Facility Spotlight: GAO Blasts Lack of Whistleblower Protection at Nuclear Facilities "The GAO's findings of abysmal whistleblower protection at the Department of Energy are not by accident or coincidence. DOE whistleblower retaliation is historic, systemic and by design, seeking to suppress public knowledge of the inside secrets of the dirty nuclear weapons business. Now is the time for serious oversight and a realistic approach to these issues in order to stop an emerging arms race and avoid wasting billions of dollars we cannot afford." -Jay Coghlan, executive director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico (McClatchy: Department of Energy fails to protect nuclear whistleblowers) / (read more)
Nuclear Weapons Complex Misconduct
Dec. 3, 2015. POGO: Updated Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, focussing on Nuclear Complex
(see report at POGO)
Click the image to view and download this large printable map of DOE sites, commercial reactors, nuclear waste dumps, nuclear transportation routes, surface waters near sites and transport routes, and underlying aquifers. This map was prepared by Deborah Reade for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
Quote of the Week
"The United States, Russia and China are clearly marching down the path of a new nuclear arms race. Here we go again. Tit for tat, escalate here, escalate there. That's where we're going folks, as sure as we're all in this room, that's exactly where we're going."
- Rep. John Garamendi D.CA, member, House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.
Defense News November 16, 2016
Dossier: The Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
Kirtland Air Force Base, which abuts and shares some runways with the Albuquerque airport, has become a major nuclear weapons complex of it's own. It hosts the Air Force's Nuclear Weapons Center, Sandia National Laboratories, and what is probably the nation's (and perhaps the world's) largest repository of nuclear weapons, estimated at up to 2,500 warheads... (read more)
"You have got to understand that this isn't a military weapon. It's used to wipe out women and children and unarmed people, and not for military uses. So we have got to treat this differently from rifles and cannon and ordinary things like that." -Pres. Truman 1948 (ref)
KUNM FM: LANL's Long Environmental Cleanup
KUNM public radio discussion of Los Alamos cleanup, and Nukewatch lawsuit Archived podcast here
Jay Coghlan, Nukewatch Director Interview
Earth Matters Radio re legacy of the US nuclear weapons program on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings. Thursday Aug 6 at 10 am and 8 pm on 89.1FM. Archived podcast here
Los Alamos: A Whistleblower's Diary, by Chuck Montaño, 2015.
April 21, Los Alamos Daily:
Chuck Montaño was given the ANA Whistleblower award in Washington DC: (story)
Chuck Montaño serves on Nuclear Watch New Mexico's Steering Committee.
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)
July 14, 2016: Debate Is On Over Making More Nuclear Triggers At Los Alamos Lab
"The National Nuclear Security Administration is under orders from Congress to produce as many as 80 new nuclear weapons triggers a year by around 2030, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only place in the country that is equipped to make them now... The plans for a higher-capacity plutonium pit production facility make Los Alamos key - some call the lab 'ground zero'..." (ref: Albuquerque Journal)
Nuclear Risk, 2016:
"Imagine that a man wearing a TNT vest were to come into the room and, before you could escape, managed to tell you that he wasn't a suicide bomber. He didn't have the button to set off the explosives. Rather, there were two buttons in very safe hands. One was in Washington with President Obama and the other in Moscow with President Putin, so there was nothing to worry about. You'd still get out of that room as fast as you can!
"Just because we can't see the nuclear weapons controlled by those two buttons, why do we stay here? As if confronted by that man, we need to be plotting a rapid escape. Instead, we have sat here complacently for over 50 years, trusting that because Earth's explosive vest hasn't yet gone off, it never will.
If you agree that it's high time we stopped sitting around and started solving this problem, please read on-" NuclearRisk.org.
What is both sobering and addictive? This "Wheel of Near Misfortune" created by Union of Concerned Scientists- don't miss it!
Dr. Perry's Nuclear Nightmare Dr. William J. Perry, the 19th Secretary of Defense, shares his nuclear nightmare in this video produced by the William J. Perry Project.
Brief terrifying history of US nuclear mishaps
Eric Schlosser recounts the United States' clumsy history with nuclear weapons. And it's terrifying.
