Nuclear Watch Chronological Work Product

Work Product Nuclear Watch Chronological 2013 to Date


2018


November 16, 2018 Fact Sheet

Expanded Plutonium Pit Production for U.S. Nuclear Weapons

Plutonium pits are the radioactive cores or “triggers” of nuclear weapons. Their production has always been a chokepoint of resumed industrial-scale U.S. nuclear weapons production ever since a 1989 FBI raid investigating environmental crimes shut down the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver. In 1997 the mission of plutonium pit production was officially transferred to its birthplace, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in northern New Mexico, but officially capped at not more than 20 pits per year. However, in 2015 Congress required expanded pit production by 2030 whether or not the existing nuclear weapons stockpile actually needs it. This will support new military capabilities for nuclear weapons and their potential use.

Read/Download the full fact sheet pdf HERE

 

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Watchdog Groups Claim Nuclear Agency is Moving Forward to Manufacture New Plutonium Bomb Cores in Violation of National Environmental Law and Public Review

Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Savannah River Site Watch, and Tri-Valley CAREs sent a letter of demand to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to inform the government that its plan to quadruple the production rate of plutonium bomb cores is out of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

NNSA’s premature plan to quadruple the production rate of plutonium bomb cores (“pits”), the heart of all US nuclear weapons, is out of compliance with requisite environmental law, the groups argue, as NNSA has failed to undertake a legally-mandated programmatic review and hold required public hearings.

View/Download the entire press release here

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NukeWatch Comments, September 27,2018

Nuclear Watch New Mexico is submitted formal comments to express in the strongest possible terms our opposition to DOE Order 140.1 Interface with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. We find that the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) attempt to restrict and suppress DNFSB access is very misguided, arrogant, and likely illegal in that it acts contrary to the Board’s enabling legislation.

Read the comments here.

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For immediate release, June 8, 2018:
New Contractors Selected For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production at Los Alamos
Santa Fe, NM. Today the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced its choice for the new management and operating contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The new contractor, Triad National Security, LLC, is a limited liability company consisting of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California and Texas A&M University. All three are non-profits, and it is unclear how this will affect New Mexico gross receipts taxes.
Battelle claims to be the world’s largest non-profit technology research and development organization, and manages a number of labs including the Lawrence Livermore and Idaho National Laboratories. Texas A&M was founded in 1876 as the state’s first public institution of higher learning and has the largest nuclear engineering program in the country. DOE Secretary Rick Perry is an avid A&M alumnus. (View/download full press release)


For immediate release, May 31, 2018:
Groups Release Key DOE Documents on Expanded Plutonium Pit Production, DOE Nuclear Weapons Plan Not Supported by Recent Congressional Actions
Santa Fe, NM & Columbia, SC . “Two key U.S. Department of Energy documents on future production of plutonium “pits” for nuclear weapons, not previously released to the public, fail to justify new and upgraded production facilities at both the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina.” (View/download press release)


Fact Sheet May 15, 2018: Los Alamos Cleanup
(view/download PDF)


For immediate release, May 10, 2018:
What’s Not in NNSA’s Plutonium Pit Production Decision
Excerpts:
– There is no explanation why the Department of Defense requires at least 80 pits per year, and no justification to the American taxpayer why the enormous expense of expanded production is necessary.
– NNSA did not mention that up to 15,000 “excess” pits are already stored at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, TX, with up to another 5,000 in “strategic reserve.” The agency did not explain why new production is needed given that immense inventory of already existing plutonium pits. (In 2006 independent experts found that pits last a least a century. Plutonium pits in the existing stockpile now average around 40 years old.)
– NNSA did not explain how to dispose of all of that plutonium, given that the MOX program is an abysmal failure. Nor is it made clear where future plutonium wastes from expanded pit production will go since operations at the troubled Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are already constrained from a ruptured radioactive waste barrel, and its capacity is already overcommitted to existing radioactive wastes. (View/download press release)


For immediate release, May 2, 2018:
NNSA Proposal to Raise Plutonium Limit Ten-Fold in Los Alamos’ Rad Lab Is First Step in Expanded Plutonium Pit Production: Environmental Assessment Is Premature and Deceptive By Omission
“NNSA should begin nation-wide review of plutonium pit production, why it’s needed, and what it will cost the American taxpayer in financial, safety and environmental risks. These are all things that the public should know.” -Jay Coghlan, Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico. (see full press release)


April 26, 2018:
LANL Rad Lab: Formal Comments Under Nat’l Environmental Policy Act
Against raising plutonium limit at LANL Rad Lab
View/download Nuclear Watch comments as submitted (PDF)
Excerpt:
“This Draft Rad Lab EA is deficient. There are major omissions, for example the lack of analyses of potential beryllium hazards and Intentional Destructive Acts. Moreover, safety, occupational and seismic risks are explained away in “preliminary analyses.” All this should be corrected in a more complete environmental impact statement, including final and transparent analyses of safety and seismic risks…
“NNSA should proceed with a broader environmental impact statement after its May 11 decision on the future of expanded plutonium pit production.”
– NNSA is planning a 10-fold increase in plutonium at the LANL Rad Lab with a view to ramping up the production of plutonium pits for new nuclear weapons.
– NNSA wants to re-categorize the Rad Lab from a “radiological facility” to a “Hazard Category-3” nuclear facility. – (See details in our press release)
National Environmental Policy Act


For Immediate Release March 26, 2018:
United States To Begin Construction Of New Nuclear Bomb Plant
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced on Friday, March 23, that it was authorizing the start of construction of the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) and two sub-projects at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The UPF is a facility dedicated solely to the manufacture of thermonuclear cores for US nuclear bombs and warheads.
Citizen watchdog groups are responding by filing an expedited Freedom of Information Act request demanding a full fiscal accounting of the UPF bomb plant- something the NNSA has refused to provide for the last five years, including to Congress, despite repeated assurances that the project is “on budget.”
“This project is already a classic boondoggle, and they are just getting started,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) in Knoxville, Tennessee. “Worse, it undermines US efforts to discourage nuclear proliferation around the world. How can we oppose the nuclear ambitions of other countries when we are building a bomb plant here to manufacture 80 thermonuclear cores for warheads every year?”
Jay Coghlan of NukeWatch points out that “This project already has a long history, and it is instructive. In 2013, DOE announced it was 85% finished with the UPF design when it ran into the ‘space/fit’ issue- and more than a half-billion taxpayer dollars were just written off. In private business, that kind of thing gets you fired. In DOE’s world of contractors running amok, they not only didn’t get fired, not one Congressional hearing was held and the UPF budget went up the next year!”
See full press release for all the details (PDF)
View/download the OREPA/NukeWatch FOIA request (pdf)


