Nuclear Watch New Mexico

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.

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

Banner displaying “Nuclear Weapons Are Now Illegal” at the entrance in front of the Los Alamos National Lab to celebrate the Entry Into Force of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty on January 22, 2021

Follow the Money!

Nuclear Watch Analysis of NNSA FY 2022 Budget Request

LANL FY 2022 Budget Request – VIEW

Sandia FY 2022 Budget Request – VIEW

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.

Nuclear Watch Interactive Map – U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan and and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev shake hands after signing the arms control agreement banning the use of intermediate-range nuclear missles, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Reduction Treaty.

Waste Lands: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Legacy

The Wall St. Journal has compiled a searchable database of contaminated sites across the US. (view)
Related WSJ report: https://www.wsj.com

Recent Blog Posts

The W93 Warhead and Other Future New-Design Nuclear Weapons: Funding and Schedules

The W93 warhead is a proposed new-design submarine-launched nuclear weapon for the Navy. Its need is not clear given that the Navy’s W76 warhead recently completed a major “Life Extension Program” that extended its service life by at least 30 years and increased its accuracy through a new arming, fuzing and firing set. The Navy’s other sublaunched warhead, the W88, is entering a major “Alteration” which will refresh its conventional high explosives and give it a new arming, fuzing and firing set (presumably increasing its accuracy as well).

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What’s the Current Status of U.S. and Russian Nuclear Weapons? How Many Exist and Just How Powerful Are They?

The interest in this question has gone up immensely over the past 50 days, since Russia first invaded Ukraine on February 24, and since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country’s nuclear forces had been placed on “high alert” just a few days later on the 27th.

In 1986, there were 70,000 nuclear weapons on the planet—an entirely terrifying number. Nuclear weapons analysts estimate that the world’s nine nuclear states—China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—have around 13,000 nuclear warheads in total today (Arms Control Association). That build-down started when U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, agreed under the INF Treaty on the Soviet Union destroying 889 of its intermediate-range missiles and 957 shorter-range missiles, and the U.S. destroying 677 and 169 respectively (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists).

 What are the specifics of where the remaining nuclear weapons possessed by the U.S. and Russia are located? How powerful are they, and, most relevantly, what is the readiness levels of these weapons to launch?

This graphic from Hans Kristensen at the Federation of American Scientists shows the locations of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Storage Sites in Europe, where there are currently an estimated 100 US Air Force nuclear bombs stored.

HOW MANY WEAPONS IN THE UNITED STATES?

  • WHAT ARE THE LIMITS? On April 8, 2010, the United States and Russia signed New START, a legally binding, verifiable agreement that limits each side to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 700 strategic delivery systems (ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers) and limits deployed and nondeployed launchers to 800 (Arms Control Association).
  • WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL NUMBERS? At the beginning of 2021, the U.S. maintained an estimated stockpile of approximately 3,800 nuclear warheads for delivery by 800 ballistic missiles and aircraft (Arms Control Association).

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Millennials Memeing Nuclear War

It seems like my generation has never before experienced this much nuclear fear. And what do we do with it? Laugh any way we can, for one. Putin has threatened the use of nuclear weapons by increasing Russia’s nuclear forces alertness levels and stating in a national address, “…For those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside, No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history.”

Nuclear simulations have come close to capturing the extra-short attention spans of millennials and gen-z, but there’s never been anything like the current real time situation that has ever put this much attention on the reality of the threat of nuclear weapons. And of course the only recourse for a heavy dose of reality is a flood of relevant comedy.

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How are we Back Here…? Reflecting on the History of Nuclear Close Calls as Putin’s Threat Reignites Cold War Fears of Nuclear War

“Sadly, we are treading back through old historical patterns that we said that we would never permit to happen again,”

Fiona Hill, Former Senior Director for Europe and Russia at the United States National Security Council, in an interview with POLITICO, today, February 28, 2022: ‘Yes, He Would’: Fiona Hill on Putin and Nukes

By

A nuclear “close call” is usually defined as an incident that could have led to at least one unintended, mistaken, or unauthorized nuclear detonation or missile launch.

