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.


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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”

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:

New Nuclear Media: Art, Films, Books & More

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New & Updated

The Cuban Missile Crisis 60 Years Ago, Ukraine Today: What, if Anything, Have we Learned?

Scoping Comments to the National Nuclear Security Administration On the Los Alamos National Laboratory Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement

A Reduced Operations Alternative is not only a reasonable alternative but is in the actual best interests of the nation.

Such an alternative would best preserve stockpile reliability by foregoing production of new pits that may deviate from tested designs; conservatively maintain the existing, extensively tested nuclear weapons stockpile; augment and accentuate nonproliferation programs, especially the development of monitoring and verification technologies that could help underpin a future world free of nuclear weapons; and augment and accentuate cleanup programs that are truly comprehensive, permanently eliminating the threat to groundwater.

October 18, 2022

NNSA Los Alamos Field Office
3747 W. Jemez Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544


Dear National Nuclear Security Administration:

Nuclear Watch New Mexico hereby submits these scoping comments on the new Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS).

Executive Summary

First, NNSA should complete a new nation-wide programmatic environmental impact statement on expanded plutonium pit production. A new LANL Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement should then be “tiered” off of that document and address all of these issues outlined in these scoping comments, and in particular the site-specific impacts of expanded plutonium pit production. In the event that NNSA continues its arguably illegal behavior in not completing a new PEIS, a new draft LANL SWEIS should nevertheless analyze the issues outlined in these scoping comments, particularly expanded plutonium pit production.
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LANL SWEIS Scoping Comments due on Tuesday, October 18th - Submit TODAY!

EDIT & SUBMIT TODAY! YOUR COMMENTS COUNT!! SAMPLE COMMENTS FOR SCOPING THE LANL SWEIS: Formal Scoping Comment to the National Nuclear Security Administration on the Los Alamos Lab Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement

October xxxx, 2022

Dear National Nuclear Security Administration:

Pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, the following issues should be analyzed and considered within the scope of the new Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Operations of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The last Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) was completed in 2008 and is badly outdated. Since 2018 the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous nuclear weapons agency, has been aggressively expanding the production of plutonium “pit” bomb cores for nuclear weapons at the Lab.

On August 19, 2022, NNSA finally announced its intent to prepare a new LANL SWEIS, but apparently the agency will not address expanded plutonium pit production.[1] NNSA’s legally dubious claim is that it performed the required NEPA analysis for expanded plutonium pit production in a 2008 Complex Transformation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, the 2008 LANL SWEIS and a woefully inadequate “Supplement Analysis” of the 2008 SWEIS completed in 2020. This last document concluded that a new SWEIS was not needed, after which NNSA issued an Amended Record of Decision expanding plutonium pit production at LANL to at least 30 pits per year.[2]

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Boeing’s Weak Santa Susana Cleanup Triggers Lawsuit 

Sweetheart Deal Negotiated Behind Closed Doors Violates CEQA Mandates



Thursday, October 6, 2022
Jeff Ruch, PEER, (510) 213-7028
Melissa Bumstead, Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab (818) 233-0642
Denise Duffield, Physicians for Social Responsibility, (310) 339-9766
Lawrence Yee 

Oakland — The Newsom administration’s backroom deal with the Boeing Co. to dramatically weaken cleanup standards at the profoundly polluted Santa Susana Field Laboratory violates the public involvement and transparency requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), charges a lawsuit filed today by community and public health groups. The suit would open the cleanup agreement to public scrutiny and force the state agencies and the Boeing Co. to justify a cleanup methodology that leaves 90% of the contamination onsite.

Filed today in Ventura County Superior Court by Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, Physicians for Social Responsibility (LA Chapter), and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the suit would, if successful, vacate both the cleanup agreement and an accompanying promise to free Boeing from toxic stormwater discharge requirements.

“This suit does not prevent cleanup from beginning immediately but instead aims to ensure it continues until it is fully completed,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, noting that under a prior Consent Order, the cleanup was supposed to have been completed back in 2017. “This lawsuit is about having this cleanup done right and well beyond the outrageous ‘rip and skip’ deal that Boeing wrangled behind closed doors.”

After repeatedly promising to enforce a 2007 legally binding cleanup agreement with Boeing, the Newsom administration secretly negotiated an 800-page agreement that “supersedes” the prior order by substantially relaxing key cleanup requirements, allowing hundreds of times higher levels of toxic chemicals than previously permitted, and leaving much of the contamination onsite.

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‘Nuclear accident’ warnings amid Russia missile strikes

By  | October 6, 2022

Russia has faced weeks of military defeats in Ukraine, but today brought a reminder its military is still able to cause substantial destruction.

Overnight, and again this morning, the city of Zaporizhzhia suffered a series of missile attacks, including a direct strike on a residential apartment building.

The strikes raised concerns for the nearby nuclear power plant, leading to a warning from the International Atomic Energy Agency that an accident there is “a very clear possibility”.

NY TIMES: I’ve Studied 13 Days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This Is What I See When I Look at Putin.