Who Will Claim Ronald Reagan's Mantle On Nuclear Disarmament Today?
"A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?" -1984 State of the Union
(Read more of "Ronald Reagan, Republicans, and Nuclear Weapons" by Jonathan Granhoff, President, Global Security Institute)
The nuclear threat has changed. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Perry tells a harrowing story of a false alarm that almost set off nuclear Armageddon. Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn explains why we can't rely on technology to work perfectly in an age of cyber attack and terror.
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"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.
A Road-Map To the Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons by 2045 This is an extensive and well thought out proposal by James Doyle, nuclear security and non-proliferation specialist, presented on Nov 28 at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
OPLAN 2045: Preparing for nuclear disarmament(view/download PDF)
Ten Big Nuclear Ideas For the Next President A Ploughshares Fund report; released November 16, 2016
In addition to a forward by Senator Ed Markey, and an introduction by Ploughshares Director of Policy Tom Collina, the report consists of 10 in-depth briefs by different authors- here's a sampling:
- In Reduce the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, with or without Russia, Gen. James Cartwright, (ret.) writes "The United States should reduce its nuclear forces because it serves U.S. national security interests to do so, regardless of Russia. There is no reason to retain unneeded weapons just because Russia does. Moscow does not, and should not, have a veto over U.S. actions."
- In Phase Out America's ICBMs, Fmr. Secretary of Defense William Perry writes, "My primary concern with ICBMs is that they could trigger an accidental nuclear war.
If our sensors indicate that enemy missiles are en route to the United States, the president would have to consider launching our ICBMs before the enemy missiles could destroy them in their silos; and once they are launched, they cannot be recalled. The president would have about 10 minutes to make that terrible decision. . . We do not have to take that terrible risk anymore. We should not rebuild our ICBM arsenal."
- In Cancel the New Nuclear Cruise Missile, Senators Diane Feinstein and Adam Smith write, "We are convinced that the LRSO creates unnecessary risks of miscalculation in a conflict, lowers the threshold for nuclear use, is not necessary to preserve nuclear deterrence and will draw scarce resources away from other nuclear assets and advanced conventional capabilities."
- In Press Pause on Missile Defense in Europe, Tytti Erästö writes: "From the Russian perspective, the more efficient and integrated Western missile defenses become, the more likely they could threaten its deterrent- particularly if the number of nuclear weapons were significantly reduced."
- In Bring Home U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons from Europe, Steve Andreasen and Isabelle Williams note that "The security risk of basing U.S. nuclear bombs in Europe- highlighted by the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium and political developments in Turkey- clearly demonstrate the case for consolidating U.S. nuclear weapons in the United States."
- In Add Democracy to Nuclear Policy, Kennette Benedict asks, "How is it that, in the longest surviving democracy, the power to wreak the most catastrophic destruction in the history of the world is held by a single person?"
- In Break with Cold War Thinking, Valerie Plame warns, "Without a definitive break with Cold War thinking, everything else we strive for may be undermined."
- View/download the full report (PDF)
The Historic UN Vote On Banning Nuclear Weapons
The very first resolution passed by the newly formed United Nations on January 24, 1946, established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure: 1) that atomic energy is only used for peaceful purposes, and 2) the elimination of atomic weapons from the arsenals of nations.
That was 70+ years ago. Then there was the appalling Cold War nuclear arms race. Now, a quarter century after the end of that frozen conflict, the nations of the UN General Assembly have moved again to deal with the catastrophic danger of nuclear weapons, and have passed an historic resolution "to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination."
All nuclear weapons states, with the single exception of North Korea, voted against or abstained. The final vote was 123 for the resolution, 38 against, and 16 abstaining. (see country by country vote)
"There comes a time when choices have to be made and this is one of those times," said Helena Nolan, Ireland's director of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, "Given the clear risks associated with the continued existence of nuclear weapons, this is now a choice between responsibility and irresponsibility. Governance requires accountability and governance requires leadership."
