Mission

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.

107 Cienega Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

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

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Current Activities

Ground Water Discharge Permit Public Hearing for Homestake Uranium Mining Company on Tuesday, April 29th in Grants

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 4/18/14 through 4/25/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

    * Ground Water Discharge Permit Public Hearing for Homestake Uranium Mining Company on Tuesday, April 29th in Grants

The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and its member groups will oppose a New Mexico Environment Department draft ground water discharge permit that would allow the Homestake Mining Company to discharge up to 5,500 gallons per minute of polluted water to the clean drinking water sources used by the residents of the Bluewater and Milan villages and the city of Grants at an upcoming public hearing.  http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/Common/pub_notice.htm  MASE invites you to attend the hearing, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 29th at 9 am at the Cibola County Government Building, located at 515 West High Street, in Grants, New Mexico.  A public comment period begins at 5 pm.

Nitrates, selenium, uranium, radium, chloride, sulfate, dissolved solids, and molybdenum have been found in the ground water.  The pollutants are seeping from one of the world’s largest uranium mill tailings pile located in the Bluewater and Milan village area, which is a Superfund cleanup site.  The tailings were created when Homestake extracted high-grade uranium from the mined soils through the milling process.  Rain and snow moves through the pile to the ground water below, carrying the pollutants with it.

MASE states that the permit is flawed because it does not ensure protection of the public’s health or future water supplies.  Because pre-uranium development “background” values were never established, the Environment Department is allowing an “acceptable” level of pollution in the four regional aquifers in the San Mateo Creek watershed, located west of Mt. Taylor.  As a result, Homestake, which is now owned by the Barrick Gold Corporation, would not be required to cleanup the groundwater it polluted during 30 years of uranium mill operations.

Susan Gordon, Coordinator for MASE, said, “Our goal is to have more than 60 people attend the public comment section of the hearing.  MASE wants to put the New Mexico Environment Department and all mining companies on notice that the people of New Mexico are not going to let them walk away from their legal obligations to cleanup the uranium tailings left from previous mining. We must demand that the Environment Department use their regulatory power to ensure that the environmental legacy is cleaned up to pre-uranium development background levels before any new uranium mines can be considered.”

MASE is producing fact sheets and talking points for your use and they will be available at http://masecoalition.org/.  Written comments may be submitted to the Hearing Officer prior to and during the hearing.  Her contact information is:  NMED Hearing Clerk, Sally Worthington, Room S2103, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502, telephone (505) 827-2002, fax (505) 827-2836, sally.worthington@state.nm.us.

For more information, please contact Susan Gordon, Coordinator for MASE, at susangordon@earthlink.net or (505) 577-8438, or read the article in this month’s Green Fire Times to learn more.  http://greenfiretimes.com/ – go to page 16 (after looking at the beautiful cover photograph).

This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org and like us on Facebook.

 

Ask for an Independent Investigation of WIPP

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 4/11/14 through 4/18/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

*  Ask for an Independent Investigation of WIPP

While we await the accident investigation report for the February 14th radiation release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) that contaminated at least 21 workers, some things can be learned from the report for the February 5th vehicle fire in the underground.   That report describes inadequate equipment maintenance that was a cause of the fire; inadequate worker training to respond to the emergency; and the WIPP culture that prevents workers from bringing issues and concerns to the attention of management.  http://www.wipp.energy.gov/wipprecovery/accident_desc.html – accident investigation report at the bottom of the page.

The accident report describes how 86 workers were in the mine at the time of the fire.  The operator of the salt hauling vehicle tried to extinguish the fire by using a portable fire extinguisher located on the truck and the truck’s fire suppression system, but could not do so.  The report found, “There were inconsistencies between procedures and training for fire response that led to an ineffective response to the salt haul truck fire.”

The Central Monitoring Room was notified about the fire, but the operator did not act appropriately.  The evacuation alarm was sounded for only two seconds; the announcement to evacuate could not be understood; and the emergency evacuation strobe lights were not activated.  The ventilation system was switched from normal to filtration mode to reduce the airflow to contain the fire, but the change resulted in smoke flowing into areas where the workers had expected “good” air.  More difficulties ensued in efforts to reach the waste hoist elevator along established evacuation routes due to poor visibility.

