within the decade" in his challenge to land our astronauts on the moon we likely never would have made it. It's really time to rethink this, to rethink nuclear weapons altogether, before it's too late to turn it around.

- Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris have done a survey of the various "modernization" programs among the nuclear powers; see a chart here.
- See a chart from the NNSA showing planned and ongoing improvements and additions to US nuclear weapons production facilities here.

- Defense One, Oct 13: This Is a Pivotal Moment for the US Nuclear Arsenal
"In recent weeks, the nuclear spending cliff has gained increased attention and has left observers at home and abroad wondering whether the plans- which arise from disparate agency requests to replace each system individually- conflict with the administration's promise to work toward a world without nuclear weapons."
- Sept 21. New York Times: U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
- Sept 22 New York Times Editorial: Backsliding on Nuclear Promises
- Sept 25. Center For Arms Control: It's Time To Rein In Nuclear Spending
- Sept 25. Global Security: New U.S. Nuclear Warheads? Politically and Technically, a Bad Idea
- Sept 29. Guardian: Congress pushes nuclear expansion despite accidents at weapons lab
- Sept 30. Daily Beast: US & Russia Re-Arming for a New Cold War
- Oct 2. FAS: New START: Russia and the United States Increase Deployed Nuclear Arsenals
- Oct 6. Moscow Times: Russia's Nuclear Euphoria Ignores Reality

- On the Watchblog: "Modernizing for the Second Nuclear Age" -Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico
- GAO Report to Congress: Nuclear Weapons: Ten Year Budget Estimates for Modernization Omit Key Efforts, and Assumptions and Limitations Are Not Fully Transparent
- NNSA FY 2015 Budget Request
- Nuclear Watch Analysis/Compilation (PDF)
- Nuclear Watch Analysis FY2015 - PDF)

*The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was established by the United Nations General Assembly in March of 2014, to mark the anniversary of the day in 1983 when Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov did not inform his superiors of satellite readings he was monitoring that seemed to show an American nuclear attack had begun. It was indeed a false alarm. Had Petrov followed his orders, a full blown nuclear exchange might well have ensued. (ref)

U.S. Nuclear test Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands
U.S. underwater nuclear test Baker, view from Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, July 25, 1946

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Amicus Brief Filed in Marshall Islands Lawsuit
"The U.S. and other nuclear weapons powers have not acted in good faith"
Sept. 1, 2014. Nuclear Watch has filed an amicus brief ("friend of the court") in the Marshall Islands' lawsuit challenging the failure of the nuclear weapons states to meet their Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation to pursue negotiations in good faith leading to nuclear disarmament.
In support of the Marshall Islands, Nuclear Watch informed the court of U.S. plans to spend more than one trillion dollars over the next three decades for "modernization" of nuclear weapons, missiles, subs and bombers. Our brief also argued that current "Life Extension Programs" are endowing existing nuclear weapons with new military capabilities, despite denials at the highest levels of government.
Nuclear Watch's amicus brief is posted here (PDF).
The U.S. motion to dismiss and the other amicus briefs are available here.
Marshall Islands 4/24/14 complaint (PDF)
- September updates from Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
- Latest on the Lawsuit:

Archived Items

Nukes- write'em off!

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Eric Schlosser"The people who are the most anti-nuclear are the ones who know the most about it."
-Eric Schlosser, "Command and Control"

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Quote of the Week

Pope Francis

"Nuclear weapons are a global problem affecting all nations and impacting future generations and the planet that is our home...
"Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states...
"Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations. To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty...
"I am convinced that the desire for peace and fraternity planted deep in the human heart will bear fruit in concrete ways to ensure that nuclear weapons are banned once and for all, to the benefit of our common home." (Full text, Vatican Statement to the Vienna Conference Dec. 8)

Critical Events

January 16, 2015, Oakland, CA:
Hearing, Marshall Islands Lawsuit
Hearing on a motion by the Justice Department to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the Marshall Islands under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to end the nuclear arms race and for nuclear disarmament. U.S. District Court for Northern California, 9:00am, Oakland Courthouse, Courtroom 5, Second Floor, 1301 Clay St., Oakland, CA. (more info at

For an extensive weekly listing of nuclear-related events worldwide, subscribe to the Nuclear Calendar

Registration now open:
- Carnegie Int'l Nuclear Policy Conference
Washington DC, March 23-24 2015.