The Obama Administration was in fierce opposition. It lobbied all nations, particularly its allies, to vote no. "How can a state that relies on nuclear weapons for its security possibly join a negotiation meant to stigmatize and eliminate them?" said Ambassador Robert Wood, the U.S. special representative to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
An interesting argument considering that the President himself had declared in Prague in 2009, "To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same." (ref)
US position "indefensible"
Ploughshares' Joe Cirincione wrote in a commentary for the Huffington Post: "The U.S. opposition is a profound mistake. Ambassador Wood is a career foreign service officer and a good man who has worked hard for our country. But this position is indefensible."
"The idea of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons is inspired by similar, successful treaties to ban biological weapons, chemical weapons, and landmines. All started with grave doubts. Many in the United States opposed these treaties. But when President Richard Nixon began the process to ban biological weapons and President George H.W. Bush began talks to ban chemical weapons, other nations rallied to their leadership. These agreements have not yet entirely eliminated these deadly arsenals (indeed, the United States is still not a party to the landmine treaty) but they stigmatized them, hugely increased the taboo against their use or possession, and convinced the majority of countries to destroy their stockpiles.
"The ban treaty idea did not originate in the United States, nor was it championed by many U.S. groups, nor is it within U.S. power to control the process. Indeed, this last seems to be one of the major reasons the administration opposes the talks.
"The movement reflects widespread fears that the world is moving closer to a nuclear catastrophe - and that the nuclear-armed powers are not serious about reducing these risks or their arsenals. If anything, these states are increasing the danger by pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into new Cold War nuclear weapons programs.
"There is still time for the United States to shift gears. We should not squander the opportunity to join a process already in motion and to help guide it to a productive outcome. It is a Washington trope that you cannot defeat something with nothing. Right now, the US has nothing positive to offer. The disarmament process is dead and this lack of progress undermines global support for the Non-Proliferation Treaty and broader efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
"The new presidential administration must make a determined effort to mount new initiatives that reduce these weapons, reduce these risks. It should also support the ban treaty process as a powerful way to build global support for a long-standing American national security goal. We must, as President John F. Kennedy said, eliminate these weapons before they eliminate us." See full post at HuffPo / See also Cirincione's updated and expanded post at The Bulletin:
The UN makes history on a nuclear weapons ban. Does the US care?
"The rest of the world is finally standing up to this threat to their survival and that of the planet. They are taking matters into their own hands and refusing to be held hostage by the nuclear nations. They will no longer be bullied into sitting back and waiting for the nuclear states to make good on empty promises."
- Robert Dodge,
Nuclear Weapons- The Time for Abolition is Now
The Vatican's ambassador to the UN, Archbishop Bernardito Auza declared, "Nuclear arms offer a false sense of security, and the uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence is a tragic illusion. Nuclear weapons cannot create a stable and secure world. Peace and international stability cannot be established on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of total annihilation. Lasting peace cannot be guaranteed by the maintenance of a balance of terror... The indefinite possession of nuclear weapons is morally wrong, an affront to the 'entire framework of the United Nations' and a contradiction to its vocation of service to humanity and the global common good." (ref)
And the Dalai Lama has stated: "By far the greatest single danger facing humankind- in fact, all living beings on our planet- is the threat of nuclear destruction. I need not elaborate on this danger, but I would like to appeal to all the leaders of the nuclear powers who literally hold the future of the world in their hands, to the scientists and technicians who continue to create these awesome weapons of destruction, and to all the people at large who are in a position to influence their leaders: I appeal to them to exercise their sanity and begin to work at dismantling and destroying all nuclear weapons." (ref)
And yet in spite of the clear opposition and condemnation of the vast majority of nations and of the people of the world, even of our "faith leaders", the nuclear weapons states, most particularly the US and Russia, are embarked on a "modernizing" production binge of new doomsday machines. This indeed can only be described as indefensible. Which of our 'leaders' will have the courage to lead the way in stopping this insanity?
For immediate release, October 28, 2016 Watchdogs Call For New Environmental Impact Study For Nuclear Bomb Plant Citing Worker Safety And Public Risks, New Seismic Information
"The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and Nuclear Watch New Mexico today released a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz calling for a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Y-12 is a manufacturing plant that produces the thermonuclear cores (secondaries) for US nuclear warheads and bombs.
