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Trump Admin and Nuclear Weapons Policy
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Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
LRSO: New Nuclear Cruise Missile
B61-12 Enhanced Nuclear Bomb
Marshall Islands Lawsuit
Nuke Lab Contractors Illegal Lobbying
MOX / Plutonium Disposition
CMRR-Nuclear Facility
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Nuclear Testing Since 1945
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At Y-12, the cost of designing the Uranium Processing Facility keeps spiraling: $92 million in '06, $2 billion by '16. (How do you spend 2 billion dollars designing anything?) - See OREPA's June '15 UPF update

- NNSA Cuts Los Alamos Lab's Award Fees by 90%
- DOE IG Report: Sandia Labs Misused Federal Funds
- Y-12: Poster Child For A Dysfunctional Nuclear
  Weapons Complex

ANA Map of nuclear risks USA
Click the image to 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.



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The Union of Concerned Scientists has created an interactive map of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex sites in Google Earth, providing information, collected from public sources, about each facility. (more info, KML file, etc.)



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JASON's Schwitters at START hearings
The JASON Advisory Group
JASON is an independent group of scientists which advises the United States government on matters of science and technology; over the decades its members have included 11 Nobel prize laureates.
See a selection of JASON's nuclear-weapons production-related reports on our JASON page.



Nuclear Watch Media

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Jay Coghlan, Executive Director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, commenting on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Nuclear Facility in the plutonium production complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory.




Scott Kovac, Operations and Research Director, Nuclear Watch New Mexico debunking the argument that the economic impact of the proposed new nuclear facility at Los Alamos is an efficient use of $6 billion.



Vintage Videos:

Ed Grothus Interview at the Black Hole
Part 1 (28:59)   Part 2 (26:37)
New Mexicans for Sustainable Energy
and Effective Stewardship (26:30)
Stop Divine Strake! Part 3 (30 minute)
Stop Divine Strake! Part 4 (30 minute)
DOE Nuclear Waste Issues (29 minute)



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Dossier:

Article Archive: Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility



July 31: Senators Bingaman and Udall Urge Construction of CMRR

Senators Bingaman and Udall have sent a letter to Sec.Def. Panetta urging construction of the CMRR facility in Los Alamos. Read the letter and our response at the Watchblog.



CMRR Public Meeting Update

The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMMR) Project is the Lab's $6 billion dream facility that would enable expanded production capabilities for plutonium nuclear weapons components. The Obama Administration has recently proposed deferring the project for 5 years, which will likely lead to its termination.
April 25th was the 13th semi-annual public meeting required as part of a 2005 settlement between DOE/LANL and an network of community groups.
View Scott Kovac's presentation to the meeting: download PDF
See the Los Alamos Monitor coverage of the event




Funding Eliminated for Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Plutonium Lab
  Press Release: The NNSA FY 2013 Congressional Budget Request

Feb 13. Santa Fe, NM - "The Obama Administrations new fiscal year 2013 Congressional Budget Request has zeroed out funding for the controversial Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR)-Nuclear Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). While todays budget says that the CMRR-NF is being simply deferred for 5 years, that likely terminates the project given ongoing fiscal constraints and its lack of clear need.
For the past five years Nuclear Watch New Mexico has argued that the existing plutonium infrastructure at LANL was more than sufficient to meet the needs of our nuclear weapons stockpile, which official studies should confirm. NNSA now appears to be agreeing with us. While zeroing out CMRR the agency states in its budget request:
Construction has not begun on the nuclear facility. NNSA has determined, in consultation with the national laboratories, that the existing infrastructure in the nuclear complex has the inherent capacity to provide adequate support for these missions. Studies are ongoing to determine long-term requirements. NNSA will modify existing facilities, and relocate some nuclear materials..."

