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

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

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

LANL FY 2021 Budget Request – VIEW

Sandia FY 2021 Budget Request – VIEW

Livermore Lab FY 2021 Budget Chart – Courtesy Tri-Valley CAREs – VIEW

_____________________________________________

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

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 Posts

Trump takes Yucca Mountain off the table. What’s that mean for San Onofre nuclear waste?

“The proposed $3.1 billion increase for weapons is simply sprinting toward failure, and Congress should right-size NNSA’s workload to match what the complex can realistically do,” – Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio

ARTICLE BY: ROB NIKOLEWSKI | latimes.com

President Trump has made a U-turn on funding the long-delayed and long-debated Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada — but it’s unclear what his decision means for moving the 3.55 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant.

In a tweet Thursday, Trump wrote:

A White House official confirmed that the administration will not include any funding for Yucca Mountain when it turns in its proposed 2021 budget next week.

Continue reading

alliance for nuclear accountability, ANA, nuclear watch new mexico, nwnm, nukewatch, nukewatchnm

Media Advisory: What to Look For in the U.S. Department of Energy’s FY2021 Nuclear Weapons and Cleanup Budget Request

According to media reports, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the semiautonomous nuclear weapons agency within the Department of Energy (DOE), has persuaded President Trump to increase its weapons budget by more than 20% in one year. NNSA Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty has claimed that a failure to give her agency that huge increase would amount to “unilateral disarmament” despite the U.S. having thousands of nuclear warheads ready to launch on a moment’s notice.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a 33-year-old network of groups from communities downwind and downstream of U.S. nuclear weapons sites, strongly opposes this unnecessary and dangerous spending that promotes a new global nuclear arms race. In addition, Trump’s FY 2021 budget request is expected to cut or hold flat cleanup, nonproliferation, dismantlement and renewable energy programs that meet real national needs to pay for more unneeded nuclear weapons. To compound all this, DOE’s nuclear weapons and environmental management programs have been on the Government Accountability Office’s “High Risk List” for project mismanagement and waste of taxpayers’ dollars for 27 consecutive years.

Continue reading

alliance for nuclear accountability, ANA, nuclear watch new mexico, nwnm, nukewatch, nukewatchnm

Communities Push Back Against Reports of Huge Nuclear Weapons Budget Increase

Multiple sources indicate the FY2021 budget request from the Trump Administration will seek a dramatic increase in funding for nuclear weapons—an unprecedented leap of 20% over current spending levels, bringing the total for The National Nuclear Security  Administration to $20 billion. Reportedly, the increase is earmarked principally for modernization programs for warhead design and plutonium pit manufacturing facilities. News reports have included outlandish statements from NNSA Administrator Lisa GordonHagerty who suggested providing any less that $20 billion would amount to “unilateral disarmament,” a claim no truer than the since discredited declaration of a missile gap with the Soviets in 1962.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a nationwide coalition of grassroots watchdog groups from every major US nuclear weapons facility, notes that the current US nuclear stockpile has been certified reliable and is expected to be reliable for at least forty more years. ANA released a letter to Congressional leadership calling for a hard look at the budget request when it arrives, scheduled for February 10, and encouraging House and Senate members to reject the increase as unjustified and unwise.

“The United States retains possession of nearly 4,000 stockpiled and deployed nuclear warheads and bombs. This is hardly disarmament,” said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CAREs in Livermore, California. “Moreover, a 20% increase for weapons activities would perilously escalate an already dangerous new arms race. Rather than speed the design and production of new warheads, such as the W87-1, the country would be better served by cleaning up the contamination impacting our communities from the
first cold war. ”

ANA has tracked spending on nuclear weapons programs for more than thirty years.

Continue reading

Saugeen Ojibway Nation votes no on deep geologic repository at Bruce Power

A Win for Canadian Tribal Communities: The site at Bruce Power was to be Canada’s first geologic repository, but it has been stopped because the First Nation Saugeen Ojibways voted NO, and the company (Ontario Power Generation) agreed to proceed only with tribal approval.

