Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

Our mission is to protect all living beings and the environment from the effects of radioactive and other hazardous materials now and in the future.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico 87594

Telephone: (505) 986-1973
Fax: (505) 986-0997
Email: ccns@nuclearactive.org

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DOE Consent-Based Siting Meetings Continue; New Mexico Does Not Consent


play3CCNS brought the New Mexico perspective to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest public meeting to develop a process for communities to step forward to volunteer, or “consent,” to siting future nuclear storage and disposal facilities in their community.  The meeting, the fourth of nine, was held in Sacramento, California.  The next meeting is scheduled for Denver on May 24th at the Embassy Suites Denver – Stapleton.

The federal DOE has the responsibility to find a disposal site for commercial irradiated nuclear fuel now in storage at more than 100 nuclear reactors across the U.S.  DOE is also charged to find a disposal site for waste generated from the research, development and manufacturing of nuclear weapons.  DOE is not responsible for consolidated storage sites for irradiated fuel, though that is a major focus of the current process.

Through a non-regulatory process, DOE is asking the public “to share their values, experiences and perspectives on issues that are important to DOE’s development of a consent-based siting process.”  DOE is searching to define “consent,” to learn how consent is granted and withdrawn, and how “community well-being” is incorporated into siting decisions, among other things.  The U.S. should have done a similar exercise before generating more than 75,000 metric tons of irradiated fuel, with more being produced every day.

CCNS is concerned that DOE is pushing a process on states, including New Mexico, that have already emphatically said they do not consent to new facilities.  In New Mexico, the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance is proposing a storage facility for commercial irradiated fuel.

At the Sacramento meeting, Joni Arends, of CCNS, stated, “For over 35 years, New Mexico has told DOE and the nuclear corporations that it DOES NOT CONSENT to commercial irradiated nuclear fuel and defense high-level waste being stored or disposed in the state.  In fact, Section 12 of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act states, ‘The Secretary [of DOE] shall not transport high-level radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel to WIPP or emplace or dispose of such waste or fuel at WIPP.’  Yet DOE continues to ignore the law and continues to push for expansion of WIPP even though it has failed in its ‘start clean, stay clean’ mission.”

CCNS requested that DOE “publicly affirm that states that do not consent will be excluded from any future nuclear facility siting processes.”  CCNS CBS Sacramento 4-26-16

To learn more about DOE’s consent-based siting initiative, please visit http://www.energy.gov/ne/consent-based-siting, where you can view the previous meetings held in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Atlanta.  DOE will webcast future meetings live.

To learn more about the community perspective, please visit the websites of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service at www.nirs.org and the Nuclear Energy Information Service at http://neis.org/  The NEIS public comments are NEIS POSITIONS ON RADIOACTIVE WASTE DOE meeting in Chicago 3-29-16,   RECOMMENDATIONS ON DOE’S “CONSENT-BASED” SITING OF Radioactive waste facilities 3-29-16


Goals of U.S. Department of Energy Meeting in Sacramento April 26 would Trigger Largest Nuclear Shipping Campaign in History: California Cities Would be Fukushima Freeways

CaptureConcerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety * Nuclear Information and Resource Service * Redwood Alliance
SEED Coalition
April 25, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Mary Olson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (828-242-5621) cell
Joni Arends, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, NM (505-986-1973) cell
Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition, NM (512-797-8481)
Graphics: See attached maps –  CAnuclearNuclear Waste Routes National, Texas–National Nuclear Waste Likely Routes

Goals of U.S. Department of Energy Meeting in Sacramento April 26 would Trigger Largest Nuclear Shipping Campaign in History:  California Cities Would be Fukushima Freeways

Tuesday April 26, on the 30th commemoration of one of history’s catastrophic releases of radioactivity from Chernobyl Unit 4 reactor in the former Soviet Union, the US Department of Energy (DOE) is holding a public meeting in Sacramento to under-pin its program to expand nuclear energy. First goal: get the nation’s highly radioactive waste on to trucks and trains, moving off nuclear reactor sites to one or more “consolidated storage” sites. In order to achieve the goal of moving so-called “spent” nuclear fuel from the power generating sites where it was made, the DOE must get Congress, currently divided on the next step for this waste, to pull together and change the law. This meeting, fourth in a nation-wide series of nine is designed, perhaps, to reassure law makers that the “public” has been “consulted.”