"The letter rejects the analysis prepared by the National Nuclear Security Administration and the subsequent Amended Record of Decision released in August 2016 in which the NNSA gave itself the green light to proceed with construction of the Uranium Processing Facility, a bomb plant originally intended to replace aging facilities."
Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico Director, commented: "The Uranium Processing Facility is the tip-of-the-spear for the trillion dollar "modernization" of U.S. nuclear forces that will fleece the American taxpayer. It will enrich the usual fat cat defense contractors by keeping nuclear weapons forever while rebuilding them to give them new military capabilities. The public has the legal right to review planned changes to the deeply troubled Uranium Processing facility, which we seek to enforce."
Read full press release (PDF) /
See letter to Sec. Moniz (PDF)
Marshall Islands Lawsuit rejected by Hague Court
The 16 judges were deadlocked 8-8; court president Ronny Abraham cast the tie-breaking vote for rejection of the case on a jurisdictional issue. (ref)Abraham acknowledged that the Marshall Islands has a particular interest in nuclear disarmament "by virtue of the suffering of its people" during years of testing at Bikini and Enewetak atolls between 1946 and 1958.
But he said the country had not proved that an actual dispute existed between itself and nuclear-armed states when it filed its case.
"We are extremely disappointed," said Phon van den Biesen, the Dutch lawyer who led the Marshall Islands team. "The court is very divided and turned down the case on a 'microformality'".
The hearings in the case focused only on the matter of jurisdiction. With its decision on Wednesday, the court will not consider the merits of the case presented by the Marshall Islands, and there can be no appeal. (ref) / (see our Marshall Islands lawsuit dossier)
The Marshall Islands decision came against a backdrop of increasing momentum in international efforts to reduce the nuclear danger:
Security Council urges all to ratify Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
23 September 2016. "Reaffirming that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, threatens international peace and security, the United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution urging all States who haven't done so to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty".
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of CTBTO: "A world free of nuclear of weapons goes by stopping testing too, and then taking steps that will reinforce the agreements that are already here, and then leading us towards what we all want: a world free of nuclear weapons; a world free of any attempt of modernization that some are talking about today." (ref)
Success With Movement to Ban at the UN:
September 22, 2016.
Austria's foreign minister, Sebastian Kurz, announced his country would join other UN member states in tabling a resolution next month to convene negotiations on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons in 2017.
The Austrian-sponsored resolution would take forward this recommendation by establishing a formal mandate for negotiations. The deadline for tabling the resolution in the General Assembly's First Committee, which deals with disarmament matters, is 13 October.
Following the tabling, nations will debate the resolution, then vote on whether to adopt it in the final week of October or first week of November. A second, confirmatory vote will take place in a plenary session of the General Assembly early in December.
Myanmar said on Monday 10/10: "Many in the room have expressed that nuclear weapons must be banned like other WMDs. They must be outlawed, in all aspects, as an interim measure leading to their total elimination."
Meanwhile, as relations with Moscow continue to deteriorate...
Russia has pulled out of the troubled MOX project
Citing "the threat to strategic stability posed by US hostile actions against Russia". (ref)
Russia's Lavrov: MOX pact exit is a signal to Washington that: "speaking in the language of sanctions & ultimatums won't work" (ref)
The Russian Non-Proliferation Department's official reason: US did not officially inform on planned change of PU disposal method (from MOX plant to WIPP disposal) as required in 2000 pact. (ref) MOX- a good idea gone bad.
WIPP Pu plans will go on even if Russia quits plutonium deal
The Albuquerque Journal reports: "At Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, the breakdown in the bilateral agreement may deal a decisive blow to already deteriorated relationships between scientists at New Mexico's national laboratories and their Russian counterparts, who had been working together to iron out the technical aspects of plutonium disposition under the deal, according to Don Hancock with the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque."
