Arsenal of Information




Dossiers:

UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
B61-12 Enhanced Nuclear Bomb
LRSO: New Nuclear Cruise Missile
US Nukes at Incirlik AFB, Turkey
Trump Admin and Nuclear Weapons Policy
Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
Flashpoint: NATO-Russia
Flashpoint: North Korea
MOX / Plutonium Disposition
Fukushima Disaster and Updates
Nuke Lab Contractors Illegal Lobbying
Revolving Door: The Case of Heather Wilson
Marshall Islands Lawsuit
Plutonium Pit Production at LANL
Nuclear Testing Since 1945
Atomic Histories

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Weapons Complex Map
Nuclear Watch Interactive Map of the
Nuclear Weapons Complex
View full size

Facilities:
    Kansas City Plant
    Lawrence Livermore National Labs
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Nevada National Security Site
    Pantex Plant
    Sandia National Laboratories
    Savannah River Site
    Washington DC
    Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
    Y-12 National Security Complex


Nuclear Weapons Enterprise Twitter Feeds:

Sandia Labs
Y-12 Nat'l Sec.
Los Alamos Lab
Kansas City NSC
WIPP
NNSA
The Pantex Plant
Savannah River Site
Nevada Nat'l Security Site
Lawrence Livermore Lab
DOE Sec. Perry
Frank Klotz NNSA

Facility Spotlight, August, 2017:
"... And these safety challenges aren't confined to Los Alamos. The Center's probe revealed worker safety risks, previously unpublicized accidents, and dangerously lax management practices at other nuclear weapons-related facilities. The investigation further found that penalties for these practices were relatively light, and that many of the firms that run these facilities were awarded tens of millions of dollars in profits in the same years that major safety lapses occurred. Some were awarded new contracts despite repeated, avoidable accidents, including some that exposed workers to radiation."
- Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith in their series entitled "Nuclear Negligence" for the Center for Public Integrity.


nuclear misconduct
Nuclear Weapons Complex Misconduct
Dec. 3, 2015. POGO: Updated Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, focussing on Nuclear Complex (see report at POGO)


ANA Map of nuclear risks USA
Click the image to view and download this large printable map of DOE sites, commercial reactors, nuclear waste dumps, nuclear transportation routes, surface waters near sites and transport routes, and underlying aquifers. This map was prepared by Deborah Reade for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.


Quote of the Week

"This is nuclear pork disguised as nuclear strategy. This is a jobs program for a few government labs and a few contractors. This is an insane proposal. It would lower the threshold for nuclear use. It would make nuclear war more likely. it comes from the illusion that you could use a nuclear weapon and end a conflict on favorable terms. Once you cross the nuclear threshold you are inviting a nuclear response."
- Ploughshares' Joe Cirincione, commenting on report: Trump review leans toward proposing mini-nuke, Sept. 10, 2017


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
LANL's "Central Mission"- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

Kirtland nuclear weapons complex
Dossier:
The Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
Kirtland Air Force Base, which abuts and shares some runways with the Albuquerque airport, has become a major nuclear weapons complex of it's own. It hosts the Air Force's Nuclear Weapons Center, Sandia National Laboratories, and what is probably the nation's (and perhaps the world's) largest repository of nuclear weapons, estimated at up to 2,500 warheads... (read more)



Follow the Money!


FY 2018 LANL CBR
LANL FY 2018 Budget Request
Click to view full PDF with annotations table
Note that the percentage of the LANL budget request for core nuclear weapons activities has risen to 70%.


NNSA FY 2017 Budget Request
- Nuclear Watch Analysis/Compilation (PDF)


Congressional Budget Office report:
Projected Costs of Nuclear Forces 2014-2023

CBO presentation based on the report:
Projected Nuclear Forces Budget Through 2023
Click to view presentation


Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan
- View/Download FY 2017 SSMP (PDF)
- SSMP Analysis of Hans Kristensen, FAS: Nuclear Transparency and the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (PDF)
- View/Download FY 2015 SSMP (PDF)
- NWNM Analysis (PDF) / Analysis Summary (PDF)



Nuclear Watch Media

Santa Fe, Sept 7, 2017:
Rep. Ted Lieu and Jay Coghlan on KSFR Radio
Congressman Lieu (D.CA) was given the Leadership Award by Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in May of this year for his sponsorship of HR 669, a bill to restrict the president's sole authority to launch nuclear war (mirrored in the Senate by S.200 introduced by Sen. Ed Markey D.MA).
(Nukewatch director Jay Coghlan is the current chairman of ANA.)
"Living on the Edge" with David Bacon, 101.1 FM
***Archived Podcast***


Jay Coghlan, Nukewatch Director Interview
With David Bacon on Living on the Edge, KSFR, Aug 3, 2017. Archived podcast here


Sept 7, 2017:
Rep. Ted Lieu and Jay Coghlan on KSFR.
Watch here for details.


