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

Signs Calling for a Future of Peace Through a Reminder of the Past

Less than a week before the Christmas holiday, over 125 people came together at the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the afternoon of Sunday, December 19th to listen to Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe give a blessing to two “signs of peace” he unveiled on-site during a short ceremony. The signs were revealed to show an image of Pope Francis and a quote uttered by the pope in Hiroshima in 2020: “The possession of nuclear arms is immoral.” During the blessing, the Archbishop spoke on his memories of “those days during the Cuban missile crisis when I would walk home from school having been instructed what to do in the event of a nuclear attack within a few thousand yards of a nuke missile site in San Francisco,” before issuing a call for the world to rid itself its nuclear weapons.

“We need to be instruments of peace,” he said, especially as we head into the Christmas season, a “season of peace.”

Wester said that the current arms race “is more ominous” than any that came before. He touched on the growing tension around the Russia-Ukraine border in mentioning that there are at least “40 active conflicts in the world,” and said “our archdiocese needs to be facilitating, encouraging an ongoing conversation” about nuclear disarmament. This is especially true in light of the fact that two of the US’s three nuclear weapons laboratories are to be found in the dioceses of Sandia and Los Alamos, and on top of that there are more nuclear warheads in his dioceses from the 2,500-some count stored in reserve at the Kirtland Air Force Base at Albuquerque. All of this means that more money is spent in his dioceses than any other dioceses in the country and perhaps the world.

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Current U.S. Nuclear Weapons Issues: Monthly Update — December 15, 2021

FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act: The Bad News.

As Politico put it:

PROGRESSIVES’ PENTAGON POUNDING: … progressives barely put their stamp on Pentagon policy this go-round. Bipartisan provisions requiring women to register for the draft, cracking down on Saudi Arabia and imposing sanctions on Russia were nixed; legislation repealing outdated Iraq war authorizations fell by the wayside; reforms to the military justice system and efforts to combat extremism in the ranks were pared back; and a proposal to give Washington, D.C., control of its National Guard was dropped,” they wrote. Democrats hold power in the House, Senate and White House for the first time in more than a decade, yet the high-profile defense bill got more GOP votes than from Biden’s own party. As progressive lawmakers made their dissatisfaction with the bill’s high price tag clear, centrist Democrats knew they needed Republican support to pass the House and Senate.”

Progressives truly felt they had a historic chance to turn their priorities into policy, but the realities of a 50-50 Senate with no filibuster made that near impossible. And with midterms next year, it’s likely they missed their best chance.

Nuclear weapons: Congress added $500 million to Biden’s request for NNSA Total Weapons Activities, which was essentially Trump’s request to begin with. Trump’s Sea-Launched Cruise Missile and B83 (1.2 megatons) service life program were kept. $1.72 billion request for “Plutonium Modernization” authorized.

  • However, the NDAA is authorization, not appropriations. The 2nd Continuing Resolution runs until February after which the appropriators will have to come up with something. There’s a chance that the Sea-Launched Cruise Missile and B83 sustainment program could be shot down. While those would be notable victories, they really only amount to damage control (i.e., rolling back two of Trump’s pet projects) as the $1.7 trillion modernization beast lumbers on.

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Where to Store the Nation’s Nuclear Waste? No One Has the Answer, Exactly. But It’s Probably Not “In a High-Risk Seismic Zone.”

It seems obvious that “when assessing the aptitude of a site to receive a deep nuclear-waste repository, seismic activity should be taken into account.” (IAEA). At the moment, the only repository of this kind in the U.S. is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation’s main nuclear weapons waste storage site. WIPP lies a half mile underground in a salt formation in southeastern New Mexico. Additional nuclear waste storage facilities are planned to be built nearby, along the border between southeastern New Mexico and west Texas, where risks of quakes caused by oil and gas fracking operations in the area are rising.

“The occurrence of smaller earthquakes began to increase in 2017, when oil and gas boomed in the region, up to about three per day recently. In 2021, records show the region was on track for more than 1,200 earthquakes with magnitudes of 1 to 4.” KRQE

In New Mexico in July, a 4.0 temblor shook the southeast corner of the state. Meanwhile, just over the border on the Texas side, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a high-level waste facility, and Holtec International is trying to put their share of the nation’s commercial nuclear waste there as well, on the New Mexico side.. Holtec, with support from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, wants to build a nuclear waste storage facility for up to 100,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel rods 12 miles north of WIPP, a plan opposed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and others in state government.

 “All of these nuclear sites are surrounded by brine injection wells, the likely cause of the increased seismicity in the basin.” Source NM
Oil production and wastewater injection is increasing in the Permian Basin, the name of the large sedimentary basin located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico that contains the Mid-Continent Oil Field province, and isn’t slowing down soon. “Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have both made the Permian a key focus for next year…Chevron plans to spend $3 billion in the basin next year, 50% higher than this year’s budget and about a fifth of its global total.” Midland Reporter Telegram

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LANL Plans to Address Possibly Exploding Drums Shipped to Texas in 2014

Waste Control Specialists near Andrews TX
Aerial View of Waste Control Specialists (WCS) on the TX/NM state line

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has given itself a Categorical Exclusion (CX) under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the removal, relocation, and examination of transuranic (TRU) waste drums at Waste Control Specialists (WCS). These drums are similar to the ones that forced WIPP to close in 2014. LANL officials decided that formal environmental assessments, with public input, of the movement of the possibly exploding waste drums are not needed.

