Arsenal of Information


Trump's Nuclear Posture Review
Flashpoint: North Korea
Flashpoint: NATO-Russia
UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
Plutonium Pit Production at LANL
B61-12 Enhanced Nuclear Bomb
LRSO: New Nuclear Cruise Missile
Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
MOX / Plutonium Disposition
Fukushima Disaster and Updates
Nuke Lab Contractors Illegal Lobbying
Nuclear Testing Since 1945
Atomic Histories

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

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

Glossary of Nuclear-Related Acronyms

Nuclear Weapons Enterprise Twitter Feeds:

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

Facility Spotlight, March, 2018:

"This project is already a classic boondoggle, and they are just getting started."
Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance on the UPF at Y12

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

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

Quote of the Week

"If the interoperable warhead is not needed or wanted by the Defense Department, then new pit production is not needed, and the MOX facility can be terminated once and for all. If it is, Congress should ensure that any path forward will be appropriately sized and scoped to meet that mission need. Either way, if all of these interlocking parts are not matched up as part of an overall strategy then there's only going to be more waste, fraud, and abuse and it is the average American taxpayer who will pay the price."
- -Lydia Dennett, POGO investigator, Congress Pushes Back on Nuke Agency's Unnecessary Plutonium Buildup">

LANL's Central Mission
Los Alamos Lab officials have recently claimed that LANL has moved away from primarily nuclear weapons to "national security", but what truly remains as the Labs central mission? Here's the answer from one of its own documents:
LANL's Central Mission
LANL's "Central Mission"- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

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

Follow the Money!

LANL FY 2019 Budget Request
Click to view full PDF Lab Table data
Note that the percentage of the LANL budget request for core nuclear weapons activities has risen to 70%.

Sandia FY 2019
Click to view full PDF Lab Table data
Five years ago Sandia Labs was less than 50% nuclear weapons. That is no longer true because of "Life Extension Programs" that give existing nuclear weapons new military capabilities.
Sandia Labs 2019 budget breakdown

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

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

Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan
- View/Download FY 2018 SSMP (PDF)
- View/Download FY 2017 SSMP (PDF)
- SSMP Analysis of Hans Kristensen, FAS: Nuclear Transparency and the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (PDF)
- View/Download FY 2015 SSMP (PDF)
- NWNM Analysis (PDF) / Analysis Summary (PDF)

Nuclear Watch Media

Santa Fe, Feb. 9, 2018:
Jay Coghlan, Nukewatch Director Interview
'Living on the Edge', KSFR Radio. Jay speaks about the Doomsday Clock and the Trump Nuclear Posture Review. Archived podcast here.

Santa Fe, Sept 7, 2017:
Rep. Ted Lieu and Jay Coghlan on KSFR Radio
"Living on the Edge" with David Bacon, 101.1 FM
***Archived Podcast***

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

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

NukeWatch YouTube Channel
See our playlists of key video clips.

plutonium pit production history

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

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

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

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
(View/download PDF)

Waste Lands- WSJ

Waste Lands: America's Forgotten Nuclear Legacy
The Wall St. Journal has compiled a searchable database of contaminated sites across the US. (view)
Related WSJ report:
A Nuclear Cleanup Effort Leaves Questions Lingering at Scores of Old Sites, Legacy of US Arms Buildup...

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

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

Judgement Day

Recent visitors - click to enlarge

Help us boost public awareness of the reality and risks of nuclear weapons today. Please share with your friends using the buttons below:

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In Memoriam

Stephen Miller, NukeWatch website designer
August 17, 1949 to July 13, 2018

Steve was a Harvard College graduate majoring in political science, linguistics and design. He was an early explorer and practitioner of the Internet, working in North America, Europe, Asia and Bali. He was fluent in French and conversant in German, Mandarin, and Indonesian. One of his first website creations, Zen Planet for Nirvanet, won UNESCO's Lewis Carrol Argos Prize.