Three trips were required to evacuate the workers from the underground 2,150 feet below the surface.  During the 37 minutes for the evacuation, some workers struggled with or did not use the self-contained breathing apparatus, and 13 had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “I can’t imagine how afraid and confused the workers must have been.  They had been told that this type of accident would never happen.  But they knew the required training and equipment maintenance was not done; the culture deterred workers from raising issues with their supervisors; and the ventilation system was switched the wrong way.  I would have wondered what else could go wrong and whether I would get out of the mine alive.

“The WIPP culture must be fixed.  We can’t trust this system for nuclear waste disposal to keep the workers safe and those living in the area and along the transportation routes.  An independent investigation of the radiation release is required now.  Please contact your elected officials, including the Governor, congresspersons and senators, and urge them to support an independent investigation of the WIPP radiation release.  Thank you.”

This has been the CCNS News Update.  Please go to our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org for the independent investigation action alert.

 

Action Alert: An Independent Investigation of WIPP is Needed

Hi All,
It’s time for an independent investigation of the radiation release at WIPP.  Please see the Update below for more information.

ACTION ALERT – AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF WIPP IS NEEDED


Please contact Governor Martinez and your U.S. Senators and Representatives to request that an independent investigation of the radiation release at WIPP be conducted ASAP.  Below is the contact information for the New Mexico delegation.  Please email CCNS at ccns@nuclearactive.org with your comment and any response you may receive.  Please share this with your networks.  Thank you!

Governor Susana Martinez at http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx

Santa Fe at (505) 476-2200

Senator Tom Udall - http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/

Albuquerque at (505) 346-6791
Carlsbad at (575) 234-0366
Eastside Office – Portales at (575) 356-6811
Las Cruces at (575) 526-5475Santa Fe at (505) 988-6511
Washington, DC at (202) 224-6621

Senator Martin Heinrichhttp://www.heinrich.senate.gov/

Albuquerque at p: (505) 346-6601; f:  (505) 346-6780
Farmington at p: (505) 325-5030; f:  (505) 325-6035
Las Cruces at p: (575) 523-6561; f:  (575) 523-6584
Roswell at p: (575) 622-7113; f:  (575) 622-3538
Santa Fe at p: (505) 988-6647; f:  (505) 992-8435
Washington D.C. at p: (202) 224-5521; f:  (202) 228-2841

Representative Ben Ray Lujan - https://lujan.house.gov/

Farmington Office at Phone: (505) 324-1005; Fax: (505) 324-1026
Gallup Office at Phone: (505) 863-0582; Fax: (505) 863-0678
Las Vegas Office at Phone: (505) 454-3038; Fax: 505-454-3265
Rio Rancho Office at Phone: (505) 994-0499; Fax: (505) 994-0550
Santa Fe Office at Phone: (505) 984-8950; Fax: (505) 986-5047
Tucumcari Office at Phone: 575-461-3029; Fax: 575-461-3192
Washington, DC Office:  Ph: (202) 225-6190; Fax: (202) 226-1528

Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham - http://lujangrisham.house.gov/

Albuquerque District Office at Phone: 505-346-6781; Fax: 505-346-6723
Washington, DC Office at Phone: 202-225-6316; Fax: 202-225-4975

Representative Steve Pearcehttp://pearce.house.gov/

Alamogordo at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Hobbs at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Las Cruces at Phone:  855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Las Lunas
at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Roswell
at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Socorro at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723)
Washington, DC at Phone: 855-4-PEARCE (732723) or (202) 225-2365

 

An Independent Investigation of WIPP is Needed


CCNS NEWS UPDATE

Runs 4/4/14 through 4/11/14


(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

•    An Independent Investigation of WIPP is Needed

It has been almost two months since the vehicle fire and radiation release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and we don’t know the essential facts about what happened.  We do know that the radiation release was never supposed to happen, and the federal government is unprepared to safely address the situation.  In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency, charged with determining whether WIPP would leak in 10,000 years, said it would not.

