Nuclear Watch New Mexico

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.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

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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”- Presented at: RPI Nuclear Data 2011 Symposium for Criticality Safety and Reactor Applications (PDF) 4/27/11

Banner displaying “Nuclear Weapons Are Now Illegal” at the entrance in front of the Los Alamos National Lab to celebrate the Entry Into Force of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty on January 22, 2021

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Follow the Money!

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.

Nuclear Watch Interactive Map – U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex

In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan and and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev shake hands after signing the arms control agreement banning the use of intermediate-range nuclear missles, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Reduction Treaty.

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: https://www.wsj.com

Recent Blog Posts

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New & Updated

How to Vaccinate the Military-Industrial Complex

“As the first wave of the pandemic continues and case numbers spike in a range of states, oversight structures designed to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse when it comes to defense spending are quite literally crumbling before our eyes. Combine weakened oversight, skewed priorities, and a Pentagon budget still rising and you’re potentially creating the perfect storm for squandering the resources needed to respond to our current crisis.

The erosion of oversight of the Pentagon budget has been a slow-building disaster, administration by administration, particularly with the continual weakening of the authority of inspectors general. As independent federal watchdogs, IGs are supposed to oversee the executive branch and report their findings both to it and to Congress.”

BY: MADDY SMITHBERGER / TomDispatch | readersupportednews.com

How to Vaccinate the Military-Industrial ComplexRepresentative Barbara Lee. (photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

n response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Washington has initiated its largest spending binge in history. In the process, you might assume that the unparalleled spread of the disease would have led to a little rethinking when it came to all the trillions of dollars Congress has given the Pentagon in these years that have in no way made us safer from, or prepared us better to respond to, this predictable threat to American national security. As it happens, though, even if the rest of us remain in danger from the coronavirus, Congress has done a remarkably good job of vaccinating the Department of Defense and the weapons makers that rely on it financially.
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Officials and NGOs Express Deep Concerns about Holtec

“Many commenters stated that the storage could be permanent because there is no disposal site.  They reminded the NRC that this is why the law requires that a permanent repository be selected before the designation of an interim facility like Holtec, and this has not been done.

nuclearactive.com

On Tuesday, June 23rd, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a webinar and invited telephone comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a nuclear waste storage facility that Holtec proposes to build halfway between Carlsbad and Hobbs.  Holtec applied for a license to store all of the nation’s most radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants.  Over twenty years, Holtec proposes to ship 10,000 canisters to the site by railroads, passing through more than forty states.  https://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/cis/holtec-international.html, scroll down to Environmental Impact Statement.

In 2012, officials in Eddy and Lea counties announced that a private company would submit a license application in March 2013.  In December 2015, Holtec told the NRC that it would submit the license application in June 2016, so that the facility could begin operating in 2020.  The application was submitted in March 2017, and stated that NRC’s license would be issued in 2019 and that construction would begin by March 2020.  https://wethefourth.org/

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WATCHDOG GROUPS FILE LEGAL PETITION WITH ENERGY DEPT: Allege Agency is Slow Walking “Record of Decision” Re: Plutonium Bomb Core Production to Prevent Judicial Review; Stage Set for Litigation on Expanded Production

“DOE and NNSA appear to be deliberately slow-walking the issuance of a formal Record of Decision on expanded plutonium pit production in an apparent effort to prevent the federal courts from reviewing the agencies’ failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.”

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Missed Deadlines at LANL Documenting Waste Shipments Draws $300K Fine

The state Environment Department has fined the U.S. Department of Energy $304,000 over missed deadlines at Los Alamos National Laboratory in documenting waste shipments, a problem state officials said was part of a longtime pattern of delayed reporting.

BY: SCOTT WYLAND | santafenewmexican.com

The agency cited the Energy Department, the lab and the lab’s contracted operator, Triad National Security LLC, for eight violations dating back to 2017 — in most cases for being a year or more late in recording deliveries of mixed waste.

All violations occurred under former Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who had pressed for more lax waste management during her tenure. They also occurred under a previous lab operator, Los Alamos National Security LLC. Triad took over management of the lab in November 2018.

“This has been a recurring issue that had not been addressed by the past administration,” said Maddy Hayden, a spokeswoman for the Environment Department, explaining why the lab was being cited now for the older violations.

Under state Environment Secretary James Kenney, the agency wants to be clear on its expectations for compliance and accountability going forward, Hayden said.

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New Mexico Environment Department Fines DOE/NNSA And Triad $303,600 For Violations Related To Waste Shipment

The New Mexico Environment Department has notified the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration and Triad National Security at Los Alamos National Laboratory a civil penalty of $303,600 under the Hazardous Waste Act in connection with the repeat violations of the 1995 Federal Facility Compliance Order.

BY: MAIRE O’NEILL | losalamosreporter.com

The amount was calculated using the NMED Hazardous Waste Bureau’s Civil Penalty Policy dated March 2017.

NMED claims NNSA and Triad repeatedly failed to submit waste shipment information for waste containers within 45 days as required for eight shipments involving some 20 containers from the Waste Treatability Group.

The containers allegedly contained radioactive material described as 10-100 nanocuries per gram, halogenated organic liquid, activated or inseparable lead, or solids with heavy metals.

NNSA spokesperson Toni Chiri said in an email late Thursday that the information for the containers identified by the NMED resulted from administrative discrepancies that were identified, self-reported, and corrected by LANL.

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More Radioactive Contaminants Found at Los Alamos Housing Site

BY: SCOTT WYLAND | santafenewmexican.com

More radioactive material has been found on a former Los Alamos National Laboratory site where low-income housing is being built.

Debris containing two forms of uranium was discovered last month in Los Alamos County, just south of where a utility crew found enough low-level radioactive waste in February to fill three drums.

Crews removed another three drums of contaminated debris, including glass shards, wood and metal objects, from the second site, according to state and federal officials. Other unearthed material remains isolated at the site until it can be analyzed and properly disposed of.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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ACTION ALERTS

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Interfaith Panel Discussion on Nuclear Disarmament - August 9

Interfaith Panel Discussion on the 77th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki, Japan

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Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is a Moral Imperative

View Recording of the March 9th Progressive Democrats of America Central New Mexico Community Gathering:

PDA CNM Community Gathering - March 9, 2022 - Abolishing Nuclear Weapons is a Moral Imperative

Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, and our own executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Jay Coghlan, spoke at PDA CNM's March 9, 2022 monthly gathering: “[Archbishop Wester's] courage in speaking out against the proliferation of nuclear weapons inspires us at PDACNM to follow his example and continue the fight against this peril, especially given the threat of a possible imminent war between two nuclear powers.”

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New Nuclear Media: Recent Books, Art, Film & More

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Past Nuclear News

Cost Comparison Debunks LANL’s Outrageous Cleanup Estimate

Can it possibly cost $29 billion to clean up 51 acres? (That’s $568.6 million per acre!) The answer is yes if the estimate comes from Los Alamos National Laboratory.
NukeWatch has run cost comparisons between the estimate for Area G and two other excavation projects at the Lab. At six acres, excavation of Materials Disposal Area B is almost complete, so we have hard costs. (It is around $22.7 million per acre.) An evaluation of Materials Disposal Area Cwas released this September. The estimated costs for excavation of the 11.8-acre site came out to be $66.7 million per acre. View the cost comparison

Follow the Money

Follow the Money

A chart of Energy Department Weapons Activities Budgets compared to the average spent during the Cold War. Is this the direction we want spending to go for Nuclear Weapons?

Wake up call on nuclear waste! Meet the National Radioactive Waste Coalition!