During his seven-year tenure with NukeWatch he increased our website hits by an order of magnitude, from ~250,000 annually to the ~2.5 million (non-robot) hits we receive today. We get visitors from all over the world, including foreign governments, universities, defense contractors, the nuclear weapons labs, and most important to us, thousands of global citizens concerned by nuclear weapons.

Steve is survived by his daughter Malvina, grandchildren Adrien and Fiona, and sisters Jodie and Meredith.

Rest in peace Steve. Many heartfelt thanks for helping to build up Nuclear Watch New Mexico to where we are today.

New & Updated

July 23, 2018:
No High-Level Waste To New Mexico!
"The most toxic and dangerous type of radioactive waste created by the nuclear industry"
This is waste generated by nuclear power plants called "high level radioactive waste" (HLW), also known as "spent" or "irradiated" fuel. This waste contains plutonium, uranium, strontium, and cesium, and will be radioactive for millions of years.
It is not like the waste currently stored at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) or any other waste site that exists today in the U.S.- it is far worse!
Two companies are proposing to build waste facilities near Carlsbad and Hobbs for the most toxic and dangerous type of radioactive waste created by the nuclear industry.
Holtec International is working with the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, LLC (ELEA) to apply for a license to build a Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) facility approximately halfway between Carlsbad and Hobbs, and 16 miles north of WIPP.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has declared the Holtec/ELEA application complete, NRC initiated a public comment period with 60 days for public comment.
Note that transport of this waste poses risks to the environment and all life located near transportation routes.
Holtec proposal:
- New CIS facility to store 100,000 metric tons of HLRW, with potential to increase to 120,000 metric tons for 120 years
- Shallow sub-surface burial system
New Mexicans and Texans are fighting the attempted licensing of these two proposed CIS facilitiesWaste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas and Eddy Lee/Holtec International east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. These sites, and any transport to these sites, are not only dangerous, but environmentally unjust. These sites present clear examples of environmental racism.
New Mexico's demographic is largely Latino. There are many communities of color, especially in the southern part of the state where the sites are being proposed. People of color would be disproportionately affected if the Eddy Lee/Holtec CIS site were licensed and constructed.
New Mexico and Texas do not consent to either proposed CIS facility and are fighting to avoid the environmental injustice and the unnecessary shipment of irradiated high-level nuclear waste through their communities. - NRC Environmental Report
- Here's the Federal Register Notice

Comments due July 30!
- NWNM sample comments
- Submit comments online

June 13, 2018:
POGO: Congress Pushes Back on Nuke Agency's Unnecessary Plutonium Buildup
"In a letter to the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee last month, the Project On Government Oversight was joined by Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Savannah River Site Watch in requesting justification for this expanded capacity. NNSA has over 14,000 plutonium cores already constructed and in storage, many of them specifically designated for potential reuse in new nuclear weapons as part of a "strategic reserve."
"If the interoperable warhead is not needed or wanted by the Defense Department, then new pit production is not needed, and the MOX facility can be terminated once and for all. If it is, Congress should ensure that any path forward will be appropriately sized and scoped to meet that mission need. Either way, if all of these interlocking parts are not matched up as part of an overall strategy then there's only going to be more waste, fraud, and abuse and it is the average American taxpayer who will pay the price."
-Lydia Dennett, POGO investigator See her full report at POGO)

June 12 :
Federal Judge Throws Wrench Into Plan To Split Plutonium 'Pit' Production
U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs issued an injunction blocking shutdown of the mixed-oxide fuel project, or MOX, at the Savannah River Site.
The plan to divide pit production between two sites has angered the congressional delegations of the two states. New Mexico's wants all pit making to stay at Los Alamos, while South Carolina's wants the MOX project to proceed.
In its lawsuit, South Carolina argued that ending the MOX project would make South Carolina a dumping ground, because Congress hasn't approved any other disposal method for the warhead plutonium that had been scheduled for conversion to MOX fuel.
(Read Mark Oswald's detailed report at the Albuquerque Journal)