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President Biden Should Let His Faith Guide Him Toward Nuclear Disarmament

Did you see what the Santa Fe Archbishop wrote in the very heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex?

With this pending Nuclear Posture Review, President Biden has the opportunity to show his moral leadership. I know he is capable. After all, much of what is needed is only to turn his own past words into new policy—and to reject today’s fearful status quo, embracing a new path that we can all live with.

Read the entire article here and see the picture.

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New & Updated

To Prevent Nuclear Annihilation, Resume Negotiations Immediately

The war in Ukraine shows the urgency of nuclear arms control
“It is either the end of nuclear weapons, or the end of us,” wrote 16 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in an open letter in March that has since been signed by more than a million people.

BY SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN EDITORS | scientificamerican.com

“Bomb versus Metropolis” Principal Investigator/Project: Analog Conversion Project

Decades after the end of the cold war and mere months after the U.S., Russia and other members of the United Nations Security Council agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the specter of nuclear apocalypse again looms over humankind.

Western powers contemplating intervention in the war in Ukraine “must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history,” President Vladimir Putin warned in a not so veiled threat of nuclear retaliation on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine. Days later he raised the alert levels of Russian nuclear forces.

Local 12 Investigation tracks down source of Russian radioactive shipments to Ohio

“Around PORTS, plutonium, and plutonium isotopes, which are far more dangerous than uranium, are now being picked up government air monitors. An independent study by Dr. Michael Ketterer at Northern Arizona University confirmed plutonium isotopes were found in river sediment and in dust collected from homes surrounding the Southern Ohio facility.

When Nadezda learned that information, she was stunned to learn America would accept anything from Mayak…”

BY DUANE POHLMAN WKRC | local12.com

MAYAK AND THE CLOSED CITY

With a simple phrase typed in the search bar of Google Earth, a massive nuclear complex in Russia’s Ural Mountains comes into full view.

From the beginning, the Mayak Production Association – or simply, “Mayak,” played a critical role in providing plutonium for the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal.

For more than four decades it was on the front lines of the atomic efforts in Russia, while very little was known about this once-secret facility.

Nadezda Kutepova grew up in the shadow of Mayak in Ozersk, a city as secret as the plant itself.

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New Mexico: Work for Peace, Not Nuclear Weapons

 “Let’s try to imagine what $9.4 billion could do for New Mexicans in one year: hire hundreds of new teachers, help protect us against increasing wildfire threats, secure precious water resources, provide medical care for the poor, and clean up contamination from past nuclear weapons production. Instead, it is going to nuclear weapons forever, even as the chances of potential nuclear war are increasing and we already have global overkill many times over.”

New Mexico: Work for Peace Not Nuclear Weapons

BY “MY VIEW” SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN | santafenewmexiacn.com

I was stunned to read in a recent article (“LANL would get over $1B bump in proposed budget,” April 20) that Los Alamos National Lab would get more than a $1 billion increase in its proposed budget, ensuring the Department of Energy’s fiscal year 2023 spending in the Land of Enchantment would exceed New Mexico’s entire state budget by nearly a billion dollars ($9.4 billion vs. $8.5 billion).

Out of that, over 70 percent would go for programs that seek to indefinitely preserve existing nuclear weapons and build new plutonium “pit” bomb cores for new-design nuclear weapons. Further, much of the remaining money supports those nuclear weapons programs, such as $450 million for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the dump for future radioactive wastes from expanded pit production.

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As Finland Nears NATO, Russia Flags ‘Full-Fledged Nuclear War’ Risk

Russia has railed against NATO expansion towards its borders and used the presence of the alliance near its borders as one of the justifications for its invasion of Ukraine.

BY | newsweek.com

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned of the risk of “open conflict” between Moscow and NATO, which could escalate into a nuclear war, just as Finland announced plans to join the alliance.

Although he did not mention Russia’s neighbor by name, Medvedev, who is the deputy chairman of his country’s Security Council, raised the threat of nuclear war in a Telegram post which was published less than an hour after Helsinki announced its NATO intentions.

The Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday that, following Finland’s move, it will be “forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature to stop the threats to its national security,” RIA Novosti reported.

Earlier, Medvedev had described how there was “endless talk by foreign analysts about NATO’s war with Russia,” which in his view was “becoming more and more forthright.”

State Announces Cleanup For Contaminated Nuclear Site, Which Advocates Call ‘A Back Room Deal’

“They make it sound like they’re helping us and protecting our children and they’re doing the opposite,” said Melissa Bumstead of West Hills, founder of Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab.

Bumstead’s daughter Gracie developed a rare cancer at age four. “This agreement is going backwards. It’s putting our kids at risk, we’re not safer,” says Bumstead.

BY Joel Grover and Josh Davis | nbclosangeles.com

In a statement to the I-Team, Boeing said the agreement “provides a clear, accelerated path forward” for the cleanup of SSFL, and calls it “a win for California.”

The state on Monday announced an agreement with the Boeing Corporation to clean up a large part of one of California’s most contaminated sites--the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL)--located in the hills above the San Fernando and Simi Valleys.

In a 2015 investigation called “LA’s Nuclear Secret,” the NBC4 I-Team exposed how radioactive and chemical contamination from the Field Lab was spilling into nearby neighborhoods, where there were dozens of childhood cancer cases.

SSFL was the site of a 1959 partial nuclear meltdown and then decades of rocket tests, all of which left a stew of radioactive and toxic chemicals in the ground. Boeing now owns the majority of SSFL.

Safety questions arise as Los Alamos National Laboratory pursues pit production

But a watchdog group argued Los Alamos lab adopting a higher radiation limit for workers than other labs is to create more leeway when it ramps up plutonium pit production.

 | May 6, 2022 santafenewmexican.com

“The collective worker doses would probably go up once they start actual manufacturing,” said Scott Kovac, research and operations director for the nonprofit Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

Jay Coghlan, the executive director for Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said the agency in charge of nuclear security is pushing the lab to crank up pit production, yet it won’t install what’s known as a “safety class active confinement system” that would prevent a heavy radioactive release during an earthquake, catastrophic fire or a serious accident.

“This is a longstanding recommendation that Los Alamos [lab] and NNSA refuse to honor while continually downplaying the risk of expanded pit production,” Coghlan said.

Los Alamos National Laboratory allows workers to have a higher yearly radiation exposure than other national labs do and has not followed a longtime recommendation by safety officials to install a ventilation system in its plutonium facility they say would better protect workers and the public during a serious radioactive breach, according to a recent government watchdog’s recent report.

The report, some critics contend [see our quotes above], is of concern as the lab pursues production of nuclear bomb cores, or pits, at nearly triple the yearly amount it has ever made before.

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BBC REEL | Broken Arrows: The accidents that could end the world

On January 23rd, just three days after John. F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural speech as the 35th President of the United States, one little known event could have changed American history in the most catastrophic way imaginable.

| bbc.com

A refuelling accident caused a B-52 bomber to break apart above a farm in Goldsboro, North Carolina, causing two 3.8 megaton nuclear bombs to plummet to the ground. Bar one small safety switch and a huge amount of luck, millions could have been killed. Accidents like this are known as ‘Broken Arrows’ and they have happened more than many people realise.

Video by Michal Bialozej
Narration by Dan John

Granholm Gets Senate Grilling on Hanford, Nuclear Waste Storage

Murray and Feinstein press DOE on waste cleanup, Secretary says agency will continue to make progress

By Daniel Moore | bloomberglaw.com

The Biden administration is under-funding the biggest U.S. nuclear cleanup site and moving too slowly in finding nuclear waste storage solutions, two Democratic senators told Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at a hearing Wednesday.

“Explain to us why the department proposes major increases for nuclear weapons and naval reactors but cuts cleanup sites like Hanford,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked Granholm during a testy exchange at the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The DOE’s request of about $2.5 billion for Washington state’s Hanford Site represents a cut of $172 million from current enacted levels, Murray said. About 56 million gallons of liquid waste …

$61 million in refunds for customers in SC nuclear debacle

Four executives of the utility or the company that was building the reactors have been indicted or have pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the failure.