On Wednesday, two eight-person teams traveled down an elevator to the underground salt mine located 2,150 feet below the surface.  It is the first time that people have entered the site since the February 14th radiation release.  They wore anti-contamination suits with air-breathing units.  First reports indicate that no airborne contamination was detected.  That was expected since they entered where outside air comes into the mine and the workers were more than 1,000 feet from where they will find contamination.

Joni Arends, of CCNS, stated, “We understand that plans needed to be prepared in order to ensure the safety of the workers re-entering the mine, and we applaud the Department of Energy (DOE) for being thorough.  On the other hand, for more than 15 years, CCNS has pressed DOE and the New Mexico Environment Department to enhance the emergency preparedness requirements in the hazardous waste permit in anticipation that such an event could happen.  We were ridiculed by the agencies.  And now we see that our concerns were more than justified.”

For decades the non-governmental organizations have made suggestions to promote enhanced protection of workers at WIPP and community members living along the WIPP transportation routes.  Those organizations and others are continuing to carefully monitor what’s happening and demanding that all information be made public.  But those efforts are not enough, given the unprecedented nature of the release and the many unknowns.

Now is the time for an independent investigation of the radiation release.  An Accident Investigation Board was formed to investigate the vehicle fire, which was composed of DOE employees and consultants.  Their report is out and now they have been charged with investigating the radiation release.  But they are not doctors and epidemiologists who are qualified to assess the exposures received by at least 21 workers.  Those people, and the DOE, do not have all the expertise needed to create a plan to decontaminate a salt mine from the first-of-its-kind accident.  There will be no easy, fast solution as to what will happen at WIPP.  We do know that an independent investigation is needed now.

Please contact your elected officials, including the Governor, congresspersons and senators, and urge them to support an independent investigation of the WIPP radiation release.

This has been the CCNS News Update.  Please go to our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org to read the independent investigation action alert.

 

CALL TO ACTION: Saturday, April 5th at 9 am at the Stallion Range Station entrance to the Trinity Test Site at White Sands Missile Range, Hwy. 380, east of San Antonio, New Mexico

 

The only color photograph available for the Trinity blast, taken by Los Alamos scientist and amateur photographer Jack Aeby from near Base Camp. As Aeby later said, "It was there so I shot it."

The only color photograph available for the Trinity blast,
taken by Los Alamos scientist and amateur photographer
Jack Aeby from near Base Camp. As Aeby later said,
“It was there so I shot it.”

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 30,000 people living in the immediate vicinity were engulfed in a radioactive cloud and rained on with radioactive particles.

What the US Government did next was astounding; they packed their bags, turned their backs and walked away.For 69 years the US Government has takenno responsibility for the health repercussions and the effects of exposure to radiation from the Trinity Test for these citizens of the United States of America.
 
Las Mujeres Hablan (LMH) and the Tularosa Basin Downwind Consortium (TBDC) are working together on a project to tell “the rest of story” not found in history books and we need your help.

Together we will stage a peaceful demonstration coordinated with the “open house” at the Trinity Test Site on Saturday, April 5th at the Stallion Gate entrance to the site. 
http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx  Our theme is to remember and honor the dead through a Dia de los Muertos action.  It will be a somber occasion to recognize and expose the pain that secrecy can impose.
 
A rough sketch of the Dia de los Muertos action is to have as many people as possible painted with skeleton faces as we share death with those that have passed. We need people to make cardboard skeleton masks for those wishing not to paint their faces.

We need signage with messages such as “the rest of the story” or “the untold story”,”65 years of silence” and crosses leading up a mile to the site and cintas muerte blanca (white death ribbons) will be tied along the fence leading to the site. At all times we will remember that our message is conveyed out of love and remembrance, honoring the suffering and death from this atrocity.
 
This action is part of a bigger project that LMH is coordinating with the National Institute of Health. This work includes a study to understand and reconstruct the amount of radiation people were exposed to by the detonation of the atomic bomb.
Our goal is to tell the rest of the story…the involuntary exposure and the suffering that ensued during 69 years of silence. Our goal is to move forward the expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to those downwind populations exposed by the Trinity Test and to all New Mexicans. 
 