KUNM FM: LANL's Long Environmental Cleanup
KUNM public radio discussion of Los Alamos cleanup, and Nukewatch lawsuit Archived podcast here


NukeWatch YouTube Channel
See our playlists of key video clips.


plutonium pit production history

Successful Citizen Activism Against
Expanded U.S. Plutonium Pit Production

This is the unsung story of successful citizen activism against repeated government attempts to expand the production of plutonium pit cores, which has always been the choke point of resumed U.S. nuclear weapons production. This history is a critical part of the march toward a future world free of nuclear weapons.
(View/download full report- PDF)

July 14, 2016:
Debate Is On Over Making More Nuclear Triggers At Los Alamos Lab
"The National Nuclear Security Administration is under orders from Congress to produce as many as 80 new nuclear weapons triggers a year by around 2030, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only place in the country that is equipped to make them now... The plans for a higher-capacity plutonium pit production facility make Los Alamos key - some call the lab 'ground zero'..." (ref: Albuquerque Journal)

Updated March 2017: NukeWatch Fact Sheet:
"Plutonium Pit Production at LANL"
(View/download PDF)



Atomic Homefront

Atomic Homefront
By award-winning documentary filmmaker Deborah Cammissa
"The City of St. Louis has a little known nuclear past as a uranium-processing center for the Atomic bomb. Government and corporate negligence led to the dumping of Manhattan Project uranium, thorium, and radium, thus contaminating North St. Louis suburbs, specifically in two communities: those nestled along Coldwater Creek- and in Bridgeton, Missouri adjacent to the West Lake-Bridgeton landfill..." (source)



What is both sobering and addictive?
This "Wheel of Near Misfortune" created by Union of Concerned Scientists- don't miss it!



Beyond the Summit:
New Approaches to Nuclear Security

William Perry: "Danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than during the Cold War. Our public is blissfully unaware. Consequently, the policies that this country follows are in no way commensurate to the danger."


nuclear firestorm Manhattan
What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?
You should read this.


Homeland Security Wants You To Be Ready-
for a Nuclear Attack

The US has belligerently refused to have anything to do with the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, in spite of President Obama's 2009 Prague speech and his Nobel Peace Prize. Instead Obama set us on a path to remake anew all our nuclear weapons and delivery systems to the tune of a trillion dollars over the next 30 years, assuring our nuclear arsenal "superiority" through the lives of our grandchildren and great grandchildren. But no worries! The Dept. of Homeland Security has put up a webpage with instructions on how to be "ready" for a nuclear attack. OK then!


Judgement Day

http://xkcd.com/1626/


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New & Updated


For immediate release: September 15, 2017:
Chromium Groundwater Contamination at Los Alamos Lab Far Greater Than Previously Expected; LANL's Treatment Plan Must Be Drastically Changed
Santa Fe, NM. The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has detected far more hexavalent chromium (Cr) contamination than previously estimated in the "sole source" regional groundwater aquifer that serves Los Alamos, Santa Fe and the Espanola Basin. Sampling in July from a new well meant to inject treated groundwater back into the aquifer detected chromium contamination five times greater than the New Mexico groundwater standard of 50 micrograms per liter (ug/L). (View/download the full press release)


September 11, 2017:
Talking Points: The 2016 LANL Cleanup Consent Order Should Be Rescinded
The 2005 LANL Cleanup Consent Order was all about the enforceable schedules. It required DOE and LANL to investigate, characterize, and clean up hazardous and mixed radioactive contaminants from 70 years of nuclear weapons research and production. It stipulated a detailed compliance schedule that the Lab was required to meet...
Under Gov. Martinez, NMED Secretary Ryan Flynn granted more than 150 compliance milestone extensions at the Lab's request, effectively eviscerating it.
In June 2016 the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), the Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) signed a revised Consent Order governing cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The new Consent Order is a big step backward in achieving comprehensive, genuine cleanup at the Lab. The revised 2016 CO was a giveaway by NMED to DOE and the Lab, negotiated to allow DOE's budget to drive cleanup, not what is needed to permanently protect our water.
NMED should have kept the original, enforceable 2005 Consent Order that it fought so hard for under the Richardson Administration, modified as needed for the cleanup schedule and final compliance date. View/download the complete talking points