For Immediate Release March 1, 2018:
The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities: Benefits for the Select Few
Santa Fe, NM- According to media reports, Andrea Romero, Executive Director of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities, is accused of charging some $2,200 dollars of unallowable travel costs, such as alcohol and baseball tickets, while lobbying in Washington, DC for additional funding for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). She in turn accused the nonprofit group Northern New Mexico Protects of political motivations in revealing these questionable expenses. Romero is running in the Democrat Party primary against incumbent state Rep. Carl Trujillo for Santa Fe County’s 46th district in the state House of Representatives.
Perhaps more serious is the fact that Romero was awarded an undisclosed amount of money by the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) for her private business Tall Foods, Tall Goods, a commercial ostrich farm in Ribera, NM. According to a May 8, 2017 Los Alamos Lab news release announcing the award to Tall Foods, Tall Goods, “The VAF was established in 2006 by Los Alamos National Security [LANS], LLC to stimulate the economy by supporting growth-oriented companies.”[1] LANS, primarily composed of the Bechtel Corporation and the University of California, has held the annual ~$2.4 billion Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) management contract since June 2006. (All the details, see full press release PDF)


For Immediate Release, February 28, 2018:
Major LANL Cleanup Subcontractor Implicated in Fraud – Entire Los Alamos Cleanup Should Be Re-evaluated
Santa Fe, NM. On December 17, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a separate $1.4 billion contract for cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, LLC (also known as “N3B”). This award followed a DOE decision to pull cleanup from LANL’s prime contractor, Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), after it sent an improperly prepared radioactive waste drum that ruptured underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). That incident contaminated 21 workers and closed WIPP for nearly three years, costing taxpayers at least $1.5 billion to reopen.
Tetra Tech Inc is a major subcontractor for N3B in the LANL cleanup contract… Serious allegations of fraud by Tetra Tech were raised long before the LANL cleanup contract was awarded. The US Navy found that the company had committed wide spread radiological data falsification, doctored records and supporting documentation, and covered-up fraud at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard cleanup project in San Francisco, CA. See media links and excerpts below…” (See all the details in the full press release)


For Immediate Release, February 26, 2018:
Detailed NNSA Budget Documents Accelerates Nuclear Weapons Arms Race
Santa Fe, NM. Late Friday February 23, the Trump Administration released the detailed FY 2019 budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the federal Department of Energy. Overall, NNSA is receiving a $2.2 billion boost to $15.1 billion, a 17% increase above the FY 2018 enacted level. Of that, a full $11 billion is for the budget category [Nuclear] “Weapons Activities”, 18% above the FY 2018 level. Of concern to the American taxpayer, DOE and NNSA nuclear weapons programs have been on the congressional Government Accountability Office’s High Risk List for project mismanagement, fraud, waste and abuse since its inception in 1990… (See all the details in the full press release)


For Immediate Release, February 22, 2018:
NNSA Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for LANL Rad Lab; Raises Plutonium Limit 10 Times for Expanded Pit Production
Santa Fe, NM. Today the National Nuclear Security Administration announced an Environmental Assessment to increase the amount of plutonium used in the Radiological Laboratory Utility and Office Building (aka the “Rad Lab”) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 38.6 grams of plutonium-239 equivalent to 400 grams. This 10-fold increase is significant because it will dramatically expand materials characterization and analytical chemistry capabilities in the Rad Lab in support of expanded plutonium pit production for future nuclear weapons designs. It also re-categorizes the Rad Lab from a “radiological facility” to a “Hazard Category-3” nuclear facility. (See all the details in the full press release)


For Immediate Release, February 12, 2018:
Trump’s Budget Dramatically Increases Nuclear Weapons Work
Santa Fe, NM In keeping with the Trump Administration’s recent controversial Nuclear Posture Review, today’s just released FY 2019 federal budget dramatically ramps up nuclear weapons research and production.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency, is receiving a $2.2 billion overall boost to $15.1 billion, a 17% increase above the FY 2018 enacted level. Of that, a full $11 billion is for the budget category (Nuclear) “Weapons Activities”, 18% above the FY 2018 level.
Digging deeper under Weapons Activities, “Directed Stockpile Work” is increased from $3.3 billion to $4.7 billion, or 41%… (read the full press release)


For Immediate Release, January 12, 2018:
Draft Nuclear Posture Review Degrades National Security
Yesterday evening the Huffington Post posted a leaked draft of the Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). This review is the federal government’s highest unclassified nuclear weapons policy document, and the first since the Obama Administration’s April 2010 NPR.
This Review begins with “Many hoped conditions had been set for deep reductions in global nuclear arsenals, and, perhaps, for their elimination. These aspirations have not been realized. America’s strategic competitors have not followed our example. The world is more dangerous, not less.” The NPR then points to Russia and China’s ongoing nuclear weapons modernization programs and North Korea’s “nuclear provocations.” It concludes, “We must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it be.”
If the United States government were to really “look reality in the eye and see the world as it is”, it would recognize that it is failing miserably to lead the world toward the abolition of the only class of weapons that is a true existential threat to our country. As an obvious historic matter, the U.S. is the first and only country to use nuclear weapons. Since WWII the U.S. has threatened to use nuclear weapons in the Korean and Viet Nam wars, and on many other occasions.
Further, it is hypocritical to point to Russia and China’s “modernization” programs as if they are taking place in a vacuum. The U.S. has been upgrading its nuclear arsenal all along. In the last few years our country has embarked on a $1.7 trillion modernization program to completely rebuild its nuclear weapons production complex and all three legs of its nuclear triad.
Moreover, Russia and China’s modernization programs are driven in large part by their perceived need to preserve strategic stability and deterrence.. (read the full press release)