BY: ADAM BELL | blackburnnews.com

Traditional Territories of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded FN and Chippewas of Saugeen FN)

Members of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation have voted against a proposal to host a deep geologic repository at Bruce Power.

Out of 1,232 total votes, just 170 voted “yes”, while 1,058 voted “no”, with four spoiled ballots.

In a release, Chief Lester Anoquot says “This vote was a historic milestone and momentous victory for our People. We worked for many years for our right to exercise jurisdiction in our Territory and the free, prior and informed consent of our People will be recognized”.

Ontario Power Generation spokesperson Fred Kuntz says “OPG respects the decision of the SON community. We followed SON’s process. So we will uphold our 2013 commitment not to proceed with the DGR at the Bruce site without their support, and now we will move forward to develop an alternate solution”.

Continue reading

COMMUNITIES PUSH BACK AGAINST REPORTS OF HUGE NUCLEAR WEAPONS BUDGET INCREASE

Two missile maintenance personnel perform an electrical check on a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in its silo, 1980. Photo credit: Bob Wickley/Wikimedia Commons.

Multiple sources indicate the FY2021 budget request from the Trump Administration will seek a dramatic increase in funding for nuclear weapons—an unprecedented leap of 20% over current spending levels, bringing the total for The National Nuclear Security Administration to $20 billion. Reportedly, the increase is earmarked principally for modernization programs for warhead design and plutonium pit manufacturing facilities.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability released a letter to Congressional leadership calling for a hard look at the budget request when it arrives, scheduled for February 10, and encouraging House and Senate members to reject the increase as unjustified and unwise.

Continue reading

Trump will seek 20% budget boost for nukes, says Inhofe

This “boost” will surely be reflected in the FY 2021 budget to be released February 10. The nuclear weapons increase is believed to be for new warheads (so-called Life Extension Programs) and expanded plutonium pit production. To pay for it, nonproliferation, dismantlement and cleanup programs are likely at risk.

BY: JOE GOULD | defensenews.com

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, speaks during a meeting with Republican members of Congress and Cabinet members in the White House on June 20, 2018. At left is Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON ― U.S. President Donald Trump has settled an internal battle over whether to seek $20 billion for the federal agency that maintains America’s weapons, or less money, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., confirmed Tuesday.

The president will ask for the $20 billion.

The decision came after the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, agitated internally in favor of boosting the budget for nuclear weapons modernization in fiscal 2021 ― a position later backed by Inhofe and other congressional Republicans.

Continue reading

U.S. Has Deployed New, Small Nukes On Submarine, According To Group

BY: GEOFF BRUMFIEL | npr.org

The U.S. has begun deploying a new type of low-yield nuclear warhead aboard some ballistic missile submarines, according to a report by an independent monitor.

When the USS Tennessee, an Ohio-class submarine, went on patrol in the final weeks of 2019, it carried “one or two” of the new weapons, according to a post by the Federation of American Scientists.

“It is apparently still out there now and expected to come back sometime in February,” says Hans Kristensen, director of the group’s nuclear information project. He believes a second submarine carrying the weapon may also be patrolling in the Pacific.

Kristensen says the assessment is based on conversations with government officials, who have spoken to the group about the weapon’s deployment.

The Pentagon officially declined to comment on the report: “It is U.S. policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at any general or specific location, as such, we cannot confirm or deny this reporting at this time,” it said in a written statement to NPR.

Continue reading

New & Updated

Senators ask government watchdog to assess NNSA’s nuclear weapons spending

Read the letter here

BY: COLIN DEMAREST | aikenstandard.com

The James Forrestal Building, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. / Staff photo by Colin Demarest

Two prominent Democratic senators have asked a congressional watchdog to examine the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons spending and related workload.