© AP News | bloomberglaw.com

FILE - Construction is well underway for two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. on Monday, April 9, 2012. A South Carolina judge has approved a second round of refunds for customers of a utility that poured billions of dollars into two nuclear power plants that never produced a watt of power. About $61 million is being set aside for Dominion Energy South Carolina after the utility sold a number of properties as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit by 1.1 million of its customers over the never completed plants at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Columbia. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)
AP FILE – Construction is well underway for two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville, S.C. on Monday, April 9, 2012. A South Carolina judge has approved a second round of refunds for customers of a utility that poured billions of dollars into two nuclear power plants that never produced a watt of power. About $61 million is being set aside for Dominion Energy South Carolina after the utility sold a number of properties as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit by 1.1 million of its customers over the never completed plants at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Columbia. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina judge has approved a second round of refunds for customers of a utility that poured billions of dollars into two nuclear power plants that never produced a watt of power.

About $61 million is being set aside for Dominion Energy South Carolina after the utility sold a number of properties as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit by 1.1 million of its customers over the never completed plants at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Columbia.

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Eventually, our nuclear luck will run out

Putin might not use nukes. But someday, someone will.
“The war in Ukraine should, if nothing else, push us to take stock of the inhuman policies that keep total destruction a perpetual option. If we can’t act now, when the risk of the worst-case scenario has become horrifyingly real, will we ever act?

BY DAVID FARIS| April 28, 2022 theweek.com

As fears of escalation in Ukraine increase with every day of Russia’s deranged invasion, the specter of nuclear war spreads over the planet. Will Russian President Vladimir Putin authorize the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons, most of which are stronger than the nightmare devices dropped on Japan in 1945? The risk of annihilation remains low at any given moment, but the longer we allow states to threaten one another with this kind of eradication, the more likely it is we’ll eventually stumble into a catastrophic nuclear event. Maybe it won’t happen this year, this war, or this century. But in the long-term, in a world with nukes, nuclear war is inevitable.

Billions of Taxpayer Dollars to be Spent on Plutonium Pit Production – NNSA Chooses Speed Over Safety, Condones Potential Lethal Radioactive Doses to Public

Santa Fe, NM – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency with the Department of Energy, is no longer pursuing a safety class active confinement system at PF-4, the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s plutonium pit manufacturing facility. This is a long-running battle between the independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) and NNSA.

The Safety Board has strongly recommended active confinement systems since 2004, reporting that they “will continue to function during an accident, thereby ensuring that radioactive material is captured by filters before it can be released into the environment.” [i] However, a few years ago NNSA tried to kill the messenger by seriously restricting DNFSB access to NNSA nuclear facilities across the country.

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New Mexico: Number One in Nuclear Weapons and Radioactive Wastes Near Last in Citizen and Child Well-Being

Santa Fe, NM – According to budget documents just released by the Department of Energy, DOE facilities in New Mexico will receive $9.4 billion in FY 2023, substantially larger than the state’s entire operating budget of $8.5 billion. Seventy-one percent ($6.7 billion) will be for core nuclear weapons research and production programs under the DOE’s semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). That is 40.5% of the NNSA’s total nation-wide nuclear weapons budget of $16.5 billion. It is also double that of the next closest state, since the Land of Enchantment has two of the nation’s three nuclear weapons laboratories (the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories). Both of these Labs are within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, whose Archbishop John Wester has echoed Pope Francis’ call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

In contrast, the goal of NNSA programs in New Mexico is to indefinitely extend the service lives of existing nuclear weapons while giving them new military capabilities. This will be followed by completely new nuclear weapons that cannot be tested given the global testing moratorium. Alternatively, it could prompt the U.S. back into nuclear weapons testing, which would have serious international proliferation implications. NNSA’s claimed rationale is “deterrence” which requires only a few hundred nuclear weapons. In reality the U.S. and Russia each have thousands of ready-to-launch weapons for nuclear war-fighting that would result in global catastrophe, no longer so hypothetical since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Action Alerts

Night with the Experts May 26, 2022 6:00 PM MT, with author Kate Brown

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 6 pm MT; 8 pm ET for a very special Night with the Experts with noted MIT researcher and author Kate Brown, presented by the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS).  Kate Brown is author of the books Plutopia, Manual for Survival, and others.  She has done extensive research on the Chernobyl disaster, along the way destroying many of the corporate and governmental myths and sound bites used to minimize the extent of the damage done.  Bring your questions for discussion!  Invite others to attend, too.