View/download the full Nuclear Watch press release (PDF) on the budgetary request here.
View/download NukeWatch's detailed tabulation of the NNSA's FY 2013 Budget Request here.
View/download FY2013 Los Alamos Labs Spending Chart here




Crystal Ball Budget Predictions for NNSA FY 2013 Congressional Budget Request

"We predict that FY 2013 will be a rough year for the National Nuclear Security Administration. This will be due to (among other things) its failure to achieve ignition at the ~$5 billion National Ignition Facility, the effective termination of the CMRR-Nuclear Facility (even after more than $400 million has been spent on its design), and growing Congressional doubts over its MOX Program. Added to this, the Department of Energy (NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within DOE) will likely fail with its ~$13 billion Waste Treatment Plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. DOE will remain on the GAO's high risk list for the 20th consecutive year. Public and Congressional exasperation with DOE and NNSA wasteful spending will grow, leading to increasing budget cuts in FY 2014."
Read the full list of budgetary predictions at the Watchblog.
The NNSA FY 2013 Congressional Budget Request is expected to be released early afternoon (EST) Monday, February 13.



New Defense Guidance Undermines Need for new LANL Plutonium Facility

Pentagon President Barak Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released a new defense strategy reflecting the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the need to achieve more than $450 billion in budget savings over the next decade. While specific military programs were not marked for cuts, the strategy document "U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense" notes that "It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory as well as their role in U.S. national security strategy."
Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch Director, commented, "We welcome the Administration's acknowledgment that massive budget savings much be achieved and that our nuclear forces could be further reduced. Canceling the CMRR-Nuclear Facility is one way to begin to achieve both, immediately saving around 5 billion dollars. More importantly, canceling the CMRR-Facility is also a decision to not expand plutonium pit production, when expansion is simply not needed and would be inconsistent with America's global nonproliferation goals. Hundred's of billions of dollars could be saved over the next half-century by not expanding plutonium pit production to produce new nuclear weapons, when that money is badly needed for true national priorities."
U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense is available here.
Our Press Release is here.



Safety Board Gives Green Light For Unneeded New Plutonium Facility at LANL

On August 26th, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), an independent safety Board chartered by Congress to monitor nuclear safety at Department of Energy defense facilities, signed off on ongoing seismic and safety issues concerning Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) proposed new $2 billion-plus plutonium facility. This allows around $50 million in funding to be released for its further design. The 2009 National Defense Authorization Act required the DNFSB and DOE to submit certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees that safety and seismic concerns raised by the Board were resolved before these funds were made available. The Board had identified five certification findings ranging from structural and equipment seismic concerns to safety-related document and controls issues.
The construction of a proposed new "Nuclear Facility" for LANL's "Chemical and Metallurgical Research Replacement Project" (CMRR) is not yet funded, but its design to date has cost over $200 million. This facility, whose originally stated purpose was to directly support expanded nuclear weapons production, should not be built because it is oversized, over budget, over sold, and plain not needed. Instead of a new nuclear weapons facility, major investments at LANL should be directed toward nonproliferation programs, global nuclear threat reduction, energy efficiency, environmental research, and cleanup.



New Defense Guidance Undermines Need for new LANL Plutonium Facility

Pentagon President Barak Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released a new defense strategy reflecting the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the need to achieve more than $450 billion in budget savings over the next decade. While specific military programs were not marked for cuts, the strategy document "U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense" notes that "It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory as well as their role in U.S. national security strategy."
Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch Director, commented, "We welcome the Administration's acknowledgment that massive budget savings much be achieved and that our nuclear forces could be further reduced. Canceling the CMRR-Nuclear Facility is one way to begin to achieve both, immediately saving around 5 billion dollars. More importantly, canceling the CMRR-Facility is also a decision to not expand plutonium pit production, when expansion is simply not needed and would be inconsistent with America's global nonproliferation goals. Hundred's of billions of dollars could be saved over the next half-century by not expanding plutonium pit production to produce new nuclear weapons, when that money is badly needed for true national priorities."
U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense is available here.
Our Press Release is here.