The request comes a little more than two weeks after President Donald Trump unveiled his fiscal year 2021 budget request, which included $19.8 billion for the semiautonomous U.S. Department of Energy agency, $15.6 billion of which is flagged for nuclear weapons work.

That’s 25.2% above the fiscal year 2020 enacted level.

“Questions about affordability are critical given the significant expansion in NNSA’s budget and activities,” U.S Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts wrote in their Feb. 27 letter to the Government Accountability Office.

“The GAO raised concerns in a 2017 report about the affordability of NNSA modernization efforts,” the letter also reads, “and NNSA’s budget and activities have expanded significantly since that time.”

The independent accountability office investigates and issues reports often, touching everything from agriculture and food to national defense and tax policy.

Continue reading

NNSA should focus on cleanup

Before we break out the champagne, we should ask serious questions because budgets are more than just numbers on a page. They also tell us about priorities.

BY: RALPH HUTCHINSON | oakridger.com


U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), from left, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, (R-Tenn.) are pictured with Ashton Davies of the senator’s press office during a well-attended ceremony held in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on Nov. 20, 2017, to break ground on the construction of a new Mercury Treatment Facility to deal with runoff from the Y-12 site – Ben Pounds/The Oak Ridger

In an op-ed on Feb. 7, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the head of National Nuclear Security Administration, made her argument for the new Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year2021 budget request (“Modernizing our nuclear enterprise infrastructure to keep Americans safe”). In it she reminds us of the billions of dollars being spent here on nuclear weapons projects and celebrates the whopping 20% proposed increase for the NNSA system, including in Oak Ridge.

Continue reading

BOOM Goes the Budget as DOE Plans for Nuclear War: $4.6 Billion Target for Unjustified Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) at $R$

DOE Plans for $4.6 Billion Cost to Convert the Ill-Constructed MOX Plant into a Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) at Savannah River Site by 2026-2030; Money to be Spent on Top of $8 Billion Wasted on MOX

BY: TOM CLEMENTS | srswatch.org

Plan to Seek $442 Million for PBP in Fiscal Year 2021 Confirmed in Feb. 26 Budget Document

Columbia, South Carolina – A budget document released by the U.S. Department of Energy late on Wednesday, February 26 reveals that the agency has assumed a stunning projected cost of $4.6 billion to convert the poorly constructed plutonium fuel (MOX) building at the Savannah River Site into a Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP). This amount of spending reveals that DOE and contractors aim to repurpose the failed MOX project into a perpetual money machine, according to the public interest group Savannah River Site Watch.

The budget document, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s funding request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2021, confirms that the agency is seeking $441 million for “repurposing” the MOX building into the unjustified Plutonium Bomb Plant.

Continue reading

Requested NNSA FY 2021 Funding for “Primary Capability Modernization”

(i.e. plutonium pits)

Bottom line: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has requested $1.58 billion for expanded plutonium pit production in FY 2021 alone, when at least 15,000 pits are already stored at the Pantex Plant and independent experts have concluded that pits last at least a century (the average age now of pits in the active stockpile is less than 40 years). NNSA’s request is more than doubled from $712.4 million in FY 2020 for the comparable program “Plutonium Sustainment” that preceded Primary Capability Modernization.

No plutonium pit production is scheduled to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing stockpile. Instead, future pits will likely be heavily modified from tested designs for use in speculative new-design nuclear weapons. This could raise reliability issues and/or prompt the US to resume full-scale nuclear weapons testing.

Continue reading

Inside America’s newly revealed nuclear ballistic missile warhead of the future

“NNSA already has too much work on its plate to sustain. Accelerating development of yet another excessively ambitious program will only make that problem worse,” – Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association

BY: AARON MEHTA | defensenews.com

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Rhode Island off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 9, 2019. (John Kowalski/U.S. Navy)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — When the Trump administration’s budget request rolled out Feb. 10, eyebrows shot up within the nuclear community at the mention of a previously unknown warhead, listed in documents as the W93.