2017


For Immediate Release, December 22, 2017:
New Mexico Environment Department Surrendered to DOE Extortion
Santa Fe, NM. The New Mexico State Auditor Office recently questioned whether two settlements between the New Mexico Environment Department and the Department of Energy were in the best interests of New Mexico. That Office noted:
“The New Mexico Environment Department unnecessarily forgave tens of millions of dollars in civil penalties related to various waste management issues and missed cleanup deadlines by the Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors. Considering the seriousness of the violations, and the clarity regarding responsibility for the violations, it appears highly unusual that the Department would not collect any civil penalties under these circumstances.”
NMED completed an assessment of $54 million in penalties that would have gone to New Mexico, but did not enforce them before making the settlements with DOE. This was at a time when the state was beginning to face a serious budget crisis. As State Senator John Arthur Smith (Chair of the Senate Finance Committee) put it, NMED’s failure to levy penalties when New Mexico was facing a budget crisis is “taking it out of the pockets of our kids and young people when they do something like that.”
Jay Coghlan, Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, commented, “This is inexcusable that NMED preemptively surrendered to Department of Energy extortion. In effect DOE is saying if you, the regulator, fine us, we will cut the money the taxpayer has paid to clean up our mess that threatens the citizens you are suppose to protect.” (View/download full press release)


For Immediate Release December 20, 2017
Los Alamos Hires New Contractor – Starts Cleanup On the Cheap
Santa Fe, NM- Today the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of the new Los Alamos National Laboratory legacy cleanup contract to Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, LLC. The $1.39 billion contract is for ten years, which works out to $139 million per year…
Jay Coghlan, Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, commented, “This dooms the Lab to cleanup on the cheap. This 140 million dollars per year to the cleanup contractor is based on a revised Consent Order by the New Mexico Environment Department that was a give away to the Los Alamos Lab. The original 2005 Consent Order held the Department of Energy’s feet to the fire to complete real cleanup or pay stipulated penalties. In contrast, the Martinez administration gave the biggest polluter in northern New Mexico a free pass, forgiving a hundred million dollars in possible fines that should have gone to our kids’ schools. New Mexicans deserve an Environment Department under a new governor that aggressively protects the environment and creates new high-paying jobs thorough enforcing comprehensive cleanup.”
View/download the full press release


Public Presentation, December 2, 2017:
“Nuclear Weapons Development, Testing, Stockpile & UN Treaty”
Presentation by Nukewatch Director Jay Coghlan at the Albuquerque symposium “Dismantling the Nuclear Beast” Dec. 1-3, 2017.
View/download Power Point doc


For immediate release, October 31, 2017:
Congressional Budget Office: Cost of Nuclear Weapons Upgrades and Improvements Increases to $1.2 Trillion
Today, in Washington, DC, the Congressional Budget Office released its new report, “Approaches for Managing the Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2017 to 2046”. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the most recent detailed plans for nuclear forces, which were incorporated in the Obama Administration’s 2017 budget request, would cost $1.2 trillion in 2017 dollars over the 2017-2046 period: more than $800 billion to operate and sustain (that is, incrementally upgrade) nuclear forces and about $400 billion to modernize them…. Driving this astronomical expense is the fact that instead of maintaining just the few hundred warheads needed for the publicly claimed policy of “deterrence,” thousands of warheads are being refurbished and improved to fight a potential nuclear war. This is the little known but explicit policy of the U.S. government… (read full press release)


For immediate release, October 27, 2017:
Santa Fe City Council: LANL Cleanup Order Must Be Strengthened & Expanded
and Plutonium Pit Production Suspended Until Safety Issues Are Resolved

Santa Fe, NM. On the evening of Wednesday October 25, the Santa Fe City Council passed a resolution requesting that the New Mexico Environment Department strengthen the revised Los Alamos National Labs cleanup order to call for additional characterization of legacy nuclear wastes, increased cleanup funding, and significant additional safety training. The resolution also called for the suspension of any planned expanded plutonium pit production until safety issues are resolved. (view/download full press release)


For immediate release: October 6, 2017:
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Wins Nobel Peace Prize-
NukeWatch Calls on New Mexico Politicians and Santa Fe Archbishop To Support Drive Toward Abolition

Santa Fe, NM. Nuclear Watch New Mexico strongly applauds the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (disclosure: NukeWatch is one of ICAN’s ~400 member groups around the world). This award is especially apt because the peoples of the world are now living at the highest risk for nuclear war since the middle 1980’s, when during President Reagan’s military buildup the Soviet Union became convinced that the United States might launch a pre-emptive nuclear first strike. Today, we not only have Trump’s threats to “totally destroy” North Korea and Kim Jong-un’s counter threats, but also renewed Russian fears of a US preemptive nuclear attack… Generally unknown to the American taxpayer, our government has quietly tripled the lethality of the US nuclear weapons stockpile…” (view/download complete press release)


NukeWatch fact sheet, September 26, 2017:
Expanded Plutonium Pit Production at LANL Will Not Result in Significant Positive Effect On Job Creation and the Regional Economy
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s own documents have explicitly stated that expanded pit production would have no significant positive effect on job creation and the regional economy of northern New Mexico. Nuclear Watch argues that expanded plutonium pit production could actually have negative effect if it blocks other economic alternatives such as comprehensive cleanup, which could be the real job producer. Moreover, given LANL’s poor safety and environmental record, expanded plutonium pit production could have a seriously negative economic impact on northern New Mexico in the event of any major accidents.
view/download fact sheet


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


For immediate release: July 20, 2017:
Oak Ridge Environmental and Peace Alliance, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and The Natural Resources Defense Council File Lawsuit Against New Nuclear Bomb Plant Washington, DC Ð Today, the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA), Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a federal lawsuit to stop construction of the problem-plagued Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) until legally required environmental review is completed. The UPF, located at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA’s) Y-12 production plant near Oak Ridge, TN, is slated to produce new thermonuclear weapons components until the year 2080. The UPF is the tip of the spear for the U.S.’s planned one trillion dollar-plus make over of its nuclear weapons arsenal, delivery systems, and production plants.
“The story of this new bomb plant is a long tale of outrageous waste and mismanagement, false starts and re-dos, a federal agency that refuses to meet its legal obligation to engage the public, and a Senator that is bent on protecting this piece of prime nuclear pork for his home state,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of OREPA. “But the short version is this: when the NNSA made dramatic changes to the UPF, and admitted that it intends to continue to operate dangerous, already contaminated facilities for another twenty or thirty years, they ran afoul of the National Environmental Policy Act. Our complaint demands that the NNSA complete a supplemental environmental impact statement on the latest iteration of its flawed plans.” View/download the full press release


For immediate release: June 19, 2017:
Some Background on Plutonium Pit Production at the Los Alamos Lab Santa Fe, NM -The Washington Post has published the first in a series of articles on nuclear safety lapses in plutonium pit production at the Los Alamos Lab. Plutonium pits are the fissile cores of nuclear weapons that when imploded initiate the thermonuclear detonation of modern weapons.
By the way, did you know? Plutonium facilities at LANL are- in principle- designed to withstand a serious earthquake of a degree expected to occur only once every 10,000 years. The last serious earthquake near the Lab is believed to have occurred 11,500 years ago. View/download the full press release