Sept. 7, 2017:
LANL Director Charles McMillan has announced he will retire at year's end
Charlie McMillan, Director Los Alamos Lab Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charles McMillan, who has overseen New Mexicos largest scientific complex for six years amid a growing budget and expanded nuclear weapons work but also at a time of numerous safety troubles at the lab, told his staff Tuesday morning that he will retire at the end of the year. The announcement comes during a transition to a new operator for the lab and in the wake of a federal investigation and congressional calls for more scrutiny regarding safety at LANL.
The U.S. Energy Department announced in 2015 it would not renew Los Alamos National Security's management contract because of a number of safety and security issues and the failure of the lab to receive satisfactory marks in annual evaluations by the National Nuclear Security Administration for several years. (See below: Center for Public Integrity's 6-part exposé: "Nuclear Negligence".)
Jay Coghlan, director of the watchdog group Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said, "We like to call him McMillion for the annual paycheck he was receiving while running the lab into the ground with an exploding radioactive waste drum at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and ongoing nuclear safety lapses at Los Alamos plutonium facility."
The lab's contract was put out for bid in late June, and the lab will be under new management by September 2018. Coghlan and others, including the University Professional and Technical Employees Union, have questioned the for-profit management model at the lab, which began when Los Alamos National Security was hired in 2006 to run LANL. The transition to for-profit management led to a jump in the labs annual budget and a significant boost in the directors annual salary. "He's the poster child for why the profit motive should not run nuclear weapons facilities," Coghlan said.
(sources: Rebecca Moss, Santa Fe New Mexican; Mark Oswald, Albuquerque Journal)
Also: Public Integrity's detailed report on the resignation



Kim Jong Un and H-Bomb fitting nose cone of ICBM
Kim Jong Un and H-Bomb fitting nose cone of ICBM, photo released September 2, 2017

September 3, 2017:
North Korea: Sunday's test was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit an ICBM
Sunday morning North Korea set off what is thought to have been a 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb, a day after press pictures were released showing Kim Jong Un and staff with what was said to be a miniaturized thermonuclear warhead ready to load in an ICBM nose cone. [Note Sept 14: 38North has revised the estimated yield to 250 kilotons.]
"Based on the seismic signature, the yield of this test definitely is an order of magnitude higher than the yields of the previous tests..." - Catherine Dill, James Martin Center
In China the blast was felt as a strong tremor (USGS: 6.3 mag.) shaking windows. Chinese officials said they were carrying out emergency radiation testing along the border with North Korea.
North Korea's brief period of "restraint", what Secretary Tillerson called a possible "pathway" to dialogue, is over, following the launch of a missile over Japan on August 28, and now it's most powerful nuclear test to date. Pres. Trump had said only last week that his threat to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea was working, and that Kim was "starting to respect us". Well, apparently not. Kim probably feels like he's on a run, and might just as well go full speed ahead; he may well believe he has outplayed the US and won't be stopped. Some have suggested that when Kim feels he has an effective enough arsenal to deter the US, he may be ready for a freeze or suspension and negotiations toward a peace treaty. On the other hand, one can imagine that he may see no need of that, and just keeps growing his nuclear forces. (Note that at some point he will also be a threat to China.)
The test was rather irritating for China, as Premier Xi is hosting the BRICS Conference this week, an important element of China's foreign policy agenda, and he will not like being upstaged by Mr Kim's latest feat.
- Regarding the Hwasong-12 missile launch on August 28:
In "North Korea's Hwasong-12 Launch: A Disturbing Development" Michael Elleman, 38North.org wrote: "An alternative disturbing hypothesis is that tests of the missile have included a small post-boost vehicle (PBV) to provide extra boost to the payload after the main stage is discarded..." (read on)
- Recommended: End the 67-year war by Robert Alvarez, at the Bulletin. "It's time to find a path to end the 67-year-long Korean war. As the threat of military conflict looms, the American public is largely unaware of the sobering facts about America's longest unresolved war and one of the world's bloodiest." (read on)
September 13: DPRK launches another missile over Japan, with greatest range yet, enough to hit Guam. (ref)
- See our dossier for more: Flashpoint: North Korea


Controversy After Another Test of the B61-12 Nuclear Smart Bomb
The editor-in-chief of Russia's National Defense magazine, Igor Korotchenko, warned that the second test of the B61-12 could indicate that the US is speeding up its rearmament program while "both Washington and Brussels are considering the scenario of a limited nuclear war in Europe." He added that NATO forces have already conducted drills in the Baltic Sea, including mock nuclear strikes on Russia. "During regular exercises, including those in the Baltic Sea, the air forces of NATO countries have repeatedly carried out combat training tasks involving tactical nuclear strikes on targets located in the northwest of our country," Korotchenko told RIA Novosti (ref).
- NNSA press release on the B61-12 tests: (view/download PDF)
- There are an estimated 180 B61 nuclear bombs stored at NATO bases in Italy, Belgium, the
  Netherlands, Germany and Turkey.
- For more on the B61-12 nuclear smart bomb, see our B61 Dossier.