"We're holding far more nuclear weapons than are necessary, Senator Diane Feinstein and the cost is undermining other national security priorities. It's time we take a long look at how we can responsibly reduce our stockpile."
- Sen. Diane Feinstein, Washington Post Op-Ed, December 4, 2014: America's nuclear arsenal is unnecessarily and unsustainably large.

new nukes cost
View full-size chart with notes

Michael Corones, "Why the U.S. is spending $1 trillion on nukes", Reuters, 10/21/14

John Oliver: Nuclear Weapons
Oliver lays it all out- with humor...

WIPP Update Dec. 6, 2014:
New Mexico Environmental Department will levy
fines totaling $54m on WIPP and LANL.
WIPP: 13 violations, $17.7 million;
LANL, 24 violations, $36.6 million.
See NukeWatch press release

Nuclear News

Obama Promised a "World Without Nuclear Weapons," But May Now Spend $1 Trillion on Upgrades
Amy Goodman with Elena Sokova, executive director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation DemocracyNow, Oct.24, 2014

LANL's Central Mission
Los Alamos Lab officials have recently claimed that LANL has moved away from primarily nuclear weapons to "national security", but what truly remains as the Labs central mission? Here's the answer from one of its own documents:
LANL's Central Mission
LANL's "Central Mission"- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

With ICBM Mission Increasingly Irrelevant, Morale is Low and Failures Multiply
Malmstrom Air Base: Senior Commander Resigns, Nine Mid-Level Commanders Fired
Time: Air Force Applies a Band-Aid to a Sucking Chest Wound
See our selection of press coverage and commentary.

New Ohio class missile submarines

Defense Bills Would Create Separate Fund for New Ohio-Class Nuclear Submarines
"Far-reaching implications"
"The creation of a National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to pay for an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine replacement could significantly alter the typically underfunded Navy shipbuilding account, while also establishing a precedent that other military services may attempt to leverage in years to come.
More: Frank Oliveri, CQ Roll Call, 6/9/14

Radioactive Quotes

"The US modernization program is producing nuclear forces that will severely complicate the chances of backing away from disaster if a crisis were to occur. Anyone who looks at history knows that such crises will occur, and that they result from unpredictable and unforeseen events. This basic truth should be the basis for a sober re-evaluation of the modernization program. In a world that is fundamentally unpredictable, the pursuit of an unchallenged capacity to fight and win a nuclear war is a dangerous folly."

Theodore A. Postol, The Nation, Dec. 10. 2014


"The world was lucky in the 20th century to avoid a nuclear Armageddon. In the 21st century a new international consensus is emerging: nuclear weapons are only useful for killing or terrorising civilians. The number of weapons worldwide must be reduced with the goal of some day reaching zero."

Eric Schlosser writing in the Guardian, Nov. 24, 2014: "Why we must rid the world of nuclear weapons"


"Nuclear war is the black swan we can never see, except in that brief moment when it is killing us. We delay eliminating the risk at our own peril. Now is the time to address the threat, because now we are still alive."

Seth Baum, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nov. 21, 2014


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General Lee Butler on Nuclear Weapons
"We cannot at once keep sacred the miracle of existence and hold sacrosanct the capacity to destroy it." -Gen. Lee Butler (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command

Our Mission: Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities, mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs, greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex, and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico is supported by the Ploughshares Fund: Investing in Peace and Security Worldwide, the Columbe Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation Donor Advised Grants, the New Mexico Community Foundation, the New-Land Foundation, and by generous donors like you. Thank You!

Last modified: December 20 2014 12:41:16.
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