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Mark your calendar! Tuesday Sept. 25 at 7pm at CCA
A Salute to Whistleblowers
Date: Tuesday, September 25th
Time: 7-9 pm
Location: CCA Cinematheque
(1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe 87505)
Donation: No one will be turned away, but we encourage a suggested donation of $25 for a single admission. Please help support the critical work we do watchdogging the Los Alamos Lab.
And please feel free to make the donation before the event using our donate page
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
immediate release: Monday, August 27, 2018
Watchdog groups oppose DOE attempt to limit oversight, endanger safety at nuclear facilities
contacts: Kathy Crandall Robinson (Washington, DC): 202 577 9875
Joni Arends (New Mexico): 505 986 1973
Tom Carpenter (Washington state): 206 419 5829
Tom Clements (South Carolina): 803 834 3084
Jay Coghlan (New Mexico): 505 989 7342
Don Hancock (New Mexico): 505 262 1862
Ralph Hutchison (Tennessee): 865 776 5050
Marylia Kelley (California): 925 443 7148
Watchdog groups from across the nuclear weapons complex are pushing back against a new Department of Energy order that severely constrains the oversight capacity of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board [DNFSB] at an August 28 hearing in Washington, DC. Kathy Crandall Robinson will speak at the hearing.
Members of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a national network of organizations that addresses nuclear weapons production and waste cleanup issues, hail the work of the DNFSB as a critical guard against DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration efforts to cut corners on safety.
“The Safety Board works outside of the media spotlight,” said Tom Clements, Director of Savannah River Site Watch in Columbia, South Carolina. “Its value to the public is immeasurable. DNFSB frequently provides information about SRS operations which DOE fails to communicate. The role of the Safety Board should be expanded, not curtailed.”
Marylia Kelley, Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs in Livermore, California, said, “The DNFSB is absolutely vital to worker and public safety. I have spent 35 years monitoring Livermore Lab. I can tell you that workers and community members rely on the Safety Board to do its job—every day!”
DOE MUST RESTORE DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD ACCESS TO INFORMATION, NUCLEAR SECURITY FACILITIES, AND PERSONNEL
On May 14, 2018, the Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary approved DOE Order 140.1Interface with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board,which limits release of information, limits the DNFSB’s access to nuclear security sites, and personnel. The impacts are already being felt by Congress, the Board, DOE contractors and workers, and in communities located near some of the most dangerous nuclear facilities across the nation.
What you can do –
The Board is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, from 9 am to 12:30 pm Eastern Day- light Time. It will be live streamed and the link will be available on the day of the hearing.
Public comments will be accepted until September 28, 2018.
Summary The environmental risks posed by irradiated fuel are extreme: As observed by the U.S. Court of Appeals, it has “the capacity to outlast human civilization as we know it and the potential to devastate public health and the environment.” Nuclear Energy Inst., Inc. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 373...Continue reading
Summary New Mexicans should push their politicians to vigorously lobby for comprehensive cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Unlike nuclear weapons programs, cleanup would be a win-win that permanently protects the environment while creating hundreds of high paying jobs. Specifically, the New Mexico Environment Department should be...Continue reading
Critics: WIPP proposal would allow more nuclear waste storage
By Rebecca Moss | sfnewmexican.com
Sep 19, 2018 Updated Sep 19, 2018
As the public comment period closes Thursday on modifications to a state permit allowing the federal government to store nuclear waste at a southeastern New Mexico repository, critics are decrying the changes as an effort to increase storage capacity at the site and are accusing the state Environment Department of rushing the approval process.
The U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, a private contractor that manages the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, submitted a request early this year to change the way radioactive waste at the site is measured.
They want to measure the waste by the volume inside each waste drum rather than by the total number of containers at the site. WIPP can store a maximum of 6.2 million cubic feet of transuranic waste — discarded tools, soil and equipment contaminated by plutonium and other radioactive materials — in its underground salt-bed caverns. But its capacity has been measured so far by the total volume of the waste drums, not the materials held inside them.
Mini-nukes: Still a horrible and dangerous idea
By John Mecklin, September 19, 2018
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Perhaps the most dangerous weapons program the US government has recently pursued involves a low-yield nuclear warhead for submarine-launched nuclear missiles. The arguments against development of such “small nukes” are legion and overwhelmingly compelling. In fact, almost exactly one year ago, I laid out some of those arguments in an article headlined, “Mini-nukes: The attempted resurrection of a terrible idea.” And, I said then, don’t just take my word for it; read the analysis of Jim Doyle, a former longtime technical staffer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Simply put, the availability of “small” nuclear warheads increases the likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used, and any use of nuclear weapons easily could (some experts might say “inevitably would”) lead to general nuclear war and the end of civilization.