Ed Lyman of Union of Concerned Scientists said "Even until last week, the U.S. was optimistic that this was one area that Russia and the U.S. could cooperate." (ref)
But WIPP has its own problems
Part of a ceiling at WIPP just collapsed- the 2nd time it's happened in a week. (ref)
Anyway, WIPP is still closed following the February 2014 explosion of a waste barrel and an ensuing radiation leak. DOE has been saying since February WIPP would open by the end of the year; now DOE is saying 'in the month of December'. (By Christmas?) (ref)
What about Deep Borehole? Not yet.
The first step, a deep borehole test drill, was rejected by communities in both North and South Dakota.
(ref)Science notes local "fears that the project would open the county up to a future as a disposal site, or that drilling could go awry and pollute aquifers..."
Speaking of polluting aquifers...
Nukewatch has received the Santa Fe Mayor's Sustainability Award in the category of Environment
for it's work to protect Northern New Mexico aquifers from radioactive wastes dumped over the last 70 years of atomic bomb production at Los Alamos Lab. See more on our LANL cleanup page...
For immediate release, September 21, 2016 New Mexican Politicians Should Not Be Misled-
Energy Dept. Misrepresents Cost and Scope of Los Alamos Cleanup
"...The DOE report is far from honest. It intentionally omits any mention of approximately 150,000 cubic meters of poorly characterized radioactive and toxic wastes just at Area G alone (LANL's largest waste dump), an amount of wastes 30 times larger than DOE acknowledges in the 2016 Lifecycle Cost Estimate. In reality, DOE and LANL plan to not clean up Area G, instead installing an "engineered cover" and leaving the wastes permanently buried. This will create a permanent nuclear waste dump above the regional groundwater aquifer, three miles uphill from the Rio Grande. Radioactive and toxic wastes are buried directly in the ground without liners, and migration of plutonium has been detected 200 feet below Area G's surface..."
(read full press release PDF)
- Sept 21, Albuquerque Journal:
Nuke Watch: Lab cleanup report understates costs, waste amounts at Los Alamos
- More on this issue: LANL Cleanup
UN OEWG concludes with major breakthrough in effort to ban nuclear weapons
In the most contentious of three recommendations to the General Assembly,
62 countries declared their support for:
"The convening by the General Assembly of a conference in 2017 open to all states, international organizations, and civil society, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading towards their total elimination."
(Of the 27 opposed, most were NATO countries, with Australia and South Korea - countries under the US 'nuclear umbrella')
"This breakthrough is result of the new global discourse on nuclear weapons. Since Norway hosted the first conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2013, the effect of the weapons on humans and the environment has taken center stage. Three conferences were held on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (Norway, Mexico, Austria). These brought together governments, academia and civil society for fact-based examination of what the weapons can do- and what can be done to mitigate their effect. The conferences found that there is no way to recover from any use of nuclear weapons in populated areas, and no way to prevent the damage from crossing borders..."
"International treaties exist to prohibit all other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) as well as to outlaw other weapons with indiscriminate effects (anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs). The fact that nuclear weapons are not clearly illegal is simply bizarre.
"No weapon has ever been eliminated before it was made illegal, and nuclear weapons are no exception. A ban would not only make it illegal for nations to use or possess nuclear weapons; it would also help pave the way to their complete elimination. Nations committed to reaching the goal of abolition have shown that they are ready to start negotiations in 2017."
- (read more of ICAN's coverage)
- Susi Snyder (PAX-Netherlands) Op-Ed in Huffington Post
- Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will- Editorial
- UN Tribune : UN Votes to Begin Negotiations on a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons
For immediate release August 10, 2016: NNSA Set to Approve New Facilities for Expanded Plutonium Pit Production Without Credible Plans and Required Public Review
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the Department of Energy, which has the singular distinction of being the only federal department on the GAO's High Risk List for wasting taxpayer dollars for 25 consecutive years. LANL is NNSA's so-called "Plutonium Center of Excellence" and the nation's only site for pit production, but major operations at PF-4, its main plutonium facility, have been stopped since June 2013 because of nuclear criticality safety concerns. In addition, there is no place for LANL to send its radioactive transuranic wastes from plutonium pit production since one of its waste drums ruptured at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February 2014 and indefinitely closed that multi-billion facility.
