Dec. 12, 2015. Kansas City Plant:
Scores of workers have died after making nuclear weapons at the Bannister Road plant. A government review finds more radioactive materials used at the plant than was previously known. The federal government has paid $55 million to sickened workers, but a vast majority are still frustrated that they have not been compensated.
At Y-12, the cost of designing the Uranium Processing Facility keeps spiraling: $92 million in '06, $2 billion by '16. (How do you spend 2 billion dollars designing anything?)
- See OREPA's June '15 UPF update
Nuclear Weapons Complex Misconduct
Dec. 3, 2015. POGO: Updated Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, focussing on Nuclear Complex
(see report at POGO)
Click the image to 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.
Quote of the Week
"This suggestion, that nuclear weapons should be a "flexible" option, is alarming. We should never lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons. In fact, I believe we can further reduce the role of nuclear weapons while still maintaining their deterrent effect by terminating the LRSO and instead relying on conventional nonnuclear weapons."
- Senator Diane Feinstein, Comments on the New Nuclear Cruise Missile during General Floor Debate on the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, April 20, 2016.
Dossier: The Kirtland AFB Nuclear Weapons Complex
Kirtland Air Force Base, which abuts and shares some runways with the Albuquerque airport, has become a major nuclear weapons complex of it's own. It hosts the Air Force's Nuclear Weapons Center, Sandia National Laboratories, and what is probably the nation's (and perhaps the world's) largest repository of nuclear weapons, estimated at up to 2,500 warheads... (read more)
Lawrence Livermore FY 2017 Budget Request
For Livermore Lab, Nuclear Weapons Activities still dominate the budget, increasing to over 86%.
Chart by Tri-Valley CARES
Video, Senate hearing March 16: Review of FY 2017 NNSA Budget Request
Testifying: General Frank Klotz, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, among others; questioning by Sens. Diane Feinstein, Lamar Alexander, Stewart Udall, and Lindsay Graham regarding the new nuclear cruise missile, dropping of the MOX facility in favor of "dilute and dispose" at WIPP, weapons-related v. non-proliferation funding, the modernization of nuclear forces and upgrades to the nuclear weapons labs.
(Senate Committee on Appropriations- Energy and Water Development Subcommittee; Wednesday, March 16, 2016)
Jay Coghlan, Nukewatch Director Interview
Earth Matters Radio re legacy of the US nuclear weapons program on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings. Thursday Aug 6 at 10 am and 8 pm on 89.1FM. Archived podcast here
Los Alamos: A Whistleblower's Diary, by Chuck Montaño, 2015.
April 21, Los Alamos Daily:
Chuck Montaño was given the ANA Whistleblower award in Washington DC: (story)
Chuck Montaño serves on Nuclear Watch New Mexico's Steering Committee.
Successful Citizen Activism Against
Expanded U.S. Plutonium Pit Production
This is the unsung story of successful citizen activism against repeated government attempts to expand the production of plutonium pit cores, which has always been the choke point of resumed U.S. nuclear weapons production. This history is a critical part of the march toward a future world free of nuclear weapons. We gratefully dedicate it to Leroy Moore, longtime activist with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and J. Carson Mark, retired director of the Los Alamos Lab's Theoretical Division and ardent arms control advocate.
(View/download full report- PDF)
Jan 26, 2016 Doomsday Clock: Three Minutes to Midnight
"In keeping the hands of the Doomsday Clock at three minutes to midnight, the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board mean to make a clear statement:
"The world situation remains highly threatening to humanity, and decisive action to reduce the danger posed by nuclear weapons and climate change is urgently required."
(The Bulletin, Jan 26, 2016)
Who Will Claim Ronald Reagan's Mantle On Nuclear Disarmament Today?
"A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?" -1984 State of the Union
"We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth."
-Inaugural Address, 1985
(Read more of "Ronald Reagan, Republicans, and Nuclear Weapons" by Jonathan Granhoff, President, Global Security Institute)
The nuclear threat has changed. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Bill Perry tells a harrowing story of a false alarm that almost set off nuclear Armageddon. Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn explains why we can't rely on technology to work perfectly in an age of cyber attack and terror.