In the last year, however, the Trump administration released a Nuclear Posture Review calling for development of a low-yield warhead for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Congress subsequently passed a defense authorization act that includes money for the program, and another bill allocates millions in the Energy Department budget specifically for pursuit of the new warhead.
New Mexico Senators Speak Out Over Order They Say Would Hamper Nuclear Safety Board
They want Congress to suspend a move that would limit access to information about facilities and could hinder the panel’s ability to oversee worker health and safety.
by Rebecca Moss, Santa Fe New Mexican,
Aug. 31, 5 a.m. EDT
This article was produced in partnership with The Santa Fe New Mexican, which is a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.
New Mexico’s senators are asking Congress to block a Department of Energy order that would limit a federal board’s access to information about nuclear facilities and could hinder its ability to oversee worker health and safety.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the leaders of a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall also asked their colleagues to block impending staff cuts and a broad reorganization at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. New Mexico is home to three of the 14 nuclear facilities under the board’s jurisdiction: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
“We feel strongly that these two matters facing the [safety board] and its future must be suspended while Congress and the public have time to review and offer constructive feedback” on how to maintain and improve the board, the senators wrote to Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the chairman and ranking member of the energy and water development subcommittee.
Join us at the Board of County Commissioners of Santa Fe County
102 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
September 25, 2018 starting at 2pm
Support Santa Fe County Commissioner Anna Hansen’s efforts to protect NM from radioactive risks. She has two items in front of the Commission this Tuesday, September 25th.
We need your help!
First, Commissioner Hansen is looking to get approval on a letter to support the suspension of a new Department of Energy plan (DOE Order 140.1) that would limit independent Safety Board access to information about Los Alamos National Laboratory. She is requesting that lawmakers and the public have time to review and offer constructive feedback.”
The Defense Facilities Nuclear Safety Board was established in 1988 to provide additional oversight and transparency to the Department of Energy’s largely self-regulating nuclear complexes, which were plagued by contamination and negligent safety practices. The Board reviews incidents and near-misses, and it provides safety recommendations and advice to the energy secretary. But there have been efforts to hamper the board, and DOE Order 140.1 will restrict Safety Board access to over 300 nuclear weapons complex facilities across the nation.
Second, Commissioner Hansen is introducing a resolution to not allow transportation of high-level radioactive waste through Santa Fe County to any “interim” storage sites. There are plans the bring all the nation’s commercial reactor spent fuel rods to New Mexico for storage until a permanent geologic repository is built, which may be never. Until a permanent site is built and operating, which will be at least 40 years if ever, this lethal waste will be stranded in New Mexico.
Our concerns are agenda items VI.B.1 and VI.C.2, which should come up around 3pm.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Public Hearing
August 28, 2018 9:00am to 12:30pm
625 Indiana Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
On August 28, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) will hold a public hearing at its Washington, DC Headquarters. DNFSB’s goal is to gather information on:
(1) objectives of DOE Order 140.1, Interface with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board;
(2) DNFSB access to information, facilities, and personnel; and
(3) potential impacts to the DNFSB resident inspector program.
The public is invited to attend and participate in the public comment portion of the meeting. Individuals interested in speaking during the public comment period are encouraged to pre-register by submitting a request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or by telephone to the Office of the General Counsel at (202) 694–7000 or (800) 788-4016. Individuals may also submit written comments both prior to and at the hearing.
Documentation related to the public hearing is available below. Additional documentation will be posted as it becomes available.
Now Rescheduled, Bigger, Better, Later in the Month
– Join Us Sept 25!
We are so proud of the heroism of these Whistleblowers and are pleased that they have agreed to let us build this fundraising event to honor them.
We will begin the event with a reception and book signing at 7pm, then we will show the CBS show 48 hours featuring these Whistle Blowers. Finally, we will wrap up with a panel discussion. This is an exciting opportunity for you to hear their true and unedited stories!
Donation: While we encourage even more generous giving than these listed categories, please consider on of these gifts.
$25 single admission
$100 Host with 4 tickets
$500 Whistle Blower Wanna Be
$1000 Honorary Whistle Blower
Browse the WatchBlog
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“Together, let us demand an end to all nuclear tests and get on with the unfinished business of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.” –Message on the International Day against Nuclear Tests, July 2014...
“I am the only person who ever looked at all twelve thousand five hundred of our targets. And when I got through I was horrified. Deterrence was a formula for disaster. We escaped disaster by the grace of God. If you ask one person who has lived in this...Continue reading