Now the Pentagon is revealing details about the weapon, what it will replace and when it might be deployed.

The labeling of the warhead as the W93 is important. Since the introduction of the W88 in the 1980s, all upgrades to warheads have been described as variants — for instance, the collapsing of several versions of the B61 gravity bomb into the B61-12. According to a senior defense official, the reason for the new designation comes from the reality that the warhead is largely a new design.

Continue reading

Feinstein, Colleagues to DOD: ‘Low-Yield’ Nuclear Weapons Not a Deterrent

PRESS RELEASE | feinstein.senate.gov

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper questioning the decision to begin fielding W76-2 “low-yield” nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads.

            “We write to express our concern about the recent decision to begin fielding the W76-2 low-yield nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, a decision we do not support,” wrote the senators.

            “It is inconsistent for the United States to begin fielding new nuclear weapons while we urge other countries not to do so. We should be focusing on diplomatic solutions, and we ask that you urge President Trump to extend New START before it expires next year in order to begin negotiating a successor treaty that addresses U.S. security needs.”

            Full text of the letter is available here and below.

Continue reading

Senators Introduce Legislation to Counteract Trump Exit from Iran Deal

Iran Diplomacy Act calls for a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program

PRESS RELEASE | markey.senate.gov

Washington (February 19, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have introduced S.3314, the Iran Diplomacy Act, which calls upon the United States and Iran to return to no less than their commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. On January 14, 2020, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom triggered the JCPOA’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism in an attempt to address Iran’s breaches of the agreement, all of which followed the Trump administration’s unilateral exit from the deal on May 8, 2018.

Continue reading

Nuclear waste site near Carlsbad opposed by New Mexico House committee vote

“These wastes are going to last for millions and millions of years. They are extremely toxic. The idea is to dispose of these in an area where there are gas and mineral resources. This is really not what New Mexico needs.” – Dave McCoy with Citizen Action New Mexico

ARTICLE BY: ADRIAN HEDDEN | currentargus.com

Legislation to oppose the transportation and storage of high-level nuclear waste in New Mexico cleared a State House committee as Holtec International continues to develop a plan to store such waste at a proposed facility near the Eddy-Lea county line.

House Memorial 21 was introduced by New Mexico Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-50) intended to prevent the controversial proposal that could see up to 100,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods stored on a temporary basis at the site in southeast New Mexico for at least 40 years.

Continue reading

Action Alerts

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Critical Events

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Nuclear News

Why nuclear weapons should be a major focus of the 2020 campaign

ARTICLE BY JOHN MECKLIN | thebulletin.org

A Minuteman III missile crew on alert.

The proverbial alien beamed down to Earth would find the situation quizzical indeed: The political debates and campaigns involved in selecting the most powerful person on the planet – the US president – scarcely mention the stark fact that any president could at any time be called to decide, almost instantly, whether to order a nuclear attack that would lead to the end of civilization. There is, at present, no significant check on the president’s ability to make that decision. If he orders a nuclear attack, there will almost certainly be one. For a variety of reasons, the chances of nuclear war are not negligible; they are at least as high as they were at the height of the Cold War, according to leading world experts. And a nuclear exchange of even modest proportions would change the world forever, bringing on nuclear winter, degrading civilization in countless other ways, and affecting every person, everywhere. (At least every live person. The tens or hundreds of millions killed quickly in a nuclear exchange will just be dead.)

Continue reading

As LANL jobs grow, housing issues worsen

ARTICLE BY MONICA ROMAN GAGNIER | abqjournal.com Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Overheard at the Blake’s Lotaburger at the corner of Guadalupe Street and Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe:

“What brings you back to New Mexico, dude?”

“I just got a great job at LANL, but I can’t find a place to live that I can afford.”

From fast-food joints to the chambers of local government to Realtors’ offices, everyone agrees: There’s a shortage of affordable, desirable housing in northern New Mexico to serve the growing workforces of places such as Los Alamos National Laboratories and Presbyterian Española Hospital.