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Guest Blog: Associate Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Denise Duffield, on the Fight to Clean up California’s Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL)

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Tonight, MSNBC will air a powerful documentary called “In the Dark of the Valley” at 7 p.m. PST/ 10 p.m. EST. The film follows the story of Melissa Bumstead, a mother whose search for answers about her young daughter’s cancer leads her to the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket engine testing site near Los Angeles. I have been involved in the fight to clean up SSFL for 15 years, and PSR-LA has been involved for over 30 years. PSR-LA Board President Dr. Bob Dodge and I are featured in the film, along with our longtime ally Dan Hirsch, President of Committee to Bridge the Gap; generations of SSFL cleanup activists, and many others.

I urge you to watch the documentary tonight or record it to watch later. Not only is the film masterfully done and visually stunning, it manages to capture the heart of one of the longest and most intensely fought battles to clean up a contaminated site in the US. That’s a big deal.

I’m writing to you all today because as I reflect on the fight to cleanup SSFL — the struggles, the hard work, the heartache, the setbacks, the frustration, the power of the forces we’re up against, the greenwashing, the gaslighting,the personal sacrifices made by so many, the folks we’ve lost along the way — the fact that this film was made so well and is going to be broadcast nationally is more than a big deal. It’s a victory. And victories, especially in these troubled times, should be shared and savored. Particularly for those of you who don’t know as much about SSFL, understanding just how brutal SSFL cleanup advocacy is, and how amazing the community and cleanup advocates are, makes this film — this victory — even sweeter.

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Current U.S. Nuclear Weapons Issues Updates — November 15, 2021

The current Continuing Resolution keeping the government running expires 12/3. Another Continuing Resolution is likely.

The Pentagon has released a major threat assessment of China at https://media.defense.gov/2021/Nov/03/2002885874/-1/-1/0/2021-CMPR-FINAL.PDF.

Under “Nuclear Capabilities” it concludes:

► Over the next decade, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] aims to modernize, diversify, and expand its nuclear forces.
► The PRC is investing in, and expanding, the number of its land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms and constructing the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces.
► The PRC is also supporting this expansion by increasing its capacity to produce and separate plutonium by constructing fast breeder reactors and reprocessing facilities.
► The accelerating pace of the PRC’s nuclear expansion may enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. The PRC likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the DoD projected in 2020.
► The PRC has possibly already established a nascent “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and improvement of its ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities.
► New developments in 2020 further suggest that the PRC intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces by moving to a launch-on-warning (LOW) posture with an expanded silo-based force.

This is bound to have a major influence on Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review, to be released in early 2022. China’s expansion of its nuclear weapons capabilities, along with U.S. and Russian “modernization” programs, may also be big issues at the January 2022 NonProliferation Treaty Review Conference.

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An Environmental & Nuclear Disaster in LA’s Backyard: How Much Contamination Really Fell on Top of Communities from Thousand Oaks to Simi Valley from the Woolsey Fire?

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) is a 3,000 acre site sitting on top of the San Fernando and Simi Valleys in California, located less than 30 miles from Malibu. In 1947 the site was developed as a central location for U.S. rocket engine testing and space exploration, and in the 1950’s SSFL began experimenting with constructing nuclear reactors.

Ten nuclear reactors were built in total, and tens of thousands of rocket, energy, and weapons tests took place there from when the laboratory went into operation in 1947 until it’s closure in 2006. The rocket engine tests specifically produced numerous toxic spills and releases. The nuclear reactors built include a “Hot Lab” to “cut up irradiated reactor fuel from around the country,” “plutonium and uranium-carbide fuel fabrication facilities,” and a “sodium burn pit in which open-air burning of contaminated reactor components took place.” One of the reactors, the Sodium Reactor Experiment, experienced a partial nuclear meltdown in 1959, and two other reactors experienced accidents with fuel damage as well.

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Current U.S. Nuclear Weapons Issues Updates — October 15, 2021

Congress passed a continuing resolution that keeps the government running until December 3. It freezes funding at 2021 levels which at least prevents short-term budget increases for nuclear weapons modernization programs and has no “anomalies” (i.e. exceptions) for these programs. That said, Biden passed on most of Trump’s nuclear weapons excesses forward in his FY 2022 budget, so it’s not like it makes a whole lot of difference.

Mitch McConnell agreed to let the Democrats raise the national debt ceiling, thereby averting national and international economic disaster. How gracious of him.

Democrats and Republicans joined together to roll Biden on the money in the FY 2023 Defense Authorization Act for the entire military (including the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). These bipartisan porkmeisters added $23.9 billion for $768 billion in total defense spending. The new bogeyman China was repeatedly invoked as the rationale (in comparison China now spends around $250 billion annually on its military).
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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2021

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2021

Today, Sunday, September 26, 2021, marks the United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The United Nations has been working toward achieving global nuclear disarmament since the organization’s inception; it was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, with a mandate to make specific proposals for the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons has been observed annually since 2014, serving as a tool to enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. In 2013, the year the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was introduced, the President of the General Assembly noted that a “renewed international focus on the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons has led to a reinvigoration of international nuclear disarmament efforts.”