“The United States Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) is a federal statute providing for the monetary compensation of people, including atomic veterans, who contracted cancer and a number of other specified diseases as a direct result of their exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing undertaken by the United States during the Cold War, or their exposure to high levels of radon while doing uranium mining.”
 
Additionally:
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments of 2011, which would provide expanded restitution for Americans sickened from working in uranium mines or living downwind of atomic weapons tests.” Each year Senator Udall continues to bring the amendments to RECA but they have never seen a minute of time before a Senate Committee.  http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1272, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:3:./temp/~bdM6D0::|/home/LegislativeData.php|, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:2:./temp/~bdM6D0::|/home/LegislativeData.php| 
A Memorial in support of RECA was introduced at the 2014 state legislative session by Senator Howie Morales (SM35), and in the House (HM36) by Rep. Brian Egolf where it passed unopposed.  http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=S&LegType=M&LegNo=35&year=14, http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=H&LegType=M&LegNo=36&year=14
At the site, we will provide literature about the Trinity Test, RECA and ways people can support Downwinders.
 
For more information please contact Tina Cordova at tcordova@queston.net   or 505-897-6787, or Joni Arends, of CCNS, at ccns@nuclearactive.org or 505-986-1973.
 

Peaceful Dia de los Muertos Demonstration Planned at Trinity Site Entrance on Saturday, April 5th

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 3/28/14 through 4/4/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

Peaceful Dia de los Muertos Demonstration Planned at Trinity Site Entrance on Saturday, April 5th

The Trinity Test Site, the location of the first test explosion of a nuclear device on July 16, 1945 on the White Sands Missile Range, is open to the public one day a year. It will be open on Saturday, April 5th.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium and Las Mujeres Hablan, two advocacy organizations, are working together to tell the rest of the Trinity Test story that is not found in history books.  They have been working with local communities, congressional members , and New Mexico legislators to bring attention to the tragic health effects suffered by those exposed to the first atomic test.  The cancer rates in the counties surrounding the Trinity Site are among the highest in the nation.

The groups are bringing attention to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), a federal law that provides compensation to those who were exposed to radiation from above-ground tests and uranium mining and milling.  They are supporting the proposed RECA amendments, which are sponsored by the entire New Mexico Congressional delegation, to expand it to include those who were exposed to the Trinity Test.  http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1272, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:3:./temp/~bdM6D0::|/home/LegislativeData.php|, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d113:2:./temp/~bdM6D0::|/home/LegislativeData.php|

The advocacy groups are organizing a peaceful Dia de los Muertos demonstration at the Stallion Range Station, on Highway 380, east of San Antonio, New Mexico, beginning at 9 am on Saturday, April 5th and asking participants be on-site for two hours. The theme is to remember and honor the dead and recognize and expose the pain that secrecy imposes.  http://www.wsmr.army.mil/PAO/Trinity/Pages/default.aspx

The organizers ask that participants paint their faces with skeletons or bring cardboard skeleton masks.  Please bring your own water, snacks and posters.

Organizers will be providing information about the need to expand RECA and the National Institute of Health study to understand the lifestyles of those living downwind and downstream of the Trinity test.

Tina Cordova, one of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium organizers, said, “Sixty-nine years have passed.  It’s time to recognize those who were unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent participants in the world’s largest science experiment.  People in New Mexico have been suffering in silence ever since the bomb was detonated in July 1945.  It’s time we reveal the rest of the story and people are made aware of the complete legacy of Trinity.”

Everyone who has been affected, who has had a family member that has been affected, or who has an interest in the issue are invited to attend.  Videographers will capture the event for inclusion in a documentary that is in production.

For more information, please contact Tina Cordova at (505) 897-6787 or tcordova@queston.net or Joni Arends, CCNS, at (505) 986-1973 or ccns@nuclearactive.org.

 
This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org.

 

Upcoming Public Meetings about WIPP in Albuquerque (Th. 3/27) and Santa Fe (Mon. 3/31)

Hi,
The location and time for the public information meeting in Santa Fe on Monday, March 31st has changed.  The new location is the Santa Fe Main Library, located at 145 Washington Avenue, in downtown Santa Fe, from 6 to 7:30 pm.