It’s a vexing problem in an area where families are reluctant to move after generations in the same house, there is a lack of new housing developments in key areas, and New Mexico pueblos have been asserting and winning claims over water rights and roads.

Continue reading

The Dubious Moral Justification for a Nuclear Second Strike

The aim of presenting the case for the continued possession of these terrifying weapons that hold the potential to destroy all life on earth this way seems to be to convince citizens that nuclear weapons are morally justifiable and thus somehow ‘acceptable.’

ARTICLE BY GERARD BOYCE | commondreams.org

If the reason seems unclear, then it may be worthwhile for the average citizen of goodwill in a nuclear-armed country to resolve this new year to urge their leaders to renew their commitments to arms control and ultimately, the elimination of these genocidal weapons. (Photo:US Department of Defense)
If the reason seems unclear, then it may be worthwhile for the average citizen of goodwill in a nuclear-armed country to resolve this new year to urge their leaders to renew their commitments to arms control and ultimately, the elimination of these genocidal weapons. (Photo:US Department of Defense)

Poised as the nuclear powers appear to be to resume the nuclear arms race, leaders of these countries have been at pains to assure their countrymen and the rest of the world that, though determined to maintain and even expand their nuclear arsenals, they will only use them for the purposes of a second strike i.e. in retaliation to a nuclear first strike by a nuclear-armed belligerent. Their pledges are meant to reassure us that nuclear weapons are for defensive rather than offensive purposes. The aim of presenting the case for the continued possession of these terrifying weapons that hold the potential to destroy all life on earth this way seems to be to convince citizens that nuclear weapons are morally justifiable and thus somehow ‘acceptable’. For a number of reasons, however, a second strike may not be as morally defensible as leaders would have us believe.

Continue reading

It’s Been 32 Years since the Conclusion of the INF Treaty Yet Arms Control Is Still Vital

ARTICLE BY STEPHAN KIENINGER | historynewsnetwork.org

32 Years Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty
Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty

In August, the United States withdrew from the landmark INF Treaty of 1987 due to the Russian Federation’s continuing violation of the treaty and Vladimir Putin’s reckless deployment of the Russian 9M729 cruise missile. Another crucial arms control treaty, the New START agreement, is set to expire in early 2021. Recently, George Shultz and Mikhail Gorbachev called American and Russian decision makers to preserve the INF Treaty. (1)

More than thirty years ago, Shultz and Gorbachev stepped forward with President Reagan to change history’s direction. Reagan and Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty on the occasion of their historic Washington Summit on December 8, 1987. The unprecedented agreement eliminated all US and Russian missiles between the ranges of 500 to 5500 kilometers. The two countries destroyed a total of 2,692 ballistic and cruise missiles by the treaty’s deadline of June 1, 1991, with verification measures that were previously unimaginable.

Continue reading

Sanders Calls Out ‘Deficit Hawks’ in Both Parties Who Support $738 Billion Pentagon Budget But Claim US Can’t Afford Medicare for All

“When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion—even more money than it requested—there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford.”

ARTICLE BY JAKE JOHNSON | commondreams.org

In a scathing op-ed for the Washington Post Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at Republican and Democratic “deficit hawks” who claim the U.S. cannot afford to guarantee healthcare to all, make higher education tuition-free, or fund other crucial domestic priorities but have no issue with voting to hand the Pentagon $738 billion.

“When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion—even more money than it requested—there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford.” — Sen. Bernie Sanders

Continue reading

LANL Cleanup: What you can do

Please consider attending and giving public comments at local public meetings concerning cleanup at Los Alamos. Public comments do make a difference!

Follow NukeWatch and submit public written comments. We frequently comment on environmental impact statements and provide sample comments. Support Us: https://nukewatch.org/get-involved/donate/

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.