The meeting, at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 begins at 4 pm with an open house. The meeting will convene at 5 pm and will also be live web-cast with webinar features. See: http://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/meeting-materials-consent-based-siting-public-meeting-sacramento-april-26-2016

“In order to move this most deadly of wastes any time soon, DOE will ask Congress to gut any remaining protections in the existing law,” said Mary Olson, Southeast Coordinator for Nuclear Information and Resource Service who on April 10th attended another of the DOE’s public meetings, in Atlanta GA. “The Nuclear Waste Policy Act requires a licensed permanent site for the waste before the DOE can take the waste anywhere. It keeps liability with the waste generator until the real, long-term problem of what to do with this waste has been solved. This makes sense, especially when the hazard of transporting the waste is multiplied by adding a “temporary” site to the plan.” NIRS calls this “Fukushima Freeways” since the shipments would carry the same material, irradiated nuclear fuel, as spewed from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors five years ago. Under some accident scenarios, local areas could be contaminated just like Fukushima Prefecture. See: http://www.nirs.org/fukushimafreeways/stopfukushimafreeways.htm

“Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (CCNS) is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a state with no nuclear power plants, but with a long history of having DOE and its corporate contractors break their promises of safety at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). DOE also has tried to ignore federal and state laws that limit WIPP’s mission. New Mexico has for decades told DOE and nuclear corporations that it DOES NOT CONSENT to irradiated fuel being stored or disposed in the state. DOE’s “consent-based siting” is a sham, since it wants to offer incentive packages for volunteer sites, including to a few people with the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance in southeastern New Mexico and the nuclear corporation Holtec. Congress should not provide funding for the incentives, and DOE should publicly affirm that states that do not consent will be excluded from any future nuclear facility siting processes,” said Joni Arends of CCNS, who will be attending the Tuesday meeting.

A second site, only miles away in West Texas is also being proffered by Energy Solutions / Waste Control Specialists, where, like New Mexico, many people oppose “consolidated storage” because it is unnecessary and dangerous to the local communities all along the transportation routes.

“We do not consent to the plan to dump dangerous radioactive waste on us,” said Rose Gardner a SEED Coalition member who lives in Eunice, New Mexico, a town of nearly 3000 people that is 40% Hispanic. It lies five miles west of the WCS site. “Andrews County officials say that we want this waste, but no one has ever asked me if I consent. I would definitely say no, and many others here feel the same way. We never got to vote on this issue. The Department of Energy (DOE) is saying that our community consents to having radioactive waste dumped in our backyard, but this isn’t true. The DOE scheduled eight hearings around the country, but not a single one for New Mexico or Texas, the targeted region. Clearly they don’t want to hear our voices.”

Michael Welch, spokesperson for Redwood Alliance in Arcata, CA said, “Here in Humboldt County, CA, we have a nuclear power plant that has nearly completed the decommissioning process. With no rail lines, roads into and out of the area are so narrow and twisting, and they closely follow important bodies of water, that it makes waste transportation especially hazardous. Local citizens have worked with the utility to store the high level waste, on the reactor site to avoid that dangerous transportation. DOE would undercut our local effort to keep the waste as safe as possible, while increasing dangerous transport across the nation.”

“Nuclear power reactors have generated both electricity and this waste over the last 40 years. We still don’t know how to keep it safe for a million years. An energy policy based on making more just does not make sense when we have better alternatives,” said Olson, NIRS Southeast Office.


April 26th Marks the 30th Anniversary of the Catastrophic Chernobyl Accident

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.41.37

play3For the millions of people who were evacuated from their communities located downwind of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Reactor Number 4 that exploded and released vast quantities of radiation and other toxins 30 years ago, they have not returned home to live.  As a result, the Russian government built new communities, but for many, it is not home.

Further, more than 800,000 emergency responders, firefighters, soldiers, engineers, farmers, miners and volunteers, called “liquidators,” were exposed to high levels of radiation as they worked to evacuate the people in the estimated 3,600 to 4,500 buses, trucks and military vehicles needed for the task.  For years, the liquidators worked at the impossible task to cleanup the area, which is the size of Rhode Island.

Most of the liquidators were 18 to 22 years of age from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, the areas hardest hit by the release of radiation and other harmful toxins.  Twenty percent of them died in the first 20 years following the 1986 catastrophe.

It is these populations that have suffered the worst health effects, including heart disease; thyroid and other radiation-induced cancers, genetic damage and birth defects, fully developed eye cataracts in young people, psychological problems and damaged immune systems. In this case, a damaged immune system can open the body to non-radiation related diseases, colds and flus, and chronic infections.  See:  Cathy Sullivan’s Update stories about “One Nuclear Reactor Can Pollute Half the Globe” at http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/102910.html  and http://www.nuclearactive.org/news/110510.html  The millions exposed to high levels of radiation have received little support and medical care from the government.

Sergey Krasilnikov, 65, was a liquidator and a foreman in the reconstruction of the power plant.  He told his story to USA Today about his sacrifice during the disaster to protect family living in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine with a population of over 2.5 million people.  http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/chernobyl/

Krasilnikov explained, “Then in 1994, I got sick.  After my medical assessment they said my stroke and paralysis were a direct result of my work as a liquidator.

“Yet it still took a long time before I got any disability assistance from the government, and we lived hand-to-mouth and had to sell a lot of things.  I now get about [$200] a month.  I pay [about $136] each month for treatment.

“Had I known with what indifference and scorn the state would treat me now, I may not have agreed to be a liquidator.  Nevertheless, I had family in Kiev.  I wasn’t saving state bureaucrats, I was protecting the people of Ukraine.”

For the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, a number of publications, including USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/chernobyl/, The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/environment/chernobyl-nuclear-disaster, and the website enformable http://enformable.com/2015/09/experiencing-the-chernobyl-nuclear-power-plant-nearly-30-years-later/ have extensive stories about the evacuees, liquidators and those who stayed, along with photo essays and videos.

On Tuesday, May 3rd, Beyond Nuclear and the Goethe-Institut, DC will co-host an afternoon and evening program that will mark the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl and the 5th anniversary of Fukushima.  The program is called Lessons from Fukushima and Chernobyl:  The Risks of Normalizing Radiation.  Leading international experts and compelling short films will headline the special event.  It will be held at the Goethe-Institut, DC, at 1990 K Street, NW (event entrance on 20th Street) from 2 to 5 pm and 7:30 to 9 pm.  All events are free and open to the public.  No registration is required.  For more information and to view the full program, visit  http://www.beyondnuclear.org/chernobyl30-fukushima5/

Lots of deeply moving 30th anniversary Chernobyl major media coverage recently, including:









ANA Releases “Trillion Dollar Trainwreck” Report and Chuck Montaño Receives ANA Whistleblower Award


play3Dozens of community leaders from around the country will visit Washington, DC from April 18th through the 20th to oppose what they call “out-of-control” U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons projects that accelerate wasteful spending, increase proliferation risks, and generate radioactive and toxic pollution.  The group will meet with leading members of Congress, committee staffers, and administration officials responsible for U.S. nuclear policies to press for new priorities.

Activists from nearly a dozen states are participating in the 28th annual Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) “DC Days.”  They will deliver copies of ANA’s new report entitled, “Trillion Dollar Trainwreck,” which dissects the Obama Administration’s latest plans to spend more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years on the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including over $1.5 billion a year for on-going production of plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  http://www.ananuclear.org/the-nuclear-free-frontpage/2016/4/13/trillion-dollar-trainwreck or http://bit.ly/trilliondollartrainwreck or http://www.theunion.com/opinion/21573075-113/amy-goodman-obamas-trillion-dollar-nuclear-arms-train-wreck

According to the 20-page analysis, “Most of [the projects] are completely unnecessary for national security.  All of them are mismanaged, behind schedule, and wildly over budget.”  ANA members will urge policymakers to redirect the funding saved by cutting these programs to speeding up the dismantlement of the U.S. stockpile of warheads and cleaning up the legacy of nuclear weapons research, testing and production.

ANA is a network of local, regional and national organizations representing the concerns of communities downwind and downstream from U.S. nuclear weapons research, production and waste disposal sites.  DC Days participants include activists groups that monitor U.S. nuclear weapons facilities such as the DOE sites in New Mexico.  They are LANL, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  ANA member groups in New Mexico are Southwest Research and Information Center, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and CCNS.

As part of its DC Days, ANA will sponsor an Awards Reception honoring leaders of the movement responsible nuclear policies on Tuesday, April 19th in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.    Honorees include U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; U.S. Representative Adam Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee; anti-nuclear reactor organizer Kay Cumbow; and LANL Whistleblower Chuck Montaño.

Whistleblower Montaño spent most of his 32-year career at LANL in various accounting and auditing positions.  He quickly learned that “Laboratory managers routinely ignored what auditors reported.  Because of this, serious security and financial lapses occurred that otherwise could have been averted … and ended up costing the taxpayers lots of money.”

Montaño documented his experience in his new book, “Los Alamos:  Secret Colony, Hidden Truths – a Whistleblower’s Diary,” which is a clarion call for citizen action to address waste, fraud and abuse at LANL.  http://www.losalamosdiary.com/index.html


DOE Plans to Bring Six Metric Tons of Plutonium to WIPP

WIPP failed salt mine in Germany

In its ongoing efforts to expand the mission of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the Department of Energy (DOE) this week gave itself permission to bring more plutonium under a proposal to deal with some of the 13 metric tons of declared “surplus plutonium.”   The DOE’s Record of Decision addresses only six metric tons, or 6.6 tons, of surplus, weapons-usable, non-pit plutonium. DOE did not make a decision about the remaining 7.1 metric tons of surplus plutonium from the triggers for nuclear weapons, or the pits, currently stored at the Savannah River Site (SRS), but has indicated that plutonium also could be shipped to WIPP. http://energy.gov/nepa/downloads/eis-0283-s2-record-decision

DOE would use existing SRS facilities to prepare and package the plutonium for shipment to WIPP for disposal with other contact-handled transuranic waste. WIPP is currently closed for disposal due to the February 2014 vehicle fire and the explosion of one or more waste containers, which contaminated the underground. After many delays in its attempt to reopen WIPP, DOE said it would partially reopen in December 2016. DOE does not have a timeline for when the SRS shipments would begin.

Since 1994 DOE has spent billions of dollars and held dozens of public meetings and hearings regarding the handling of up to 50 metric tons of surplus plutonium so that it could not longer be used in nuclear weapons. Russia has also agreed to address the handling of a similar amount of plutonium from its nuclear weapons program. Yet the U.S. “disposition” program has failed, as plutonium has not been placed into a form to prevent its being used in nuclear weapons, nor is there any likelihood for such a result in the next few years.

DOE states that approximately 15 percent of the plutonium could be from foreign countries, as recently demonstrated by the shipments of Japanese and British plutonium to SRS. Nevertheless, foreign plutonium is prohibited at WIPP. http://www.srswatch.org/ and http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-sends-331-kg-of-wea/2626026.html

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has protested using SRS for storage of foreign plutonium. Since January 1st, South Carolina has proposed, but not collected, fines from DOE of $1 million a day for not removing the stored plutonium. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gov.-nikki-haley-forces-feds-to-move-plutonium/article/2587163

New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich weighed in on DOE’s decision. Senator Udall said, “If DOE moves forward with this plan, the state of New Mexico and Congress will need assurances that this proposal fully complies with WIPP’s disposal criteria and with the Land Withdrawal Act.”

CCNS and our colleagues have prepared a sample comment letter to Senators Udall and Heinrich about DOE’s expansion plans and the rush to reopen WIPP. Please click WIPP_Expansion_factsheet_040816 to download the fact sheet and click WIPP_Expansion_Sample_ CommentLetter_040816 to download the sample comment letter.


NMED Re-launches Failed “Campaign Approach” in draft Consent Order for LANL; Public Comments due May 16th


This week the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) released its draft Consent Order for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) at an afternoon meeting of the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board at the Sandia Resort in Albuquerque.  Please see below for links to the draft Consent Order with individual links to the appendices.  NMED NNMCAB Presentation Final 1(3-30-16) Since the early days of her administration, Governor Susana Martinez has talked about releasing a new Consent Order for cleanup of the hazardous and toxic wastes at LANL that would be flexible, more business friendly and would not burden the Department of Energy (DOE), the owner and operator of LANL.

Unfortunately, the draft Consent Order re-launches the failed “campaign approach” first proposed by Martinez in the 2012 Framework Agreement with DOE for protection of groundwater and moving plutonium-contaminated waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  NMED:DOE FrameworkAgreement for LANL Jan. 2011 and NMED Summary Framework Agreement 01-5-2012 At the time DOE did not provide adequate funding to get the required work done and was behind schedule.

In the non-binding Framework Agreement, DOE voluntarily committed to remove 3706 cubic meters of that waste from LANL to WIPP.  It was understood that if the work were done by June 30, 2014, there would be an opportunity to re-negotiate the existing Consent Order.

DOE got in big rush to move the waste and as a result, LANL wrongly placed organic kitty litter in over 700 waste containers, most of which are now in the WIPP underground.  In February 2014, one or more LANL drums exploded in the WIPP underground, shutting down the $500 million facility.

After a preliminary review of the draft Consent Order, CCNS is concerned that New Mexico has not learned the important lessons from its failed campaign approach.

The draft Consent Order already demonstrates that they are in a rush because the Environment Department did not include any milestones or targets for the cleanup of the large, unlined hazardous and radioactive dumps at Technical Areas 49 and 50, which include Areas G, H and L.  d CO APP B Milestones & Targets 3-30-16 State and federal hazardous waste laws require the Environment Department to review DOE cleanup plans and provide their recommendation to the public for review and comment.  But since 2011, the Environment Department has issued more than 150 extensions of time for DOE to submit its plans as pollutants have continued to migrate towards groundwater.  LANL_Consent_Order_Extensions_12-30-2015

Public comments are due to the Environment Department on Monday, May 16th, 2016.  Please reference “Draft LANL Consent Order” and submit your comments to:

Kathryn Roberts, Director

Resource Protection Division

New Mexico Environment Department

P. O. Box 5469

Santa Fe, NM  87502-5469

By email to:  kathryn.roberts@state.nm.us

The Environment Department will present their draft Consent Order at two public meetings.  The first is on Friday, April 8th during the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities monthly meeting at the Española City Council Chambers from 9 to 11 am.  The second is scheduled for Thursday, April 28th at the Los Alamos County Council Chambers from 5 to 7 pm.

The Environment Department will meet with individual stakeholders during the comment period


Compliance Order on Consent (March 30, 2016)
March 30, 2016 Public Notice of Consent Order is issued for public comment.  The comment period will end on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM MDT.
     PublicNotice dCO English 3-30-16
     d CO Public Notice Spanish 3-30-16
     d CO LISTOFACRONYMS 3-30-16
     d CO APP A SWMUAOCStatusList 3-30-16
     d CO APP B Milestones & Targets 3-30-16
     d CO APP C Campaigns 3-30-16
     d CO APP D DocumentReview-Comment & RevisionsSchedule 3-30-16
     d CO App E-DocumentTemplates 3-30-16
     d CO App F-SamplingAnalyticalFieldMethodRegGuidance 3-30-16
     https://www.env.nm.gov/HWB/lanlperm.html#COOC   accessed March 30, 2016



Peaceful Demonstrations to Support Trinity Downwinders at Entrances to Trinity Site on Saturday, April 2nd


The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium is organizing two peaceful demonstrations to support those who have been negatively affected by exposure to radiation as a result of the July 16, 1945 Trinity Atomic Test in south central New Mexico at the entrances to the White Sands Missile Range at the Stallion Range Station and Tularosa Gate on Saturday, April 2nd.  The White Sands Missile Range holds an open house twice a year for the public to view the site of the Trinity Test.  http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/Home.aspx

On July 16, 1945, just before dawn, the government of the United States of America conducted the first test explosion of a nuclear device in the Tularosa Basin in central New Mexico at the White Sands Army base.  Without warning, the 40,000 people living in the immediate vicinity were engulfed in a radioactive cloud that continued to rain down radioactive particles for days.  Please read this flyerApril 2nd flyer-2

After the test, the US Government packed their bags, turned their backs and walked away. For 71 years the US Government has taken no responsibility for the health repercussions and the effects of exposure to radiation from the Trinity Test for the People.  The cancer rates in the four counties surrounding the Trinity Site are four to eight times higher than the national rates.

The Consortium has been working for 11 years to expand the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to provide compensation and medical care to the people of New Mexico, and particularly to the Trinity Downwinders.  The fund has paid out over $2 billion in claims thus far to the downwinders of the Nevada Test Site, and more importantly, has provided lifetime health care coverage, with no co-payments, no deductibles and no premiums to those affected.  Proposed amendments to RECA include the Trinity downwinders.

Senate Bill 331 https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/331?q={%22search%22%3A[%22\%22s331\%22%22]}&resultIndex=1 and House Bill 994 at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/994?q={%22search%22%3A[%22\%22hr994\%22%22]}&resultIndex=1

Beginning at 9 am, some members of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium will gather at the Stallion Range Station entrance to the Trinity Test Site at White Sands Missile Range, Hwy. 380, east of San Antonio, New Mexico.

Beginning at 7:30 am, other members of the Consortium will gather at the Tularosa Gate in Tularosa, New Mexico.

You are cordially invited to join the Consortium in their peace demonstration.  Please bring your own water, chair and poster.

Tina Cordova, of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said, “The peaceful demonstration will be a somber occasion to recognize and expose the pain that secrecy can impose.  At all times, we will remember that our message is conveyed out of love and remembrance, honoring the suffering and death from this atrocity.”

For more information, please contact Tina Cordova at tcordova@queston.net   or call her at 505-897-6787.


DNFSB March 22, 2016 Public Meeting re: LANL Transuranic Waste Management

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) will hold a public hearing in Santa Fe on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 from 5 pm to 9 pm regarding transuranic (TRU)waste management at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  http://www.dnfsb.gov


  1. Discuss the hazards posed to the public and workers by the containers of waste stored at Area G.
  2. Discuss actions taken or planned to resolve known inadequacies in the current safety basis of the various facilities that manage or store transuranic waste at LANL.
  3. Discuss actions taken to improve transuranic waste management at LANL in response to the challenges caused by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant accident and its associated findings.

Where:  Santa Fe Community Convention Center, 201 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM  87501.  Parking will be available at no cost.

Time:  Session I – 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Session II – 6:45 pm to 9 pm

See agenda BP FY16 NMPS LANL PH Agenda 022216 (002) – which may be subject to change.

For more information:  Please see  Federal Register notice LANL Reg Notice.



Marshall Islands’ Preliminary Oral Arguments in Nuclear Disarmament Cases Before ICJ Conclude


This week the International Court of Justice concluded the preliminary oral arguments in the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands against India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The hearings, which took place from March 7th to the 16th, were the first contentious cases on nuclear disarmament ever heard at the Court. These hearings addressed the respondent nations’ objections related to questions of jurisdiction and admissibility. http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&code=miuk&case=160&k=ef

Sixty-seven nuclear bomb tests were conducted in the Marshall Islands, a small island nation located in the South Pacific, from 1946 to 1958. On March 1, 1954, the United States tested Castle Bravo, the fifth largest test in history with a yield of 15 megatons – 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear weapons used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. https://www.ctbto.org/specials/testing-times/1-march-1954-castle-bravo/

On April 24, 2014, the Marshall Islands filed applications in the Court to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for violations of international law with respect to their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law. The nine states are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel.

The nine cases are founded on the Court’s 1996 unanimous Advisory Opinion that concluded there “exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leadings to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&code=unan&case=95&k=e1&p3=0

Now the Marshall Islands is requesting the Court to issue a declaratory judgment of the breach of nuclear disarmament obligations and an order to take, within one year of the judgment, all steps necessary to comply with those obligations, including the pursuit of good faith negotiations aimed at a nuclear disarmament convention under strict and effective international control.

During the hearing, North Korea warned of a “pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice” on Seoul, South Korea and Washington, D.C. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/10/north-korea-fires-two-short-range-ballistic-missiles-into-sea And India conducted two nuclear-capable land and submarine launched missile tests. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/odisha-nuclear-capable-agni-i-missile-successfully-test-fired/story-mp1rwiBhrrRcseo8OiQSeM.html and http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/EXPRESS-EXCLUSIVE-India-Test-Fires-Nuke-Capable-SLBM-K-4-Secretly/2016/03/09/article3317185.ece

On the last day of the hearing, India delivered its final oral arguments. India’s legal team doubled down on its assertions that its words speak louder than its actions. While repeatedly highlighting “irrefutable evidence of India’s positions in United Nations forums on disarmament,” India’s lawyers denied that their recent test-launches indicated participation in the nuclear arms race.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr. Tony de Brum, Co-Agent and former Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, again asked the Court “to adjudge and declare that the Court has jurisdiction over the claims of the Marshall Islands submitted in its Application of 24 April 2014; and to adjudge and declare that the Marshall Islands’ claims are admissible.”

On a date to be determined, the Court will announce its decisions in a public sitting. To learn more about the cases, please visit http://wagingpeace.org/, the website of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and http://www.lcnp.org/, the website of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy.



CCNS honors those who have suffered from the Fukushima disaster and Chernobyl

3882520-3x2-940x627On the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, and soon the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl on April 26th, please see FUKUSHIMA AT 5 CHORNOBYL AT 30 3-10-16 by Dave Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Information Center, based in Illinois.  Dave has been active and effective against nuclear energy for decades.

CCNS honors those who have suffered from both disasters and respectfully requests that you take a moment to remember them.