ZOOM link for the event:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83055280771?pwd=MC80OG5EdTFKQVdjREZBdzFMbVpqdz09

Action Steps for the Planetary Nuclear Wake-Up Call

Credits to our colleague Joni Arends at Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety for this original post http://nuclearactive.org/

Last week we quoted Cynthia Lazaroff, founder of Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy, about the nuclear dangers in Ukraine and her call to come forward that “Our work is more important now than ever.”

This week we quote the call to come forward from Ralph Hutchison, Coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, to all those working for the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, that this is our time.

“People are hungry for knowledge and they are hungry for an answer. If we believe what we have been saying, that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the only pathway to disarmament, we need to be proclaiming that from the rooftops and in the streets, to the public, to the media, and to the politicians.  In that order. We should validate the legitimate fears of people who are feeling the nuclear threat—we don’t have to hype anything, we just have to tell the truth.”

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HELP US SUPPORT NEW MEXICO’S GOVERNOR IN ACTING TO STOP WIPP EXPANSION!

STOP “FOREVER WIPP!”

The Department of Energy is seeking to modify the nuclear waste permit for southeastern New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Dragging out WIPP’s operations decades past the original 20-year agreement violates the social contract made with New Mexicans. WIPP is being equipped to take the waste that will be generated from production of plutonium pits for nuclear warheads, and it was never supposed to do that. An expansion of WIPP will impact the entire country, not just residents of southeastern New Mexico.

View the videos below for more information, and, if you live in an area that may be endangered by these nuclear waste transportation risks, please consider making your own “This is My Neighborhood” video!

Background Information –  Problems with Nuclear Waste
Playlist: Problems with Nuclear Waste


Mixed Waste Landfill Facts

Mixed Waste Landfill Facts

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Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is a Moral Imperative

View Recording of the March 9th PDA CNM Community Gathering:

PDA CNM Community Gathering - March 9, 2022 - Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is a Moral Imperative

PDA CNM welcomed Archbishop John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, and our own executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Jay Coghlan, to speak at their March 9, 2022 monthly gathering: “[Archbishop Wester's] courage in speaking out against the proliferation of nuclear weapons inspires us at PDACNM to follow his example and continue the fight against this peril, especially given the threat of a possible imminent war between two nuclear powers.

Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, has worked successfully against radioactive incineration at the Los Alamos National Lab, and in Clean Air Act, Freedom of Information Act and National Environmental Policy Act lawsuits against the Department of Energy. He prompted a 2006 independent study that concluded plutonium pits last at least a century, refuting the NNSA’s assertion that we “need” new-design nuclear weapons and expanded plutonium pit production.”

Environment Department files complaint against U.S. Department of Energy to speed clean-up of legacy waste, terminate 2016 Consent Order at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Non-compliance with 2016 Consent Order causing unacceptable delays, threatening public health and the environment

Click above for more information on the entry into force of the Nuclear Ban Treaty

New Nuclear Media: Recent Books, Art, Film & More

BBC REEL | Broken Arrows: The accidents that could end the world

On January 23rd, just three days after John. F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural speech as the 35th President of the United States, one little known event could have changed American history in the most catastrophic way imaginable.

| bbc.com

A refuelling accident caused a B-52 bomber to break apart above a farm in Goldsboro, North Carolina, causing two 3.8 megaton nuclear bombs to plummet to the ground. Bar one small safety switch and a huge amount of luck, millions could have been killed. Accidents like this are known as ‘Broken Arrows’ and they have happened more than many people realise.