New & Updated

Senators ask government watchdog to assess NNSA’s nuclear weapons spending

Read the letter here

BY: COLIN DEMAREST | aikenstandard.com

The James Forrestal Building, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. / Staff photo by Colin Demarest

Two prominent Democratic senators have asked a congressional watchdog to examine the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons spending and related workload.

The request comes a little more than two weeks after President Donald Trump unveiled his fiscal year 2021 budget request, which included $19.8 billion for the semiautonomous U.S. Department of Energy agency, $15.6 billion of which is flagged for nuclear weapons work.

That’s 25.2% above the fiscal year 2020 enacted level.

“Questions about affordability are critical given the significant expansion in NNSA’s budget and activities,” U.S Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts wrote in their Feb. 27 letter to the Government Accountability Office.

“The GAO raised concerns in a 2017 report about the affordability of NNSA modernization efforts,” the letter also reads, “and NNSA’s budget and activities have expanded significantly since that time.”

The independent accountability office investigates and issues reports often, touching everything from agriculture and food to national defense and tax policy.

Continue reading

NNSA should focus on cleanup

Before we break out the champagne, we should ask serious questions because budgets are more than just numbers on a page. They also tell us about priorities.

BY: RALPH HUTCHINSON | oakridger.com


U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), from left, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, (R-Tenn.) are pictured with Ashton Davies of the senator’s press office during a well-attended ceremony held in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on Nov. 20, 2017, to break ground on the construction of a new Mercury Treatment Facility to deal with runoff from the Y-12 site – Ben Pounds/The Oak Ridger

In an op-ed on Feb. 7, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the head of National Nuclear Security Administration, made her argument for the new Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year2021 budget request (“Modernizing our nuclear enterprise infrastructure to keep Americans safe”). In it she reminds us of the billions of dollars being spent here on nuclear weapons projects and celebrates the whopping 20% proposed increase for the NNSA system, including in Oak Ridge.

Continue reading

BOOM Goes the Budget as DOE Plans for Nuclear War: $4.6 Billion Target for Unjustified Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) at $R$

DOE Plans for $4.6 Billion Cost to Convert the Ill-Constructed MOX Plant into a Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP) at Savannah River Site by 2026-2030; Money to be Spent on Top of $8 Billion Wasted on MOX

BY: TOM CLEMENTS | srswatch.org

Plan to Seek $442 Million for PBP in Fiscal Year 2021 Confirmed in Feb. 26 Budget Document

Columbia, South Carolina – A budget document released by the U.S. Department of Energy late on Wednesday, February 26 reveals that the agency has assumed a stunning projected cost of $4.6 billion to convert the poorly constructed plutonium fuel (MOX) building at the Savannah River Site into a Plutonium Bomb Plant (PBP). This amount of spending reveals that DOE and contractors aim to repurpose the failed MOX project into a perpetual money machine, according to the public interest group Savannah River Site Watch.

The budget document, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s funding request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2021, confirms that the agency is seeking $441 million for “repurposing” the MOX building into the unjustified Plutonium Bomb Plant.

Continue reading

Requested NNSA FY 2021 Funding for “Primary Capability Modernization”

(i.e. plutonium pits)

Bottom line: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has requested $1.58 billion for expanded plutonium pit production in FY 2021 alone, when at least 15,000 pits are already stored at the Pantex Plant and independent experts have concluded that pits last at least a century (the average age now of pits in the active stockpile is less than 40 years). NNSA’s request is more than doubled from $712.4 million in FY 2020 for the comparable program “Plutonium Sustainment” that preceded Primary Capability Modernization.

No plutonium pit production is scheduled to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing stockpile. Instead, future pits will likely be heavily modified from tested designs for use in speculative new-design nuclear weapons. This could raise reliability issues and/or prompt the US to resume full-scale nuclear weapons testing.