"If you really want a future world free of nuclear weapons, you can hardly make a better investment than to give to Nuclear Watch New Mexico. They need and deserve your support so that they can carry on their groundbreaking work. I urge you to be generous with them!" - Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight.
April 26, 2016: Chernobyl 30 Years On The biggest man-made disaster of all time... (so far)
The Chernobyl disaster released approximately 100 times more radiation than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 800,000 men risked their lives by exposing themselves to radiation in order to contain the situation. 25,000 of these have died (20% of the deaths were suicides) and 70,000 are disabled.
'Most radioactive materials from an atomic [bomb] blast have a maximum half-life of 50 years. However, in the Chernobyl meltdown, most of the actual exploding was due to containment failure and explosions from steam build-up. Chunks of fuel rods and irradiated graphite rods remained intact. Furthermore, the reaction has, both initially and over its life, produced a far higher amount of radioactive materials. This is partly due to the nature of the reaction, the existence of intact fuel to this date, and that the explosion happened at ground level. A fission explosion at ground level creates more radioactive isotopes due to neutron activation in soil. Furthermore, the half-lives of the isotopes made in the Chernobyl accident (because of the nature of the process) are considerably longer. It is estimated that the area will not be habitable for humans for another 20 000 years (Edit: to prevent further debate I rechecked this number. That is the time before the area within the cement sarcophagus - the exact location of the blast - becomes safe. The surrounding area varies between 20 years and several hundred years due to uneven contamination)..."
(ref: Physics discussion: Why can Hiroshima be inhabited when Chernobyl cannot?)
A new steel-clad arch, costing 1.5 billion euros, has just been completed. It is designed to prevent further leaks for... 100 years.
Special limited edition: Hard Duty- A Woman's Experience at Chernobyl
by Natlalia Manzurova and Cathie Sullivan.
Hard Duty is the story of a young Russian radiobiologist, Natalia Manzurova, and the four and a half years she spent as part of the clean up of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Hard Duty introduces the reader to both the causes and history of the accident and provides a first-hand account of a courageous young woman who shared the tragedy of Chernobyl for over 4 years.
Illustrated with Manzurova's photos.
60 pages, paperback (self-published). $6.00 plus $1.00 postage.
Only available through NukeWatch: Use this email contact for more details and to order the book. Proceeds from the sale of Hard Duty go to a Chernobyl Survivors group headed by Natalia.
Cathie Sullivan serves on Nuclear Watch New Mexico's Steering Committee.
Japanese schoolchildren give flower necklaces to G7 foreign ministers, left to right, from: Canada, Britain, U.S. (Kerry), Japan, and Germany; Hiroshima, Monday, April 11, 2016.
Jonathan Ernst, AP
John Kerry in Hiroshima
US Secretary of State John Kerry, together with the Foreign Ministers of several G-7 countries, visited Hiroshima's memorial to the victims of the American atomic bombing of that city in 1945. Kerry wrote in the guestbook: "Everyone in the world should see and feel the power of this memorial. It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself." (ref)
Marylia Kelley of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability appeared on Democracy Now April 13 to discuss Kerry's Hiroshima visit and ANA's just-released report on the sweeping modernization planned for our nuclear forces, titled "The Trillion-Dollar Train Wreck".
- Amy Goodman: What's the alternative, in this last minute?
- Marylia Kelley: The alternative is to cancel this aggressive new nuclear weapons program. And we can curate the United States nuclear weapons stockpile, maintaining the existing safety and reliability until such time as the nuclear weapons are dismantled, pursuant to U.S. obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. And the world is gathering in May, next month, May 2nd, in Geneva at the United Nations to discuss the steps to doing this and to discuss the legal requirements of global disarmament. And the United States is boycotting. So we need-
- Amy Goodman: Boycotting why?
- Marylia Kelley: The United States is boycotting it because it doesn't believe these discussions are useful or productive. But, of course, they are the most important discussions on the planet. (full transcript here) View/download ANA Report (PDF)
Urge President Obama To Go To Hiroshima
President Obama has the chance to make history by becoming the first U.S. President to visit nuclear ground zero at Hiroshima when he is in Japan during the G7 Summit on May 26 and 27.
Sign this petition urging President Obama to visit Hiroshima today!
For immediate release: April 7, 2016: NukeWatch Files a Second FOIA Request for FY 2015
Los Alamos and Sandia Labs Performance Evaluation Reports - Demands Expedited Release to E-FOIA Reading Room
Santa Fe, NM. Nuclear Watch New Mexico has filed a second request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the National Nuclear Security Administration's FY 2015 Performance Evaluation Reports for the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Nuclear Watch filed its first request on December 22, 2015, which has still not been fulfilled despite the law's statutory requirement that FOIA requests be honored within 20 working days. Because of that, Nuclear Watch is demanding expedited processing and posting of these reports to an electronic FOIA reading room, as required by the 1996 E-FOIA amendments.
Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch New Mexico director, commented, "It is unconscionable that the National Nuclear Security Administration withholds information from the American taxpayer on how fat contractors who constantly bust budgets are paid, especially when these same contractors always have their hands out for yet more taxpayer money for nuclear weapons, forever. The question is, what do NNSA and its contractors have to hide? To answer that, Nuclear Watch will not only demand that the Performance Evaluation Report be publicly released, but that from this point on the reports be automatically posted to an electronic FOIA reading room as the law requires. The American taxpayer should not have to fight this battle year after year just to keep greedy nuclear weapons contractors accountable."
(view/download full press release PDF)
NukeWatch Denounces New Consent Order on Los Alamos Lab Cleanup For immediate release: March 30, 2016:
Santa Fe, NM. Today, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issued a new draft Consent Order that in theory will govern cleanup at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Instead, the new Consent Order is a giveaway to the Department of Energy and the Lab who are intent on creating yet more radioactive waste from expanded nuclear weapons production.
(view/download full press release PDF)
Los Alamos Cleanup At the Crossroads
March 18, Santa Fe:
Following protracted negotiations, threatened litigation, and claims of imminent and substantial endangerment, the New Mexican Environment Department (NMED), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory contractor agreed to sign the original Consent Order in March 2005. Its promise was fence-to-fence cleanup of Cold War legacy waste at Los Alamos. The 2005 Consent Order was designed as a plan-to-make-a-plan, with investigations followed by cleanup and with hundreds of specific milestones. The intent was to convince DOE to increase funding for LANL cleanup by making a complete cleanup schedule subject to enforcement. The Consent Order had a "final compliance date" scheduled for December 6, 2015.
At the Brussels Forum, March 19: Russia, Ukraine, and the Future of Europe Ivanov: risk of use of nuclear weapons today in Europe is higher than in the 80s
Igor Ivanov, Russian Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2004, speaking at the Brussels Forum March 19:
"Russia and the West seem to have entered a new phase of the arms race, in which Europe has become the center stage. It can be assured that once U.S. deploys its missile defense system in Poland, Russia would respond by deploying its own missile defense system in Kaliningrad. If developments take this direction, we may face a situation like the missile crisis in Europe in the mid eighties.
"But the big difference is at that moment, in the eighties, we had the full scale of mechanisms of dialog, of negotiations, of contacts on the highest levels, on the level of military people, and with all problems, we managed the crises. Today all those mechanisms are blocked or destroyed; and the risk of confrontation with the use of nuclear weapons today in Europe is higher than in the eighties. And this is the paradox: today we have less nuclear warheads but the risk of them being used is growing.
"Where should we go from here? First we have to admit that the paths of Europe and Russia are seriously diverging and will remain so for a long time ... probably for decades to come. This continental shift, the drifting apart of the two European geopolitical plates, will have a huge and lasting impact on both Europe and the World. There will be no return to the autumn of 2013, even if the situation in Ukraine is, by some miracle, brought back to normal.
"The changes taking place before our eyes are not only radical, but also irreversible, putting an end to some political projects, and opening an opportunity for other projects. When I say about previous projects, as you remember, many of us, we were speaking about "Greater Europe", about common Euro-Atlantic security space, about common humanitarian and economic space from Vladivostok to Lisbon. Beautiful plans- but I think those beautiful plans we have to forget. We are in a new reality, and we have to start to think in that new reality.
"In the imagined new geo-political reality, Russia is no longer the Eastern flank of the failed 'Greater Europe', it is becoming the Western flank of the emerging 'Greater Eurasia'."
For more on 'Eurasianism' and the 'Eurasian' perspective on geo-politics, see the writings of Alexander Dugin. -Ed.
North Korea Increases Pace of Missile, Nuke Testing... What's Next?
For years whenever the North Korean dictator set off an atom bomb, or tested a missile, or threatened a nuclear attack on the US, the narrative was that he was just trying to get the world's attention, maybe get a foreign aide deal. By now though it is clear that whatever the motivations were a decade ago, the North Korean regime under Kim Jong-Un is going for a nuclear force capable of striking the United States. Recent DPRK claims, though perhaps exaggerated, point the direction ahead: thermonuclear weapons, miniaturization of weapons for long-range missile delivery, the development of a strategic submarine fleet. Once DPRK has the military capability to launch a nuclear missile attack on the US from submarine platforms, the empty threats are not so empty anymore, and it might be assumed that the US would have to take action. One might also assume that China, desiring to be the arbiter and dominant power in East Asia, would rather be the one to deal with the North Korea problem- better than sitting back and letting the US demonstrate a continuing pre-eminence in the region.
While the US cannot afford to ignore Mr Kim's threats once he has obtained the ability to carry them out, Kim's game vis-a-vis the US is likely deterrence, rather than the pre-emptive attack he has sometimes threatened. Kim may not be quite that crazy. Instead, he may be imagining that the DPRK could invade the South, gloriously expelling the foreigners and uniting the Korean homeland- so long as he can deter the US from intervening by holding US and Japanese cities under nuclear threat.
This year's US-South Korean military exercises currently underway for the first time include practice in hitting the nuclear sites and command and control centers in the North. This is serious planning, not 'sending a message', though it is likely we'd want the Chinese to take note and redouble their efforts to 'solve' the North Korea problem from their side. Time is running out.
- Toronto Star, March 9:Kim claims North Korea can put miniaturized atomic bombs on missiles
- FPIF, April 15: North Korea's New Rocket Technology Looks Like It's for Real:
New missiles could reach US East Coast by 2020.
- Washington Post April 23: South Korea Confirms North's Successful Test of Submarine-Launched Missile
Hearings Begin on Marshall Islands' Nuclear Lawsuits at Int'l Court of Justice
In 1996 the International Criminal Court issued a unanimous Advisory Opinion which stated: "There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control."
But twenty years later, no nuclear disarmament negotiations have taken place among nuclear-armed nations, and all nine are engaged in some level of "modernization" of their nuclear arsenals.
Is Bernie Sanders' Foreign Policy Brain Trust Taking Shape?
This week, CNN reported that a Sanders campaign spokesman told their reporter, unofficially, that Bill French, of the National Security Policy Network, Larry Korb, at the Center for American Progress, Gordon Adams, Stimson Center Fellow, and Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares Fund were advising candidate Sanders on Foreign Policy.
In addition, CNN reported that Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of International Affairs at Columbia, said Sanders recently asked him to advise on foreign policy matters and Sachs agreed.
"Sachs serves as special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals. 'I think we needed a very different approach in foreign policy so I wanted to share my thoughts on that and believe that (Sanders) has been expressing a more accurate way to go forward.' Sachs told CNN.
Sanders is a co-sponsor, along with Rep. Ed Markey and 34 other members of Congress, of the SANE Act, calling for measured reductions in the US nuclear arsenal.
Full disclosure: Ploughshares Fund is a grantor to Nuclear Watch New Mexico.
Trafalgar Square, London, Feb. 27, 2016
UK: Biggest Anti-Nuclear March in a Generation
The Guardian reports: "Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's Stop Trident march in London was the biggest anti-nuclear march in a generation, spurred on by support from Jeremy Corbyn and the Scottish National Party". (see The Guardian's collection of photos of the event)
- Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was criticized in advance for planning to attend and address the rally, said "Today's demonstration is an expression of many people's opinions and views. I'm here because I believe in a nuclear-free Britain and a nuclear-free future." (see video)
- Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party leader: "It is the exception to the rule to possess nuclear weapons, let that message ring out loudly and clearly... The use of Trident nuclear weapons would bring about human devastation and suffering on an unimaginable scale." (more on SNP policy)
- Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader: "The world has been and continues to be an unstable and unpredictable place but there are some values that we should hold on to through peace, through war, through instability and unpredictability. It is never acceptable, it is never justifiable, to unleash weapons of mass destruction on a population. Nuclear weapons belong in the dustbin of history alongside the Cold War." (see full address)
- Green Party MP Caroline Lucas: "To contemplate using nuclear weapons is both illegal and immoral." (see video)
April 18, 2016: Los Alamos Lab Deputy Division Leader Tapia is out- no explanation given
John Tapia was right-hand man to Executive Director Richard Marquez, who resigned in February (see Marquez article here). ABQ Journal 4/18/16
Every little bit helps!
Remember: contributions are tax-deductible!
*Go to donations page* Thanks for your support!
"Massive spending on nuclear weapons 'modernization' creates potential catastrophic risks for U.S. taxpayers, the environment and world peace. We will press policy-makers to cut programs that fund dangerous DOE boondoggles. The money saved should be redirected to dismantling weapons and cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production." - Jay Coghlan, NukeWatch director and president of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability's Board of Directors.(view/download full press release PDF)
At the ANA Awards ceremony, April 20, 2016, Washington DC: from left to right: Max Vargas, Rick Wayman (partially hidden) Vicky Elliot, Scott Yundt, Sen. Diane Feinstein, Julie Kantor, Grant Stanton.
Senator Diane Feinstein receiving the ANA Leadership Award from Marylia Kelley, ANA/Tri-Valley CAREs, April 20, 2016.
Above, left to right: Jay Coghlan, Exec. Dir. Nuclear Watch New Mexico presenting ANA Whistleblower Award to Chuck Montaño; Scott Yundt of Tri-Valley CAREs presenting Activist of the Year Award to Rick Wayman, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Sister Megan Rice came to the ceremonies too...
Public Comment period, April through summer: Finding Long-Term Solutions for Nuclear Waste
DOE call for public comment as part of "consent-based siting" initiative.
"We are requesting feedback from communities, states, Tribal Nations, and interested stakeholders on important considerations in designing a fair and effective process."
April 11: Atlanta; April 26: Sacramento; May 24: Denver; June 2: Boston
(more dates and details)
Beyond the Summit:
New Approaches to Nuclear Security William Perry: "Danger of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than during the Cold War. Our public is blissfully unaware.
Consequently, the policies that this country follows are in no way commensurate to the danger."
Dr. James Doyle is an independent nuclear security specialist supported by the Ploughshares Fund and a non-resident associate of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Dr. Doyle also serves on Nuclear Watch New Mexico's steering committee.
- Do you oppose plans to spend a trillion dollars on an entire new generation of nuclear weapons systems that will enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?
- Do you believe it's so important to invest in modernizing all three legs of the nuclear triad that you would do so at the expense of cybersecurity, conventional forces, diplomatic initiatives and domestic priorities?
- Do you support taking our ICBM nuclear missiles, which are susceptible to false alarms, equipment failure and cyber threats, off hair-trigger alert?
Current nuclear stockpiles- for country reports and other details see original annotated infographic at Ploughshares.org.
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
Don't Bank on the Bomb 2015
In a 50% increase over last year's totals, 53 financial institutions prohibit or limit investments in nuclear weapon producers, according to Don't Bank on the Bomb (2015), published in November by Dutch peace organization PAX. The increase illustrates the growing stigmatization of nuclear weapons due to the renewed focus on their humanitarian consequences. The report also identifies 382 banks, insurance companies, and pension funds which have made USD 493 billion available to nuclear weapons producers since January 2012.
Dr. Perry's Nuclear Nightmare Dr. William J. Perry, the 19th Secretary of Defense, shares his nuclear nightmare in this video produced by the William J. Perry Project.
Judgement Day http://xkcd.com/1626/
"We cannot accept the logic that a few nations have the right to pursue their security by threatening the survival of mankind. It is not only those who live by the nuclear sword who, by design or default, shall one day perish by it."
Statement by India at the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons at Nayarit, Mexico, February 14, 2014
"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount."
-Gen. Omar Bradley
Our Mission: 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.