NNSA issues Record Of Indecision for Nuclear Facility

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has posted its Amended Record Of Decision (AROD) for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR)-Nuclear Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. What all this means is that the Department of Energy has rubber stamped the final step in the SEIS process.
The NNSA offered no real alternatives to building the Nuclear Facility, and continues to push a modification of the 2004 design, mostly to meet increasing (and still unresolved) seismic concerns. The AROD still leaves undecided whether to use a 'Deep Excavation' or 'Shallow Excavation' option for construction of the Nuclear Facility, which was the only substantial choice NNSA offered.
As the AROD states, 'NNSA will select the appropriate Excavation Option (Shallow or Deep) for implementing the construction of this building after initiating final design activities, when additional geotechnical and structural design calculations and more detailed engineering analysis will be performed to support completing the facility design'.
It's more like a Record Of Indecision because nothing new was decided. True alternatives were not analyzed in the SEIS. The pre-determined outcome to build the Nuclear Facility was predictably chosen and the hard choice between the options of shallow or deep construction was kicked down the road. This indecision is a blatant attempt to snowball the project and start pre-construction activities that alone could cost up to three-quarters of a billion dollars. This is despite the fact that the actual elevation, type of structure, and total estimated costs are still unknown. Hopefully Congress will quit writing a blank check and demand more details before starting to spend any more money on this 6 billion dollar bamboozle that won’t produce a single new permanent job.
For further background please see our CMRR fact sheet here.
And see our LANL Primer here.
The CMRR Amended Record Of Decision is here.



Thanks To Those Who Attended the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR)

12th CMRR Project Update Public Meeting, Tuesday, September 20, 2011: Our presentation from that evening is here (September 20,2011, 5.2 MB)
See our new fact sheet



NNSA Hides Behind Final Enviro Statement To Press On With Unneeded And Exorbitant Plutonium Facility

Without public notice this late Friday afternoon the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has posted online its Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project (CMRR)-Nuclear Facility. While providing materials characterization and analytical chemistry for "special nuclear materials" the Nuclear Facility will be the keystone to an expanded plutonium pit production complex at Los Alamos, quadrupling the Lab's manufacturing capability from 20 radioactive nuclear weapons cores per year to 80. The Nuclear Facility is also slated to have a vault that can hold up to six metric tons of plutonium that it will share via underground tunnels with the Lab's plutonium pit production plant.
Read Our Press Release here.
Find the Final SEIS in Volumes on the DOE Site here.
Download Our Handy Combined SEIS here. (August 26, 2011, 25MB)



NukeWatch Comments on Draft CMRR-NF Environmental Impact Statement

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Comments on the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Nuclear Facility Portion of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Building Replacement Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, New Mexico.
We appreciate public involvement in the NEPA process. We also support safe, monitored storage of radioactive wastes as a matter of national security and environmental protection. However, these should not be interpreted as support for more nuclear weapons, pit production, nuclear power, or the generation of more nuclear wastes. In our view, the best way to deal with the environmental impacts of nuclear waste is to not produce it to begin with.
We look forward to the agency's withdrawal of this draft for the reasons stated in the linked document, and look forward to further comment once NNSA puts out a serious draft without an un-predetermined outcome.
summary of comments / full comments



Environmental Impact of Nuclear Facility

A System Out of Control- The Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Lab are gaming the National Environmental Policy Act process for a proposed new Nuclear Facility. The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is premature, the narrow range of alternatives considered is bogus, the final designs are not mature and seismic issues are still outstanding. The NEPA process is being subverted.
It would be unsafe for northern New Mexico if LANL were to proceed with this building.



Public Hearings on the Environmental Impact of LANL's Proposed Expansion of its Plutonium Production Complex

The Public Comment period for the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project can be used as an opportunity to challenge the need for the facility as well as voice concerns about the narrow range of alternatives the Department of Energy is evaluating in it's plans. Additionally, comments are a way to express specific environmental issues about the consequences of building and operating this addition to the plutonium complex at LANL, as well as to point out deficiencies in the analysis of environmental impacts. Going on record in written or oral comments during this process sets up the condition for future actions.