Continue reading

Inside America’s newly revealed nuclear ballistic missile warhead of the future

“NNSA already has too much work on its plate to sustain. Accelerating development of yet another excessively ambitious program will only make that problem worse,” – Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association

BY: AARON MEHTA | defensenews.com

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine Rhode Island off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 9, 2019. (John Kowalski/U.S. Navy)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — When the Trump administration’s budget request rolled out Feb. 10, eyebrows shot up within the nuclear community at the mention of a previously unknown warhead, listed in documents as the W93.

Now the Pentagon is revealing details about the weapon, what it will replace and when it might be deployed.

The labeling of the warhead as the W93 is important. Since the introduction of the W88 in the 1980s, all upgrades to warheads have been described as variants — for instance, the collapsing of several versions of the B61 gravity bomb into the B61-12. According to a senior defense official, the reason for the new designation comes from the reality that the warhead is largely a new design.

Continue reading

Feinstein, Colleagues to DOD: ‘Low-Yield’ Nuclear Weapons Not a Deterrent

PRESS RELEASE | feinstein.senate.gov

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today wrote to Defense Secretary Mark Esper questioning the decision to begin fielding W76-2 “low-yield” nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads.

            “We write to express our concern about the recent decision to begin fielding the W76-2 low-yield nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, a decision we do not support,” wrote the senators.

            “It is inconsistent for the United States to begin fielding new nuclear weapons while we urge other countries not to do so. We should be focusing on diplomatic solutions, and we ask that you urge President Trump to extend New START before it expires next year in order to begin negotiating a successor treaty that addresses U.S. security needs.”

            Full text of the letter is available here and below.

Continue reading

Senators Introduce Legislation to Counteract Trump Exit from Iran Deal

Iran Diplomacy Act calls for a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program

PRESS RELEASE | markey.senate.gov

Washington (February 19, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have introduced S.3314, the Iran Diplomacy Act, which calls upon the United States and Iran to return to no less than their commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. On January 14, 2020, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom triggered the JCPOA’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism in an attempt to address Iran’s breaches of the agreement, all of which followed the Trump administration’s unilateral exit from the deal on May 8, 2018.

Continue reading

Nuclear waste site near Carlsbad opposed by New Mexico House committee vote

“These wastes are going to last for millions and millions of years. They are extremely toxic. The idea is to dispose of these in an area where there are gas and mineral resources. This is really not what New Mexico needs.” – Dave McCoy with Citizen Action New Mexico

ARTICLE BY: ADRIAN HEDDEN | currentargus.com

Legislation to oppose the transportation and storage of high-level nuclear waste in New Mexico cleared a State House committee as Holtec International continues to develop a plan to store such waste at a proposed facility near the Eddy-Lea county line.

House Memorial 21 was introduced by New Mexico Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-50) intended to prevent the controversial proposal that could see up to 100,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods stored on a temporary basis at the site in southeast New Mexico for at least 40 years.

Continue reading

What If We Have A Nuclear War?

Browse the WatchBlog

Must Reads

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink by William J. Perry

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink

William J. Perry [Former Secretary of Defense]

Published by Stanford Security Studies, Nov. 2015

Perry argues that nuclear weapons now “endanger our society rather than securing it.” He is one of the founders, along with Sam Nunn, George Schultz, and Henry Kissinger, of the Nuclear Security Project.

In his own words:

“This book is a selective memoir of my experiences with nuclear weapons and nuclear crises, and its purpose is to alert the public to the real and growing dangers of a nuclear catastrophe. I hope you will read this book and learn from it. But I realize that this book, even if effective, will reach only a small audience. In particular, it will reach very few of our young people. The problems I have described are going to be with us for decades, so our young people must play a key role in dealing with them.

Therefore I have undertaken to put these concepts into a form more widely accessible and available to young people. I am doing this through the William J. Perry Project, whose goal is mass education on nuclear dangers… For some years I have taught a course at Stanford about nuclear dangers, and I am now developing that course into an online course that has the potential to reach not just hundreds of students, but hundreds of thousands… The broader series of educational materials under development is called “Nuclear Weapons: 20th-Century History, 21st-Century Decisions,” or 20-21 for short. We not only want people to understand the history, but to engage in current-day issues facing the United States, such as the impending nuclear arms race and the danger of a resumption of nuclear testing.