The March 18th meeting at South West Organizing Project (SWOP) was standing room only.  Photos courtesy of SWOP at  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/m56uehx3pc4ooff/TEaiOdTTId/WIPP%20Discussion

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, March 27th at the Albuquerque Peace & Justice Center and Monday, March 31st at the Santa Fe Main Library.
Onward,
CCNS

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 3/21/14 through 3/28/14


(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

•    DOE Plans to Ship LANL TRU Waste to Commercial Facility; Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

On March 13th, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it was working on a contract with a commercial waste facility to “stage” the plutonium-contaminated transuranic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that is scheduled to be disposed at the closed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Frank Marcinowski, a DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary, said that the shipments would begin in early April to the unnamed commercial facility.

The transport of the waste is needed for LANL to meet the unenforceable Framework Agreement that Governor Susana Martinez established for the removal 3,706 cubic meters of transuranic waste stored in fabric tents to WIPP.  A June 30th, 2014 deadline was established and the state and federal governments want to move the remaining 546 cubic meters of waste from LANL before the deadline. http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/documents/LANL_Framework_Agreement.pdf

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “The Framework Agreement, which has delayed other legacy waste cleanup at LANL, was established without any public input.  Now DOE now is making plans to move transuranic waste to an unnamed commercial facility for staging.  Is DOE thinking what will happen to that waste if WIPP never reopens?  Before the contract is signed, there should be an opportunity for informed public input.”

Ted Wyka, Chairman of the DOE Accident Investigation Board, is leading the investigations of the February 5th fire and the February 14th release at WIPP.  The 180-page fire investigation report is available at http://www.wipp.energy.gov/.

Southwest Research and Information Center, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico will be sponsoring three public information meetings in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe about the recent incidents at WIPP and how you can get involved.

The first public information meeting will take place in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) office, located at 10th and Gold, Southwest.  The second Albuquerque meeting will take place on Thursday, March 27th from 6 to 8 pm at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, located at 202 Harvard, Southeast.  A complementary dinner will be available at both meetings.  Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, will provide the latest information, along with Rey Garduño and Lucille Cordova.

The third meeting will take place in Santa Fe on Monday, March 31st from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Santa Fe Main Library, located at 145 Washington, in downtown Santa Fe.  Please note the new location.  Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, Scott Kovac, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and former CCNS Board member Sasha Pyle will give presentations.

This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org.

 

DOE Plans to Ship LANL TRU Waste to Commercial Facility; Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 3/14/14 through 3/21/14


(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

•    DOE Plans to Ship LANL TRU Waste to Commercial Facility; Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

On March 13th, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it was working on a contract with a commercial waste facility to “stage” the plutonium-contaminated transuranic waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that is scheduled to be disposed at the closed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).  Frank Marcinowski, a DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary, said that the shipments would begin in early April to the unnamed commercial facility.

The transport of the waste is needed for LANL to meet the unenforceable Framework Agreement that Governor Susana Martinez established for the removal 3,706 cubic meters of transuranic waste stored in fabric tents to WIPP.  A June 30th, 2014 deadline was established and the state and federal governments want to move the remaining 546 cubic meters of waste from LANL before the deadline. http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/documents/LANL_Framework_Agreement.pdf

Joni Arends, of CCNS, said, “The Framework Agreement, which has delayed other legacy waste cleanup at LANL, was established without any public input.  Now DOE now is making plans to move transuranic waste to an unnamed commercial facility for staging.  Is DOE thinking what will happen to that waste if WIPP never reopens?  Before the contract is signed, there should be an opportunity for informed public input.”

Ted Wyka, Chairman of the DOE Accident Investigation Board, is leading the investigations of the February 5th fire and the February 14th release at WIPP.  The 180-page fire investigation report is available at http://www.wipp.energy.gov/.

Southwest Research and Information Center, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico will be sponsoring three public information meetings in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe about the recent incidents at WIPP and how you can get involved.