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)


For immediate release, May 19, 2017:
A Preview of Trump’s Budget: More Nuclear Bombs and Plutonium Pit Production
Santa Fe, NM. “The proposed level of funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA)’s Total Weapons Activities is $10.2 billion, a full billion above what was requested for FY 2017. In March, Trump’s “skinny budget” stated NNSA’s funding priorities as ‘moving toward a responsive nuclear infrastructure’, and ‘advancing the existing warhead life extension programs’.
“Concerning Life Extension Programs, rather than merely maintaining and extending the lives of existing nuclear weapons as advertised, they are being given new military capabilities, despite denials at the highest levels of government. A current example is the B61-12 Life Extension Program, which is transforming a “dumb” nuclear bomb into the world’s first highly accurate “smart” nuclear bomb.
“With respect to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), “responsive infrastructure” no doubt means accelerating upgrades to existing plutonium facilities and likely building two or three new underground “modules”, all for the purpose of quadrupling plutonium pit production from 20 to 80 pits per year. (Plutonium pits are the fissile cores of nuclear weapons.)”
Read the full press release for all the details.


ANA workshop at UN Ban Treaty Conference
Above, from left to right: Rick Wayman, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley Cares (Lawrence Livermore); Ralph Hutchison, OREPA (Y-12); Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch NM (Los Alamos, Sandia), and Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists.

March 28, 2017, UN, NYC:
Ban Treaty Conference: Alliance for Nuclear Accountability Panel Discussion
See video clips of some of the speakers:


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


For immediate release, February 23, 2017:
Costs Jump in Nuclear Weapons vs. Cleanup; Nuclear Weapons Winning over Environmental Protection
Santa Fe, NM. America is at a crossroads, having to choose between an unnecessarily large, exorbitant, nuclear weapons stockpile, and cleanup that would protect the environment and water resources for future generations. Expanded nuclear weapons research and production, which will cause yet more contamination, is winning.
Two recently released government reports make clear the stark inequality between the so-called modernization program to upgrade and indefinitely preserve U.S. nuclear forces (in large part for a new Cold War with Russia), and the nation-wide program to clean up the radioactive and toxic contamination from the first Cold War. The Obama Administration launched a trillion dollar nuclear weapons “modernization” program, which President Trump may expand. In contrast, cleanup of the first Cold War mess has been cut from a high of $8.5 billion in 2003 to $5.25 billion in 2016, even though comprehensive cleanup would produce far more jobs than nuclear weapons programs. Read the full press release for all the details.


For immediate release, January 5, 2017
NNSA Releases Los Alamos Lab Performance Evaluation Report
Nuclear Criticality Safety Issues Still Not Fully Resolved

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has publicly released its fiscal year 2016 Performance Evaluation Report (PER) for Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the for-profit contractor that runs the Los Alamos Lab. The Performance Evaluation Report is NNSA’s annual report card on contractor performance, and overall the agency awarded LANS $59 million in profit out of a possible $65 million. The grade was 85% for the incentive part of the award. In 2012 Nuclear Watch New Mexico successfully sued NNSA to ensure that the Performance Evaluation Reports detailing taxpayers funds paid to nuclear weapons contractors are publicly available. In 2016 the NNSA decided to put the LANL management contract out for competitive bid, but granted LANS a contract extension until the end of September 2018.
Despite the passing grade that NNSA gave LANS, there is still ample reason for public concern. First, it bears repeating that in February 2014 a radioactive waste drum improperly prepared by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) burst underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), contaminating 21 workers and closing that multi-billion dollar facility (a limited restart of operations at WIPP may occur this month).
Less widely known is the fact that LANL’s main plutonium facility that produces WIPP wastes has only recently restarted operations after being shut down since June 2013 because of nuclear criticality safety concerns… (more: read full press release)


December 3, 2016, Santa Fe, NM:
Nuclear Watch NM presents:
Screening: Command and Control Followed by Discussion and Book-Signing
– Sat. 12/3 3:30pm. Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail; phone: 505-982-1338
– Screening of the highly acclaimed film, “Command and Control”, based on Eric Schlosser’s book of the same name.
“Schlosser was on hand after the screening for an interview with Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico…” (ref)


For immediate release, January 26, 2017
As Trump Seeks to Expand U.S. Nuclear Weapons Capabilities New Sandia Labs Director Argued for Expanded Use of Nuclear Weapons
Santa Fe, NM- On December 22, 2016 president-elect Donald Trump upended four decades of U.S. policy to reduce nuclear weapons by tweeting “the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” The next morning he doubled down by declaring, “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
One of the most important players in the trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade is the Sandia National Laboratories, with its newly appointed director Stephen Younger. Long before Trump, Younger argued for the expanded use of nuclear weapons, writing in his June 2000 paper Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century “[i]t is often, but not universally, thought that nuclear weapons would only be used in extremis, when the nation is in the gravest danger…..This may not be true in the future.” (P. 2)
Although “deterrence” has been sold to the American taxpayer for decades as the rationale for nuclear weapons, in reality the U.S. (and Russian) arsenal is for nuclear warfighting, as a 2013 top-level Pentagon document explicitly states:
“The new guidance requires the United States to maintain significant counterforce capabilities against potential adversaries. The new guidance does not rely on a “counter-value’ or “minimum deterrence” strategy.” (more- view download full press release PDF)


For immediate release, January 17, 2017
Watchdogs Assail Revolving Door Between New Mexico Environment Department and Polluters; Gov. Martinez Fails to Protect State Budget and Environment
Santa Fe, NM- As the annual state legislative session begins, New Mexico is faced with a ~$70 million budget deficit, which must be balanced as per the state’s constitution, while revenues are projected to continue falling. To remedy this, Gov. Martinez plans to divert $120 million from public school reserves, take ~$12.5 million out of state employee retirement accounts, make teachers and state workers pay more into their retirement accounts (they are already among the lowest paid in the country), and extend 5.5% cuts for most state agencies while cutting yet more from the legislature and higher education. Instead, the state’s budget deficit could have been prevented had the New Mexico Environment Department aggressively fined polluters. But unfortunately there is a strong revolving door between NMED and the polluters it is suppose to regulate. (view press release PDF)