Video by Michal Bialozej
Narration by Dan John

Nuclear Colonialism in the Age of the Ban Treaty January 25, 2022

Nuclear Colonialism in the Age of the Ban Treaty January 25, 2022

The Affected Communities Working Group of the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative hosted a discussion marking the one-year anniversary of the entry into force of the nuclear ban treaty on January 25, 2022.

“…That’s how the NRC operates – they want to just run the script and get it done and they’ll answer all your questions “later.” So the next step for us is to go into higher court and see if we can at least get some attention drawn to the very fact that giving them a license is illegal.

The National Waste Policy Act does not allow private organizations to move commercial waste from commercial facilities.

So there’s that problem, and then of course we have to consider that they don’t have all our questions answered yet, like: Who owns the waste? Where is it going to go and who is going to own it? And on the transportation route who is going to own it? And when it gets to the site? There’s no telling, there’s no answer – we don’t know yet. So we have all these questions that haven’t been answered.”

“My question is: Will this #nuclearwaste ever leave? Part of NEPA says that these consolidated interim storage (CIS) sites are temporary. For how long? 30? 40? 50? 100 years? We have to be careful,”

– Rose Garnder with the Alliance for Environmental Strategies in Eunice, New Mexico

Art and “un-forgetting”: How to honor the atomic dead

“The hibakusha narrative has expanded over time to include victims beyond the city limits of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and as far away as the Navajo Nation, which still suffers the radiation effects of uranium mining; the Marshall Islands, where the United States conducted so many nuclear tests that, on average, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-size bombs was detonated every day for 12 years; Kazakhstan, where the Soviet Union tested its nuclear weapons for four decades; and other places around the world adversely affected by the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons.”

Noguchi himself considered the term hibakusha to include the victims of nuclear weapons worldwide; he changed the name of his proposed “Memorial to the Dead of Hiroshima” to the more inclusive “Memorial to the Atomic Dead.”

By Molly Hurley | November 26, 2021 thebulletin.org

As I eagerly await Spotify’s year-end report on my most-played songs of 2021, I wonder which ones will remind me of my summer in New York City—of off-pitch Karaoke Television with friends, or the distinct “popping” sound of a pigeon being run over by a taxi not more than two feet in front of me. Though I thrived amid the frenzied surprises of the city, I also found sudden moments of quiet solemnity while sketching inside the many art museums of the Big Apple. One of those museums was the Noguchi Museum, established in 1985 by its namesake Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American sculptor who is also well known for his landscape architecture and modern furniture designs such as the iconic Noguchi table.Continue reading

Past Nuclear News

Six B-21s in Production, Fuel Control Software Already Tested

The nuclear modernization effort, however, does face one potentially significant hurdle, particularly for missiles such as the GBSD and the Long Range Standoff Weapon: the production of plutonium “pits” that go in the center of nuclear warheads.

The National Nuclear Security Administration had set a goal of producing 30 pits per year by 2026 and 80 by 2030. But, “I think NNSA will readily admit they’re not going to make that requirement,” Wolfe said.

By Greg Hadley  airforcemag.com

The B-21 Raider continues to be a “model” program for the Air Force, with six of the new bombers currently in production and some of its software already validated through digital testing, a top general at Air Force Global Strike Command said Feb. 9.

Speaking at the 2022 Nuclear Deterrence Summit, Maj. Gen. Jason R. Armagost said the new stealth bomber will likely fly in 2022, echoing previous predictions by other Air Force officials.

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Nuclear fears mount as Ukraine crisis deepens

Officials and experts are warning that a Russian invasion could inadvertently trigger a nuclear exchange with the U.S.

By BRYAN BENDER January 28, 2022 POLITICO

 As Russian troops bear down on Ukraine and the United States prepares its own military buildup in Eastern Europe, concerns are growing across the ideological spectrum that the standoff could inadvertently escalate into the unthinkable: nuclear war.

President Joe Biden has insisted that he will not use American forces to directly defend Ukrainian territory against a possible Russian invasion. But that is no guarantee that the two sides won’t come to blows.