June 11 Hanford Challenge press release:
Energy Department Proposes to Abandon Untreated High-Level Nuclear Waste in Underground Tanks Next to the Columbia River
The proposal was released on June 4, 2018 on DOE's Hanford website. DOE's draft evaluation declares that the remaining 66,000 gallons of high-level radioactive waste "residue" in the C Tanks are "low-level" wastes. This reclassification would allow DOE to abandon this remaining waste in place and dump cement, or grout, on top of it. If successful, DOE would also be able to relabel other high-level waste as low level waste at Hanford.
"A serious question is now on the table: will the government live up to its legal duty to remove and dispose of high-level nuclear waste from Hanford, or leave it abandoned at Hanford using semantics," said Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of the non-profit organization Hanford Challenge. "This would be a serious setback for the cleanup at Hanford if the DOE is allowed to turn Hanford into the nation's high-level nuclear waste dump. This will be challenged."
Geoffrey Fettus, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council stated, "Leaving untreated radioactive waste next to the Columbia River was a bad idea when the Bush administration tried it, and it's an even worse idea now from the Trump administration. The people of the Pacific Northwest deserve better and we'll be there with them opposing this unsound and unsafe effort." (more: see Hanford Challenge press release)

For immediate release, June 8, 2018:
New Contractors Selected For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production at LANL
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)
- NNSA's 293-page Pu Pit Production Engineering Assessment is available here.
- NNSA's Joint Statement from Ellen M. Lord and Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty on Recapitalization of
  Plutonium Pit Production, May 10, 2018, is available here.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico, POGO, SRS Watch: Letter to Senators, May 21, 2018:
Nuclear Watchdogs Call for Analysis of Justification for New Plutonium Facility
Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced last week that it plans to repurpose the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina to produce plutonium pits used in nuclear weapons. Before Congress appropriates any funding for this project, the Department of Energy should be required to demonstrate a concrete national security need for such an expensive endeavor, which will be a completely new mission at SRS.
"The MOX building's sunk costs are not a good enough reason to move forward with turning it into a pit production facility. This Committee should require the Secretaries of Energy and Defense to clearly demonstrate, to Congress and to the public, a strategic need for the capability to produce at least 80 new plutonium pits per year given the thousands already in strategic reserve, the extended lifetime of those existing pits, and no support for the Interoperable Warhead."
(Read the full letter from Nuclear Watch New Mexico, POGO, and Savannah River Site Watch)

NNSA: Plutonium Pit Production at Both Los Alamos and Savannah River Site
"To achieve DoD's 80 pits per year requirement by 2030, NNSA's recommended alternative repurposes the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce plutonium pits while also maximizing pit production activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. This two-prong approach with at least 50 pits per year produced at Savannah River and at least 30 pits per year at Los Alamos is the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such a vital undertaking."
-Joint Statement from Ellen M. Lord and Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty on Recapitalization of Plutonium Pit Production, May 10, 2018 (See full NNSA statement)
NB: Lisa Gordon-Hagerty is the Administrator of the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration); Ellen Lord is a DOD Under-secretary and Chair of the Nuclear Weapons Council (Gordon-Hagerty is also an NWC member).

For immediate release, May 10, 2018:
What's Not in NNSA's Plutonium Pit Production Decision
NukeWatch Press release 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.
- NNSA did not make clear that expanded plutonium pit production is for a series of speculative future "Interoperable Warheads", meant for new ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles... Altogether the three planned "Interoperable Warheads" will cost at least $40 billion, despite the fact that the Navy doesn't want or support them.
- The independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has expressed strong concerns about the safety of plutonium operations at both the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Savannah River Site, particularly regarding potential nuclear criticality incidents.
(there's more: read the full press release)
Plutonium pit Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch Director, commented, "NNSA has already tried four times to expand plutonium pit production, only to be defeated by citizen opposition and its own cost overruns and incompetence. But we realize that this fifth attempt is the most serious. However, we remain confident it too will fall apart, because of its enormous financial and environmental costs and the fact that expanded plutonium pit production is simply not needed for the existing nuclear weapons stockpile. We think the American public will reject new-design nuclear weapons, which is what this expanded pit production decision is really all about." (View/download press release)
- Dossier: Plutonium Pit Production at LANL
- Fact Sheet: Plutonium Pit Production
- History: Successful Citizen Activism Against Expanded U.S. Plutonium Pit Production
Press coverage, NNSA announcement:
- Public Integrity: Los Alamos would lose some future bomb production under new
  Trump administration plan