For immediate release, January 5, 2017
NNSA Releases Los Alamos Lab Performance Evaluation Report
Nuclear Criticality Safety Issues Still Not Fully Resolved

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has publicly released its fiscal year 2016 Performance Evaluation Report (PER) for Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the for-profit contractor that runs the Los Alamos Lab. The Performance Evaluation Report is NNSA’s annual report card on contractor performance, and overall the agency awarded LANS $59 million in profit out of a possible $65 million. The grade was 85% for the incentive part of the award. In 2012 Nuclear Watch New Mexico successfully sued NNSA to ensure that the Performance Evaluation Reports detailing taxpayers funds paid to nuclear weapons contractors are publicly available. In 2016 the NNSA decided to put the LANL management contract out for competitive bid, but granted LANS a contract extension until the end of September 2018.
Despite the passing grade that NNSA gave LANS, there is still ample reason for public concern. First, it bears repeating that in February 2014 a radioactive waste drum improperly prepared by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) burst underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), contaminating 21 workers and closing that multi-billion dollar facility (a limited restart of operations at WIPP may occur this month).
Less widely known is the fact that LANL’s main plutonium facility that produces WIPP wastes has only recently restarted operations after being shut down since June 2013 because of nuclear criticality safety concerns… (more: read full press release)

2016

December 3, 2016, Santa Fe, NM:
Nuclear Watch NM presents:
Film Screening: Command and Control Followed by Discussion and Book-Signing
– Sat. 12/3 3:30pm. Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail; phone: 505-982-1338
– Screening of the highly acclaimed film, “Command and Control”, based on Eric Schlosser’s book of the same name.
“Schlosser was on hand after the screening for an interview with Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico…” (ref)


For immediate release, October 28, 2016
Watchdog Groups Call For New Environmental Impact Study For Nuclear Bomb Plant
Cite Worker And Public Risks, New Seismic Information
“The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance and Nuclear Watch New Mexico today released a letter to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz calling for a new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Y-12 is a manufacturing plant that produces the thermonuclear cores (secondaries) for US nuclear warheads and bombs.
“The letter rejects the analysis prepared by the National Nuclear Security Administration and the subsequent Amended Record of Decision released in August 2016 in which the NNSA gave itself the green light to proceed with construction of the Uranium Processing Facility, a bomb plant originally intended to replace aging facilities.”
Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico Director, commented: “The Uranium Processing Facility is the tip-of-the-spear for the trillion dollar “modernization” of U.S. nuclear forces that will fleece the American taxpayer. It will enrich the usual fat cat defense contractors by keeping nuclear weapons forever while rebuilding them to give them new military capabilities. The public has the legal right to review planned changes to the deeply troubled Uranium Processing facility, which we seek to enforce.”
– Read full press release (PDF) – See letter to Sec. Moniz (PDF)


For immediate release, September 21, 2016
New Mexican Politicians Should Not Be Misled- Energy Dept. Misrepresents Cost and Scope of Los Alamos Cleanup
“…The DOE report is far from honest. It intentionally omits any mention of approximately 150,000 cubic meters of poorly characterized radioactive and toxic wastes just at Area G (LANL’s largest waste dump) alone, an amount of wastes 30 times larger than DOE acknowledges in the 2016 Lifecycle Cost Estimate. In reality, DOE and LANL plan to not clean up Area G, instead installing an “engineered cover” and leaving the wastes permanently buried. This will create a permanent nuclear waste dump above the regional groundwater aquifer, three miles uphill from the Rio Grande. Radioactive and toxic wastes are buried directly in the ground without liners, and migration of plutonium has been detected 200 feet below Area G’s surface…”
Read full press release (PDF)

For immediate release, August 10, 2016:
NNSA Set to Approve New Facilities for Expanded Plutonium Pit Production Without Credible Plans and Required Public Review
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency within the Department of Energy, which has the singular distinction of being the only federal department on the GAO’s High Risk List for wasting taxpayer dollars for 25 consecutive years. LANL is NNSA’s so-called “Plutonium Center of Excellence” and the nation’s only site for pit production, but major operations at PF-4, its main plutonium facility, have been stopped since June 2013 because of nuclear criticality safety concerns. In addition, there is no place for LANL to send its radioactive transuranic wastes from plutonium pit production since one of its waste drums ruptured at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February 2014 and indefinitely closed that multi-billion facility.
Despite all this, funding for NNSA’s nuclear weapons research and production programs is being increased to nearly double the Cold War’s historic average, while nonproliferation, warhead dismantlement and cleanup programs are being cut or held flat…
Read full press release (PDF)


For immediate release, June 29, 2016:
NM Environment Dept. Finalizes Consent Order on Los Alamos Lab Cleanup; Surrenders Enforcement to Nuclear Weaponeers
“The new Consent Order is a giveaway to the Department of Energy and the Lab, surrendering the strong enforceability of the old Consent Order. The new Order is also clearly the opposite of the old Consent Order, whose underlying intent was to make DOE and LANL get more money from Congress for accelerated cleanup. In contrast, the new Consent Order allows them to get out of future cleanup by simply claiming that it’s too expensive or impractical to clean up…”
(view/download full press release PDF)


For immediate release, July 19, 2016:
Nuclear Watch NM Amends LANL Cleanup Lawsuit – Claims New Consent Order To Be Invalid
“Nuclear Watch New Mexico has amended its federal lawsuit against the Department of Energy (DOE) and Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) that alleges twelve violations of a 2005 Consent Order governing cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Those violations could result in potential penalties of more than $300 million dollars that would go to the state, if only the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) were to enforce them. Nuclear Watch now asks the court to declare the new 2016 Consent Order to be invalid because the requirement for the opportunity of a public hearing was not met.”
(view/download full press release PDF)


For immediate release, June 29, 2016:
NM Environment Dept. Finalizes Consent Order on Los Alamos Lab Cleanup; Surrenders Enforcement to Nuclear Weaponeers
“The new Consent Order is a giveaway to the Department of Energy and the Lab, surrendering the strong enforceability of the old Consent Order. The new Order is also clearly the opposite of the old Consent Order, whose underlying intent was to make DOE and LANL get more money from Congress for accelerated cleanup. In contrast, the new Consent Order allows them to get out of future cleanup by simply claiming that it’s too expensive or impractical to clean up…”
(view/download full press release PDF)