I hope to encourage young people to take the baton I am trying to pass to them. My generation created this existential problem- their generation must find a way to solve it.”

 

Los Alamos: A Whistleblower’s Diary

“A shocking account of foul play, theft and abuse at our nation’s premier nuclear R&D installation, uncovering a retaliatory culture where those who dare to question pay with their careers and, potentially, their lives.
Tommy was unrecognizable. His face was swollen, bruised, and stained with blood, his eyes barely visible through ballooning eyelids and a broken jaw. On his cheek was a ghostly imprint- the tread mark of someone’s shoe. Suddenly, with a slight movement of his hand, Tommy waved me in closer to hear him. Speaking softly through lips that barely moved, he said, ‘Be careful . . . They kept telling me to keep my fucking mouth shut; they kept telling me to keep my fucking mouth shut,’ he repeated.”

read more excerpts at the book’s website

Los Alamos: A Whistleblower’s Diary, by Chuck Montaño, released April 28, 2015. Order your copy from Amazon, or better yet, from the author directly.


Radio interview with Chuck Montaño on the book: KSFR Santa Fe.

Chuck Montaño was given the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s Whistleblower Award in Washington DC on April 19, 2016.

 

Quotes

Featured Video Play Icon

“Later, when studying physics I became more aware of the fact that we live in an interconnected world relying greatly on fragile technology, that a nuclear war would disrupt our supply chains and lead to a nuclear winter,” – Ivan Stepanov

This Simulator Shows the Devastating Consequences of Global Nuclear War

“Today’s NDAA is far from our vision for a just, peaceful, and democratic foreign policy. Its failures not only underscore how critical it is that we continue building progressive grassroots movements for a better foreign policy — it calls into question the defense authorization process altogether.”

NDAA a Blank Check for Trump’s Reckless Foreign Policy

Over 35 organizations representing a diverse set of issue areas — strengthening diplomacy, protecting migrants and refugees, preventing wars of choice, reducing the risk of nuclear catastrophe, combating corruption, promoting human rights and sound environmental policies, and standing up for democratic values — released the following statement regarding the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report.

Featured Video Play Icon

“With deep conviction I wish once more to declare that the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime not only against the dignity of human beings but against any possible future for our common home. The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago. We will be judged on this. Future generations will rise to condemn our failure if we spoke of peace but did not act to bring it about among the peoples of the earth.  How can we speak of peace even as we build terrifying new weapons of war?”

Pope Francis calls for a world free of nuclear weapons

Visiting Japan, Pope Francis has condemned atomic weapons, nuclear deterrence and the growing arms trade. He said the money spent on weapons should be used to eradicate poverty and protect the environment.

“As the budget for expanded production of nuclear weapons keeps going up and up, the effort to clean up past production continues to fail, threatening future generations.”

A sign at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation warns of possible hazards in the soil along the Columbia River near Richland in Benton County, Aug. 14, 2019. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Already 12 years behind schedule, a project at the Hanford nuclear complex meant to transform millions of gallons of radioactive waste into benign glass faces yet another delay.

Feds aim to push back the opening of ‘glassification’ plants, while state officials say the Department of Energy has been underfunding the cleanup of America’s most poisoned site.

ARTICLE BY: JOHN STANG | crosscut.com

“All nations should declare—all nations—that nuclear weapons must be destroyed. This is to save ourselves and our planet.”

Mikhail Gorbachev tells the BBC: World in ‘colossal danger’

The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that current tension between Russia and the West is putting the world in “colossal danger” due to the threat from nuclear weapons. In an interview with the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg, former President Gorbachev called for all countries to declare that nuclear weapons should be destroyed.

Continue reading