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.

Plutonium Sampling at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Cost of RECA Chart


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!

Map of “Nuclear New Mexico”

In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan 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:

New & Updated

ABQ JOURNAL – ‘The ultimate oxymoron:’ Downwinders and others congregate at church to remember impact of A-Bomb test

“So we got to do all we can to rid ourselves of this destructive power and that’s why people of faith are involved in this important matter.” Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester


“At first, I was thrilled. It was a vision. Then a few minutes afterward, I had gooseflesh all over me when I realized what this meant for the future of humanity” — American physicist I.I. Rabi on the detonation of the world’s first nuclear device at the Trinity Site. Tuesday marks the 79th anniversary of when the “Gadget” was detonated in the Jornada Del Muerto desert.

Scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer named the test Trinity, which has “got to be the ultimate oxymoron,” Archbishop of Santa Fe John Wester said during Sunday’s “From Reflection to Action: An Interfaith Remembrance of the Trinity Test” at St. John XXIII Catholic Community in Albuquerque Sunday. “The trinity and nuclear bombs have nothing to do with each other,” Wester said. “The trinity represents life and community and love and tolerance and respect for one another, and atomic weapons are the exact opposite of that.

Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester speaks at An Interfaith Remembrance of the Trinity Test at St. John XXIII Catholic Community on Sunday, July 14. JESSICA BACA/JOURNAL

Nuclear Weapons and Waste Issues in NM – July 14 Presentation

Which nation spends the most on nuclear weapons?

“Acceleration of spending on these inhumane and destructive weapons over the past five years is not improving global security but posing a global threat,” Alicia Sanders-Zakre, co-author of the report, said in a statement.

By Michael Loria, USA TODAY | June 26, 2024 

The world’s nine nuclear powers spent $91 billion on their nuclear arsenals in 2023, or nearly $3,000 per second, according to a new report by a global coalition of disarmament activists.

At the top of the list is the United States, which spent $51.5 billion – more than all of the other nations combined. That amounts to nearly $100,000 per minute aimed at developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles, new airplanes to drop bombs and new submarines, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) report.

The U.S. spent 18% more than it did last year, according to the report. The $7.8 billion increase in spending on nuclear weapons accounted for nearly 80% of the $10.7 billion increase in spending worldwide, according to ICAN. Other big spenders were China with $11.9 billion; Russia with $8.3 billion; and the United Kingdom with $8.1 billion. The increase in worldwide spending in 2023 is the greatest ICAN has recorded in a single year.

ICAN: Global nuclear weapons spending surges to $91.4 billion

In 2023, the nine nuclear-armed states spent a combined total of $91,393,404,739 on their arsenals – equivalent to $2,898 a second. ICAN’s latest report “Surge: 2023 Global nuclear weapons spending” shows $10.7 billion more was spent on nuclear weapons in 2023 than in 2022.

Read the report

Download the Executive Summary

 | June 17, 2024 

Who spent what on their nuclear arsenal in 2023?

In 2023 China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the UK and US spent a combined $91.4 billion on their nuclear arms, which breaks down to $173,884 per minute, or $2,898  a second.  The United States’ share of total spending, $51.5 billion, is more than all the other nuclear-armed countries put together and accounts for 80% of the increase in nuclear weapons spending in 2023. The next biggest spender was China which expended $11.8 billion with Russia spending the third largest amount at $8.3 billion. The United Kingdom’s spending was up significantly for the second year in a row with a 17% increase to $8.1 billion.

$387 billion in 5 years

“Surge” is the 5th edition of ICAN’s global nuclear weapons spending report. In the last 5 years, $387 billion has been spent on nuclear weapons, with the yearly spending increasing by 34% from $68.2 billion to $91.4 billion per year, as all nine nuclear-armed states  continue to modernise, and in some cases expand, their arsenals. Alicia Sanders-Zakre, co-author of the report [and NukeWatch’s summer 2019 intern] noted:

“The acceleration of spending on these inhumane and destructive weapons over the past five years is not improving global security but posing a global threat.”

Keeping a (Nuke)Watchful Eye on Consolidated Interim Storage: No High-Level Waste To New Mexico

If you follow news on nuclear waste, you know that the federal government is required by law to have a permanent disposal plan for our nation’s nuclear waste before engaging in temporary storage, or “consolidated interim storage” for commercial spent nuclear fuel. There are currently about 86,000 metric tons of this fuel in the U.S., stored on-site at operating or shutdown nuclear power plants in 33 states, an amount that continues to grow by about 2,000 metric tons a year (GAO). This is waste generated by nuclear power plants called ‘high-level radioactive waste’ (HLW), also known as ‘spent’ or ‘irradiated’ fuel. This waste contains plutonium, uranium, strontium, and cesium; it is most toxic and dangerous type of radioactive waste created by the nuclear industry and will be radioactive for millions of years.