German opposition calling for removal of US nuclear weapons
In August, Martin Schulz, head of the SPD party and candidate for the chancellorship in this fall's elections, said he would have the American nuclear weapons removed from Germany if he was elected. "As chancellor, I will commit Germany to having the nuclear weapons stationed here withdrawn from our country." (ref).
German FM Gabriel A few days later, Germany's Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (photo at left) joined Schulz's call for the removal of the US nukes. "I agreed with Mr. Schulz's point that we need to get rid of the nuclear weapons that are in our country."
"Germany has an important voice within NATO and the European Union, and ... it must be used to call for disarmament and arms control." Gabriel said it was critical for the United States and Russia to resume a dialogue on disarmament instead of slipping further into mutual recriminations and a new arms race spiral. (ref)

Now the US is bullying Sweden not to sign Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty
Love our nukes or you're on your own....
Neutral Sweden, which voted for the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty in July, has been told by General Mattis that if they actually sign the treaty in September as expected, it would "negatively impact" relations with the US. Svenska Dagbladet said "The implication is that if the government signs the convention banning nuclear weapons, including on Swedish territory, it would impact both defense cooperation during peace time and the possibility of military support from the USA in a crisis situation."
In August, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström wrote that the government intended to sign the treaty, and "Sweden's vote in favor was entirely in line with our disarmament policy as part of a broader security policy". (ref)


August 15, 2017:
DNFSB Staff Deployed to NNSA, DOE- Board Members File "Strong Objection"
Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board has "entered into an arrangement" with NNSA and DOE by which some DNFSB technical staff are to be deployed to NNSA and DOE offices. Two DNFSB board members filed a "strong objection" to DNFSB staff deploying to NNSA or any office of DOE "whose duties are external advocacy on behalf of the organizations and functions the DNFSB is required by statute to independently evaluate."
Board members Roberson and Santos sent a memo to the DNFSB board and chairmen documenting their objections. The memo appeared briefly on the DNFSB website but disappeared with no explanation shortly afterwards. We were able to save the memo during it's short appearance in the public domain. Here's the memo of objection.
Nukewatch statement on the matter: "Nuclear Watch New Mexico strongly objects to this attempt by the National Nuclear Security Administration to compromise the Safety Board. DNFSB has played a vital role in protecting the public from dangerous nuclear weapons activities that have been riddled with safety lapses, incompetence, cost overruns and mismanagement. The Safety Board is commissioned by Congress, not NNSA, and we fully expect the New Mexican congressional delegation to protect the Safety Board's independence and objectivity."
Defense Nuclear Safety Board Review Public Hearing June 7, 2017: archived video
See comments submitted by NukeWatch here.



Nuclear Negligence Part 6
The sixth in the series of lengthy investigative reports from the Center for Public Integrity entitled "Nuclear Negligence".

August 1, 2017, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 6:
Nuclear weapons contractors repeatedly violate shipping rules for dangerous materials
"Los Alamos Laboratory's recent mistakes in shipping plutonium were among dozens of incidents involving mislabeled or wrongly shipped materials associated with the nuclear weapons program.
"Plutonium capable of being used in a nuclear weapon, conventional explosives, and highly toxic chemicals have been improperly packaged or shipped by nuclear weapons contractors at least 25 times in the past five years, according to government documents.
"In total, 11 of the 25 known shipping mistakes since July 2012 involved shipments that either originated at Los Alamos or passed through the lab. Thirteen of the 25 incidents involved plutonium, highly-enriched uranium (another nuclear explosive), or other radioactive materials. Some of the mislabeled shipments went to toxic waste dumps and breached regulatory limits on what the dumps were allowed to accept, according to the reports.
"But in more than 20 instances, the contractors were not directly fined by regulators in enforcement actions stemming from the shipping errors, according to government reports.
"For the mistakes at Los Alamos and WIPP that led to the radioactive release at WIPP in 2014, the New Mexico Environment Department imposed an unprecedented $73.25 million in fines, but the Energy Department- not Los Alamos- wound up paying it." (read full report)

The other reports in this excellent series:
- June 28, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 5:
Repeated radiation warnings go unheeded at sensitive Idaho nuclear plant
- June 27, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 4:
More Than 30 Nuclear Experts Inhale Uranium After Radiation Alarms at a Weapons Site Are Switched Off
- June 26, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 3:
Light Penalties and Lax Oversight Encourage Weak Safety Culture at Nuclear Weapons Labs
- June 20, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 2:
Safety Problems at a Los Alamos Laboratory Delay U.S. Nuclear Warhead Testing and Production
- June 18, 2017, "Nuclear Negligence" Part 1:
Repeated Safety Lapses Hobble Los Alamos National Laboratory's Work On The Cores Of U.S. Nuclear Warheads

Resources:
- Nukewatch Press Release 6/19/17:   Some Background on Plutonium Pit Production at Los Alamos
- NukeWatch Fact Sheet: Plutonium Pit Production
- Jay Coghlan, ABQJournal: Why new nuclear 'pit' production at LANL is unnecessary


Activists break into and occupy  NATO nuke base in Germany
From left, Bonnie Urfer, Steve Baggarly, Susan Crane, John LaForge and Gerd Buentzly.
At least 20 U.S. B61 thermonuclear bombs are deployed at Büchel Air Base. (photo by Ralph Hutchison)


July 18, 2017 :
Activists cut fences, occupy nuclear weapons bunker at Büchel Air Base
A group of five peace activists cut through fences and got far inside the Büchel Air Base in Germany, managing to climb on top of a large bunker used for nuclear weapons.
"The five spent more than an hour unnoticed sitting on the bunker until two of them climbed down to write "DISARM" on the bunker's metal front door, setting off an alarm. Surrounded by vehicles and guards searching on foot with flashlights, the five eventually alerted guards to their presence by singing, causing the guards to look up. After being detained, searched and photographed, the five were released without charge.
"Ralph Hutchison, from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where a new thermonuclear core for the B61-12 will be manufactured, said: 'It is important that we show this is a global movement. The resistance to nuclear weapons is not limited to one country. The new B61-12 program will cost more than $12 billion, and when production starts sometime after 2020, Büchel is scheduled to get new nuclear bombs.'" (read more at NukeResister)



July 20, 2017:
OREPA, NukeWatch, and NRDC File Lawsuit Against New Nuclear Bomb Plant
Our lawsuit against the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) over the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) is important for many reasons. First, despite the fact that 122 countries just passed a nuclear weapons ban treaty, the UPF is the tip of the spear for the U.S.' planned one trillion dollar-plus makeover of its nuclear arsenal, delivery systems and productions plants. Those production plants are expected to be operational until ~2080, modifying existing nuclear weapons while endowing them with new military capabilities.
Our lawsuit seeks to compel NNSA compliance with the law, when the National Environmental Policy Act requires supplemental public review when major federal proposals are substantially changed. The UPF is also an issue of good governance and proper use of taxpayers dollars, since it has had constant cost overruns and a half-billion dollar design mistake for which no contractor was held accountable.
Finally, our lawsuit against this new bomb plant near Oak Ridge, TN will hopefully benefit New Mexicans by reminding NNSA to conduct legally required public review for new or upgraded plutonium facilities at the Los Alamos Lab. - Jay Coghlan, Nukewatch Exec. Director.
View/download complete Press Release. / View/download the complaint PDF.
- See also July 28, Brittany Crocker, USA Today Network:
Lawsuit aims to halt Uranium Processing Facility construction to review earthquake risks
This is a good description of the lawsuit and the basis of the complaint against the NNSA.


Ban Treaty adopted
July 7, 2017:
UN Adopts Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- The treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of those activities. In addition, nations must not allow nuclear weapons to be stationed or deployed on their territory. (See FAQs on the treaty provisions at ICAN)
ICAN's executive director, Beatrice Fihn: "We hope that today marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age. It is beyond question that nuclear weapons violate the laws of war and pose a clear danger to global security... No one believes that indiscriminately killing millions of civilians is acceptable- no matter the circumstance- yet that is what nuclear weapons are designed to do. Today the international community rejected nuclear weapons and made it clear they are unacceptable." (ref: ICAN)
 
- Perry Project statement: UN Adopts New Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- Arms Control Assoc: New Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty Marks a Turning Point
- Union of Concerned Scientists: Historic Treaty Makes Nuclear Weapons Illegal
- Ploughshares Fund: A Stunning Rebuke To The Nuclear-Armed States
- US, UK, France joint statement: "We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it."


Trident System and Nuclear Weapons Hacking
On May 31, British American Security Information Council released a detailed survey of the vulnerabilities of UK's Trident nuclear force to hacking, finding that "A cyber-attack may target the submarine, command and control, or the missile launch system. It can attempt to disrupt or change launch coordinates to divert the original course of the missile, or to disrupt or neutralize the warheads themselves..."
See our file: Trident and Nuclear Hacking


The Nuclear Enterprise is More Problematic Than Ever- And It Has a Dark Side
The cloud hanging over the future of nuclear power grew darker recently with the bankruptcy of Westinghouse over cost overruns by the principle contractor, Shaw, and the huge hit, roughly $7 billion, that its corporate owner Toshiba had to take on it, pushing Toshiba itself to the brink of bankruptcy.
Two new AP1000 units being added to Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear station located near Waynesboro, Ga Ironically, Toshiba's AP1000 nuclear power plant model was meant to reduce construction and operation costs through standardization. (see photo at left)
The bankruptcy "is a powerful signal of the end of the fantasy of a nuclear revival", Daniel Hirsch, director of the program on environmental and nuclear policy at UCSC, told the Christian Science Monitor. (ref)
With Westinghouse's reactor design off the table, nuclear supporters have pinned their hopes on next-generation technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs). But we're a long way from there. DOE's website states that "demonstrating the viability of SMRs will require overcoming many technical, regulatory, financial and institutional challenges". (ref)
View Small Modular Reactors Fact Sheet, By Arjun Makhijani and Michele Boyd:
No Solution For The Cost, Safety, And Waste Problems Of Nuclear Power
"Nuclear energy is, simply, in a rapidly accelerating crisis"
- Only 2 of Japan's 42 commercial reactors are back online since the Fukushima meltdowns following the earthquake and tidal wave of 2011.
- Four global nuclear industry giants- French utilities Électricité de France (EDF) and Areva, US-based Westinghouse and Japanese conglomerate Toshiba- face crippling debts and possible bankruptcy because of their investments in nuclear power. (ref)
"With the French nuclear industry crippled and Toshiba-Westinghouse out of the nuclear construction business, the West is effectively ceding the future of nuclear energy to China, Korea and Russia." (ref)
Meltdowns may be rare, but when they do happen, the disaster lasts forever.
Six years ago several reactors at the Fukushima plant in Japan experienced meltdowns following an earthquake and tidal waves. And six years on, thousands of gallons of radioactive water still flow out into the sea every day. Humans can't get close enough to the reactor cores to see what exactly is happening, even robots are quickly fried by the high levels of radiation.
- April 26: "Experts: Japan 'wants to just drop tanks' of Fukushima nuclear waste into ocean. Americans worried over plumes hitting West Coast. Fukushima Radiation Alert: Concern 'nuclear chain reaction' could occur at plant; Reactors are still melting down and spewing radioactivity; Fuel has burned through containment..." (ref) See also: Dying robots and failing hope...

new tomb for Chernobyl 31 years ago this last week the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded, releasing 400 times more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb. Recently, the concrete 'sarcophagus' built in the following years was about to crumble and collapse, which would have released a huge cloud of radiation again. An international effort is now completing a new dome (at a cost of $1.5 billion) which will cover the still highly toxic site. That these workers have had to execute at a distance of no less than 300 yards from the now 31 year old disaster site is testament to the difficulty of dealing with the long-lived hazards of the nuclear enterprise. Here is a new NOVA documentary on the construction of this latest tomb for Chernobyl: NOVA: "Building Chernobyl's MegaTomb". See also the Fukushima file and the Chernobyl at 30 file.
Nuclear energy is not clean energy.
But even the proper and successful running of nuclear reactors has produced a vast and dangerous buildup of radioactive spent fuel, most of which is stored above ground in water filled tanks. The Union of Concerned Scientists' latest report sounds the alarm on this: "The US currently has some 79,000 tonnes of spent fuel in at least 76 power-station cooling ponds and secure dry stores across the country. Another 2000 tonnes are added each year. The stores contain an estimated 444,000 petabecquerels of radioactivity, which is some 50 times more than released from all atmospheric nuclear weapons tests."
"US spent fuel pools are densely packed and at severe risk of a fuel fire in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack that drained cooling water from the pools," says UCS's Edwin Lyman of the in Washington DC. (ref) and (ref)
And of course, all the industrialized countries are scrambling to find ways to dispose of the lethal byproduct of the supposed clean energy produced by nuclear power- for example:
- Brussels plans to saddle UK with EU nuclear waste
- Photos reveal covert op moving highly dangerous nuclear waste through Scotland at night
- Canadian government delays approval of nuclear waste dump on Lake Huron
- Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village
- Where to put all Japan's radioactive waste is now the burning issue
- Nuclear Waste Disposal Disaster in Germany
- Burying the atom: Europe struggles to dispose of nuclear waste
- Kitty Litter, Ocean Burial, Shooting It at the Sun, The Worst Ways to Stash Nuclear Waste

While the costs of nuclear power keep rising, green energy gets cheaper every year.
So why are we still subsidizing nuclear?

Green energy is now at price parity or cheaper than carbon fuels, and is far cheaper than nuclear with none of the lethal byproduct. And yet some states are subsidizing nuclear power and slow-walking alternative energies, precisely the opposite of what should be happening:
- Lifeline for Nuclear Plants Is Threatening Wind and Solar Power
- Paying Nuclear Losers for 'Clean' Power Upends U.S. Markets

nuclear  waste- weapons production
From left: Hanford in Washington, Rocky Flats in Colorado, Los Alamos Area G in New Mexico
Then there's the waste from nuclear weapons production
Billions of dollars are spent every year in the effort to clean up the nuclear waste produced so profligately during the headlong rush to build tens of thousands of nuclear weapons during the cold war.
- One site, the Hanford site in Washington State, is considered to be "the most toxic place in America".
- The Rocky Flats site in Colorado was shut down by an FBI raid in June of 1989 due to radioactive pollution spread in the Denver region. (ref) Billions were spent in a cleanup effort ending in 2005, but doubts remain. (ref)
- At Los Alamos Lab here in New Mexico barrels of nuclear weapons production waste are still piled outdoors, awaiting shipment to the WIPP storage site in Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP has just partially re-opened after a several year long closure following the explosion of a barrel of waste from LANL, one of many packed with the wrong kind of kitty litter.
- Santa Fe New Mexican, April 23: LANL's Area G at center of nuclear cleanup effort
- See our page on the Nukewatch lawsuit regarding LANL cleanup.
- See our LANL Area G file


    Archived Items



Critical Events

United Nations, September 20, 2017:
Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty Opens for Signatures
Watch for news at ICAN and on Twitter


Los Alamos, September 21, 2017:
Fourth Meeting of the Radioactive And Hazardous Materials Committee
UNM-Los Alamos, Lecture Hall 230
4000 University Drive, Los Alamos
10am- 3:15pm followed by public comment period.
Note that Scott Kovac, Nukewatch Operations and Research Director, will be presenting at the 2pm session on Community Concerns.
(View full agenda PDF)


No $ for New Nuclear Weapons or Testing
Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) and Tri-Valley CAREs have launched a petition drive- more info and signing form here


Robert Oppenheimer on Nuclear Weapons
"If atomic bombs are to be added... to the arsenals of a warring world, ...then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people of this world must unite or they will perish." -Robert Oppenheimer, Director of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, acceptance speech, Army-Navy "Excellence" Award, Nov. 1945



Nuclear New Mexico Map

Nuclear New Mexico
Click to see NukeWatch's annotated map of nuclear sites, including those on the way, in The Land of Enchantment


        *** Urgent Funding Appeal ***

Friends, we need your financial support to bridge a funding gap so that we can work without interruption.
- Of particular concern, there is a serious proposal for "interim" storage in New Mexico of 70,000 tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel, plus some 30,000 future tons.
- Also, on July 20 we filed a lawsuit together with the Oak Ridge Environmental and Peace Alliance and the National Resources Defense Council against a new nuclear bomb plant called the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) near Oak Ridge, TN. The UPF is the 'tip of the spear' for the planned trillion dollar makeover of the US arsenal and supporting nuclear weapons complex, with new bomb-making plants expected to be operational until ~2080.
- And by the way, NukeWatch provided much of the factual basis for CPI's landmark series of articles (Nuclear Negligence), which are largely based on the Department of Energy's contractor Performance Evaluation Reports. Those reports are publicly available only because Nuclear Watch successfully sued for them in 2012.
  Our Land of Enchantment is targeted by multiple nuclear threats (see our Nuclear New Mexico map). But we can continue to be effective only with your help, which we need more than ever. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution now. Thank you!
Please donate generously  to support our work!



NukeWatch gets a Santa Fe Mayor's Award
In addition to our work toward limiting and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons, NukeWatch also works to protect Northern New Mexico aquifers from the radioactive wastes dumped over the last 70 years of atomic bomb production at Los Alamos Lab. NukeWatch gets a Santa Fe Mayor's Award
This week, Nukewatch was given the Santa Fe Mayor's Sustainability Award in the category of Environment for that work. (more)

Above: Scott Kovac, Jay Coghlan, Mayor Javier Gonzales


Cleanup Lawsuit: NukeWatch v. DOE, LANS
Nukewatch lawsuit
See all docs related to the ongoing Nuclear Watch lawsuit against DOE and LANS (the corporate manager of Los Alamos Lab), over multiple missed deadlines and failures to execute cleanup of radioactive wastes at the Los Alamos site: Cleanup Lawsuit.


ANA 2017 Report-Accountability Audit
ANA Report 2017: Accountability Audit
This year's report examines the extraordinary spending at Department of Energy nuclear facilities and examines ways to reduce risks and save billions of dollars across the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. (View/download PDF)


Alliance For Nuclear Accountability 2016 Report
Out-of-control U.S. nuclear weapons programs accelerate spending, proliferation, health and safety risks: The Trillion Dollar Trainwreck (PDF)



Newsletters and Calendars

- The Bulletin's Nuclear Roundup
Daily nuclear news; subscribe or view online. Very good selection.
- Ploughshares' Early Warning
"Daily news on the issues we're following from the desk of Joe Cirincione." Subscribe or view online.
- Nuclear Policy News (CSIS)
Subscribe or view online. Very good selection. Note that CSIS's top ten corporate donors include Lockheed Martin, Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics and Leonardo-Finmeccanica.
- Nuclear Calendar FCNL
Extensive email listing of all nuclear-related events, from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Subscribe or view online.
- National Security Legislative Calendar
From the Council for a Livable World. (ref)
- NucNews
Very extensive daily dump of nuclear-related news items; unfortunately hard on the eyes and often redundant, but again, extensive.



FAS Nuclear Notebooks

  - US nuclear forces 2017
  - Russian nuclear forces 2017
  - Indian nuclear forces 2017
  - Chinese nuclear forces 2016
  - Pakistan Nuclear forces 2016
  - more



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Stanislav Petrov, RIP

Stanislav Petrov, R.I.P.
The man who saved the world from nuclear war on Sept. 26, 1983. (obit, RT)
See trailer for the film about the incident.