June 1, 2016:
Public comments on the proposed (revised) LANL Consent Order
On March 30, 2016, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released for public comment its proposed 2016 Compliance Order on Consent (“Consent Order”) governing cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
Thanks to all who sent in comments.
See comments submitted by the public (PDF)
See comment submitted by NukeWatch (PDF)

April 15, 2016:
NNSA FY 2017 budget request – Nuclear Watch analysis/compilation
View/download PDF

April 15, 2016:
LANL FY 2017 budget request – with annotations
View/download PDF

For immediate release, April 13, 2016:
NukeWatch NM Heads to Washington to Press Congress, Obama Officials
To Stop U.S. Nuclear Weapons “Trillion Dollar Trainwreck”

-LANL Whistleblower Chuck Montaño to Be Honored
Three members of Nuclear Watch New Mexico will visit Washington, DC from April 17 to April 20 to oppose U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons projects, which they say will lead to a “trillion dollar trainwreck” through out-of control spending, more radioactive waste generation, and weapons proliferation. The group will meet with the New Mexican congressional delegation, committee staffers, and administration officials with responsibility for U. S. nuclear policies to press for new funding priorities.
Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch director and president of the ANA Board of Directors, said, “Massive spending on nuclear weapons ‘modernization’ creates potential catastrophic risks for U.S. taxpayers, the environment and world peace. We will press policy-makers to cut programs that fund dangerous DOE boondoggles. The money saved should be redirected to dismantling weapons and cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production.”
(view/download full press release PDF)

For immediate release, April 7, 2016:
NukeWatch Files Second FOIA Request for Los Alamos and Sandia Labs Evaluations
Demands Expedited Release to E-FOIA Reading Room
Santa Fe, NM. Nuclear Watch New Mexico has filed a second request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s FY 2015 Performance Evaluation Reports for the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Nuclear Watch filed its first request on December 22, 2015, which has still not been fulfilled despite the law’s statutory requirement that FOIA requests be honored within 20 working days. Because of that, Nuclear Watch is demanding expedited processing and posting of these reports to an electronic FOIA reading room, as required by the 1996 E-FOIA amendments.
(view/download full press release PDF)

April 7, 2016, Document:
NukeWatch’s FOIA Request for Los Alamos and Sandia Labs FY 2015 Performance Evaluation Reports
Santa Fe, NM. Nuclear Watch New Mexico has filed a second request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s FY 2015 Performance Evaluation Reports for the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Nuclear Watch filed its first request on December 22, 2015, which has still not been fulfilled despite the law’s statutory requirement that FOIA requests be honored within 20 working days. Because of that, Nuclear Watch is demanding expedited processing and posting of these reports to an electronic FOIA reading room, as required by the 1996 E-FOIA amendments.
(view/download full FOIA Request PDF)

For immediate release, March 30, 2016
NukeWatch Denounces New Consent Order on Los Alamos Lab Cleanup
Santa Fe, NM. Today, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued a new draft Consent Order that in theory will govern cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Instead, the new Consent Order is a giveaway to the Department of Energy and the Lab who are intent on creating yet more radioactive waste from expanded nuclear weapons production.
(view/download full press release PDF)

For immediate release, Feb 2, 2016:
Watchdogs Call for Renewed Investigation of Corruption at Los Alamos Lab and Questionable Suicide of Former Deputy Director
Excerpts:
Santa Fe, Feb. 2. Today three well-known whistleblowers sent a certified letter to Damon Martinez, the US Attorney for the District of New Mexico, asking him to reopen an investigation into fraud and corruption at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the questionable suicide in 2002 of the then-recently retired Lab Deputy Director.
(View full press release PDF)
– The Walp/Doran/Montaño letter to Mr. Damon Martinez, US Attorney for New Mexico: (view/download PDF)

For immediate release, January 20, 2016
NukeWatch Gives Notice of Intent to Sue Over Lack of Cleanup at Los Alamos
Santa Fe, NM. Today, Nuclear Watch New Mexico notified the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that it will file a lawsuit over their failure to meet cleanup milestones under a “Consent Order” governed by the New Mexico Environment Department. Formal notice is required before a lawsuit can actually be filed, which NukeWatch intends to do within 60 days or less. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is representing NukeWatch in this legal action to enforce cleanup at LANL.
Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch Executive Director, commented, ‘”The nuclear weaponeers plan to spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years completely rebuilding U.S. nuclear forces. Meanwhile, cleanup at the Los Alamos Lab, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, continues to be delayed, delayed, delayed. We are putting the weaponeers on notice that they have to cleanup their radioactive and toxic mess first before making another one for a nuclear weapons stockpile that is already bloated far beyond what we need. Real cleanup would be a win-win for New Mexicans, permanently protecting our water and environment while creating hundreds of high paying jobs.”
(Read more- see full press release PDF) / (see Notice of Intent letter PDF)
(Press release PDF)

For immediate release, January 15, 2016
National Nuclear Security Administration Gives Green Light
For Expanded Plutonium Pit Production at Los Alamos

Santa Fe, NM Ð Today the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent agency commissioned by Congress, posted a weekly report that makes explicit a decision by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to expand plutonium pit production at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Plutonium pits are the fissile cores or “triggers” of modern two-stage thermonuclear weapons, but they are also atomic weapons in their own right (a plutonium bomb incinerated Nagasaki in August 1945). Plutonium pit production has always been the choke point preventing industrial-scale U.S. nuclear weapons production ever since a FBI raid investigating environmental crimes shut down the notorious Rocky Flats Plant near Denver in 1989.
Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch Director, commented, “Expanded plutonium pit production at the Los Alamos Lab is really all about future new-design nuclear weapons with new military capabilities produced through so-called Life Extension Programs for existing nuclear weapons.” The relevant case-in-point is that LANL is now tooling up to produce pits for one type of warhead (the W87) to use in an “Interoperable Warhead” that will combine two other warheads (the W78, a land-based ICBM warhead, and the W88, a sub-launched warhead), clearly a radically new design even if as claimed only existing nuclear weapons components are used.
(see full press release PDF)

2015


For immediate release, December 7, 2015
Deadline for Last Cleanup Milestone of LANL Consent Order Passes;
NukeWatch Calls for Public Seats at the Table in Negotiations

Santa Fe, NM. Yesterday, December 6, was the deadline for the last compliance milestone in the Consent Order between the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the Department of Energy (DOE) that governs cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Ironically, that last milestone required the submittal of a report by the Lab on how it successfully completed cleanup of Area G, its largest waste dump. But real comprehensive cleanup is decades away at current funding levels…”
(view press release PDF)

