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


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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:

New & Updated

Return of US nuclear weapons to UK would be an escalation, says Russia

Moscow says it would respond with ‘countermeasures’, after US air force budget item hinted at possible move

 and  THE GUARDIAN | September 5, 2023

The Russian foreign ministry has said Moscow will view any move to return US nuclear weapons to the UK as an escalation and will respond with “countermeasures” for its own security.

The foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova was responding to a report last week about an item in the 2024 US air force budget for building a dormitory at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk for personnel on a “potential surety mission” – military jargon for nuclear safety and security. It raised the prospect of the return of US nuclear weapons to British soil for the first time in more than 15 years.

“If this step is ever made, we will view it as escalation, as a step toward escalation that would take things to a direction that is quite opposite to addressing the pressing issue of pulling all nuclear weapons out of European countries,” Zakharova said.

Nod to US? Iran’s overall enriched uranium stockpile down

Uranium enriched at 60% purity is just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.

Mallika Soni, HINDUSTAN TIMES | September 4, 2023

The UN nuclear watchdog said that Iran‘s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium was down compared to May but it was still more than 18 times the limit set in the 2015 accord. According to a confidential International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 3,795.5 kilograms (8,367.7 pounds) as of August 19, down by 949 kilograms from May, news agency AFP reported. The limit in the 2015 deal was set at 202.8 kilograms. Uranium enriched at 60% purity is just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.

Years of advocacy by New Mexico downwinders down to the wire

“I’ve learned it’s very important to educate colleagues that don’t have the honor of representing downwind communities, or uranium mine workers themselves, so that they can see from the families themselves that are leading this fight, that will be able to benefit from this package…which would offer justice where injustice has lived for almost eight decades.” — Ben Ray Luján

By Ryan Boetel / Journal Staff Writer THE ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL | August 25, 2023

Arlene Juanico grew up in Paguate Village on the Pueblo of Laguna, about a mile from a uranium mine where she worked as a truck driver from 1975 to 1982.

Over the years, Juanico lost her grandmother, father and brother to cancer. She and her husband, Lawrence, who also worked in the mine, have been diagnosed with lung disease.

She said to this day, cancer rates in the small village are high, and many people need oxygen tanks to get around because of diseases that are likely linked to the village’s long history with uranium mining.

REUTERS – Factbox: Excerpts from Japan’s response to China and Russia’s inquiry on Fukushima water release

“The ALPS treated water will meet both Japanese regulatory standards based on relevant international standards. In other words, tritium levels in the treated water and diluted water will be below those considered safe for drinking.”

REUTERS | August 22, 2023

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Japan said late on Monday it had responded to inquiries from China and Russia about the ocean discharge of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power station, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco) (9501.T).

The Japanese government has shared its responses to the two neighbouring countries in a document dated Aug. 18 and posted on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s website.

Tepco has been filtering the contaminated water, using machines called Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), to remove isotopes, leaving only tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that is hard to separate from water. Tepco will dilute the water until tritium levels fall below regulatory limits before pumping it into the ocean from the coastal site.


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New Nuclear Media: Art, Films, Books & More

A September 11th Catastrophe You’ve Probably Never Heard About

In 1957, America narrowly averted a nuclear meltdown at the Rocky Flats plant in Colorado. A new book explores how close we all came to disaster.


An interior view of the plutonium processing facility at Rocky Flats. (Library of Congress)
An interior view of the plutonium processing facility at Rocky Flats. (Library of Congress
On September 11, 1957 a national catastrophe was unfolding, one you likely have never heard about before. At the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility near Denver, inside the plutonium processing building, a fire had started in an area designed to be fireproof. Soon it was roaring over, through, and around the carefully constricted plutonium as one Cold-War-era safety feature after another failed. The roof of the building, the building itself, were threatened. And plumes of radioactive smoke went straight up into Colorado’s late summer night air. High into the air, if you believe the witnesses.For 13 hours on the night of the 11th, into the morning the next day, the fire raged inside that building, until firefighters put it out (with water — exposing themselves, and perhaps the entire front range of Colorado, to an even greater risk of radiation). When it was over, Energy Department officials, and the Dow Chemical officials who then ran the facility, did not share the extent of the catastrophe, or the radiation danger, with local officials or the media. For years, no one really knew how bad it had been, what it meant for those exposed to the radiation, or how such a dangerous event could be prevented in the future.

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