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.

Plutonium Sampling at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Cost of RECA Chart

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!

Map of “Nuclear New Mexico”

In 1985, US President Ronald Reagan 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

New & Updated

Unknown Impact: County asks Los Alamos National Labs to assess environmental impact before expanding nuclear production

Santa Fe County wants Los Alamos National Laboratories to take stock of its impact on the environment and surrounding communities before pushing ahead with plans to expand.

| sfreporter.com Jan 27, 2021

On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution asking the National Nuclear Safety Administration to complete a new site-wide environmental impact statement for LANL in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act before expanding plutonium pit production.

“The public health and safety is so important,” said Commissioner Anna Hansen, noting that the NEPA process is one of the only avenues for the public to weigh in on what goes on at the labs. “We have a longstanding tradition of promoting democracy and environmental protection in impending nuclear weapons by requesting that local governments be kept fully informed about projects to facilitate large scale production of additional plutonium warheads,” she said.

Yet right now, the labs’ full impact on Northern New Mexico is unknown. It’s been more than a decade since the last time the NNSA produced an EIS for the laboratory, and a lot has changed since then, including regional understanding of  wildfire risks and potential water contamination from the labs.

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Remembering the Night Two Atomic Bombs Fell—on North Carolina

Sixty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, a B-52 bomber disintegrated over a small Southern town. An eyewitness recalls what happened next.

By: Bill Newcott | nationalgeographic.com PUBLISHED JANUARY 22, 2021

BILLY REEVES REMEMBERS that night in January 1961 as unseasonably warm, even for North Carolina. But it got a lot hotter just before midnight, when the walls of his room began glowing red with a strange light streaming through his window.

“I was just getting ready for bed,” Reeves says, “and all of a sudden I’m thinking, ‘What in the world…?'”

The 17-year-old ran out to the porch of his family’s farm house just in time to see a flaming B-52 bomber—one wing missing, fiery debris rocketing off in all directions—plunge from the sky and plow into a field barely a quarter-mile away.

“Everything around here was on fire,” says Reeves, now 78, standing with me in the middle of that same field, our backs to the modest house where he grew up. “The grass was burning. Big Daddy’s Road over there was melting. My mother was praying. She thought it was the End of Times.”

Like any self-respecting teenager, Reeves began running straight toward the wreckage—until it exploded.

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The Doomsday Datavisualizations

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In setting the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board consults widely with colleagues across a range of disciplines and considers qualitative and quantitative information from a wide array of sources. These three visualizations display some of the kinds of public data that are available in the Bulletin’s three coverage areas: nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technology.

The Doomsday Clock is a design that warns the public about existential threats, a metaphor that reminds the world of the perils that must be addressed if humanity is to continue survive. These three data visualizations can be seen as an artistic extension of the original design.

DESIGNED BY PENTAGRAM
Giorgia Lupi, Sarah Kay Miller, Phil Cox,
Ting Fang Cheng, Talia Cotton

In November 2011, the U.S. Senate designated January 27th as a National Day of Remembrance for the Nevada Test Site Downwinders. The Senate recognized the harm caused to Americans from radioactive fallout from the aboveground atomic tests in Nevada, which began on January 27, 1951 and ended on July 17, 1962. Nuclear testing by the U.S. government started in New Mexico with Trinity in July 1945, and the Crossroads Series of three tests followed in the Pacific in 1946. The United States took part in nuclear testing as part of the escalating Cold War arms race, and nuclear weapons proliferated. With each nuclear test, radioactive fallout spread globally.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VIEW LINKS BELOW
Downwinders And The Radioactive West Premieres January 27 at 7PM on PBS Utah
Why a National Day of Remembrance for Downwinders is Not Enough

Congress Introduces Legislation to Expand Compensation for Radiation Exposure

 

Why a National Day of Remembrance for Downwinders is Not Enough

“A day of recognition is important – these communities deserve to be recognized for the unimaginable sacrifice they unknowingly made to their country. But it is not enough. The best and most important way to honor these victims of the US nuclear weapons program is by compensating them and providing health care for the illnesses and deaths they have suffered.”

BY: LILLY ADAMS , UCS | JANUARY 26, 2021, 10:56 AM EST

Peaceful Demonstration with Trinity Downwinders at the Trinity Site Open House in New Mexico, ( L-R): Tina Cordova and Laura Greenwood. Trinity downwinders have been fighting for inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act for over 15 years. Source: Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium.

There’s no question that the US government killed and sickened many of its own people through explosive nuclear testing: estimates of the death toll in the United States from nuclear testing vary widely, from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. But the harm doesn’t stop there. Other nuclear weapons activities, like uranium mining, production, and waste storage and cleanup, have also caused unknown deaths and illnesses. As is so often the case, the people who have borne the heaviest burden of these activities are often people of color, Indigenous communities, women and children, and those living in poor, rural communities. These people are the largely ignored, often forgotten casualties of the Cold War and the US nuclear weapons program.  

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doomsday clock

The Most Dangerous Situation Humanity Has Ever Faced

“The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Wednesday that the hands of the iconic Doomsday Clock remain at 100 seconds to midnight — as close to the end of humanity as the clock has ever been. The temptation, of course, in a dark hour is to cling to even the faintest signs of light and hope. And the truth is that there are some encouraging signs now emerging. However, we continue to teeter at the brink and moving the Clock away from midnight would provide false hope at a time when urgent action is what is needed.”.

Opinion by Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Robert Rosner / Updated 11:17 AM ET, Wed January 27, 2021

For a year now, the world has been ravaged by the horrors of Covid-19. It has caused millions to lose their jobs, overwhelmed health care systems and dramatically changed how we live. The disease has killed more than 2 million people and infected 100 million around the globe.

Even so, we face fundamentally greater threats to humanity than this pandemic. We refer to the catastrophic dangers which nuclear weapons and climate change pose — dangers that preceded this pandemic and will persist long after it ends. Unfortunately, and unlike the priority given to developing a vaccine against the virus, little progress was made to reduce the danger of the world’s nuclear weapons arsenal or to effectively slow the carbon emissions warming our planet in 2020. The sudden appearance and confused response to the virus makes all too clear how ill-prepared the world can be when it has to deal with an unprecedented threat of global magnitude.

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CRITICAL EVENTS

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New Nuclear Media: Art, Films, Books & More

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