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This is OUR Neighborhood: Expanding the Capacity of New Mexico’s Nuclear Waste Repository Affects Communities across the Country.

This is OUR Neighborhood: Expanding the Capacity of New Mexico’s Nuclear Waste Repository Affects Communities across the Country.

The original mission of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico had two specific stipulations: it was to be the FIRST and only operating underground nuclear waste repository in U.S; and it is ONLY authorized to take a certain kind of nuclear weapons waste – legacy transuranic (TRU) waste. In December of last year, the U.S. Department of Energy published a notice of intent to expand WIPP. The notice details expansion of the plant in two ways: capacities and types of waste permissible, as well as extended storage/operation timelines. The federal government’s plans would expand the size of the nuclear weapons dump to more than twice its current size and more than is allowed: Federal law and legal agreements with New Mexico clearly limit the amount of waste at WIPP, but the expansion would allow more than that capacity (as described in the April 2020 National Academy of Sciences Report “Review of the Department of Energy’s Plans for Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.”) This means an increased volume of waste, as well as an increased number of shipments travelling to WIPP over the entire rest of the century.

The original complete set of legal permits, contracts and laws governing WIPP includes the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which 1) gives the New Mexico Environment Department regulation over the permit for DOE operation of WIPP and 2) limits amount of waste and how long WIPP operates (2024);

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New & Updated

How Martin Luther King, Jr.’s multifaceted view on human rights still inspires today

The legendary civil rights activist pushed to ban nuclear weapons, end the Vietnam War, and lift people out of poverty through labor unions and access to healthcare.

“It cannot be disputed that a full-scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic,” he told Ebony magazine in an interview. “The principal objective of all nations must be the total abolition of war.”

© National Geographic |  January 17, 2022

Legendary civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that peace and economic justice were critical to his fight for human rights. His tireless work advocating for the end of war and nuclear weapons and to lift Americans out of poverty continues to inspire activists today.
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. towers over history as a civil rights legend—known for leading the movement to end segregation and counter prejudice against Black Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, largely through peaceful protests. He helped pass landmark federal civil rights and voting rights legislation that outlawed segregation and enfranchised Americans who had been barred from the polls through intimidation and discriminatory state and local laws.But King knew it would take more to achieve true equality. And so he also worked tirelessly for education, wage equity, peace, housing, and to lift people out of poverty. Some of King’s most iconic speeches and marches were devoted to ending war, dismantling nuclear weapons, and bringing economic justice. As King said after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he believed that any “spiritual and moral lag” in humanity was due to racial injustice, poverty, and war.His multifaceted view on human rights still inspires today, and on the third Monday in January every year, the United States honors King’s legacy of fighting for equal rights—and standing up for human rights everywhere.Continue reading

The Time for Nuclear Disarmament is Now

“We need nuclear arms control, not an escalating nuclear arms race.”

| By santafenewmexican.com | January 15, 2022 

In September 2017, I traveled to Japan and visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was a somber, sobering experience as I realized that on Aug. 6, 1945, humanity crossed the line into the darkness of the nuclear age. Historically, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been part of a peace initiative, one that would help make sure these weapons would never be used again. I believe it is time to rejuvenate that peace work.

We need to sustain a serious conversation in New Mexico and across the nation about universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament. We can no longer deny or ignore the dangerous predicament we have created for ourselves with a new nuclear arms race, one that is arguably more dangerous than the past Cold War. In the face of increasing threats from Russia, China and elsewhere, I point out that a nuclear arms race is inherently self-perpetuating, a vicious spiral that prompts progressively destabilizing actions and reactions by all parties, including our own country.

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US Archbishop Warns of New Nuclear Arms Race

Archbishop of Santa Fe in New Mexico: [Nuclear] Armament a “diabolical spiral”

 | January 13, 2022 

Peace activists wearing Putin and Biden masks in front of the US Embassy in Berlin last year (AFP or licensors)

WASHINGTON, 01/13/2022 (KAP) The Catholic Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, John Wester, has issued a strong warning of a new nuclear arms race. “We need nuclear arms control, not an escalating nuclear arms race,” he says in a recent pastoral letter, according to the Catholic News Agency (KNA). Nuclear armament is a “diabolical spiral” that endangers everyone.

Wester’s diocese of New Mexico is particularly hard hit by nuclear armaments. Nuclear weapons are manufactured at Los Alamos and at Sandia National Laboratories. The US government stores nuclear weapons at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.

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Virtual Press Conference & Link to Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester’s New Pastoral Letter “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament”

Press Conference - Archbishop John C. Wester

Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace – A conversation toward nuclear disarmament

Archbishop John C. Wester’s live press conference to discuss his pastoral letter on the growing need for disarmament.


PASTORAL LETTER

Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament (full letter) PDF
Click here for the summary of Archbishop Wester’s letter (please note, it is a legal-sized document so please adjust your printer and paper accordingly).

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New Mexico Church Official Urges Nuclear Disarmament Talks

The head of one of the oldest Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. says now is the time to rejuvenate a global conversation about the need for nuclear disarmament and avoiding a new nuclear arms race.”

“We can no longer deny or ignore the extremely dangerous predicament of our human family and that we are in a new nuclear arms race far more dangerous than the first,” he said. “We need nuclear arms control, not an escalating nuclear arms race.”

© By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press | January 11, 2022 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of one of the oldest Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States says now is the time to rejuvenate and sustain a global conversation about the need for nuclear disarmament and how to develop ways to avoid a new nuclear arms race.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester released a lengthy pastoral letter on the subject Tuesday, noting during a virtual news conference that Los Alamos National Laboratory — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — is preparing to ramp up production of the plutonium cores used in the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Wester called the arms race a vicious spiral.

 

Archbishop of Santa Fe Issues Pastoral Letter in Support of TPNW

On 11 January 2022, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico circulated a letter in support of nuclear weapons abolition and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to all the parishes in his diocese.

ICAN Campaign News | January 11, 2022 

In the letter, Wester outlines the risks and consequences of the new nuclear arms race and highlights the unique role of New Mexico in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and of the Santa Fe diocese to support nuclear disarmament. He calls for an open dialogue on nuclear disarmament and redirecting resources from the nuclear arms race to peaceful objectives, like cleaning up nuclear contamination and addressing climate change.

New Mexico is at the heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, with two major nuclear weapons laboratories – the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories- located in the state and nearly 40% of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons budget allocated for work in New Mexico. It was also the site of the first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and has the largest repository of nuclear weapons in the country.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a “special responsibility” he states, to support the TPNW and to encourage its active implementation.

“It is the duty of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, to support that Treaty while working toward universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament,” Wester writes.

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Archbishop Wester to Release Pastoral Letter on Tuesday Calling for Nuclear Disarmament

Pax Christi USA paxchristiusa.org | January 10, 2021 

 NOTE: The following press release is from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe announcing a press conference on Tuesday, January 11th, where the Archbishop will discuss his pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament”. Pax Christi USA has eagerly anticipated the archbishop’s letter and we wanted to share the release with our membership who can watch the press conference at the link provided in the email. As we approach the 25th anniversary of our statement on the morality of nuclear deterrence, signed by 75 U.S. Catholic bishops in 1998, we welcome this extraordinary, prophetic letter and look forward to the conversation it generates within the U.S. Catholic Church, supporting Pope Francis’ statement at Hiroshima in 2019, “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral.”


ALBUQUERQUE – Monday, January 10, 2022 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Most Reverend John C.Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, will hold a press conference for accredited media to discuss is pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament” on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. MST via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83010373874?pwd=QTkvTkZpNDRlbDBiNWd3dU9IRnhWUT09). The press conference will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/kHS2C1wIBeQ.

Archbishop Wester will release his pastoral letter on the urgent need for nuclear disarmament and avoiding a new nuclear arms race. Pope Francis has made clear statements about the immorality of possessing nuclear weapons, moving the Church from past conditional acceptance of “deterrence” to the moral imperative of abolition. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a special role to play in advocating for nuclear disarmament given the presence of two nuclear weapons laboratories and the United States of America’s largest repository of warheads located within its boundaries. He therefore believes the archdiocese has a unique role to play in encouraging a future world free of nuclear weapons.

Archbishop Wester states, “The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a special responsibility not only to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but also to encourage its active implementation.” He goes on to “…invite us to have a conversation together about what it means to follow the risen, nonviolent Jesus who calls us to be peacemakers, put down the sword, and love everyone, even the enemies of our nation.”

Archbishop Wester’s pastoral letter has the support of four Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

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Una Introducción a Hanford

Una Introducción a Hanford

El Sitio Nuclear de Hanford es el lugar más contaminado de los EE. UU. ¿Le interesa saber por qué? Pues hay suerte, porque tenemos una presentación que explica este asunto y más. Haga clic para ver el video acerca de la historia y la limpieza del Sitio Nuclear de Hanford. Es una buena manera de aprender más sobre un lugar contaminado pero poco conocido en el estado de Washington. ¡Anímate a verlo!

Yucca Mountain remains in debate over nuclear waste storage

“I’ve always fought misguided efforts to deposit nuclear waste in Nevada, and I’ll keep working with the Nevada delegation to pass my consent-based siting bill that would ensure these dangerous materials are never dumped on our state,” – Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., a former state attorney general who also has fought federal efforts to build a repository at Yucca Mountain.

Santa Fe New Mexican / Gary Martin Las Vegas Review-Journal | January 1, 2021 

A contractor walks into the south portal of Yucca Mountain during a congressional tour near Mercury on Saturday, July 14, 2018. (Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Mounting opposition to proposed nuclear waste storage sites in Texas and New Mexico has kept Yucca Mountain in Nevada in the national debate over what to do with the growing stockpile of radioactive material scattered around the country.

The Biden administration is opposed to Yucca Mountain and announced plans this month to send waste to places where state, local and tribal governments agree to accept it. That stance is shared by Nevada elected officials, tribal leaders and business and environmental groups.

But until the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Act is changed by Congress, the proposed radioactive waste repository 90 miles north of Las Vegas remains the designated permanent storage site for spent fuel rods from commercial nuclear plants.

“That’s what worries me. Until you get a policy in place, it will always be something you have to watch,” U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

An expert on atomic testing and American politics, Titus as a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas wrote a 1986 book on Nevada’s nuclear past.

As an elected state and congressional lawmaker, she has opposed a permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain.

Titus introduced legislation in past sessions of Congress that adopts recommendations by a 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission under the Obama administration to send the waste to states that want it.

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Thank You For All Your Support This Past Year

green letterhead 800
December 2021

Sign dedicated by Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Fe
Sign dedicated by Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Fe

Dear Friends,

For many of us, the holidays are a time to give thanks, take stock and look forward to a new year. We at Nuclear Watch New Mexico are doing just that – and we want you to know how grateful we are for your support. Without you, we couldn’t make important strides toward building a safer world and a safer Land of Enchantment.

The pandemic has taken much away from us and challenged our future. It has given us a real perspective on what is important. It has shined a light to remind us that nuclear weapons are unneeded relics that sap money from important programs that really address our national security (such as global vaccinations). Our ultimate goal is a world free of the scourge of nuclear weapons, something that every president pays lip service to, but we are actually working toward.

As we climb out of the hole left by past administrations, we have increased hope that we can better protect New Mexico’s environment as well. It won’t happen without you and us, and we can’t afford to take our hands off the wheel. Our well-informed analysis and advocacy are needed now more than ever. We can all have the world we deserve, as long as we get up and work for it!

Again, thank you for all your support this past year (and it’s not too late to send a tax-deductible contribution before the New Year). We are poised to make ever-greater progress in 2022. Please judge us by what we actually get done, not just by what we say!

– Sophie, Jay, and Scott
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Spent Fuel: The Risky Resurgence of Nuclear Power

[Letter from Washington]

“In the face of escalating alarm about climate change, the siren song of “clean and affordable and reliable” power finds an audience eager to overlook a business model that is dependent on state support and often greased with corruption; failed experiments now hailed as “innovative”; a pattern of artful disinformation; and a trail of poison from accidents and leaks (not to mention the 95,000 tons of radioactive waste currently stored at reactor sites with nowhere to go) that will affect generations yet unborn.

BY:  © HARPER’S | From the January 2022 Issue

Last June, Bill Gates addressed a crowd of politicians and reporters in Cheyenne, Wyoming. “Fifteen years ago I assembled a group of experts . . . to solve the dual problems of global energy poverty and climate change,” the sweater-clad multibillionaire declared, speaking by video. “It became clear that an essential tool to solving both is advanced nuclear power.” But the technology, he continued, needed to become safer and less expensive. To this end, he had promised to invest $1 billion in TerraPower, a company he founded in 2008 to develop small modular reactors that can be churned out on an assembly line. He was now happy to announce the construction of a plant on the site of a defunct coal facility in Wyoming.

Gates and other backers extoll the promise of TerraPower’s Natrium reactors, which are cooled not by water, as commercial U.S. nuclear reactors are, but by liquid sodium. This material has a high boiling point, some 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which in theory enables the reactor to run at extreme temperatures without the extraordinary pressures that, in turn, require huge, expensive structures. “It’s smaller, cheaper, and inherently safe,” Jeff Navin, the director of external affairs at TerraPower, told me.

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Will Construction be Delayed on the New Shaft at WIPP?

“The Environment Department “should be equally considerate towards the judicial review process as it was in the administrative permit modification process, to ensure the courts have sufficient time to review objectively the facts and arguments associated with the appeal.” – Steve Zappe, a member of the Environment Department who worked on WIPP for 17 years.

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety | December 23, 2021 

Two appeals have been filed in the New Mexico Court of Appeals to challenge the decision by New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney to approve the new shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety filed the second appeal on November 29th.  On November 9th, Southwest Research and Information Center and Cynthia Weehler had filed the first appeal. Visit: env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/, scroll down to HWB 21-02 – APPEAL:  Waste Isolation Pilot Plant:  Class 3 Permit Modification Request, “Excavation of a New Shaft and Associated Connecting Drifts.

SRIC and Weehler also asked Secretary Kenney for a stay, that is, a delay, of shaft construction until the Court of Appeals rules on their appeal.  On the stay motion, Secretary Kenney can grant, or deny, or take no action.  If he does not grant the stay, or if he takes no action by January 10th, a stay motion then could be filed with the Court of Appeals.  Visit: env.nm.gov/opf/docketed-matters/ , scroll down to HWB 21-02 –Waste Isolation Pilot Plant:  Class 3 Permit Modification Request, “Excavation of a New Shaft and Associated Connecting Drifts. 

Unfortunately, key documents are missing, including the SRIC/Weehler Motion for Stay Pending Appeal, the Hearing Officer’s Report and the Secretary’s Final Order.

The stay motion was supported by three affidavits.  Cynthia Weehler stated that she purchased her home near U.S. Highway 285 knowing that the WIPP Permit anticipated that shipments to WIPP would end in 2024.  Now, the WIPP expansion plan that requires the new shaft “would result in thousands of additional shipments coming near my house for many decades.”  She is very concerned that accidents could result in health effects and “such shipments will reduce my property values.”

Kathleen Wan Povi Sanchez, an Elder from the Tewa Pueblo of San Ildefonso and among the founding mothers of Tewa Women United, stated in her affidavit that an increase in waste transportation near two schools located on New Mexico Highway 502 would endanger the health of Pueblo children in attendance.  Further, “The WIPP expansion plan would result in thousands of new shipments using [] Highway 502 for decades transporting plutonium from the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas to [Los Alamos National Laboratory], and from [Los Alamos] to the Savannah River Site, followed by shipments from that site to WIPP.”

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U.S. Urges Japan Not to Join Nuclear Ban Treaty Meeting

“Germany’s move [planning to to attend the meeting as an observer] has put Japan — which has stated it aspires to a world free of nuclear weapons as the only country to have suffered the devastation of atomic bombings — in the spotlight. Both countries are key U.S. allies that rely on American nuclear forces for protection.

© KYODO NEWS | December 20, 2021 

The United States has urged Japan not to attend as an observer the first meeting of signatories to a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons, according to U.S. government sources, reflecting Washington’s opposition to the pact.

The Japanese government has suggested it will come into line with the United States and take a cautious approach to the issue, the sources said. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that Tokyo has no “concrete plans” to attend the meeting as an observer.

The sources said the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden made the request to Japan through diplomatic channels after German political parties announced Nov. 24 that the deal for the new ruling coalition included taking part as an observer at the meeting scheduled for March in Vienna.

Maybe because of the request, Kishida also suggested last week that participation in the meeting would be premature “before building a relationship of trust with President Biden.”

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Signs Calling for a Future of Peace Through a Reminder of the Past

Less than a week before the Christmas holiday, over 125 people came together at the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the afternoon of Sunday, December 19th to listen to Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe give a blessing to two “signs of peace” he unveiled on-site during a short ceremony. The signs were revealed to show an image of Pope Francis and a quote uttered by the pope in Hiroshima in 2020: “The possession of nuclear arms is immoral.” During the blessing, the Archbishop spoke on his memories of “those days during the Cuban missile crisis when I would walk home from school having been instructed what to do in the event of a nuclear attack within a few thousand yards of a nuke missile site in San Francisco,” before issuing a call for the world to rid itself its nuclear weapons.

“We need to be instruments of peace,” he said, especially as we head into the Christmas season, a “season of peace.”

Wester said that the current arms race “is more ominous” than any that came before. He touched on the growing tension around the Russia-Ukraine border in mentioning that there are at least “40 active conflicts in the world,” and said “our archdiocese needs to be facilitating, encouraging an ongoing conversation” about nuclear disarmament. This is especially true in light of the fact that two of the US’s three nuclear weapons laboratories are to be found in the dioceses of Sandia and Los Alamos, and on top of that there are more nuclear warheads in his dioceses from the 2,500-some count stored in reserve at the Kirtland Air Force Base at Albuquerque. All of this means that more money is spent in his dioceses than any other dioceses in the country and perhaps the world.

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Action Alerts

Look for Upcoming Sample Comments: DOE Consent for Interim Storage Starting (AGAIN)!

The Department of Energy’s Federal Register has the attached announcement of a public comment period through March 4, 2022 for consent-based siting of spent fuel storage.

Stay tuned for sample comments from ANA and our member groups.

This is a repeat of previous bad ideas that the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability has opposed; see previous comment summaries below from 2016 & 2017:


On July 28, 2016, the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability submitted comments on “consent-based siting” of high-level radioactive waste.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has held nine public meetings across the country since January, regarding so-called “Consent-Based Siting” of centralized interim storage sites (de facto permanent parking lot dumps) for high-level radioactive waste.

The current DOE “consent-based siting process” is premature and should be terminated. Before any repository siting process can begin, there must be a public process to develop the new technical standards.

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Sign the Petition to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to Help Stop the Expansion of WIPP

Sign the Petition to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to Help Stop the Expansion of the Nuclear Waste Facility called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico.
New Mexicans call on Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to stand up for public health and the environment by stopping the expansion of the nuclear waste facility called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico. New Mexicans oppose the nuclear waste expansion at WIPP – click below to sign the petition and learn more.

https://airtable.com/shrRqT8tbIZAgN08w

Help Us 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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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

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

More Nuclear News

One dead, three injured after gas leak at Spanish nuclear plant

A fault in the plant’s fire prevention system caused the gas leak, which was not linked to any radioactive material, the regional fire service posted on Twitter.

Reuters

MADRID, Nov 24 (Reuters) – One person has died and three have been taken to hospital after a carbon dioxide leak at the Asco nuclear power plant in the Spanish region of Catalonia, local emergency services said on Wednesday.

Shortly afterwards, the fire service said it was preparing to leave the site after checking over the extractor fans with the plant’s staff and ensuring the systems were working properly.

The three people taken to hospital suffered light injuries from carbon dioxide inhalation, emergency services said.

Moscow says U.S. rehearsed nuclear strike against Russia this month

“Against this backdrop, Russo-Chinese coordination is becoming a stabilising factor in world affairs,” said Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

By Andrew Osborn and Phil Stewart (Reuters)

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu waits before a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Defence Ministry officials and representatives of the military-industrial complex enterprises at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia November 3, 2021. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence minister on Tuesday accused U.S. bombers of rehearsing a nuclear strike on Russia from two different directions earlier this month and complained that the planes had come within 20 km (12.4 miles) of the Russian border.