By Michael DobbsThe New York Times | October 5, 2022

Two nuclear-armed states on a collision course with no obvious exit ramp. An erratic Russian leader using apocalyptic language — “if you want us to all meet in hell, it’s up to you.” Showdowns at the United Nations, with each side accusing the other of essentially gambling with Armageddon. For six …

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s pit production a year behind schedule

“Jay Coghlan, executive director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said the lab has a history of delays and cost overruns that predates the pandemic.

“I suspect LANL and [the federal government] are using COVID as a convenient excuse for what’s going to happen anyway,” Coghlan said. “I’m certainly not saying there was no delay for COVID, but I doubt this much.”

Coghlan said the revelation is significant because it’s the first official confirmation the Los Alamos lab is running behind schedule with its planned pit production.”


Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory (Jathan Campbell/Los Alamos National Laboratory )

(Tribune News Service) — Los Alamos National Laboratory’s effort to produce 30 nuclear bomb cores a year by 2026 was stalled for 13 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, calling into question whether it can make the much-touted target.

An anti-nuclear activist obtained a redacted management plan for the lab’s plutonium operations through a Freedom of Information Act Request, which describes how the production deadline is more likely to be missed because of preparatory work being delayed during a hard-hitting stretch of the pandemic.

STATEMENT: Archbishop Wester on Feast Day of St. Francis, Pray for Peace in Ukraine, Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Today, October 4 is the feast day of St. Francis, the tireless promoter of peace and patron saint of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, and three days ago, he declared:

“The course of the war in Ukraine has become so serious, devastating, and threatening as to cause great concern… [W]hat about the fact that humanity is once again faced with the atomic threat? It is absurd… It increases the risk of nuclear escalation, giving rise to fears of uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide.”

This October is the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, about which then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said humanity survived only by luck. Sixty years later, we are facing the most serious nuclear threats since then.

Pope Francis has called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, declaring they can no longer be justified even by the deterrence strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction.

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Interfaith Panel Discussion on Nuclear Disarmament - August 9

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Posts Related to: NUCLEAR SAFETY

Key Messages from the 2019 Doomsday Clock Announcement – ICAN

ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) believes that the success of people-powered change and the leadership of the majority of nations supporting the TPNW is a positive development these last years. ICAN’s success and the TPNW is a turning point for the world, and we will be working to turn it backwards from now.


– The success of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear shows that the vast majority of nations are taking action to solve the problem of nuclear weapons.
– A global movement against nuclear weapons is starting to turn the tide against nuclear weapons.
– Nuclear weapons are inhumane weapons of mass destruction that targets civilian populations and their use will violate international laws. The threat of Doomsday will exist until we eliminate these weapons. It is the only sane thing to do.

Supporting message
– We have many reasons to be hopeful, 70 countries have signed the Treaty to ban all nuclear weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is on its way to enter into force within a year
– Nine states are continuing to threaten the world with their weapons of mass destruction. We can’t simply wait for them to reverse course, all governments, cities, parliamentarians and people must contribute to nuclear disarmament efforts by supporting the TPNW
– We need to continue bringing democracy to disarmament in the face of unilateral threats to the security of humanity
– Trump has proven that when it comes to nuclear weapons agreements he is a wrecking ball not a builder. By undermining the INF treaty, the United States and Russia must stop celebrate their ‘Doomsday’ capabilities and return to the negotiating table to stop the new nuclear arms race.

Europe specific
– A new nuclear arms race between the US and Russia threatens the cities of Europe. This is the moment for Europe to show leadership by ending their obstruction to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and make it clear they will not participate in a new arms race.

“Away from the media spotlight, massive progress is being made by a broad coalition of people dedicated to prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons. Stopping the slide towards midnight in the past year has been a Herculean task but we are slowly but surely turning the corner on a new more secure future. While the US and Russia embark on a new nuclear arms race, 70 countries have signed the Treaty to ban nuclear weapons, cities and regional governments are committing to the Treaty, and banks and pension funds are divesting from nuclear weapons production. Yes, there is so much work still to be done to save us from these reckless nuclear armed states, but today is a day to recognise the progress we are making for sanity in the face of irrational threats.”

Beatrice Fihn – Executive Director
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

NukeWatch Joins Suit To Stop WIPP Expansion

WIPP standard waste box
The SWB was qualified by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) in 1988.

NukeWatch Joins Suit To Stop WIPP Expansion

On January 17, 2019, Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) and Nuclear Watch New Mexico (NWNM) filed an appeal in the New Mexico Court of Appeals to overturn the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) approval of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Disposal Volume permit modification, which was issued on December 21, 2018.

The modification would allow expansion of WIPP’s capacity by approximately 30 percent and was issued over the repeated opposition of many New Mexico organizations.

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Belen passes resolution opposing nuclear waste transportation

Watch Dog

Belen passes resolution opposing nuclear waste transportation

NISG (Nuclear Issues Study Group) worked to get a resolution opposing the transportation of High Level Radioactive Waste in front of the City of Belen. The Belen City Council passed the resolution on Nov. 19th! It was 3 votes yes and 1 abstention. Belen is the 18th City or county or chapter house to pass it in New Mexico and Texas.

Read more about it here

Santa Fe County passed a similar resolution – A Resolution in the Interest of Protecting Our Lives, Land and Water From Radioactive Waste Risks.

Read more about it here