For immediate release, September 25, 2015:
Pope Francis Calls for the Complete Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
“There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.”- Pope Francis at the UN Sept 25, 2015.
View full press release (PDF)

For immediate release, September 1, 2015:
Los Alamos Nat’l Lab Files Motion to Dismiss James Doyle Whistleblower Case
Dr. James Doyle: “This attempt by LANS to have my case dismissed before the promised Inspector General investigation or an administrative hearing is a blatant attempt to deprive me of my rights and to cover up misconduct. I have written to President Obama and Energy Secretary Moniz asking that they deny LANS’ motion to dismiss and complete the promised Inspector General investigation.”
View full press release (PDF)

For immediate release, August 22, 2015:
Watchdogs Denounce Slap on Wrist for Illegal Lobbying Activities By the World’s Biggest Defense Contractor- and Demand Real Accountability by Barring Lockheed Martin From Future Sandia Labs Contract.
Sandia Corporation will pay $4.7 million to resolve allegations related to lobbying activities
View full press release (PDF)

For immediate release, August 12, 2015:
Nuclear Weapons Experts File Amicus Brief to Support Marshall Islands Lawsuit to Require Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations Under U.S. NonProliferation Treaty Commitments
Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by Los Alamos National Lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT).
View/download full press release

August 12, 2015:
Amicus Brief in Support of Marshall Islands Lawsuit
The amicus brief has been prepared by: Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by Los Alamos National Lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

Nuclear Weapons, Los Alamos and Nonviolence
August 2015: Panel discussion on the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with Bud Ryan, Jay Coghlan, Rev. Jim Lawson, Marian Naranjo, and Beata Tsosie-Pena.

For immediate release, June 30, 2015:
Watchdog Groups Seek Info On Alleged Rat Shootings in Nuclear Weapons Facilities
Rep. Mac Thornberry, Chairman House Armed Services Committee, said that Nuclear engineers no longer consider national laboratories “desirable” places to work, “partly because they had to shoot rats off their lunch in some of the facilities that they were working in.” (see video) Mr. Thornberry’s remarks raise a number of serious safety and security questions that we are keen to have answered… Peace Farm and Nuclear Watch New Mexico have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request…
FOIA request / letter to Rep. Thornberry / press release

For immediate release, May 13, 2015:
Watchdog Groups Head to DC to Urge Congress and the Obama Administration to Confront “The Growing US Nuclear Threat”
Alliance For Nuclear Accountability Report seeks cuts in bomb plants and warhead modernization; use savings for cleanup and weapons dismantlement
“The Growing U.S. Nuclear Threat”
View/download full press release

May 8, 2015:
NukeWatch Fact Sheet: “Four Reasons Why U.S. Claims of NPT Compliance Are False”

March 27, 2015:
NukeWatch Fact Sheet: “Plutonium Pit Production at LANL”

For immediate release, March 5, 2015
Watchdog Groups Praise NNSA Decision to Obey the Law, Prepare Supplement Analysis on Bomb Plant
“The National Nuclear Security Administration’s disclosure that the agency is “in the process” of preparing a Supplement Analysis for the much-changed Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at the Y-12 nuclear weapons production plant brought praise from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) and Nuclear Watch New Mexico. Just two days ago the two grassroots watchdog groups filed an expedited Freedom of Information Act request asking for the Supplement Analysis. At the same time the two groups noted that NNSA could be legally vulnerable without one. …”
View/download full press release March 3, 2015:
OREPA and Nuclear Watch NM File an FOIA request re Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge Tenn. (view PDF)

For immediate release, February 2, 2015
FY 2016 Budget: Nuclear Watch NM Compilation and Analysis
– DOE Nuclear Weapons Budget Up 10%, Equals Cold War Record
– Huge Startup for Nuclear Cruise Missile Warhead
– $4 Billion Slated for LANL Plutonium Pit Production Facilities
– Cleanup and Dismantlement Funding Flat
(View/download press release -PDF)

January 13, 2015
Nonproliferation Expert Highlights Need for New Tools for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Verification
In a new report, Dr. James Doyle calls for urgent multi-agency focus
(View/download PDF)

2014


December 29, 2014
NNSA Cuts Los Alamos Lab’s Award Fees by 90%
Watchdogs Say Management Contract Should Be Put Out for Bid
(View/download PDF)

December 19, 2014
Watchdogs Urge Big Cut to Contractor Fees at the Sandia Labs:
POGO & NukeWatch to Sec. Moniz: Slash Sandia Performance Award
(View/download PDF)

December 6, 2014
Watchdog Urges Increasing DOE Accountability in Wake of Fines
“Today the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) declared multiple violations at both the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). NMED plans to fine WIPP $17.7 million and LANL $36.6 million due to major procedural problems related to the handling of radioactive transuranic (TRU) wastes that contributed to two significant incidents at WIPP earlier this year…” (View/download PDF)

December 3, 2014
Watchdogs Urge Reduced Contractor Fees at the Los Alamos Lab
Project On Government Oversight and Nuclear Watch New Mexico sent the Secretary of the Department of Energy a letter urging that the contractor award fee for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) be slashed due to grossly substandard contractor performance. (View/download PDF)

November 25, 2014
NNSA Considers Stuffing More Plutonium Into New Facility
(View/download PDF)

October 9, 2014.
Fired LANL Expert, Lab Watchdogs Team Up; Launch Project to Increase Nonproliferation Programs, Cut Exorbitant Nuclear Weapons “Modernization” Programs
(View/download PDF)

Sept 26, 2014:
Sandia National Laboratories 101 (PDF)
Fact sheet prepared by Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Los Alamos National Laboratory 101 (PDF)
Fact sheet prepared by Nuclear Watch New Mexico

July 31, 2014.
LANL Fires Nonproliferation Specialist; Lab Abuses Classification Procedures to Restrict Nuclear Weapons Abolition Message
(View/download PDF)

June 27, 2014.
Missed WIPP Deadline May Put Real Cleanup at LANL Back On Track
(View/download PDF)

New ANA Report NNSA Boondoggles
May 2014:
A New Report From The Alliance For Nuclear Accountability:
Billion Dollar Boondoggles:
Challenging the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Plan to Spend More Money for Less Security

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Exec. Dir. Jay Coghlan contributed the sections on the B61/ALCM Life Extension Programs, NNSA/contractor reform, plutonium infrastructure, and parts of “The Failure of Modernization.”
View the ANA report (PDF)
Press: Nuclear Site Watchdogs Offer Fresh Analysis, Solutions