But the Pentagon said its drills were announced publicly at the time and adhered to international protocols.

Moscow’s accusation comes at a time of high tension with Washington over Ukraine, with U.S. officials voicing concerns about a possible Russian attack on its southern neighbour – a suggestion the Kremlin has dismissed as false.

Moscow has in turn accused the United States, NATO and Ukraine of provocative and irresponsible behaviour, pointing to U.S. arms supplies to Ukraine, Ukraine’s use of Turkish strike drones against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and NATO military exercises close to its borders.

Explainer: Will Germany’s next government ditch U.S. nuclear bombs?

“Germany can, of course, decide whether there will be nuclear weapons in (its) country, but the alternative is that we easily end up with nuclear weapons in other countries in Europe, also to the east of Germany,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

BERLIN, Nov 22 (Reuters) archivemd.com

A stockpile of munitions stored in a secured facility at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Feb. 6, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Devin Nothstine)
NATO allies will be scouring the policies of Germany’s next federal government for one crucial detail: Will Berlin remain part of NATO’s nuclear sharing agreement?
Or will it drop out and ask the United States to remove its nuclear bombs from German soil?
While such a move might be popular among some Germans, it would reveal a rift within NATO at a time when the alliance’s relations with Russia are at their lowest since the end of the Cold War.
WHAT IS NATO’S NUCLEAR SHARING?
As part of NATO’s deterrence, the United States has deployed nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey – all NATO allies that do not have their own nuclear weapons. In the case of a conflict, the air forces of these countries are meant to carry the American nuclear bombs.
WHAT EXACTLY IS GERMANY’S ROLE?
Around 20 U.S. nuclear bombs are estimated to be stored at the German air base of Buechel, in a remote area of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The base is also home to a squadron of Tornado fighter jets belonging to the German air force, the only German jets fitted to carry the nuclear bombs.

Federal inspection of Pilgrim plant finds only ‘minor’ violations

A federal inspection of the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth that began in July and stretched through September found “no violations of more than minor significance,” the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service PATRIOT LEDGER NEWS patriotledger.com

alt="Dry casks holding spent fuel assemblies are shown outside the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station before its May 2019 shutdown. Owner Holtec International has reached an agreement with the state to ensure safe decommissioning of the plant and cleanup of the site."
Dry casks holding spent fuel assemblies are shown outside the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station before its May 2019 shutdown. Owner Holtec International has reached an agreement with the state to ensure safe decommissioning of the plant and cleanup of the site. Cape Cod Times File Photo

The inspection included “an evaluation of the safety screening, safety review, onsite management review, engineering change processes, the fire protection program, maintenance program, and the available results for site radiological and non-radiological characterization,” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. The agency also conducted “a review and observation of the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) dry cask activities.”

Inspectors visited Pilgrim at least five times during the announced quarterly inspection to observe Holtec Decommissioning International’s activities “as they relate to safety and compliance with the commission’s rules and regulations” and the conditions of the company’s license.

“Based on the results of this inspection, no violations of more than minor significance were identified,” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission wrote in the inspection report.

The Plymouth nuclear plant, which employed about 600 people and had been generating about 680 megawatts of electricity per year since coming online in 1972, permanently ceased operations May 31, 2019.

Holtec has estimated that it can complete decommissioning work by the end of 2027.

UN experts review plans for release of Fukushima plant water

The plan has been fiercely opposed by fishermen, local residents and Japan’s neighbors, including China and South Korea.

courthousenews.com

Cranes over the Fukushima Daiichi plant in February 2016. UN experts review plans for release of Fukushima plant water
The Pacific Ocean looks over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

TOKYO (AP) — A team from the U.N. nuclear agency arrived in Japan on Monday to assess preparations for the release into the ocean of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

The six experts on the team from the International Atomic Energy Agency are to meet with Japanese officials and visit the Fukushima Daiichi plant to discuss technical details of the planned release, Japanese officials said.

The government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, announced plans in April to start gradually releasing the treated radioactive water in the spring of 2023 to allow for the removal of hundreds of storage tanks to make room for facilities needed for the destroyed plant’s decommissioning.

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Australia Could Push To Acquire Retired US Navy Los Angeles Class Nuclear Submarines

“The rules for transferring a nuclear-powered vessel to a foreign power are uncharted waters…”

U.S., UK aid to Australia’s acquisition of nuclear submarines “sheer act of nuclear proliferation”: Chinese envoy

“This literally turns existing precedence and practice on their heads in order to extend traditionally northern hemisphere cooperation to Australia and bolster its role in countering an increasingly assertive China.” https://thebulletin.org

todayuknews.com

ARABIAN SEA (Nov. 13, 2007) The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) steams through the Arabian Sea along with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kiona M. Mckissack
ARABIAN SEA (Nov. 13, 2007) The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) steams through the Arabian Sea along with the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kiona M. Mckissack

The recently signed Australia–United Kingdom–United States defense agreement, or AUKUS, calls for the United States and Britain to share nuclear-submarine technology with Australia. Although the agreement was light on details of what, when, and how, plans apparently are for Australia to eventually build at least eight nuclear-powered attack submarines. In the interim, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now advocating for Australia to obtain used nuclear submarines to get the sharing started so as to spin up the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine capabilities and nuclear know-how. Australia has never had a nuclear power plant of any kind.