CMRR Cost Estimates NWNM Sample Comments on the draft SEIS (.doc) -June 16, 2011
Comments on the Draft CMRR-NF SEIS can be submitted by email at: NEPALASO@doeal.gov
See NWNM Talking Points on the draft SEIS: here -May 25, 2011

NWNM Full Comments on the CMRR-NF draft SEIS -July 5, 2011
NWNM Sample Comments on the CMRR-NF draft SEIS (.doc) -June 16, 2011
NWNM Talking Points on theCMRR-NF draft SEIS -May 25, 2011

Brief Background
The main purpose of the CMRR Project is to create an expanded plutonium pit production complex at LANL capable of quadrupling the current production level of ~20 pits per year to 80. In the recent past, proposed expanded plutonium pit production was all about producing newdesign nuclear weapons, the so-called Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRWs). Congress decisively rejected RRWs, and we assert that no RRWs equals no need for the CMRR-Nuclear Facility. However, the U.S. nuclear weapons labs are still pushing for new "replacement" components, including plutonium pits that could be heavily modified from originally tested designs. This too should be avoided because it would inherently undermine confidence in the extensively tested reliable stockpile. It therefore follows that the CMRR-Nuclear Facility is still not needed.
Backgrounder on Early Construction of the Nuclear Facility
More Background information on Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project
The Supplemental EIS and its Reference Documents are available here.



30 Non-Governmental Organizations Oppose Short Schedule and Inadequate Number of Public Hearings for Controversial Nuclear Facility at Los Alamos

Following the release this week of the Department of Energy's (DOE) draft Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project-Nuclear Facility Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement thirty non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from New Mexico and around the country wrote to DOE calling for three additional public hearings, and an extension of 75 days for the comment period past the proposed June 13 Deadline. New Mexico Senators and Representatives have been approached for assistance with the requests.
Press Release -May 5, 2011
Letter to DOE -May 5, 2011
CMRR SEIS Hearing Schedule
Monday May 23 – 5 to 9 pm ABQ at the Albuquerque Marriott, Louisiana and I-40
Tuesday, May 24 – 5 to 9 pm Los Alamos at the Holiday Inn Express, 60 Entrada Drive.
Wednesday, May 25 – 5 to 9 pm Espanola at the Santa Claran Hotel
Thursday, May 26 – 5 to 9 pm Santa Fe Community College, Jemez Rooms

Please come to at least one hearing and give oral comments!



New Mexicans Must Again Say No to DOE's Proposals for Commercial Radioactive Waste Disposal.

The Department Of Energy has plans to ship more radioactive waste to New Mexico. But three sites under consideration are in New Mexico of the seven sites in new plans for disposal of nuclear power plant waste and disused radioactive sealed sources that are used in medical treatments and other applications. This includes the possibility of adding it to the inventory of waste headed for WIPP outside Carlsbad. A second site near WIPP is also on the list of possible locations, as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory. We can stop wasting NM!
See our general fact sheet
See our LANL and NM specific Fact Sheet



Los Alamos Lab to Release Plans for Plutonium Bomb Plant on Good Friday and Earth Day

Friday, April 22, is both Earth Day and Good Friday. During this extended Easter weekend some 10,000 pilgrims walk many miles to the famous Catholic Santuario in Chimayo as both penance and in celebration of the Peacemaker's resurrection. Twenty-five miles to the west and a 1,000 feet higher sits the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). An official has stated that on Good Friday and Earth Day the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will release an environmental impact statement for a huge new plutonium facility at LANL. This facility will be the keystone of an expanded production complex for plutonium pit "triggers" for nuclear weapons.
This Friday is not a good Friday for either the earth or world peace. During this holy week it is fitting to remember that "blessed are the peacemakers" and work to end nuclear weapons production and contamination rather than increasing them.



Nuclear Watch Scoping Comments for CMRR Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)

NWNM CMRR SEIS Scoping Comments (full version) -November 16, 2010
To assist in preparing your written comments NukeWatch has provided shortened language in this letter (doc). Information about where to submit your comments is at the head of this letter.



NNSA Extends Public Scoping Period for CMRR Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)

In response to requests from interested parties the National Nuclear Security Administration has extended the public scoping period for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) Supplemental Environmental Impact Study through November 16, 2010.
Additionally, Energy Secretary Chu has called for an independent review of the requirements for both the CMRR-NF at Los Alamos and the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, TN. This process will begin November 22 and is intended to inform the Department of Energy on accurate cost estimates for these projects in time for fiscal year 2012 Budget Request. We suggest that the budgetary belt-tightening felt by many federal programs could be applied here as well.
More at the NNSA site for the SEIS



Environmental Impacts of Proposed Plutonium "Nuclear Facility" at Los Alamos to be Reconsidered - No-Build Alternative is Back on the Table

Santa Fe, NM- On October 1, 2010 the Energy Department's semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency, the NNSA, will issue a formal Notice of Intent that it will prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for its expanded plutonium pit production complex at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). At issue now is a massive "Nuclear Facility" that in combination with LANL's existing plutonium facility will quadruple production capability from the currently approved level of 20 pits per year to 80. The first legally-required environmental review of the CMRR Project was completed in 2003. Since then the project has grown 50% larger while estimated costs have increased seven-fold from $660 million in 2004 to $4.5 billion and still climbing today. Because of that, on May 4 Nuclear Watch asked NNSA to begin the process of preparing a supplemental EIS. On June 4 NNSA agreed in writing to Nuclear Watch that it would review the 2003 CMRR EIS for current relevance. NNSA has now correctly concluded that a very substantial supplement is needed, a positive decision that we believe is the only legal choice possible.
In its Notice of Intent the NNSA lists three alternatives for the Nuclear Facility: 1. To proceed with construction as currently planned; 2. To not build it and use the old Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) Building without upgrading it; and 3. Not build the Nuclear Facility but upgrade the old CMR Building to sustain operations for 20-30 years. Nuclear Watch advocates a fourth alternative – stop operations at the dangerous CMR Building and do not build the Nuclear Facility.
Notice of Intent in Federal Register



NPR Calls for Surge Weapons Production Capacity, Funding for CMRR and Full Range Life Extensions

April 6, 2010- The first unclassified Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), released today, sets the direction of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and plans for maintaining the stockpile. Of importance to northern New Mexico is the intention to fund the $4.5 billion Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Apparently bowing to pressure from the weapons laboratories and holdovers from the previous administration, the NPR states that the CMRR is needed to sustain the nuclear arsenal. But it also goes past that and calls for "some modest capacity [that] will be put in place for surge production in the event of significant geopolitical "surprise." Once that capacity is installed we believe the door remains open for expanded plutonium pit production at LANL.
The NPR also falls short of the conservative approach to maintaining the existing arsenal with minimum modifications to original tested design specifications. NukeWatch advocates "curatorship" of the nuclear stockpile, which involves robust surveillance and maintenance of the stockpile but avoids new-design components and obviates expanded production capacity or new facilities to make them. The NPR calls for a full range of Life Extension Programs, including refurbishment of existing warheads, reuse of nuclear components from different warheads, and replacement of nuclear components. NukeWatch is deeply concerned that these Life Extension Programs will be used to endow existing nuclear weapons with new military capabilities, as has been done in the past, despite claims made to the contrary in the NPR.
Nuclear Watch Press Release -April 6 2010



Safety Board Gives Green Light For Unneeded New Plutonium Facility at LANL

On August 26th, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), an independent safety Board chartered by Congress to monitor nuclear safety at Department of Energy defense facilities, signed off on ongoing seismic and safety issues concerning Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) proposed new $2 billion-plus plutonium facility. This allows around $50 million in funding to be released for its further design. The 2009 National Defense Authorization Act required the DNFSB and DOE to submit certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees that safety and seismic concerns raised by the Board were resolved before these funds were made available. The Board had identified five certification findings ranging from structural and equipment seismic concerns to safety-related document and controls issues. The construction of a proposed new "Nuclear Facility" for LANL's "Chemical and Metallurgical Research Replacement Project" (CMRR) is not yet funded, but its design to date has cost over $200 million. This facility, whose originally stated purpose was to directly support expanded nuclear weapons production, should not be built because it is oversized, over budget, over sold, and plain not needed. Instead of a new nuclear weapons facility, major investments at LANL should be directed toward nonproliferation programs, global nuclear threat reduction, energy efficiency, environmental research, and cleanup.

Colin Powell on Nuclear Weapons "Today I can declare my hope, and declare it from the bottom of my heart, that we will eventually see the time when the number of nuclear weapons is down to zero and the world is a much better place." -Colin Powell 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, the Just Woke Up Fund of the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the New Mexico Community Foundation, and by generous donors like you. Thank You!

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