Despite all this, funding for NNSA's nuclear weapons research and production programs is being increased to nearly double the Cold War's historic average, while nonproliferation, warhead dismantlement and cleanup programs are being cut or held flat...
August 12, Albuquerque Journal: LANL Plutonium Project Called 'a House of Cards'
"Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said the GAO report reveals the CMMR project to be 'a house of cards.'" (more)
Meanwhile, there are, for those who listen for such things, worries and rumors of war- in Europe,East Asia, South Asia... Particularly concerning are the growing military tensions between US-NATO and Russia, our equal partner in planetary destructive capability, each of us having thousands of warheads aimed at each other. To those who say it's not the time to reduce our nuclear forces, we say it is exactly the time to do it, before they end up being used, to our everlasting regret. We should have done more long ago; it's not too late to do it now.
Could a nuclear war really break out somewhere? How would that happen? Above is a BBC production which takes a look at that question, made earlier this year, after Turkish forces shot down the Russian jet.
NYTimes August Book Review:
Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age
By Dan Zak, reviewed by Kai Bird
"Zak's narrative is a perfectly measured blend of biography, suspense and history. He skillfully uses the small, finite story of the Y-12 protest [the break-in 4 years ago by Sister Rice and friends] to explore our national identity as a people whose culture is now intimately connected with things nuclear. Our bomb culture has not come cheap; the environmental costs have been devastating for many communities. And even though scores of governments- but not our own- are on record supporting a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons, Zak shows this is still an outlier dream. He quotes a United States admiral intoning: 'I don't see us being nuclear-free in my lifetime. Or in yours.'
"We are stuck with Armageddon in our dreams. And in the meantime the Sister Megans of our bomb culture will no doubt try again and again to cry out against our complacency. But truly, it seems hopeless. As Billy Pilgrim laments repeatedly in Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-Five', 'So it goes.'"
(more at NYTimes)
Turkey Failed Coup: What About Those Nuclear Weapons Stored at Incirlik?
Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists: "The security situation in Turkey and in the base area no longer meet the safety requirements that the United States should have for storage of nuclear weapons. You only get so many warnings before something goes terribly wrong. It's time to withdraw the weapons." (more: see our Turkey coup file)
Press release May 17, 2016. (See all updates here: Cleanup Lawsuit) Nuclear Watch NM Files Lawsuit Over Lack of Cleanup at the Los Alamos Lab
Santa Fe, NM. Nuclear Watch New Mexico has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security LLC (LANS), the for-profit operator of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, over their failure to meet cleanup milestones under a 2005 "Consent Order" they agreed to with the New Mexico Environment Department. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is representing NukeWatch in this legal action to enforce cleanup at LANL.
The suit claims twelve violations, each ranging up to 675 days, with a civil penalty up to $37,500 for each day of violation. Our current cost estimate of the alleged violations approaches 300 million dollars and counting.
Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch Executive Director, commented, "The federal government plans to spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years completely rebuilding U.S. nuclear forces. Meanwhile, cleanup at the Los Alamos Lab, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, continues to be delayed, delayed, delayed. We seek to make the for-profit nuclear weaponeers cleanup their radioactive and toxic mess first before making another one for a nuclear weapons stockpile that is already bloated far beyond what we need. Real cleanup would be a win-win for New Mexicans, permanently protecting our water and environment while creating hundreds of high paying jobs."
(view/download full press release PDF)
Urgent Appeal- Funding Gap Looms
Friends of NukeWatch, we are facing an-end-of-year funding gap. We urgently need to raise enough funds to carry us to the beginning of February, after which we should be good for the rest of 2017. Perhaps you've thought about contributing to support our work; well, this is a good time to do that. Thanks for your support!
Remember, contributions are tax-deductible!