Two private companies “Holtec” and “Interim Storage Partners” are proposing to build and operate facilities for HLW called “Consolidated Interim Storage Facilities (CISF)” in New Mexico and Texas. While federal law requires the government to have a permanent disposal solution, it does not explicitly prevent private entities from offering interim storage solutions. Enter money-gobbling Holtec and ISP.

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Does the U.S. Need “New” Nuclear Weapons?

Watch “McCuistion Perspectives Matter” TV programs – subscribe to the McCuistionTV YouTube channel.

Episodes can also be viewed at

Aired Sunday, June 23, at 11:30 AM on KERA, Channel 13, PBS Dallas

The film “Oppenheimer” and the saber-rattling from Russia and North Korea have increased interest in U.S. nuclear weapons.

Today, Russia, China, and the United States are each committed to robust and expensive nuclear modernization, programs. At the same time, long-standing arms control treaties have either been suspended, or canceled and negotiations to extend them have essentially been stalled.

Join host Jim Falk to discuss this issue along with:

Graphic showing Sarah Scoles's "Countdown" book cover on a red and yellow background.
Countdown book cover photo courtesy of

Sarah Scoles, a science journalist, and author of “Countdown: The Blinding Future of Nuclear Weapons.” Her articles have been published in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Popular Science, Scientific American, and others.

Jay Coghlan is president of Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Established in 1999, Nuclear Watch promotes safety and environment at nuclear facilities and diversification away from nuclear weapons programs.

Hans Kristensen is the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. He is the co-author of the Nuclear Notebook column in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, considered widely to be the most accurate source of information on nuclear weapons available to the public.

The economic and political questions surrounding the state of our nuclear stockpiles are among the best-kept national security secrets.

Certainly, aspects must remain under wraps, but given the enormous amount of money devoted to our nuclear arsenal, it seems appropriate for there to be more transparency.

Watch the episode to learn more about our U.S. nuclear program from experts who are very familiar with the current situation.



Save the Date: DOE Scheduled to Host Town Hall in Santa Fe on July 22, 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) Los Alamos Field Office is pleased to announce an upcoming Town Hall event. This event, hosted by the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and EM, will take place on Monday, July 22, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM MT at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort (30 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506) in the Pueblo Ballroom on the 2nd floor. Parking for the ballroom is available on the north side of the building.

The Town Hall will be led by NNSA’s Jill Hruby and EM’s Senior Advisor Candice Robertson. This gathering aims to engage with the community, provide updates, and address concerns related to the DOE’s activities and initiatives.

For additional questions regarding this event, please submit inquiries in advance to: [email protected].For more information, contact Elicia Williams, Public Affairs Support Specialist, at [email protected] or (505) 396-1289.

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New Nuclear Media: Art, Films, Books & More

“Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War” Explores Impact of US–Soviet Conflict

The nine-part doc examines how two global superpowers have irrevocably altered the course of history.

By Roxanne Fequiere, Netflix

While the the Cold War ended in 1991, even a casual appraisal of current headlines reveals that relations between the United States and Russia — the one-time center of the Soviet Union — remain tense, to say the least. The global repercussions of the Cold War continue to ripple through the current geopolitical landscape to this day, but it can be difficult to understand just how a mid-20th century struggle for ideological dominance continues to ensnare countless nations in ongoing unrest.

Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War, a nine-part documentary series from director Brian Knappenberger, provides a comprehensive appraisal of the events that led to the Cold War and traces the conflict around the world and through the decades.
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In Search of Resolution: New Documentary on Nuclear Dangers

The new documentary “In Search of Resolution,” examines the current state of international nuclear arms control and is the third film of The Nuclear World Project.

Filmed in 2022 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this timely documentary examines the continuing dangers posed by the existence of nuclear weapons. The program includes in-depth interviews with scholars, ambassadors, and leaders in the field to provide historical context, while international experts reflect on arms control measures, nuclear disarmament, and possible ways forward.

The film provides, among other things, an interesting inside look at the TPNW MSP1, the 2022 Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, and the 2022 NPT Review Conference.

Find out more and watch online here: