Nuclear Watch New Mexico in the Media

‘Stop making nuclear weapons’: Activists press federal chief on LANL pit push

“We live in the third-most impoverished state in the nation, and yet we’re throwing away money to build weapons of war rather than take care of our own people…The U.S. must be the one to end the nuclear arms race because only then will other nations follow,” – Rikki Farrell of the ANSWER coalition Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said new pits will be used to equip two new warheads being developed. He asked whether these new designs could lead to a return to explosive nuclear... Continue reading

LANL plume cleanup halted due to water concerns

Milestones to meet in the coming year are to work on three monitoring wells and complete two reports, said Scott Kovac, Nuclear Watch New Mexico’s operations director. He called the effort inadequate for a large contaminated area discovered two decades ago. “We’re going to have to do better than that,” Kovac said after the meeting. “We should be a lot farther along by now.” Kovac also questioned why the report on the lab’s site-wide groundwater monitoring should be deemed a milestone. It’s something that must be done every year, so... Continue reading

GAO: Cost, time estimates for making nuclear bomb cores flawed – Santa Fe New Mexican

The GAO report said the lack of detailed estimates of the costs, time and resources involved is especially glaring because this is the largest and most expensive weapons project undertaken by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Energy Department branch that oversees the arsenal. “Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said an agency that boasts about having top-level technicians should have no problem supplying all the necessary information about pit production, including total costs.” BY SCOTT WYLAND, THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN | January 13, 2023 Continue reading

US nuclear agency falls short on scheduling, cost estimates

The U.S. agency in charge of jumpstarting the production of key components for the nation’s nuclear arsenal is falling short when it comes to having a comprehensive schedule for the multibillion-dollar project “Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, pointed to some of the price tags associated with the project having doubled over the last four years. He said production overall at the two sites could cost at least $60 billion over 30 years with radioactive waste disposal and other environmental and public health concerns adding to the bill.... Continue reading

LANL waste contractor receives lowest score in its tenure, receives $7.16 million bonus

“It’s the lowest score on the lowest bar of so-called cleanup,” said Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico. “I’m going to very much point my finger at the weak and defective 2016 consent order.” Coghlan is among the critics who have bashed this cleanup agreement crafted under Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, saying it weakened the original 2005 order by eliminating real deadlines and imposing few penalties for slow or deficient work. By Scott Wyland, The Santa Fe New Mexican | January 7, 2023 The contractor in... Continue reading

Nuclear watchdog accuses ex-environment official of conflicting interests after she accepts LANL job

“Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said there’s a long list of Environment Department officials who went to work for the lab or the agencies that manage it. He noted Chris Catechis, acting director of the state Resources Protection Division, is going to work for the lab just weeks after Stringer took a job with the nuclear security agency.” BY SCOTT WYLAND, THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN | November 28, 2022 A nuclear watchdog group wants a state commission to nullify its decision on a permit... Continue reading

LANL remains key part of U.S. nuclear weapons plan

“Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said given the reported problems the lab and Savannah River are grappling with, the review might be trying to add “wiggle room” to production goals. “It’s interesting how vague the Nuclear Posture Review is on both the rate and timing of pit production,” Coghlan said.” BY SCOTT WYLAND, THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN | October 27, 2022 Los Alamos National Laboratory received only a brief mention in the Biden administration’s much-awaited update of the country’s nuclear strategy, but it’s clear... Continue reading

Department of Energy Official Reveals More Delays in Plans for New Plutonium Pit Facility at DOE’s Savannah River Site

“A lawsuit remains before a federal judge in South Carolina in which the plaintiffs – SRS Watch, Nuclear Watch New Mexico (Santa Fe, NM) and Tri-Valley CAREs (Livermore, CA) – have demanded that a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on pit production be prepared. The PEIS would analyze impacts of pit production at all DOE sites, including heretofore unanalyzed disposal of plutonium by-product waste (transuranic waste) from pit production in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.” By Savannah River Site Watch | October 5, 2022 SRS... Continue reading

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s pit production a year behind schedule

“Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said the lab has a history of delays and cost overruns that predates the pandemic. “I suspect LANL and [the federal government] are using COVID as a convenient excuse for what’s going to happen anyway,” Coghlan said. “I’m certainly not saying there was no delay for COVID, but I doubt this much.” Coghlan said the revelation is significant because it’s the first official confirmation the Los Alamos lab is running behind schedule with its planned pit production.” BY SCOTT WYLAND, THE... Continue reading

Watchdog sues nuclear agency over LANL evaluations

“Coghlan said an example of why the full assessment is necessary is a note on last year’s report for the Los Alamos lab saying it had struggled with some production activities and experienced several challenges carrying out the plutonium mission, and “mission execution was impacted by lapses in safety performance.” By Scott Wyland [email protected] The Santa Fe New Mexican | September 17, 2022 A New Mexico watchdog group is suing the federal agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons programs for issuing only summaries of its yearly report cards... Continue reading