NukeWatch gets a Santa Fe Mayor's Award
In addition to our work toward limiting and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons, NukeWatch also works to protect Northern New Mexico aquifers from the radioactive wastes dumped over the last 70 years of atomic bomb production at Los Alamos Lab. This week, Nukewatch was given the Santa Fe Mayor's Sustainability Award in the category of Environment for that work. (more) Above: Scott Kovac, Jay Coghlin, Mayor Javier Gonzales
NukeWatch v. DOE, LANS
See all docs related to the ongoing Nuclear Watch lawsuit against DOE and LANS (the corporate management of Los Alamos Lab), over multiple missed deadlines and failures to execute cleanup of radioactive wastes at the Los Alamos site: Cleanup Lawsuit.
December 5, 2016, Santa Fe, NM: The Nuclear Road Ahead: Challenges For President Trump
12pm-2pm, Board Room (#223), Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe World Affairs Forum invites you to Jjoin James Doyle, Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialist, Jesse Guillen, Founder, Santa Fe Chapter Global Zero, Cheryl Rolfer, Former President of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security, and Arvid Lundy, Nuclear Export Controls Specialist, and SFWAF Vice President, for a lunch and discussion. (more info)
Ongoing since Oct 4, 2016: Online Course From William Perry:
Living at the Nuclear Brink: Yesterday & Today
"Because most people do not understand just how serious these dangers are today, their governments are not taking adequate preventive actions: actions that are readily achievable. And so, we are drifting towards a nuclear catastrophe. This is why I have dedicated the balance of my life to educate the public about these dangers, and this is the reason I have created this course." (sign up here)
Now through Dec. 5, 2016: DOE wants to build an outdoor nuclear waste storage site at WIPP.
There's a lot wrong with this request-*see our brief*
Send your comments to New Mexico Enviro. Dept. before Dec 5:
Ricardo Maestas, NMED,
2905 Rodeo Park Drive, Building 1, Santa Fe, NM 87505
- Nuclear Calendar: Free subscription to this extensive email listing of all nuclear-related events, from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
Atomic City, USA:
how once-secret Los Alamos became a millionaire's enclave
Nov.1, 2016. "Home to the scientists who built the nuclear bomb, the company town of Los Alamos, New Mexico is today one of the richest in the country- even as toxic waste threatens its residents and neighboring Española struggles with poverty."
A special "cities" report from The Guardian.
Alliance For Nuclear Accountability Report Out-of-control U.S. nuclear weapons programs accelerate spending, proliferation, health and safety risks: The Trillion Dollar Trainwreck (PDF)
Nobel Obama's Nuke Pledge Reversed
From the same president who in 2009 called for a world free of nuclear weapons and promised to reduce their role in U.S. national security strategy:
A plan to spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on nuclear weapons.
Specifically, on 12 new nuclear-armed submarines, 100 new strategic bombers, 400 new intercontinental nuclear missiles, 1000 new nuclear-capable cruise missiles, hundreds of upgraded and improved nuclear bombs and warheads, and major additions and upgrades to all parts of the US nuclear weapons complex. See our nuclear modernization page for more on this.
What Putin Wants
Alexei Arbatov details the basis for an understanding between the US and Russia from Putin's perspective; this event organized and hosted by the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies on May 13, 2016.
Dr. James Doyle is an independent nuclear security specialist supported by the Ploughshares Fund and a non-resident associate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Dr. Doyle also serves on Nuclear Watch New Mexico's steering committee.
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"- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for
Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11
Current nuclear stockpiles- for country reports and other details see original annotated infographic at Ploughshares.org.
Beyond the Summit:
New Approaches to Nuclear Security William Perry: "Danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than during the Cold War. Our public is blissfully unaware.
Consequently, the policies that this country follows are in no way commensurate to the danger."
"As the prospect of having either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton alone with their finger on the proverbial nuclear "red button" solidifies, we are learning that the most profound effect of nuclear deterrence is that it requires all of us to make ourselves constantly available for self-sacrifice at the whims of often flawed and irrational leaders."
- James Doyle, Fingers Off the Red Button, US News and World Report, Nov. 8, 2016
"One has to be irrationally optimistic to believe that we can keep these weapons in fallible human hands indefinitely and something terrible will not happen. We can and must steadily reduce the risk of nuclear explosions by accident, miscalculation or madness before it is too late."
Joseph Cirincione, testifying before the Democratic Platform Committee, June, 2016
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"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 (ref)
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.