- Los Alamos Monitor: NNSA announces decision on pit production
- SF New Mexican: Feds: Los Alamos lab to share plutonium work with South Carolina site
- Albuquerque Journal: Feds split 'pit' work between LANL and S.C.
- Public News Service: Los Alamos to Build Part of Next-Gen Nuclear Weapons
- Albuquerque Journal: New 'Pit' Plan May Mean More Waste at WIPP
34 metric tons of plutonium that were to be processed at the Savannah River Site may be headed to WIPP in New Mexico, after it has been diluted and mixed with inert material. NM Senator Udall: "I have serious questions about whether there is enough room at WIPP to store additional waste from Savannah River, given the clear legal limits in the Act, which were negotiated following a lawsuit New Mexico won against DOE when I served as Attorney General... If DOE is asking New Mexico to take on additional waste missions beyond what is authorized by current law, unilateral action (by DOE) is absolutely not an option." (ref)

Three of several cost overrun charts from the POGO report: the UPF, CMRR, and MOX facilities. Click to enlarge.

May 7, 2018:
POGO Report: NNSA Needs Budgetary Oversight and Accountability
- "Five recent projects by NNSA show that costs are significantly increasing- sometimes by nearly 8 times more than the initial estimates. These five programs have a combined total of $28 billion in cost overruns over the last 20 years."
- "Unsurprisingly NNSA contract management has been on the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) list of high-risk program areas for issues stemming from mismanagement since 1990, when the list was created."
- Despite its long and well-documented record of budget-busting projects (One mistake at the UPF cost taxpayers $540 million), the NNSA is not subject to the same kind of cost reporting requirements as the Department of Defense.
- "Part of the reason Congress hasn't applied similar standards to the NNSA could be that the agency and its contractors have successfully captured Congressional attention, and appropriations. In 2016, a Project On Government Oversight (POGO) investigation into Congressional fellowships found that the nuclear laboratories, and the contractors running them, had been placing Fellows in key Committees and offices for decades. It's the kind of access most industry professionals can only dream about."
- "NNSA's project management problems will only be compounded by an aggressive plan to upgrade existing nuclear warheads and infrastructure and to develop new nuclear weapons." (read more at POGO)
Our related files: CMRR dossier; MOX dossier; Lawsuit v. UPF

RAND: How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War

May 2018: New RAND Corp report:
How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War
If both sides have weapons that can survive a first strike and hit back, then the situation is stable. Neither side will risk throwing that first punch. The situation gets more dangerous and uncertain if one side loses its ability to strike back or even just thinks it might lose that ability. It might respond by creating new weapons to regain its edge. Or it might decide it needs to throw its punches early, before it gets hit first.
That's where the real danger of AI might lie.
RAND researchers brought together some of the top experts in AI and nuclear strategy for a series of workshops. They asked the experts to imagine the state of nuclear weapon systems in 2040 and to explore ways that AI might be a stabilizing- or destabilizing- force by that time.
The next generation of AI will have "significant potential" to undermine the foundations of nuclear security, the researchers concluded. The time for international dialogue is now.
Keeping the nuclear peace in a time of such technological advances will require the cooperation of every nuclear power. It will require new global institutions and agreements; new understandings among rival states; and new technological, diplomatic, and military safeguards.