The first public information meeting will take place in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) office, located at 10th and Gold, Southwest.  The second Albuquerque meeting will take place on Thursday, March 27th from 6 to 8 pm at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, located at 202 Harvard, Southeast.  A complementary dinner will be available at both meetings.  Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, will provide the latest information, along with Rey Garduño and Lucille Cordova.

The third meeting will take place in Santa Fe on Monday, March 31st from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Santa Fe Main Library, located at 145 Washington, in downtown Santa Fe.  Please note the new location.  Don Hancock and Scott Kovac, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, will give presentations.

This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org.

 

U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board Meeting in ABQ on Wednesday, March 19th

Hi All,

In addition to the public information meetings sponsored by Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC), Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping (CARD), CCNS, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico on Tuesday, March 18th in ABQ; Thursday, March 27th in ABQ; and Monday March 31st in Santa Fe (see the Update below for more information) -

The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will hold a public meeting in Albuquerque on Wednesday, March 19th regarding the “U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research and development (R&D) activities related to salt as a geologic medium for disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW).”  The meeting will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 2101 Louisiana Blvd., NE, Albuquerque, beginning at 8 am.  The agenda is available at http://www.nwtrb.gov/.  Sandia and LANL scientists will be presenting, along with the former Director of the Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG), Bob Neill.  Public comment is scheduled for 4:45 pm.  The notice encourages the public who would like to speak to sign the “Public Comment Register” when you arrive.  They may decide on a time limit for your remarks, depending upon how many people sign up to speak.

Onward,
CCNS

 

Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque (3/18 and 3/27) and Santa Fe (3/31) about WIPP)


 

CCNS NEWS UPDATE
Runs 3/7/14 through 3/14/14

(THEME UP AND UNDER)  This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.  Here is this week’s top headline:

·      Upcoming Public Meetings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about WIPP

Southwest Research and Information Center, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, and Nuclear Watch New Mexico will be sponsoring three public information meetings in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe about the recent fire and plutonium release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and how to get involved.  Public input into the decision-making processes is essential now.  Updated information about the serious accidents as well as proposals to expand WIPP’s mission will be presented. 

The first public information meeting will take place in Albuquerque on Tuesday, March 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) office, located at 10th and Gold, Southwest.  The second meeting in Albuquerque will take place on Thursday, March 27th from 6 to 8 pm at the Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center, located at 202 Harvard, Southeast.  A complementary dinner will be available at both meetings.  Don Hancock, of Southwest Research and Information Center, will present the latest information, along with Rey Garduño and Lucille Cordova.

The third meeting will take place in Santa Fe on Monday, March 31st from 5:30 to 7 pm at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, located at Paseo de Peralta and Halcona Street.  Don Hancock and Scott Kovac, of Nuclear Watch New Mexico, will present.

There are several proposals to expand the mission of WIPP beyond its current mission to dispose of plutonium-contaminated waste generated by the nuclear weapons complex.  WIPP is a deep geologic “pilot” plant to demonstrate the safe disposal of transuranic radioactive and hazardous wastes in salt.  It opened on March 26, 1999 after decades of public opposition about the safety of the facility.  Plutonium is carcinogenic and even in the smallest amount is dangerous if inhaled or ingested. 

The salt-hauling vehicle that was involved in the February 5th fire was being used to remove salt from an experimental area being developed for “heater tests” to determine if high-level radioactive waste could be disposed of at WIPP. 

There are current five proposals on the table to expand WIPP’s mission and three proposals to reduce safety requirements.  The expansion proposals would bring wastes that are currently not allowed for disposal.  They are high-level waste generated by the nuclear reactors at the Hanford site in Washington state; commercial high-level waste from the West Valley site in New York; surplus plutonium from Department of Energy sites; elemental mercury from industrial sites; and high-activity low-level radioactive waste, called Greater-than-Class C waste, generated by government and commercial activities.

Proposals to reduce safety requirements include lessening monitoring of volatile organic compounds, less robust room closures, and reconfiguration of the waste rooms.

 
This has been the CCNS News Update.  For more information and to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit our website at http://www.nuclearactive.org.