Speaking last Friday at a Wilson Center event in Washington, D.C., Abbott suggested that, in the short term, Australia should consider leasing or purchasing one or more existing U.S. submarines to develop Australia’s capability to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

Abbott has posed the question, “Might it be possible for Australia to acquire a retiring [Los Angeles] class boat or two and to put it under an Australian flag and to run it, if you like, as an operational training boat?” Abbott added that he’d make a similar proposal for British nuclear-powered submarines “were I in London.”

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COP26: Fossil fuel industry has largest delegation at climate summit

There are more delegates at COP26 associated with the fossil fuel industry than from any single country, analysis shared with the BBC shows.

By BBC NEWS bbc.com

Campaigners led by Global Witness assessed the participant list published by the UN at the start of this meeting.

They found that 503 people with links to fossil fuel interests had been accredited for the climate summit.

These delegates are said to lobby for oil and gas industries, and campaigners say they should be banned.

“The fossil fuel industry has spent decades denying and delaying real action on the climate crisis, which is why this is such a huge problem,” says Murray Worthy from Global Witness.

“Their influence is one of the biggest reasons why 25 years of UN climate talks have not led to real cuts in global emissions.”

About 40,000 people are attending the COP. Brazil has the biggest official team of negotiators according to UN data, with 479 delegates.

The UK, which is hosting the talk in Glasgow, has 230 registered delegates.

U.S. ‘very bullish’ on new nuclear technology, Granholm says

“These advanced nuclear reactors, and the existing fleet, are safe,” Granholm says. “We have the gold standard of regulation in the United States.”

Actually…According to a UCS report, if federal regulators require the necessary safety demonstrations, it could take at least 20 years—and billions of dollars in additional costs—to commercialize such reactors, their associated fuel-cycle facilities, and other related infrastructure.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) may have to adapt some regulations when licensing reactor technologies that differ significantly in design from the current fleet. Lyman says that should not mean weakening public health and safety standards, finding no justification for the claim that “advanced” reactors will be so much safer and more secure that the NRC can exempt them from fundamental safeguards. On the contrary, because there are so many open questions about these reactors, he says they may need to meet even more stringent requirements.

By Yahoo News news.yahoo.com

GLASGOW, Scotland — In an interview at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm told Yahoo News on Friday that the Biden administration is “very bullish” on building new nuclear reactors in the United States.

“We are very bullish on these advanced nuclear reactors,” she said. “We have, in fact, invested a lot of money in the research and development of those. We are very supportive of that.”

Nuclear energy is controversial among environmental activists and experts because while it does not create the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, it has the potential to trigger dangerous nuclear meltdowns and creates radioactive nuclear waste [not a small issue].

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Jellyfish Keep Attacking Nuclear Power Plants

Jellyfish are continuing to clog the cooling pipes of nuclear power plants around the world.

By Gabriel Geiger   vice.com

Jellyfish are continuing to clog the cooling intake pipes of a nuclear power plant in Scotland, which has previously prompted a temporary shutdowns of the plant.

The Torness nuclear power plant has reported concerns regarding jellyfish as far back as 2011, when it was forced to shut down for nearly a week—at an estimated cost of $1.5 million a day—because of the free-swimming marine animals.

In a short comment to Motherboard, EDF energy, which runs the Torness plant, said that “jellyfish blooms are an occasional issue for our power stations,” but also said that media reports claiming the plant had recently been taken offline because of jellyfish are “inaccurate.” “[There were] no emergency procedures this or last week related to jellyfish or otherwise,” a spokesperson said.

Like many other seaside power plants, the Torness plant uses seawater to prevent overheating. While there are measures in place to prevent aquatic life from entering the intake pipes, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, they are no match for the sheer number of jellyfish that come during so-called “jellyfish blooms.”

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Reactor at Japan’s nuclear power plant suspended over counter-terrorism demands: Reports

The third reactor at Japan’s Mihama nuclear power plant was suspended by the operator, the Kansai Electric Power company, over inability to enhance counter-terrorism infrastructure in time, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

ANI Tokyo   devdiscourse.com

Tokyo [Japan], October 24 (ANI/Sputnik): The third reactor at Japan’s Mihama nuclear power plant was suspended by the operator, the Kansai Electric Power company, over inability to enhance counter-terrorism infrastructure in time, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

All the required measures to strengthen security are expected to be completed in September 2022, and the reactor might resume operations in mid-October of that year, the outlet said, citing the operator.

10 Years Since Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster | © Nuclear Watch New Mexico

The reactor was restarted on June 23, 2021, after more than 40 years of work. The law limits the maximum lifespan of reactors to 40 years, but if additional requirements are met, a reactor can work more. Mihama’s third reactor was stopped for a decade after the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, which in 2011 claimed over 15,000 lives, displaced thousands of people and caused a meltdown at the power plant. (ANI/Sputnik)

LANL Cleanup: What you can do

Please consider attending and giving public comments at local public meetings concerning cleanup at Los Alamos. Public comments do make a difference!

Follow NukeWatch and submit public written comments. We frequently comment on environmental impact statements and provide sample comments.
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