Tony de Brum, R.I.P.
Nobel nominee Tony de Brum, Fmr. Marshall Islands minister, beloved nuclear disarmament and climate change hero, has died at his home in Majuro, Marshall Islands. Tony's unwavering passion and commitment, his warmth and humanity will be sorely missed. (read more)



Nuclear News

Lavrov reminded UN a West-inspired coup d’état started Ukraine crisis, not Russia

71% of Germans in favor of signing nuke ban treaty

Trump at UN threatens to 'totally destroy' North Korea

UT System regents commit up to $4.5M for a bid to run Los Alamos

Cancer-causing chemicals appear to spread in regional aquifer near LANL

Theresa May under growing pressure to sign UN anti-nuclear treaty

No nuclear weapon is safe from cyberattacks

North Korea's Threat Pushes Japan to Reassess Its Might and Rights

North Korea responds to latest U.N. sanctions with second missile over Japan

Finland's incredible permanent nuclear waste storage facility

Turkey signs deal for Russian S-400 air defense missiles

Germany has put most arms exports to Turkey on hold: minister

5 Lies Nikki Haley Just Told About The Iran Deal

U.N. nuclear watchdog chief says Iran playing by the rules

Deutsche Welle: Nuclear waste: Where to store it for eternity?

Trump review leans toward proposing mini-nuke

North Korea's nuclear plans are actually very clear. It's far less obvious what Donald Trump will do

Director of Air Force School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies at Kirtland AFB facing charges of raping 4 year-old girl

Germany: Caught between America and Russia again

Foreign Minister Gabriel joins call to withdraw US nukes from Germany

Huge pacifist sentiment in Germany supports removal of US nuclear weapons

SPD's Martin Schulz wants US nuclear weapons out of Germany

The nuclear football is a lot like a Denny's menu

Looking out Five Years: What Should Washington and Its European Allies Expect From Moscow?

We Need to Stop Using Russia as a Political Football

'Russiagate' Allegations, Irresponsibly Promoted by Congress and the Media, Have Become a Grave Threat to American National Security

Navy Families Sue Fukushima Operators for Wrongful Death

Lockheed, Raytheon get $900 million each to Develop New Nuclear Cruise Missile

GBSD: Northrop, Boeing Win Initial Deal to Replace Land-Based Nuclear ICBMs

Were they hacked? US Navy to investigate whether BOTH warships that crashed into much larger merchant vessels with deadly results were the victims of a cyber attack

'Enemies of Turkey': Erdogan tells 'countrymen' in Germany not to vote for Merkel's party

A neutral state's perspective on the nuclear ban- and a compromise

Cleanup of Cold War nuclear waste drags on- Physics Today

Mayors for Peace agrees to press U.N., global governments on nuclear ban treaty

Earlier press items here



Putin, exasperated

In Europe and Russia, There's Talk of War
-Jill Dogherty, Wilson Center (ref)
See our report: Nuclear Flashpoints: NATO-Russia



What Putin Wants
Alexei Arbatov details the basis for an understanding between the US and Russia from Putin's perspective; this event organized and hosted by the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies on May 13, 2016.
See our report: Nuclear Flashpoints: NATO-Russia


Current nuclear stockpiles
For country reports and other details see original annotated infographic at Ploughshares.org.

World Nuclear Arsenals


timeline of nuclear close calls

Accidental nuclear war- think it can't happen?
It almost did, quite a few times. See this timeline of nuclear close calls, presented by The Future of Life Institute.


Don't Bank on the Bomb 2015
View/download Report PDF


Where will the Trump Administration Take US Nuclear Weapons Policies?
President Trump and Nuclear Weapons President Trump has called for a new Nuclear Policy Review to be delivered later this year. The last NPR was done in 2010. (read on at our dossier on the developing Trump admin nuclear policies)


Jan 26, 2017
Doomsday Clock: 2 1/2 Minutes to Midnight
"It is ever more important that senior leaders across the globe calm rather than stoke tensions that could lead to war, either by accident or miscalculation." (The Bulletin, Jan 26, 2017)



Radioactive Quotes

"The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way."
- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


Nukes- write'em off!
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*Go to donations page* Thanks for your support!

Pope Francis on Nuclear Weapons
  "Nuclear weapons must be banned."
    - Pope Francis, Pacem in Terris
Our Mission: Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities, mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs, greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex, and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico is supported by the Ploughshares Fund: Investing in Peace and Security Worldwide, the Windfall Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation Donor Advised Grants, the New Mexico Community Foundation, the New-Land Foundation, and by generous donors like you. Thank You!


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Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
903 W. Alameda, #325
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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