April 30. 2014
New Report: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Agency Claims Phony Budget Savings; Misleads Congress and Taxpayers About Real Costs of New Warheads; Nonproliferation and Dismantlement Programs Cut
(View/download PDF)

April 28, 2014:
New Report: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Agency Claims Phony Budget Savings; Misleads Congress and Taxpayers About Real Costs of New Warheads; Nonproliferation and Dismantlement Programs Cut
View/download the NWNM 4/30 press release (PDF)
View/download NWNM’s analysis of the FY2015 SSMP (PDF)
View/download an executive summary of NWNM’s analysis of the FY2015 SSMP (PDF)

March 17, 2014.
DOE Nuclear Weapons Budget Surpasses Cold War Record
(View/download PDF)

March 4, 2014.
Nuclear Weapons Budget Increased; Nonproliferation and Cleanup Budgets Cut; Good News: Wasteful Plutonium Program Shuttered
(View/download PDF)

LANL Area G:
Feb. 12, 2014: NukeWatch Presentation to Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board View presentation (PDF)See the NukeWatch Area G page for more on this issue

Jan. 14, 2014.
Budget Deal a Mixed Bag for Nuclear Weapons Programs- Planned Long-Term Trend Not Sustainable
(View/download PDF)

2013


Dec. 21, 2013.
Nuclear Weapons “Modernization” Will Cost One Trillion Dollars Over Thirty Years; Locally, Los Alamos Lab Cleanup and Job Creation Are Imperiled

(View/download PDF)

Nov. 8, 2013.
Santa Fe Mayor Calls to Not Allow the Creation of a Permanent Nuclear Waste Dump at Los Alamos

(View/download PDF)

Nov. 3, 2013.
Heather Wilson Finalized Contract with Sandia Labs While in Congress; Payments Started the First Day She Left Congress; Wilson Should Resign from Council Determining LabsÕ Future

(View/download PDF)

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. We gratefully dedicate it to Leroy Moore, longtime activist with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and J. Carson Mark, retired director of the Los Alamos Lab’s Theoretical Division and ardent arms control advocate. Jay Coghlan, Dec. 2013.
(View/download full report- PDF)
July 11, 2013.
New Mexico Members of Congress Vote for Exorbitant Nuclear Bomb While State Is Ranked as the Worst for Children

(View/download PDF)
Santa Fe, NM. Yesterday all three House members of the New Mexican congressional delegation voted against an amendment that would cut money added to a wasteful nuclear weapons program. In April the Obama Administration asked for $537 million in fiscal year 2014 for a “Life Extension Program” for the B61 Cold War nuclear bomb, 45% above the 2013 level. The House Appropriations Committee added $23.7 million to that bloated request, which the amendment would have cut. Overall, the B61 Life Extension Program has exploded in estimated costs to where each warhead will cost twice their weight in gold just to “refurbish” (which does not include original production and ongoing maintenance costs). The sponsor of the amendment, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., testified during floor debate:
“At a time when we are slashing funds for disease research at the NIH [National Institute of Health], failing to fund our crumbling infrastructure, and underinvesting in our children1s education, we are increasing funding to keep hundreds of nuclear bombs in operation that we will never use. The Cold War is over.”

June 27, 2013.
Senate Appropriations Cuts Nuclear Bomb Life Extension Program; NM’s Tom Udall Tries to Restore Funding to Bloated Program

(View/download PDF)
Santa Fe, NM: “Today the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee reported that it cut funding for the National Nuclear Security Administrations B61 nuclear bomb Life Extension Program (LEP). This is a significant victory for good governance, and it could positively influence future nuclear arms control. The Obama Administrations request for the B61 LEP was $537 million for FY 2014, a 45% increase above FY 2013. Senate Energy and Water cut it by $168 million to $369 million, and directed NNSA to look at alternatives since the full-blown program is experiencing massive cost overruns. Senator Tom Udall opposed this cut since most of the B61 work will take place at the Los Alamos and Sandia nuclear weapons labs in New Mexico…”

June 11, 2013
Nuclear Weapons Labs Made Improper Payments to Heather Wilson; She Should Resign from NNSA Council Determining Their Future

(View/download PDF)

May 17, 2013
NNSA Penalizes Sandia; In Response Labs Director Says the Needs of the Nuclear Weapons Stockpile May Not Be Met

(View/download PDF)
Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico Director, commented, “In response to NNSA’s criticism and proposed penalty, in effect Hommert tells the federal government to give us the money or the safety and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile is at risk. There is an inherent conflict of interest in having the nuclear weapons labs directors also acting as presidents of the for-profit limited liability corporations that run the labs. As part of badly need reform and strengthening of federal oversight, these two positions should be strictly separated so that the American public can be fully confident that profoundly serious nuclear weapons policy decisions are not being influenced by private profit motives.”

March 7, 2013.
Fee Award Assessments Show Nuclear Weapons Complex in Disarray; Untested Changes to Reliable Stockpile Planned and Encouraged; NNSA Head Increased Profits For Contractors Despite Poor Performance; Greater Federal Oversight of Taxpayers Money Needed

(View/download PDF)

Feb. 8, 2013.
Proposed Nuke Cuts a Step in the Right Direction – New Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities And Military Capabilities Should Be Cut As Well

(View/download PDF)
Nuclear Watch New Mexico applauds further cuts to strategic nuclear weapons as an excellent step in the right direction. But as the Center for Public Integrity points out the Obama Administration considered but rejected a “deterrence only” nuclear posture that would require only some 500 warheads to back up the officially declared policy of deterring others. This is in contrast to the 1,000+ weapons needed for nuclear war-fighting and first strike capability (which the U.S. has never renounced).

January 23, 2013.
Livermore Lab at the Crossroads

NWNM Media Advisory

January 16, 2013.
Nuclear Watch Helps To Get Nuclear Weapons Contractors’ Performance Reports Made Public

(View/download PDF)
After much watchdogging from Nuclear Watch New Mexico and a new statutory requirement in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the annual federal award assessments that determine the profits of the nation’s nuclear weapons contractors will be publicly released. This follows NukeWatch’s Freedom of Information Act request last year that succeeded in obtaining only heavily redacted award reports. We subsequently 1) sued to successfully obtain the reports in full, and 2) asked the Senate Armed Services Committee to require their annual release, now codified in the final Act signed by the President.
View our handy table of the award fees here. (PDF)

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