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)
** See NukeWatch's critique of these plans - our official 'public comments' as submitted (PDF)
  Addendum to NukeWatch comments: (PDF)

- See Patrick Malone's in-depth article for the Center for Public Integrity (May 2):
  Safety concerns plague key sites proposed for nuclear bomb production
- May 4, 2018: Jay Coghlan Op-Ed, Albuquerque Journal:
  Assessment of LANL Rad Lab premature, incomplete

historic breakthrough for Koreas

April 27, 2018:
Extraordinary: Koreas Pledge To Pursue Final Peace, Denuclearization
After an historic summit, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have pledged to pursue "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula" and to work towards "a permanent and solid peace regime."
Kim said: "There is no reason why we should fight each other- we are one nation."
"The Koreas will work together to ensure they do not 'repeat the unfortunate history in which past inter-Korea agreements...fizzled out after beginning.'" (story: Deutsche Welle)

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)
** Additional Nuclear Watch comments as submitted April 27: (PDF)
"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. - (See details in our press release)

April 26:
Officials Say Radioactive Sludge Barrel Ruptures Now Total 4
We are now learning that the original Rocky Flats barrels had been buried at Idaho in the 1960s, and were being repackaged for shipment to WIPP, and ruptured the same day. Erik Simpson, spokesman for DOE contractor Fluor, said when fire crews went in to extinguish the first smoldering barrel, they discovered other possible breaches, and "crews outside heard some of the barrels rupture."
The Idaho site sits above the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer that's used by cities for drinking water and farmers for irrigation. The site has been used for nuclear waste disposal and storage beginning in the 1950s. The federal government has been cleaning it up following court battles and several agreements with Idaho in the 1990s amid concerns by state officials that Idaho was becoming the nation's nuclear waste dump. The Energy Department has already missed several deadlines under those agreements involving moving nuclear waste out of Idaho and has paid about $3.5 million in fines.
May 18: Don't Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste

April 11, 2018:
LANL Subcontractor Tetra Tech in 'Biggest Eco-Fraud in US History'
Hunters Point, San Francisco Bay:
Hunters Point fraudulent cleanup Workers at Tetra Tech, a Pasadena-based firm with a history of winning government contractors, first came forward beginning in 2012 with allegations that the cleanup had been faked on the orders of higher-ups at the company. A review of Tetra Tech's data, conducted last year by other contractors hired by the U.S. Navy and first published by Curbed SF, found that as much as 49 percent of the company's work had signs of manipulation or outright falsification and could not be trusted, that the company had committed "widespread radiological data falsification and doctored records, and covered it up.
In February, Nuclear Watch raised the alarm about Tetra Tech, calling on DOE to "reconsider" its choice of contractor to clean up radioactive wastes from nuclear bomb production at Los Alamos Lab.
"'Serious allegations of fraud by Tetra Tech were raised long before the LANL cleanup contract was awarded,' a written statement from Nuclear Watch said. 'The US Navy found that the company had committed widespread radiological data falsification, doctored records and supporting documentation, and covered up fraud at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard cleanup project in San Francisco, CA.'''
DOE responded that Tetra Tech would stay; a spokesman said DOE would "continue to monitor and evaluate" Tetra Tech's work. (ref)
We have just learned that an independent review by the EPA found that the Navy dramatically understated the scope of the problem. According to the EPA, as much as 97 percent of the cleanup data is unreliable and must be retested, according to John Chestnutt, manager of the EPA's local Superfund Division. (read more)
- View/download petition to revoke Tetra Tech's license- includes declarations by the whistleblowers and copies of the faked Chain of Custody forms.
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial April 12:
SF Deserves Answers About Falsified Cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard
Update, April 22:
It gets worse: Toxic Soil Went From SF's Hunters Point to State Landfills, Ex-Workers Say
"Soil with potentially dangerous levels of radioactive waste was trucked to conventional landfills across California - the sort of dumps that typically fill up with tree branches, construction debris and old dishwashers, not radiological waste from a former nuclear test lab that handled uranium and plutonium."
Update, May 3:
Two Sentenced For Falsifying Reports On Soil Samples at Hunters Point
"Two former supervisors involved in the cleanup of radioactive contaminants at the old Hunters Point Naval Shipyard have pleaded guilty to falsifying soil samples in the widening environmental scandal that has engulfed San Francisco’s largest redevelopment project."
- See related: NukeWatch Press Release, February 28, 2018: Major LANL Cleanup Subcontractor Implicated in Fraud- Entire Los Alamos Cleanup Should Be Re-evaluated

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)
- NukeWatch, NRDC, and OREPA Lawsuit v. UPF

GCRI Nuclear War Risk Model
Click to enlarge full view

March 19, 2018:
A Model for the Probability of Nuclear War
The Global Catastrophic Risk Institute has presented a model for calculating the total probability of nuclear war. "The model is based on 14 interrelated scenarios for how nuclear war can break out, covering perhaps the entire range of nuclear war scenarios... the paper also includes a dataset of historical incidents that might have threatened to turn into nuclear war. 60 historical incidents are included, making it perhaps the largest such dataset currently available". -GCRI (view/download PDF)

    Archived News Items

Nobel Prize for ICAN Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to ICAN
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the Nobel Peace Prize Sunday, Dec 10 in Oslo, Norway. ICAN has been the driving force behind the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons voted this summer at the UN and now open for signatures. Nuclear Watch NM is proud to be one of ICAN's 400 affiliated organizations worldwide.

Please support our work!
Remember, donations are tax-deductible.

How you can help


Nobel Peace Prize 2018 award ceremony
Watch the full ceremony on our Ban Treaty dossier page.

There's lots to see in our Books and Films section

Best Nuclear Books and Films
There's lots to see in our Books and Films section!

Critical Events

ANA's 30th Consecutive DC Days [2018]
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability's 30th consecutive DC Days took place May 21-23. See briefing videos and fact sheets presented to gov't officials here.

Nuclear New Mexico Map

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

Nuclear Watch Legal Actions Ongoing

Nukewatch lawsuit
- Cleanup Lawsuit
See all related docs: NukeWatch lawsuit against DOE & LANS (LANL's corporate manager), re failure to execute cleanup of radioactive wastes.
- UPF Lawsuit
OREPA, NukeWatch, and NRDC lawsuit against the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) -the 'tip of the spear' for the $trillion dollar nuclear modernization project.

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

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

Newsletters and Calendars

- The Bulletin's Nuclear Roundup
Daily nuclear news; subscribe or view online. Very good selection.
- Ploughshares' Early Warning
"Daily news on the issues we're following from the desk of Joe Cirincione." Subscribe or view online.
- AM Nukes Roundup
A good one from Rethink Media. Compiles all of the day's top news and opinion pieces on nuclear issues- subscribe or view online.
- Proliferation News
From the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program- subscribe or view online.
- Nuclear Policy News (CSIS)
Subscribe or view online. Very good selection. Note that CSIS's top ten corporate donors include Lockheed Martin, Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, General Dynamics and Leonardo-Finmeccanica.
- Nuclear Calendar FCNL
Extensive email listing of all nuclear-related events, from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Subscribe or view online.
- National Security Legislative Calendar
From the Council for a Livable World. (ref)
- NucNews
Very extensive daily dump of nuclear-related news.

FAS Nuclear Notebooks

  - US nuclear forces 2018
  - North Korean Nuclear Capabilities 2018
  - Russian nuclear forces 2018
  - Indian nuclear forces 2017
  - Chinese nuclear forces 2016
  - Pakistan Nuclear forces 2016
  - more

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Twitter Feeds


Annotated List of Nuclear Close Calls
An extensive and annotated list of dozens of "broken arrows"- incidents in which nuclear weapons were misplaced, stolen, damaged, or even detonated.
Compiled by Sarah Witmer at, who notes: "These close calls emphasize the lack of proper security for nuclear weapons, and the lack of training and overall competence of militaries and leaders who possess nuclear weapons. There have been far more incidents than those listed here, and likely many that militaries and world leaders withhold as classified."(view list)

Nuclear News

No new nuclear units will be built in US due to high cost: Exelon official

Congress Pushes Back on Nuke Agency's Unnecessary Plutonium Buildup

Trump and Kim Have Just Walked Us Back From the Brink of War

POGO: A Brake On- Or Gas Pedal To- Nuclear War? Smaller, speedier atomic bombs won't make us safer

Nonprofit group wins LANL contract

Editorial: Wasting billions in federal tax dollars just the pits

Albuquerque city councilors vote to oppose transportation of high-level radioactive waste by rail through the city to Holtec storage in SE New Mexico.

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

Airmen At Cheyenne Nuclear Missile Base Found Using LSD

The 60-Year Downfall of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Has Left a Huge Mess

Force that protects U.S. nuclear weapons loses explosives on North Dakota road, offers $5,000 to get them back

Don't Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste

POGO: New Documents Raise Questions About Increased Nuclear Spending

House Panel's 2019 NNSA Budget Cans Interoperable Warhead, Jump-Starts LANL Pits

New 'Pit' Plan May Mean More Waste at WIPP

San Francisco is so expensive that people are spending $1 million to live next to a former nuclear-testing site - now some residents are freaking out after learning the surrounding area may still be radioactive

2 sentenced for falsifying reports on soil samples at Hunters Point

Hundreds of Workers Have Fallen Ill Due To Work At Pantex Nuclear Plant

Op-Ed: Assessment of LANL Rad Lab premature, incomplete

Safety concerns plague key sites proposed for nuclear bomb production

CSM Book Review: '1983' chronicles a Cold War-era narrow escape from nuclear war

* Russia and NATO: How to overcome deterrence instability?

* America's nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go

Koreas agree to work toward peace and 'complete denuclearization'

* Ukraine's NATO Bid Risks Even Worse U.S.-Russia Ties

Ellsberg: it's still US policy to launch a first-strike nuclear attack

The New B-21 Stealth Bomber (and Old B-52) Will Be Armed with a Nuclear Cruise Missile

Trump's strike on Syria is exactly why North Korea wants nuclear weapons

Public News Service: Groups Fight Nuclear Waste Storage Proposal in NM

San Francisco: Tetra Tech Radioactive Fraud: Green Action Demands

Tepco prediction that 15.7-meter tsunami could hit Fukushima plant stunned regulators just four days before 2011 disaster

Faked Tetra Tech cleanup at Hunters Point Shipyard much worse than Navy estimates

Russia Prepares for Nuclear War With U.S., Instructing Citizens to Buy Water and Gas Masks

Physics Today: Nuclear weapons dangers and policy options

Ukraine Defense Council Secretary Turchynov: Nuclear disarmament of Ukraine was historical mistake

Groups Fight Nuclear Waste Storage Proposal in NM

State environment dept. to fine LANL for hazardous waste violations

Trump Hurtles Toward Three Nuclear Crises

* Red Glare: The Origin and Implications of Russia's 'New' Nuclear Weapons

U.S. Nukes Will Be Useless Without Accelerated Pit Production- StratCom Commander Hyten to Senate

43 House Dems Sign Letter to Trump Opposing New NPR

Russia accuses Trump of getting Europe ready for nuclear war

Earlier press items here

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

World Nuclear Arsenals

timeline of nuclear close calls

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

Radioactive Quotes

Newsweek: "Late in his second term, President Obama- who received a Nobel Prize for his anti-nuclear position and who spoke at Hiroshima, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons- agreed to spend more than a trillion dollars to upgrade them. How much of that transformational process has to do with supporting the industry that developed around nukes?"
Daniel Ellsberg: "I now see that this system was a massive subsidy to the aerospace industry, to prop it up. It was not that [aerospace companies] were doing what the Pentagon needed; it was that the Pentagon was rationalizing what Boeing and Raytheon and Lockheed needed in the way of sales to the government. That has warped everything."
- Newsweek interview May 3, 2018. (source)

Nukes- write'em off!
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Pope Francis on Nuclear Weapons
  "Nuclear weapons must be banned."
    - Pope Francis, 2017
Our Mission: Through comprehensive research, public education and effective citizen action, Nuclear Watch New Mexico seeks to promote safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities, mission diversification away from nuclear weapons programs, greater accountability and cleanup in the nation-wide nuclear weapons complex, and consistent U.S. leadership toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

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

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